The Portrayal of the Janitor

the janitor's social stigmaImpeccable Cleaning in the Florida Panhandle is not your classic janitor. Once upon a time (not too long ago), the portrayal of a janitor was biased, often as a figure of ridicule, danger or pity, he became a negatively stereotypical blue collar character in popular culture, many times denoting ignorance, laziness, failure, exploitation or even perversion.  Featured widely in film and television, he was portrayed in the same realm of evil as the butler. In real life this is of course not the case, but Hollywood in the 20th century liked to project the Butler and the Janitor as wicked and dangerous, probably as a result of historic Victorian Fear projection.

To support this statement please watch the trailer for the 2007 Demi Moore, Michael Cain Movie “Flawless”.

Yet, even when it comes to the janitors listed below, not all of them share these traits. The list in order of first appearance in movies.

Movie Janitors

In recent years the janitor has slowly been lifted to a position of guarded prominence as a benevolent character with deep wisdom of life, such as in the movie “Pride” where Bernie Mac plays the grouchy but caring janitor Elston.

In the background of all these “social” stigmas, the profession of janitor has developed however into a solid, science based service, much in demand by smart corporations who value productivity and professional services to keep their work- and client environment pristine.