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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 27 March 2017 at 9:10pm | IP Logged | 1  

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It seems it's not all right after all to cast white actors in roles that were other ethnicities in other mediums.  Though, as an example, it's perfectly fine to make freckled faced, red haired Jimmy Olsen black.....
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 27 March 2017 at 9:27pm | IP Logged | 2  

Not sure how this is ironic. Both raceswapping and whitewashing are
problematic treatments of minorities and minority actors. They are
different sides of the same problem.
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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 27 March 2017 at 9:29pm | IP Logged | 3  

You know I was originally  going to respond with something else. But the hell with it I'm sick of this crap. Screw all these idiots with their double stand bullshit.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 27 March 2017 at 10:10pm | IP Logged | 4  

Let's be clear: Hollywood has a history of whitewashing roles (to the
point of getting white actors to play Asians) and underrepresenting
minorities. That's been the default. Raceswapping minority actors into
characters that were originally white is an attempt—an extremely
flawed one, in my opinion—to address that issue. If Hollywood wanted
to improve diversity, it should be creating new characters rather than
changing old ones. This seems what the production was attempting to
here, so rather than saying "OMG double standard" because people
have an issue with reverting back to whitewashing characters, we
should be asking why we are disincentivizing attempts to improve
diversity the "right way" by creating new minority characters.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 27 March 2017 at 10:21pm | IP Logged | 5  

I think we can all agree that it's wrong for White actors to play other races and ethnicities, right? And it pretty much has been from the get-go. We can claim "simpler times," but I'll bet actors who actually belonged to those other races and ethnicities didn't think it was so "simple" that they were not getting the work!

Funny thing, tho -- when a White actor played, say, Charlie Chan, the character did not become White. When a White actor played Othello, the character did not become White. When a White actor played Geronimo.... Well, you get the point.

I suppose it speaks again to the mongrel nature of the White race, that we can disguise ourselves as other races and pretend we ARE those other races. But Black or Asian actors are much more pure of stock, much more distinctive. When they play a character, the character becomes their race. (Go watch CLOUD ATLAS for some embarassing examples of a broad spectrum of races pretending to be something else.)

So, would it be too terrible for everybody to stay in the skin Nature gave them? And maybe Hollywood can then start creating more good roles for non-White actors, instead of putting them in minstrel shows?

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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 28 March 2017 at 5:16am | IP Logged | 6  

Let's be clear: Hollywood has a history of whitewashing roles (to the 
point of getting white actors to play Asians) and underrepresenting 
minorities. That's been the default. Raceswapping minority actors into 
characters that were originally white is an attempt—an extremely 
flawed one, in my opinion—to address that issue. If Hollywood wanted 
to improve diversity, it should be creating new characters rather than 
changing old ones. This seems what the production was attempting to 
here, so rather than saying "OMG double standard" because people 
have an issue with reverting back to whitewashing characters, we 
should be asking why we are disincentivizing attempts to improve 
diversity the "right way" by creating new minority characters.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Let Me be clear here. I'm sick and tired of the double standard.  If a character was initially created as white but gets recast as a different ethnic group. All those people who would cry white washing. Would hardly say a word if anything at all. But do the reverse and the scream bloody murder.  It's a double standard that I'm sick of hearing. 

For the latest example just look at the noise being made about Iron Fist not being cast as an Asian character. Why the heck should he have been changed? If an argument for diversity needed to be made. Than why wasn't that argument. Why not make a show about Shang-Chi instead ? That would have been a logical and legitimate one to make.

Regardless of which way you go it's race swapping. I am not a fan of doing that. I don't care who the actor is or what they look like. But if you cast them as a character that has a pre-existing look. Than that actor must look the part.  

Trying to balance the scales by race swapping characters intended to be white. Will NOT wipe out what happened before.  Creating more diverse characters will balance it out.

In this case as I understand the article. The parts were initially offered to the proper ethnic groups. The roles were turned down. So only after that were the characters recast. The studio tried it didn't work out they had to move forward. Based upon what I read in this instance there is nothing to cry foul about. 

