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Old 2010-05-26, 11:10   Link #1
Kyero Fox
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Races complaining about Actors

Once again we get people compaining about a Character who should be played by a certain race.

http://movies.yahoo.com/photos/colle...what/fp#photo0

Why is this always a issue? Please oh god don't bomb us for not staring a short japanese/chines? bold white kid to play as Ang in the live action movie.

I forget, where was Avatar:The Last airbender originaly created?
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Old 2010-05-26, 11:47   Link #2
GuidoHunter_Toki
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People are flipping their collective lids over this because they can. When Jennifer Lopez was cast as the lead role in Selena, some people got all upset because a Puerto Rican actress was playing a Mexican character. It's not enough that a Latina was portraying a Latina, it wasn't the right kind of Latina that was the problem. This can get so ridiculuos. I am not saying that the issue of white actors playing ethnic roles isn't a problem that should be tackled, but people need to learn to pick their battles.

If it's a case where the character's race is pertinent to the story, then yes, they should cast an actor of the same race. But if not, then why bother complaining. There are much bigger issues going on in Hollywood than this.
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Old 2010-05-26, 11:55   Link #3
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It's just fantasy movie for goodness sake. Obviously, these people have never heard the MT3K Mantra.
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Old 2010-05-26, 11:56   Link #4
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What does avatar's made in stamp have anything to do with the casting choice of some no name white kid off the street. The setting although mythical was in asian influenced in many major ways. Also they have miracously made the dark skinned characters the villians and the light skinned characters the purveyors of justice. Just like in Aladdin this type of casting/delegating of race is social commentary on "accepted" stereotypes based on skin tone.
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Old 2010-05-26, 11:58   Link #5
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Seriously, who cares? What matters is the acting, not the ethnic background. It's all fiction anyway. It's not like the person playing the role actually has to have the exact same background as the character they're portraying.

I'm convinced some people have nothing better to do with their time than rage and split hairs.
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Old 2010-05-26, 12:02   Link #6
Kyero Fox
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I found it funny when they complained about a American boy played Goku in the DBZ movie, funny because If i remember correctly Goku is a Saiyan. not a japanese or chines person.
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Old 2010-05-26, 12:06   Link #7
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I would like to point out thusly:

If the role doesn't require a certain ethnic background, then they can choose whomever. If it requires a certain ethnic background then of course. I don't see the problem so long as the purpose is fulfilled with the utmost efficiency.

Racial background is important to the roles requiring it, but otherwise it's all very... trivial. Yes, let's go with trivial.

Of course people will never have an actual purpose for complaining, as they do it for varying reasons.

Because others are complaining. Because they aren't satisfied. Because they want a different kind of actor, and so on.

It's a great way to identify the bigots, however.
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Old 2010-05-26, 12:23   Link #8
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In Avatar: The Last Airbender, it ought to be readily apparent that the general Pacific-Asian feel was an aesthetic choice. The creators wanted to work in an environment that drew on that artistic flavor, for the same reason modern fantasy writers might draw on Western European motifs: simply because it's a readily accessible source of imagery they like. If that aesthetic is retained, I can't see why the ethnicity of the actors should matter.

On the broader matter of this 'whitewashing' concern, I think people love to read too much into racial issues because it makes them feel like they have some sort of special burden that makes them better than others. I'm of mainly Syrian descent, and I'm not going to deny that racism is still alive and well in the West, but when it comes to casting, people need to accept one fairly simple fact: casting can be a pain in the butt.

Taking Prince of Persia--the other shouted-at film in this debacle--as an example...you are already looking for an actor of suitable fame to draw attention, of enough resemblance to a character with a consistent canonical appearance, with the ability to convincingly deliver that personality...and there are people who honestly want to complain that they then did not further narrow that search by holding out for a Persian actor, which would then necessarily require the narrowing that said Persian actor can speak English?

Yeah...
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Old 2010-05-26, 13:29   Link #9
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Lord, it is getting down right pathetic to keep seeing this bullshit.

Cast a white man in a role thats suposed to be black - SHITSTORM, THATS NOT RIGHT!

Cast a black man in a role thats suposed to be white - You dont like it? YOUR RACIST!

