well-temperedforum.groupee.net    The Well-Tempered Forum  Hop To Forum Categories  Off Key    White Actors Stop Playing non-White Characters
Page 1 2 

Moderators: QuirtEvans, pianojuggler, wtg
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
White Actors Stop Playing non-White Characters
 Login/Join
 
Minor Deity
Picture of Axtremus
posted
White Actors Leaving Nonwhite Roles at ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Family Guy’
Mike Henry said he would no longer voice the ‘Family Guy’ character Cleveland Brown, while the producers of ‘The Simpsons’ said they would stop using white actors to play nonwhite characters.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/0...te-voice-actors.html

I can understand people of Indian descent taking offense at the Simpson’s Apu character, though I would not think they would be less offended had Apu been voiced by an actor of Indian descent rather than a Caucasian actor.

The Cleveland Brown character from The Family Guy, what’s wrong with the character other than the fact that it has been voiced by a white actor? Is it specific to this character or a general discontent that black actors (or non-white actors in general) are not getting their fair share of work and recognition in the entertainment industry?

In Fresh Off the Boat, the Louis Huang character was played by a Korean rather than a Chinese. Are the Chinese supposed to be offended by the fact that a Korean actor was hired to play a Chinese character?

Henry Golding is of mixed Iban and English descent. Are the Chinese supposed to be offended that an Ibanese-English actor played the male lead Chinese character in Crazy Rich Asians?

When the technology becomes available, perhaps we can eliminate all ethnicity-based audio-visual offenses by using computers to synthesize all characters’ looks and voices.
 
Posts: 11593 | Registered: 01 December 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Unrepentant Dork
Gadfly
Picture of dolmansaxlil
posted Hide Post
There is a long history in Hollywood (and in theatre) of having white people play roles of other ethnicities. Not because there weren’t Black, Asian, Indian, etc etc actors available to play the roles. Not because those actors weren’t “good enough”. But because those actors were simply not called back. A friend of mine from theatre school was of mixed ethnicity with a Chinese last name. He didn’t look Chinese. He wasn’t getting calls. Finally his agent said that it was because people wouldn’t call a Chinese guy for an audition unless the role very specifically said that it was for a Chinese person. And then they would look at his picture and he didn’t look Chinese, so they wouldn’t call him because they needed a Chinese guy. He changed his stage name to something vaguely European sounding and his agent sent out a new round of resumes with the updated name. He immediately started getting calls, and he started getting roles. Within a year, he was cast in the role of Young Simba for Toronto’s first production of The Lion King.

And here’s the kicker. White people get called for all roles where the script doesn’t explicitly say that they aren’t white. So 20-something Black Actor Guy will never be called for “20-something male”. Even if there are no other specifics. His agent won’t put him up for those roles, and casting agents won’t look at him. But 20-something White Actor Guy will be called for 20-something male guy every time. He will also be called for 20-something Middle Eastern guy, 20-something Asian guy, and 20-something Indian guy if he has slightly darker skin and black hair and they think they can get away with it. He will also be called for 30-something guy and Teenaged guy. But 20 something Black guy will only ever be called for 20-something Black Guy roles. And only if the script REALLY needs him to be Black.

There is a ridiculous amount of racism (and sexism and discrimination in general) in the film and theatre industries. So there has been a recent call to actually look for actors who are of the ethnicity of the character. Because if 20-something Black guy won’t get called for 20 something non-descript guy, then maybe we should make sure that white guy doesn’t get the Black guy roles, too.

Edited to add: Good for Mike Henry. The only way to dismantle systemic racism is for people with privilege to actually give something up. For the Black guy to get the Black guy role, the white guy might have to get out of the way. It’s one thing to recognize there might, as a result, be fewer roles for white guys when movies are actually cast according to the population rather than with 98% white folks, but it’s another to step away from a role you’ve already been given. Good for him.


--------------------------------
"Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst." ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson

 
Posts: 3536 | Location: Ontario, Canada | Registered: 29 June 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of QuirtEvans
posted Hide Post
Lin-Manuel Miranda specified non-white people for the roles in Hamilton, and said to high school productions, if you're casting white kids in the roles, you're not getting it.

