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Hollywood continues to piss me off - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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Hollywood continues to piss me off [May. 18th, 2011|03:40 pm]
Zoethe
After claiming that it was nonsense to argue that Jennifer Lawrence was too white to play Katniss in the movie of The Hunger Games, the director has pretty much painted her brown to fit the description.

(And note, too, that they've ignored Katniss' distinctive gray eyes and just stayed with her Nordic All-American baby blues.

In other news, Johnny Depp is playing Tonto in a Lone Ranger movie. Because there aren't any Native American actors out there. But it's totally all right, because he tells us that his great-gramma was part Cherokee.

Tell me again how this is totally different from blackface.

Because, honestly, I'm only seeing a difference in degree. Scripts are written to be more inclusive, but casting doesn't reflect it. And we continue to accept caucasian-normative as the standard. It's not fair, and I'm tired of it.
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: redstapler
2011-05-18 08:12 pm (UTC)
The sick of it is, that's not even the correct type of brown!

That's not what I'd describe as olive-skinned, but hey.

She looks like a co-ed who's all set for spring break. CLEARLY the correct look for Katniss. *eyeroll*
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-19 01:11 am (UTC)
She spends a lot of time outside, so tan makes sense, but still very white beneath. Irritating.
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[User Picture]From: geli_tripping
2011-05-18 08:23 pm (UTC)
I agree with you completely. In this country, there are a lot of us with great-grandparents who were Native American, but that definitely doesn't mean we should be playing a role like that. I'm sure there are lots of Native American actors out there who would be better. I like Johnny Depp, but c'mon!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-19 01:14 am (UTC)
Seriously.

Of course, a friend pointed out that making this movie at all is sort of offensive. It will be interesting to see if they can manage to make the character something other than an appalling stereotype.
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[User Picture]From: theinfamousmom
2011-05-18 08:24 pm (UTC)
Maybe they couldn't find a Native American actor willing to play Sambo Tonto? I'm sure Adam Beach has too much pride for that, and Wes Studi's too old.

This is not to say that I don't agree with you 100% on ridiculous bodypainted white people, mind you.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-19 01:16 am (UTC)
I'm skeptical that there are no Native Americans who could play the role, or that there aren't some who'd be willing to take the role on the chance to get the exposure. But hey, Depp must be in everything.
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[User Picture]From: polymorphism
2011-05-18 09:05 pm (UTC)
Yeah, some of the supporting cast from Dances with Wolves are surely still kicking around Hollywood.

You know what would be fun? If they wrote the part for Johnny Depp and then he backed out saying it should be played by a Native American actor. I would be entertained by that, anyway.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-19 01:18 am (UTC)
That would be quite interesting, I have to say.
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[User Picture]From: wdomburg
2011-05-18 09:28 pm (UTC)
It appears Suzanne Collins was involved with and fairly emphatic in her support of the casting. So was she inclusive in her writing but not in her input, or has there been some evidence that all auditions were by especially Caucasian actresses?

When is an actor portraying a character outside their race acceptable? There have been Jewish actresses as Hispanics (see: Jenette Goldstein as Vasquez in Aliens), Spaniards as Italians (Antonio Banderas in Interview with the Vampire), Italians as Cubans (Al Pacino in Scarface), black actors playing white characters (Will Smith in I Am Legend and Wild Wild West), and so forth.

Are other instances of altering appearance for a role offensive? Is Nicholas Cage wearing padding to appear heavier in Adapation indicative of a thin-normative standard? What about Jewel Staite gaining weight to play Kaylee on Firefly?
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[User Picture]From: aiela
2011-05-18 10:09 pm (UTC)
I do believe the main issue was that the casting call itself was for Caucasian actresses. They didn't even entertain the thought of casting anyone non-white.
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[User Picture]From: noshot
2011-05-18 11:47 pm (UTC)
Dan Trejo would make a good Tonto.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-19 01:26 am (UTC)
Not even considered - it's Depp's project. :-(
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[User Picture]From: inaurolillium
2011-05-19 01:00 am (UTC)
And, of course, there's the live action version of Akira set in New Los Angeles and starring a middle-aged white guy (talks just broke down with Keanu Reeves for the role) as the title role.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-19 01:28 am (UTC)
GAH!!! How insane.
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[User Picture]From: fallconsmate
2011-05-19 03:26 am (UTC)
my great grandmother was full blood cherokee. me, i'm a pasty white girl. ;)

my husband's father was more hispanic (mexican) than not (roughly 7/8ths), but TheEngineer doesnt "look" mexican to most folks.

most american folks are mixed mutts if their families were here a couple of generations. but i absolutely agree with you, if the book/comic/cartoon has a character who is written as a specific race, then dammit, find a qualified actor who looks like the character depicted. period. that includes making the person wear colored contact lenses if they're otherwise in line with the person they're depicting.
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[User Picture]From: lothie
2011-05-19 05:27 am (UTC)
Well, blue eyes are just a shade of gray, so really, I don't see that it matters. Frankly, in the picture you linked to, her eyes look dark gray to me. (And the first picture I could find of Katniss using Google shows her with apparently brown eyes.)

Not that I don't wish that casting were more ethnically accurate...but I think you need to pick your battles here. I mean, if you're doing a film on Pocahontas and you cast a white girl in the title role, um what? But c'mon, Katniss? Tonto?

I, personally, didn't even complain when they gave all the elves in the LOTR films blue contacts, so maybe I'm just too mellow.

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[User Picture]From: 19_crows
2011-05-19 05:04 pm (UTC)
Since Katniss is from Appalachia, I've been assuming she's white, probably descended from English settlers. I don't think there's any evidence in the book that she isn't white, is there? And she'd be tanned, of course.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-19 05:53 pm (UTC)
It talks about her olive skin and her dark features. And Appalachia is hardly all white.
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From: anonymousalex
2011-05-19 05:13 pm (UTC)
It is different from blackface in that they are probably not literally shucking and jiving on camera.

-Alex
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-05-19 05:50 pm (UTC)
Alex! You broke down and got an account.

Like I said, it's a difference of degree, but it's still a kind of exclusion.
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[User Picture]From: lea724
2011-08-13 02:46 pm (UTC)

I thought you might be interested in this...

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-14 01:06 am (UTC)

Re: I thought you might be interested in this...

That's very interesting! Thanks for the link.
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