DB News, Gossip, & Pop Culture

May 26, 2010

Hollywood Racism

I’m not going to lie, when I saw the trailer to The Last Airbender, one of the first questions that popped into my head was, “Is that a white kid playing Ang?” Perhaps it does have to do with social insecurity, but at the same time, not making light of these concerns allows these subtle acts of racial inequality to continue in this day and age. Now The Last Airbender and The Prince of Persia with Jake Gyllenhaal are catching heat for having the characters of color portrayed by whites.

They say “Airbender” casting is just the latest example of a long history in Hollywood of demeaning people of color – from having white actors in makeup portray minorities to sidelining them in second-tier roles to replacing them entirely, as they say is the case with “Airbender.”

They point to examples like the 2008 film “21,” which was based on a book inspired by the true-life story of a mostly Asian American group of card players, yet was cast with mostly white actors in the main roles.

They also note this weekend’s release of “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” a live-action adaptation of a video game that stars white actor Jake Gyllenhaal in the title role instead of an actor with a Middle Eastern background.

“This part really needed to go to someone who’s Persian,” said Jehanzeb Dar, a blogger and independent filmmaker who is a fan of the video game but has no intention of supporting the movie.

“It’s not only insulting to Persians, it’s also insulting to white people. It’s saying white people can’t enjoy movies unless the protagonist is white,” he said.

Disney did not return an e-mail asking for comment on the casting.”

Some of my (6) readers might point out that directors envision these creative worlds differently, or that some actors can transcend the barriers of race to portray quality characters. Maybe, but if Mel Gibson cast Denzel Washington to play Jesus, or Oliver Stone asked Benicio Del Toro to play George W. Bush, how would the white audience feel? It would be pretty ridiculous right? Then why would you ask a white guy to play a Middle Eastern guy? Or a white kid to play a Chinese kid? It’s the exact same thing. I hope both of these movies get panned by critics and are flops so they get taught a valuable lesson: China = The Future.

[Source TheHuffingtonPost]


1 Comment »

  1. denzel washington is of course one of the sexiest black actors that you can ever see :`”

    Comment by Metal Cabinets — November 24, 2010 @ 10:46 PM

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