I have a philosophical problem with saying it's OK in one direction, but not in the other ... but that may be the only reasonable answer at the moment, until we can get rid of the systemic problem.
 
Posts: 44211 | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Does This Avatar Make My Butt Look Big?

Minor Deity
Picture of Cindysphinx
posted Hide Post
What dol describes is what systemic racism looks like. Where white people have hidden advantages baked right into the system.

Women have faced the same issue. Take broadcast journalism. For years, it was all Male. Then they would have one woman surrounded by men, with her doing weather and light segments and him doing hard news. It wasn't until recently that you could have two women hosting the news.

And the last time I watched football, the women were the roving reporters and there five men bunched up into the broadcast booth. And I've never heard a woman do play by play.

A lot of the wage inequity for people of color and women is because of systemic inequities.
 
Posts: 18892 | Location: A cluttered house in Metro D.C. | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Minor Deity
Picture of Axtremus
posted Hide Post
Ah, thanks Dol and Cindy. I did not know that that's how the casting process works in the entertainment industry.


--------------------------------
www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings

 
Posts: 11593 | Registered: 01 December 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Unrepentant Dork
Gadfly
Picture of dolmansaxlil
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Axtremus:
Ah, thanks Dol and Cindy. I did not know that that's how the casting process works in the entertainment industry.


It’s a really cruddy industry to work in. There’s a lot of overt racism and sexism that happens there that wouldn’t be allowed in other industries - even ones that we think of as being really awful.

If you’re interested to learn more, just do a search for “whitewashing Hollywood” or “yellowface Hollywood” or, of course, “blackface Hollywood”. You’ll be horrified by the sheer number of examples in recent years, let alone throughout time.


--------------------------------
"Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst." ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson

 
Posts: 3536 | Location: Ontario, Canada | Registered: 29 June 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lord Emperor Mom
Minor Deity
Picture of Mary Anna
posted Hide Post
I read an article about systemic sexism written by a woman who became an English professor in the 1970s. I was so wrapped up in the women-in-engineering thing in the 70s and 80s that I had the impression that things were better elsewhere, but maybe not so much. Women in English were shunted into teaching less-valued courses like freshman composition, because they weren't taken seriously as the more-valued literary critics. I'm sure the situation was similar in other fields.

Anyway, I thought that this anecdote from her article was funny. She said that she went to a conference and was thrilled to see another woman there in the sea of men. She introduced herself and the woman was friendly, but she immediately said, "Don't sit next to me."

Taken aback, the first woman was stumbling around for words when the second woman finished her sentence. "Don't sit next to me. They'll think we're taking over."

These are the kind of situations I think of when I think about systematic racism and tokenism. The first person to break down a barrier is necessarily alone. The second barrier that has to be broken down is the one built by people who can tolerate a single person encroaching on "their" territory, but are deeply threatened by any possibility that another group might gain the power that comes with numbers.


--------------------------------
Mary Anna Evans
http://www.maryannaevans.com
MaryAnna@ermosworld.com

 
Posts: 14507 | Location: Florida | Registered: 22 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of QuirtEvans
posted Hide Post
I've worked for a female boss who preferred to work with women. It sucked.

But, that's what women have been going through for eons, so I've got no complaint.
 
Posts: 44211 | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Does This Avatar Make My Butt Look Big?

Minor Deity
Picture of Cindysphinx
posted Hide Post
The situation is stark in policing. Men make up 85% of police. This, even though there are indications that women are just as good, de-escalate better, and use less force.

Did you see the picture of the nyc union leader declaring the union will resist change? He was surrounded by white men, in a city as diverse as nyc.

Leadership positions and plum assignments disproportionately go to men. In some departments, Women officers have to partner because men are allowed to refuse to work with them. Some people believe the physical and strength requirements to enter policing are too stringent so as to discourage women from applying. if fitness is essential, why are middle-aged, paunchy men allowed to wear the uniform?

Anyway, those are some things to consider if policing is to be reimagined.
 
Posts: 18892 | Location: A cluttered house in Metro D.C. | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lord Emperor Mom
Minor Deity
Picture of Mary Anna
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Cindysphinx:
The situation is stark in policing. Men make up 85% of police. This, even though there are indications that women are just as good, de-escalate better, and use less force.

