The other day I posted this tweet:
"Wait they cast a white chick for Tiger Lily in the new Peter Pan? Did they not remember Lone Ranger last year? Or, you know, racism?"
(If you didn’t hear, Rooney Mara is supposedly playing Tiger Lily, who is a princess of the “Native” tribe, in the reboot.)
I got tons of Tweets agreeing with me, and then a lot of Tweets like this as well:
"I agree they shouldn’t screw around with classic characters. Oh wait they cast a Black Guy as Human Torch."
"Are you actually retarded? Black men were cast to play Heimdall and the Human Torch, why aren’t you complaining about that?"
Well, no sir, I’m not “retarded.” Thanks for asking. But from the general tone of the responses (most were civil, for the record), seems like there are lot people upset about black people replacing white people in the Marvel Universe. And they consider that issue a valid counter-argument to my comment about Tiger Lily’s casting. (I guess because they think both have “changing canon” in common?)
I’d like to clear up some stuff here, especially with regards to my initial tweet:
I am not upset about Tiger Lily, a role originally written for a Native American female character in the book, being cast as white because it upsets the canon. Screw canon. I am upset about a role that was expressly written as a female minority being given to white actor instead. And here is why.
Most lead characters and lead actors of movies are white. Period. I even dug up a recent study to back that up, like this is some fucking term paper or something: Across 100 top-grossing films of 2012, only 10.8% of speaking characters were Black, 4.2% were Hispanic, 5% were Asian, and 3.6% were from other (or mixed race) ethnicities. Just over three-quarters of all speaking characters are White (76.3%).
(In referring to “speaking characters”, I also assume that’s counting judges and store clerks and taxi drivers with just a line or two. You see a lot of casting stick minority characters to check the boxes of “yeah, we had diversity, look!” So we’re not even talking about opportunities to carry the whole movie here.)
Another thing to note from the study: “These trends are relatively stable, as little deviation is observed across the 5-year sample.” Gee, no movement towards reflecting the country or world we live in! Fantastic.
Bottom line, actors of ethnicity don’t get a lot of work to begin with. And that very fact creates a scarcity in the number of actors of different ethnicities to choose from when casting. It’s a chicken and the egg syndrome. In what instance can you point out a role where a Native American actress has a chance to be a lead in any movie? Almost none. So why chase a dream that doesn’t seem like it could come true, because the system would never allow it?
It’s a self-perpetuating reality we live with, so the only way to change it is to break the norm, and cast more leading characters with more diversity. At the very least give roles that are intended to be ethnically diverse to ethnically diverse actors, I mean, BARE MINIMUM, PEOPLE.
So for me, the opportunity to give a leading role that could be a Native American, a possible protagonist role that the audience could relate to and live the story through, to a white actor, is kind of shitty and backwards to me. And that’s why I posted my initial tweet.
To compare Tiger Lily being cast as a white women to Human Torch or Heimdall being cast as an African-American is not equivalent, because I don’t think this issue is about violating or adhereing to “lore,” I think it’s about providing more representation. And that’s why I think that the Human Torch being cast as African-American is an awesome thing, because that move evolves Hollywood and storytelling and the Marvel universe.
Remember in the past, lead characters were most likely written as white in the first place, because they were created in an even more white-centric world. Fantastic Four debuted in 1961, segregation was outlawed in 1964. You can’t say that the culture at large at the time didn’t influence the creator’s choices when making these characters! Fast forward fifty years, the culture at large NOW doesn’t match up with the lore from before, and we should be open to changing it.
Tiger Lily, in the book, is actually portrayed in an EXTREMELY racist way. But hey, it could be a great opportunity to re-invent the character as a Native American to be proud of, rather than dodge the issue entirely, and take the role away and give it to a white woman.
Why NOT re-imagine Tiger Lily so that the audience can fall in love with and admire a woman of color? Or reimagine a superhero as an African-American, one among a TON of white ones we see every day? Let’s show the audience that they can live through anyone’s eyes!
We have to make an effort to change the pattern of only seeing stories through white characters’ points of view, so that in the future, diverse protagonists are just a given. So that we can have heroes and villians and judges and love interests of all backgrounds, and not have to point it out as “look how special this is!” Evolving stories and lore is a GOOD THING FOR OUR WORLD.
And bottom line, if you feel so disenfranchised by one role out of TONS of roles being changed up ethnically, if you are saying you can’t possibly relate to a character who is another race from you, well, I think that’s more a problem of your own than anything else. But don’t worry, the stastics say you’ll have lots of other entertainment for your point of view to choose from. Around 75%, actually. Hooray, I guess? :/
So yeah, I guess that’s my expansion on my previous 140 character Tweet, haha. Happy weekend!
- Reblogged from thisfeliciaday
Flowers in the Attic is being remade into a Lifetime movie. Read this interesting interview with V.C. Andrew’s ghostwriter, Andrew Neiderman, who has written 70 of Andrew’s books since her death. He’s also written 44 books under his own name, including The Devil’s Advocate (later made into a film with Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino and Charlize Theron). He does not approve of the first Flowers in the Attic film but says this one is going to be awesome.
You know what makes me the saddest about Lilo and Stitch?
When she gets kicked out of the dance class, she’s the only person we know for sure is native Hawaiian in her age bracket in the class.
There’s Myrtle, who is white, Elena who is white (f she’s the blonde one), Theresa who’s background is unclear, and Yuki who is implied, based on the name and the large Japanese population in Hawaii, to be Japanese.
She is taking a dance class of a dance traditional to her people.
And she is kicked out primarily because a white girl, Myrtle, is bullying her.
How fucking sad is that?