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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 28 March 2017 at 6:07am | IP Logged | 7  

What makes it ironic is the people who have NO issue with taking a character who has been white their entire existence (i.e. Jimmy Olsen) have an issue with this.  Even more ironic is the fact that, according to the article, the roles WERE originally offered to ethnic actors and they turned them down.  It doesn't say, however, how many actors were offered the roles though.

If people turn down the job when it's being offered to them, they don't have a reason to come back and complain when someone else gets it.  It's not whitewashing when others had the chance and the studio falls back to their second (or third or fourth or however many it may have been) choice. 
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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 28 March 2017 at 6:43am | IP Logged | 8  


If people turn down the job when it's being offered to them, they don't have a reason to come back and complain when someone else gets it.  It's not whitewashing when others had the chance and the studio falls back to their second (or third or fourth or however many it may have been) choice. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Something else I'd like to add. If these are new characters and the creators for whatever reason changed the race of the characters. Than it isn't white washing or race swapping. Because there hasn't been a preexisting look to the character.  
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Mario Ribeiro
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Posted: 28 March 2017 at 8:32am | IP Logged | 9  

The article mentions "latinx actress", which I find it incredibly funny. You see, it's not a typo. The x is there so it could be either latino or latina, both man and woman. Then the word actress comes along and makes it pointless. Plus, now there are those saying that the "x" is not very inclusive either, because it turns out that blind people need a program (or app or whatever it's called) to read the words for them and it doesn't recognize latinx.

About Iron Fist, all the posters I'm seeing here show only Colleen Wing. I guess civilians are supposed to think it's a show about an Asian woman.
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Ted Pugliese
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Posted: 28 March 2017 at 8:35am | IP Logged | 10  

I keep thinking this has something to do with owning
intelectual properties, like the shows want an
African-American character, but don't want to pay
somebody for creating them, so we get ethnic versions
of white characters so nobody owns them and/or they
don't want to use other African-American characters
with clear-cut creators they would have to pay.

Gerry Conway was recently talking about how subtle
changes somehow give us characters without creators.

Killer Frost is diffreent enough that he reportedly
didn't create the one on the Flash TV show. I suspect
that different civilian names for Vibe and Firestorm
serve to help blur the lines of creativity (and legal
ownership) so instead of creating new minority
characters or using old ones with clearly defined
creators who would be entitled to a cut, we get
minority versions of old characters.

Seems logical, but there has to be a better way,
because no matter what anybody says (or how loudly
they say it on the internet) Perry White and Jimmy
Olsen are NOT African-American. Create or use
established minority characters in better roles to
help better represent the diversity of society and pay
the people who created them.

You have billions.

(rant continues)

Perry White could have retired, and Superman could
have a new African-American Editor-in-chief. Why not
(just don't call him Barry White)?

And Mal Duncan could have been the James Olsen
character in Supergirl, especially if you wanted to
use his Guardian.

Iris and Wally West should still be white. If you
wanted more diversity, you could have stayed with
Wally West Flash, used Linda Park, and created a new
African-American Kid Flash (a la Aqualad).

The Justice League carton (IMO) did a great job with
this, using John Stewart and Vixen et. al. They
should have used him in the movies too. Save Cyborg
for the Titans where he belongs. DC has a lot of
great minority characters who, I think, fans of all
races would love to see. I know I would, but I am
afraid I will never get to see Black Lightning, one of
my favorites, because his name is Black Lightning.

I guess we could simply call him Lightning or Vulcan.

God forbid.
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Phil Kreisel
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Posted: 28 March 2017 at 10:14am | IP Logged | 11  

Hmmm... In the comics, Danny Rand (who is Iron Fist) was never Asian.  He was a blonde, blue eyed lad.  Why would he become Asian in the show?  Mind you, I'm way behind on my Netflix watching, and I haven't tuned into the show yet.

I'm still bugged about the Human Torch (Johnny Storm) being black in the 2015 FF reboot.  Good thing the FF reboot sucked!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 28 March 2017 at 10:38am | IP Logged | 12  

Hmmm... In the comics, Danny Rand (who is Iron Fist) was never Asian. He was a blonde, blue eyed lad. Why would he become Asian in the show? Mind you, I'm way behind on my Netflix watching, and I haven't tuned into the show yet.