Did you see the picture of the nyc union leader declaring the union will resist change? He was surrounded by white men, in a city as diverse as nyc.

Leadership positions and plum assignments disproportionately go to men. In some departments, Women officers have to partner because men are allowed to refuse to work with them. Some people believe the physical and strength requirements to enter policing are too stringent so as to discourage women from applying. if fitness is essential, why are middle-aged, paunchy men allowed to wear the uniform?

Anyway, those are some things to consider if policing is to be reimagined.


+1


--------------------------------
Mary Anna Evans
http://www.maryannaevans.com
MaryAnna@ermosworld.com

 
Posts: 14507 | Location: Florida | Registered: 22 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of Daniel
posted Hide Post
What about mixed race actors? What about mixed ethnicity actors? Who should they be able to play?

You know, the whole blackface thing (and similar things like white people acting to mock Native Americans) have no place in a civilized world.

Still, casting is an integral part of the process of making movies, etc. I have no problem with casting decisions as long as they are made with judgement and discretion.
 
Posts: 22250 | Registered: 31 March 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of Daniel
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Axtremus:
White Actors Leaving Nonwhite Roles at ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Family Guy’
Mike Henry said he would no longer voice the ‘Family Guy’ character Cleveland Brown, while the producers of ‘The Simpsons’ said they would stop using white actors to play nonwhite characters.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/0...te-voice-actors.html

I can understand people of Indian descent taking offense at the Simpson’s Apu character, though I would not think they would be less offended had Apu been voiced by an actor of Indian descent rather than a Caucasian actor.

The Cleveland Brown character from The Family Guy, what’s wrong with the character other than the fact that it has been voiced by a white actor? Is it specific to this character or a general discontent that black actors (or non-white actors in general) are not getting their fair share of work and recognition in the entertainment industry?

In Fresh Off the Boat, the Louis Huang character was played by a Korean rather than a Chinese. Are the Chinese supposed to be offended by the fact that a Korean actor was hired to play a Chinese character?

Henry Golding is of mixed Iban and English descent. Are the Chinese supposed to be offended that an Ibanese-English actor played the male lead Chinese character in Crazy Rich Asians?

When the technology becomes available, perhaps we can eliminate all ethnicity-based audio-visual offenses by using computers to synthesize all characters’ looks and voices.


Lol.
 
Posts: 22250 | Registered: 31 March 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Unrepentant Dork
Gadfly
Picture of dolmansaxlil
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Daniel:
What about mixed race actors? What about mixed ethnicity actors? Who should they be able to play?

You know, the whole blackface thing (and similar things like white people acting to mock Native Americans) have no place in a civilized world.

Still, casting is an integral part of the process of making movies, etc. I have no problem with casting decisions as long as they are made with judgement and discretion.


The problem is that casting decisions aren’t made with “judgement and discretion”.

As to the question about people of mixed race... well most casting agents and casting directors won’t call them for ANY role if they don’t “fit” in a specific category. Either they aren’t white enough or they aren’t whatever ethnicity they are looking for enough. There is one exception. If the casting call goes out and says “beautiful exotic female, 20s” they will pull out their mixed race file. So beautiful mixed race actresses do get cast in that case, because they need someone to be the sex object for the white hero.


--------------------------------
"Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst." ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson

 
Posts: 3536 | Location: Ontario, Canada | Registered: 29 June 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of Daniel
posted Hide Post
To clarify, I meant judgement and discretion for the sake of the art work.
 
Posts: 22250 | Registered: 31 March 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Does This Avatar Make My Butt Look Big?

Minor Deity
Picture of Cindysphinx
posted Hide Post
What's "for the sake of the artwork," though?

The problem is that, for many people in this country, "white" is the default.

I don't know the numbers, but I would guess that the overwhelming majority of roles on TV/Movies/Theater could be played by a person of any color. Even a family sitcom could have people of color as mom, dad, kids, in-laws.

So why do we exclude actors of color from so many of these roles? We should stop doing that.
 
Posts: 18892 | Location: A cluttered house in Metro D.C. | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata Page 1 2  
 

    well-temperedforum.groupee.net    The Well-Tempered Forum  Hop To Forum Categories  Off Key    White Actors Stop Playing non-White Characters