Yes its a oversimplification, but its pretty damn on the mark when it comes to the attitude you see. I think the only reason this stuff keeps becoming an issue is that minorities cant shut the hell up and let everyone just see eachother as equals.
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Old 2010-05-26, 16:02   Link #10
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I dunno, I wasn't feeling Kingpin being black in Daredevil when i had this big, white guy in my head all through out my childhood
Lost the relation and reference, so it didn't feel authentic.

Thing is the reason people get uppity is cause movies portray stories of humans who typically have been defined already and affilated with some kinda culture or race (unless its kept general or totally sci-fi)
Yes, Goku was some race from somewhere else, but it's a Japanese affilated series, hence the sensitivity to the fans.
(Why did we have to have the stereotypical 'asian wise old man' then, he could have also been white)
But it was atrocious, so not even worth mentioning, lol.

So when its broken from the norm or pre-set, people get sensitive about it. I see it as a case of sensitivies although naturally, some people just outwardly hate and bash on other ethnic groups that they're against, no matter the reason.

Example being having the chinese actress play Sayuri in 'memoirs of a geisha'.
Given that China and Japan aren't best buddies and having someone else represent a story based off a deep cultural element of a society that the actress country dislikes is like rubbing salt into a old wound that can't heal much.

From Hollywood's point, its just business and money, but from those living with the tiny prejudices, it smarts.
I doubt the Chinese would be too happy to have a Japanese leading woman play a traditional character role for a chinese story either.

But of all, 'asians' look alike, so what does it matter

Again, having an asian main actress play a part in some story of Peral harbour, may not go down too well, methinks.
I hear the arguements 'historical recollections are different!', but it's the same/similar sensitivies, there's tons of posts above of people going 'get over it', hence I'm playing devils advocate atm...

Also, I guess as an ethnic minority as well, I see the world in a different light, than to the majority who don't quite get what the fuss is about. (Found this out when Disney made the 'princess and the frog' movie)

Will keep tabs on this thread and expand a little more, but in ninja mode as I'm out for the day
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Old 2010-05-26, 16:06   Link #11
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Okay, I have no problems with the actors. But I do have a problem about the director. On a recent trailer I saw, it ended with, "Written, Directed, Produced by M. Knight Sha(?)" -- yeah, but it was a scene by scene replay of the crazy water scene at the end of season 1 of the show.

i think even if a technicality allows him those credits, he should also give credit where it is due or just STFU about it.
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Old 2010-05-26, 16:15   Link #12
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Curious question then... how much can they change a mythos when they adapt it into a movie, and still be able to call it that? What if you replace female characters with male characters?

What if they renamed Aang to Jerry, and instead of an airbender, he was a kid frozen by science before the apocalypse and is awakened in the future, where he's the only one who knows how to build and shoot guns. Oh, and Katara is renamed to Katana and is a young boy, but still develops a romantic relationship with Aang.

To me, race is kinda like that. It's an arbitrary change that adds nothing to the mythos, and instead takes it away and makes it harder for a fan to like. If you can't make an accurate movie portrayal of a series, then don't do it. Because otherwise, it really looks like you don't care about the series at all, and are just doing it for your ego or cash. Or both.

In Avatar's case, there are plenty of good asian actors, so you could have at least made a good effort to find someone close. As it stands, these actors will have to be damn good to have any chance of shaking off the stigma. If they are just average, it's going to look even worse for Shamalan or whatever his name is.

I'm a logical guy, and race tiffs don't make logical sense to me. But neither does changing things like this. Even with my logic, it's damn hard to not see how they made the heroes into white people, and the bad guys into other races, when the series made Zuko more white than the the Gaang. Probably because they thought the audience was too dumb to be able to handle bad white people and heroic colored people. Oh sure, some can, but not enough to make it a blockbuster.
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Old 2010-05-26, 21:03   Link #13
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I didn't hear anyone complaining about Morgan Freeman playing 'Red' in Shawshank Redemtion.
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Old 2010-05-26, 22:46   Link #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
Probably because they thought the audience was too dumb to be able to handle bad white people and heroic colored people. Oh sure, some can, but not enough to make it a blockbuster.