••

What's being overlooked here is the incredible racism of people who insist Iron Fist should be Asian. Only Asian people, after all, can master martial arts. It's their version of "natural rhythm."

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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 28 March 2017 at 10:45am | IP Logged | 13  

Shang Chi and Iron Fist were the Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris of the Marvel Comics Universe when I was a kid.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 28 March 2017 at 11:08am | IP Logged | 14  

For the latest example just look at the noise being made about Iron Fist
not being cast as an Asian character. Why the heck should he have
been changed? If an argument for diversity needed to be made. Than
why wasn't that argument. Why not make a show about Shang-Chi
instead ? That would have been a logical and legitimate one to make.

-----

The arguments about IRON FIST weren't about diversity, but of cultural
appropriation. And those people might have probably agreed with you
that a Shang-Chi show would have been a better choice.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 28 March 2017 at 11:27am | IP Logged | 15  

"Cultural appropriation" is such a phony phrase. Test it retroactively. Shall we ban all those Elvis songs that were born out of "N*gro music"? How about Jazz?

More recently, should we destroy all copies of DANCES WITH WOLVES?

Oh, well! At least DOCTOR STRANGE is safe, since the Ancient One is now a middle aged White woman.

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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 28 March 2017 at 11:33am | IP Logged | 16  

Trying to balance the scales by race swapping characters intended to
be white. Will NOT wipe out what happened before. Creating more
diverse characters will balance it out.

In this case as I understand the article. The parts were initially offered
to the proper ethnic groups. The roles were turned down. So only after
that were the characters recast. The studio tried it didn't work out they
had to move forward. Based upon what I read in this instance there is
nothing to cry foul about.

-------

If the production attempted to find actors of the proper ethnic groups
and could not fill those roles, do you believe it's due to a shortage of
minority actors with ability or is it risk aversion to minority actors in lead
roles? If it is the latter, don't you see the problem?
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 28 March 2017 at 11:38am | IP Logged | 17  

"Cultural appropriation" is such a phony phrase. Test it retroactively.
Shall we ban all those Elvis songs that were born out of "N*gro music"?
How about Jazz?

-----

Of course not. But if we were on a world where Motown never came
into being and black musicians continued to be marginalized and
ignored in favor of white performers doing the same thing, would Elvis'
music be viewed the same way?
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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 28 March 2017 at 12:19pm | IP Logged | 18  


If the production attempted to find actors of the proper ethnic groups 
and could not fill those roles, do you believe it's due to a shortage of 
minority actors with ability or is it risk aversion to minority actors in lead 
roles? If it is the latter, don't you see the problem?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There are plenty of shows and movies now where the lead actor is a minority actor. I don't think that's a problem any more.  As to the shortage of minority actors. I REALLY don't think there are a shortage of them out there. I think it's more likely a case of studio's wanting to cast a known quantity over an unknown. That's something not limited to minorities. 

The latest instance I can think of is Corey Hawkins. Hawkins is in Iron Man 3 than gets a leading role in Straight Out of Compton. The Walking Dead than Kong Skull Island. Now he's the lead on 24 Legacy.  He's a fine actor who got the right kind of exposure. I think his Compton and Skull Island cast mate Jason Mitchell will begin getting more roles as well. Both fine young actors.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 28 March 2017 at 12:39pm | IP Logged | 19  


 QUOTE:
There are plenty of shows and movies now where the lead
actor is a minority actor. I don't think that's a problem any more.


I think if you exclude the movies with the same five black male leads,
it's far from plenty.


 QUOTE:
think it's more likely a case of studio's wanting to cast a
known quantity over an unknown. That's something not limited to
minorities.


Of course that's not limited to minorities, but when there are fewer
opportunities for minority characters and the visibility of minority actors
is limited to begin with, that studio mindset affects them harder.
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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 28 March 2017 at 3:17pm | IP Logged | 20  


I think if you exclude the movies with the same five black male leads, 
it's far from plenty. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~```
That's an exaggeration.