This always got me about the movie. I always
IN THE FACE AND EXISTENCE
Also, the hula dancing runs in the family, as we find out in the sequel that her mother was a dance champion. It’s clear in this scene that the deaths of her mother and father are still fresh in her mind and I think the dancing reminds her of her mother and happier times. Maybe they practiced together frequently? Idk, it’s just the vibe I get. That Lilo is there to do her mother proud, rather than to make friends and socialize like the others there.
Her face says it all. Look at how happy she is!
Everyone who liked this, everyone who validated this, you need to unlike it right NOW.
As a Native Hawai’ian, I have a problem with this post.
A fucking big problem.
First off, Hawai’i is massively diverse. Massively. Almost no one is pure Hawai’ian. The speculation that Lilo is at all pure or the only part Hawai’ian is laughable. There’s a very very slim margin that she would be at all. Secondly, just because it’s “not confirmed” doesn’t mean those girls aren’t. There are thousands of Japanese-Hawai’ian girls. Thousands, and thousands more of even more mixed races who are Hawai’ian. My sister is a shade away from blonde, and as pale as snow white, and she is just as half-Hawai’ian as I am - even though I look more “authentic”. I know many beautiful Hawai’ian girls with clouds of red hair and creamy complexions from mixed bloodlines. If you want to get “authentic” and go off of Lilo’s appearance, to us locals, she looks half-Asian. She looks definitely hapa at best.
It angers me beyond all reason that this has reposts, reposts from people who don’t understand the Native Hawai’ian culture, much less the culture that sprung from it which envelops our islands. You are reposting blind ignorance. Who are you to decide who looks more Hawai’ian? Who are you people to assume our culture and that this girl takes it more seriously than the others? Because she gets a backstory?
The amazing thing about my culture, MY culture, is that hula opens its arms to all. All children here are welcome to it. It is passed on to them and their blood does not dictate their passion nor their eligibility. “Lilo is there to make her mother proud, rather than to make friends and socialize”. Do you have any idea what a halau is? You don’t, no, none of you do. You have no idea what a halau is. A halau is your family, a halau are your friends, your only social circle when you are fully dedicated. My mother IS one of the queens of hula who trained under Maiki Aiu and she still talks to her hula sisters daily. They were part of her life. It isn’t enough to just hula, or learn it, and put blinders on the sides of your head. If you don’t live it with your hula sisters and brothers, then your story is nothing. You go through motions and you tell no stories.
Don’t try for one moment, to make that scene out like it was Lilo being bullied by a white girl. Yes, Hawai’i is still being raped by the ideologies of white appropriation, but do not for one moment think that these girls may not be Hawai’ian. Do not think for one moment that you have the right nor the knowledge to sweep onto the internet and start reposting like a fucking idiot about a culture and mixed bloodlines and races you don’t really understand aside from “the white man hurt them”. You damage people like my sister, like my cousins, all equally as proud and maka’a’inana as I, simply because they don’t look like me.
You have no right to use this scene as commentary, because you have not even a shade of an idea of the damage you do with it.
HELL NO: The Sensible Horror Film.
"Logic. Critical thinking…" everything you ever wanted in a horror film but we’re too afraid to ask…
“White Teachers VS ‘Innercity’ Students: Deception in Media Portrayal”
So I spent many hours making this video for an education class……
Basically, I analyzed several “white savior teacher movies” and gave some insight on what this does for audiences
bless this post
This is a whole lotta truth. I’m just gonna add, another detrimental aspect of this narrative is that it affects how teachers and prospective teachers view themselves in a classroom. The public school teaching force is overwhelmingly made out of middle class white people, primarily white women, when the student body is nothing of the sort, so the narrative ends up being played out by teachers who think it could really work this way, and when they fail, b/c this shit is structural, it leads to a lot of blaming of the students. I’m just gonna drop links to a book here
The book is Black Students, Middle Class Teachers and he spends a couple chapters talking about this gap between the teacher’s world and the students. Though he does lean a bit heavy on the religion for me.
wow these movies are actually worse than i thought
This is a really great video. The analysis fits in with the Magical Negro trope (which I’ve described here). This term describes how Hollywood films tend to cast minorities in supporting roles that aggrandise the White protagonist as the saviour of minorities.
"We can’t have a female protagonist because girls don’t like comic book movies"
"Well now that a huge percentage of the audience of comic book movies are girls, clearly girls like comic book movies exactly the way they are and we don’t have to change anything"
Sometimes you have to slap them in the face just to get their attention…
Sometimes the truth is painful, Frank, but it’s made your cheeks all rosy and your eyes bright as stars.
Carol Kane sprinkles fairy dust all over Bill Murray in Scrooged.
- Source: movieclips.com
Because black people cant be anything other than slaves and hoodrats according to them.
We cant like science, photography and things. We can’t be complex individuals.
We can’t have our stories be seen as universal because Blackness is tainted by white supremacy.
This is an excellent essay by Deputy Executive Director of Buzzfeed, Shani O. Hilton. Hilton deconstructs the problem of talking about “Black films” as a genre, including similar euphemisms: “race-themed,” “African-American-themed,” “Black-themed,” and “ethnically diverse.” Hilton notes that films that include a few African American actors does not mean it is “ethnically diverse.”
Hilton also raises issues of gender and class. Most so-called “Black films” are centrally stories about men directed by men. African American women directors have even more problems than their male counterparts getting their films recognised. Also, “Black films” tend to portray working class or struggling characters, and so well-educated, middle-class African Americans are largely absent from widely released films.
There’s a great discussion about the possibilities of new distribution and funding methods to increase the types of films that are made.
I highly recommend you read the whole thing on Buzzfeed and discuss!