if they didnt like the book of Eli because the MC was a black good guy and the bad guys were white... I'll shoot them

i guess they should just stick with the "Correct" race for movies, so people dont complain and enjoy the movie.
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Old 2010-05-27, 01:44   Link #15
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It's a movie. Who cares if the actors aren't orignally from the same country of the characters they represent? What matters is the story itself and how their character handles the events of the story. People ought to use their imagination and try to immerse themselves into a different world that's very much unlike the one they already live in. If they want to complain about how unrealistic it is for there to be a white Iranian, they ought to complain about how unrealistic it is that there exists a dagger that controls time, or a prepubescent kid who can control the wind. Besides, even the actual Prince in the PoP games doesn't look oh so Iranian when you think about it, considering he has blue eyes. We never got anyone complaining about that. Only now they decide to complain about it? Aren't there already enough reasons to make an argument as to how bad these movies are? Rather than complaining about the actors' ethnic background, they should complain how the movies have no plot
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Old 2010-05-27, 01:56   Link #16
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I'll throw in my argument for those who wish extremely accurate look-alikes:

What those people who look exactly like the characters SUCK at acting?
And, as for The Last Airbender, SUCK at martial arts?

Honestly, I don't want an adaptation where fighting scenes involved people who don't know the difference between Karate, Judo and Tae Kwon Do.
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Old 2010-05-27, 10:22   Link #17
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Other than Blackface not really concerned about Race
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Old 2010-05-27, 22:49   Link #18
MikaMiaka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
I'll throw in my argument for those who wish extremely accurate look-alikes:

What those people who look exactly like the characters SUCK at acting?
And, as for The Last Airbender, SUCK at martial arts?

Honestly, I don't want an adaptation where fighting scenes involved people who don't know the difference between Karate, Judo and Tae Kwon Do.
That's true. Pick someone who looks like him. That someone should be an okay actor but a kick ass acrobatics performer.
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Old 2010-05-27, 23:24   Link #19
Spectacular_Insanity
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Originally Posted by Mystique View Post
I dunno, I wasn't feeling Kingpin being black in Daredevil when i had this big, white guy in my head all through out my childhood
Lost the relation and reference, so it didn't feel authentic.
Really? I thought they made the right choice. Better than some scrawny white guy, that's for sure.
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Old 2010-05-27, 23:43   Link #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
Curious question then... how much can they change a mythos when they adapt it into a movie, and still be able to call it that? What if you replace female characters with male characters?

What if they renamed Aang to Jerry, and instead of an airbender, he was a kid frozen by science before the apocalypse and is awakened in the future, where he's the only one who knows how to build and shoot guns. Oh, and Katara is renamed to Katana and is a young boy, but still develops a romantic relationship with Aang.

To me, race is kinda like that. It's an arbitrary change that adds nothing to the mythos, and instead takes it away and makes it harder for a fan to like. If you can't make an accurate movie portrayal of a series, then don't do it. Because otherwise, it really looks like you don't care about the series at all, and are just doing it for your ego or cash. Or both.

In Avatar's case, there are plenty of good asian actors, so you could have at least made a good effort to find someone close. As it stands, these actors will have to be damn good to have any chance of shaking off the stigma. If they are just average, it's going to look even worse for Shamalan or whatever his name is.

I'm a logical guy, and race tiffs don't make logical sense to me. But neither does changing things like this. Even with my logic, it's damn hard to not see how they made the heroes into white people, and the bad guys into other races, when the series made Zuko more white than the the Gaang. Probably because they thought the audience was too dumb to be able to handle bad white people and heroic colored people. Oh sure, some can, but not enough to make it a blockbuster.
I think that's really the issue that's got people. It's not like minorities are just looking for something to make a fuss about, but when people see that they changed something for the movie, they wonder, "Why did they do that? What reason did they have to deviate from the original?" (for the people insisting "but it's a fantasy world so they're not really Asian to begin with so they're not really changing anything" if you have to come up with a nitpicky semantic excuse like that, I think that says something about the strength of the argument)

And in most cases the reason for the change is obvious, like cutting out a scene or subplot or exaggerating an action sequence with special effects. But a choice like this is going to look suspicious, and people wonder why, and then they wonder if it's for the most obvious reason.

Yeah there are plenty of other, plausible, non-racist reasons for the casting choice, and it'd be great if we could all ignore race altogether and only cast for acting ability. I just think some people are going too far by implying that everyone who has an issue with the casting is some oversensitive whiny bitch with a persecution complex.
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