Here is a list of actors that I can think of just off the top of my head that are currently or have recently been the lead or co lead in films or on tv.

Will Smith, Donald Glover, Ice Cube Corey Hawkins, Michael B. Jordan, Tyler Perry, Chadwick Boseman, Idris Elba, Denzel Washington, Terrance Howard, Anthony Anderson, Don Chedle, Mahershala Ali, Mike Colter Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, Taraji Henson, Alfre Woodard, Rosario Dawson.

That's a hell of a lot better than the way it use to be and things will continue to improve.  That improvement is going to come by the creation of new characters. 

Not new characters geared towards minorities. Rather characters that are created without regards of their skin color. 
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 28 March 2017 at 3:26pm | IP Logged | 21  

Will Smith, Donald Glover, Ice Cube Corey Hawkins, Michael B.
Jordan, Tyler Perry, Chadwick Boseman, Idris Elba, Denzel
Washington, Terrance Howard, Anthony Anderson, Don Chedle,
Mahershala Ali, Mike Colter Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, Taraji
Henson, Alfre Woodard, Rosario Dawson.

-----

Thanks for unintentionally making my point.
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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 28 March 2017 at 3:40pm | IP Logged | 22  

Providing more than 5 actors is making a point.... how?
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 28 March 2017 at 4:06pm | IP Logged | 23  

Absent the hyperbole, my point is that putting a small set of black
actors in lead roles is not indicative of minority representation being
plentiful and a nonissue. That someone counters with a list of ONLY
black actors (well and at least one Latina, with Rosario) only
emphasizes that. And arguably from that list, only a few of those actors
are taking the bulk of the lead roles.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 28 March 2017 at 4:13pm | IP Logged | 24  

Other than, arguably, PBS, the entertainment industry in the United States, especially in the digital age, has become a free market.  There are a million ways now for artists of any medium, of any background and heritage, to get their work out there, and the market weeds out the good from the bad.  There's no longer an authoritative hand at the switch.  You don't need radio play to sell records anymore.  You don't need to get onto one of a handful of television stations of Hollywood productions in order for people to see you act, or hear the words you've written.

So trying to artificially force diversity by setting what amount to quotas (okay, there are 7 characters so we need three male, three female, one trans character, four of the others have to be heterosexual and the other two gay or lesbian, two need to be black, one Asian, one Hispanic, etc. etc.) isn't solving the problem.  Taking the time to showcase, talk about, and promote quality work from all types of people is.
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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 28 March 2017 at 4:34pm | IP Logged | 25  

Absent the hyperbole, my point is that putting a small set of black 
actors in lead roles is not indicative of minority representation being 
plentiful and a nonissue. That someone counters with a list of ONLY 
black actors (well and at least one Latina, with Rosario) only 
emphasizes that. And arguably from that list, only a few of those actors 
are taking the bulk of the lead roles.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
As I said I named the actors that came to mind. I could research more. But that's not the point.  The point is that it's more than just five actors. That are getting leading roles. With some research I'm certain the last would grow to include many more actors. From various ethnic groups. Not just black and Hispanic. In no way did I prove your point, I countered it. But of course I guess the number of actors I mentioned is a moot point for you. I could have doubled that amount and you likely would have responded the same way.

But let me give it a go anyway

Vin Diesel, Morgan Freeman, Forrest Whitaker, Taye Diggs,Boris Kodjoe, Anthony-Mackie,Harry Lennix, Roger Guenveur Smith, Jamie Fox, Vivica A Fox,  Jada Pinkett smith,

 Javier Bardem, Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz, Jordi Molla, Jennifer Lopez, Benicio Del Toro, Paz Vega ,Gael Garcia Bernal, Zoe Saldana, Eva Longoria, John Leguizamo.

John Cho,Ken Jeong,Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Daniel Dae Kim, Steven Yeun, Ken Watanabe, Ming Na Wen, Daniel Wu, Sendhil Ramamurthy.

Admittedly I had to google some of them so that I could get the spelling of some of the names correct.


Edited by Anthony J Lombardi on 28 March 2017 at 4:52pm
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