6 Most Racist Casting Decisions in Film History Comments - Mania.com


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fenngibbon 3/29/2010 10:44:23 AM

 I remember that Asian Americans protested Jonathan Pryce's role in the production of Miss Saigon, though it was pointed out that the character was Eurasian, and so it would have been just as racist to have an Asian actor play him.


What about John Cho playing Sulu?   

Tevii 3/29/2010 10:56:49 AM

@Tashiro - reverse racism is not when its racist against whites....  to have a term that SPECIFICALLY means racist against whites would inherenetly be racist term. Racist is racist.... reverse racism is a misused term. Reverse

I agree there should be more ethnicity, but to turn an EXISITING white character black IS RACIST......... you want more black, asian, hispanic or WHATEVER  characters.... then we should CREATE NEW ONES... not change old ones.

1) Why should we take away white characters...that is racist (Firestorm, GL, Iron Man, Mr. Terrific, Alicia from FF, Nick Fury, Catwoman, Captain America, even Steel )

2) Why should ANY ethnicity get a HAND me Down Character..... that is racist (at least GL and Iron Man can ALWAYS use both)


scytheofluna 3/29/2010 10:58:59 AM

Okay, Prince of Persia is a bad choice.  The game and film take place before the fall of Babylon, so a little context in terms of the timeframe is in order.  I hate to give the same tired geneology lesson yet again, but evidently the person who wrote this article missed it the first five times.

Modern day Iranians bear little resemblance to ancient Persians.  Look at Persian art from the period Prince of Persia is supposed to take place in.  Skin tones were fairer than you'll see today.  Centuries of trade and immigration have brought in genetic traits such as those we see today, but Persian royalty a thousand years ago wouldn't necessarily have the same appearance as your average Iranian citizen does today.   To assume that the people of a particular region are as unchanging as our own assumptions and stereotypes is asinine.  Persia's influence through conquest and trade wasn't all one way.  People who were conquered or absorbed into the empire would have had an impact on the genetic mingling over decades and centuries that has introduced genetic traits and physical characteristics that wouldn't have been present in Persian nobility a millenium ago.

So you have fair skinned Jake Gylenhaal playing the Prince of Persia.  Pick up a copy of Prince of Persia: Warrior Within and you'll see the resemblence he bears to the character he's playing.  You find me an actpr of Persian descent who looks like the character in the game, who can speak English, and who is up to the challenge of handling the physical work such a role would take, and then I'll hear your insinuations of racism.  Until then it's much ado about nothing.  The problem with the assertion that Jake Gylenhaal doesn't look Persian enough for the role is that it's accompanied by the assumption that you have the slightest idea what people from Persia looked like a milennium ago.  It seems that your perception of what an ancient Persian Prince is supposed to look like is based largely on what modern stereotypes tell you rather than on any actual geneological research.

masterjedi39 3/29/2010 11:10:55 AM


Bravo Mr. Hoffman. Thank you for writing this article. It was very NEEDED!. I would have given "The Last Airbender" a number of it's own (possibly taking Jar-Jar Binks place), but a great article none-the-less. "FerretJohn" and "rodimusprime" comments are the antithesis of what is still wrong with the thinking of the majority of "white" America (ie: Hollywood). While the early movies you spoke of were overtly racist, the later are not so much racist as they are prejudicially ignorant. The words Racism, Bigotry, and Prejudice are not the same thing. Racism is the outright hatred or intolerance of another ethnic group or other ethnic groups. By that definition, the current films you mentioned aren't necessarily racist. Hollywood loves to use the "I-didn't-know" excuse. Which is another way of being prejudicially ignorant. These are the same people (like ferretjohn and rodimusprime to name a few) who believe in the idiotic notion of reverse racism (which is more currently being called "playing the black card"). I just wanted to tell you I appreciated the article and aside from Jar-Jar Binks (that was stretchin IMO), I agreed with everything you said.


goldeneyez 3/29/2010 11:18:04 AM

@ DaForce1 C. Thomas Howell in Soul Man was satirical.  The whole point was about walking a mile in another races moccasins so to speak.

PeaceSells 3/29/2010 11:31:21 AM


john abraham -- persion origin actor who looks like the character, is an action movie star who can act in english . . . and he's been in 6 more movies than jake has.

goldeneyez 3/29/2010 11:31:41 AM

@Tevii What's wrong with making some superheroes other races?  Technically they are new creations.  It doesn't take anything away from the old heroes.  This happens all the time with white heroes (The Flash, Captain America, Green Lantern, Batman).  Is it OK as long as the hero is white?  Hal Jordan passing on the reigns of Green Lantern to Kyle Rayner is cool, but it's not cool to pass the reigns on to John Stewart?  What's the difference in this color blind society we live in?  To me they are dynamic stories / characters and the existense of one doesn't diminish the significance of another.  Ronnie Raymond as Firestorm was one of my favorite characters growing up, what's wrong with letting Jason Rusch take the reigns for a little bit.

CaptainJackSpareribs 3/29/2010 11:33:24 AM

Some (not all) of you are:

A) Idiots

B) Daft

C) Ignorant

First of all whites control EVERYTHING on Earth.  They control the media, politics, and social issues. So for whites to b*tch and moan about REVERSE RACISM is trife and petty.  Its like a trust fund billionaire getting mad at a person who makes under $20, 000 a years because that low income person called them RICH and WEALTHY from money they didnt earn.  Well they did get RICH and WEALTHY from inheritance so why are they getting mad.  It's called guilt.

Many white people DO feel WHITE GUILT as its called because they continue doing things because they have the power too (i.e. changing/offending races in films or TV to suit their needs).  White folks who treat everyone the same and dont use there skin to get ahead is a rare thing to find.  But to those rare ones, they shouldn't have to feel guilt.  Its the other idiots who should. 

Also look up the term RACISM.  It means that one race believes they are BETTER than another.  I think its safe to say that WHITES are the culprit here in that realm.  Most minorities want EQUAL RIGHTS (specifically blacks).  Very few think they're BETTER than another race.  So check your definition of the term. 

Any time a WHITE person is called out on race, they get extremely defensive.  Any psychologist knows that when people act that way, they usually are guilty.

Why are there no BLACK dramas on any of the major networks?  Why no ASIAN, LATINO, or MIDDLE EASTERN either.  Why are the minorities SPRINKLED in the midst of these WHITE SHOWS and not given their own?  Its pretty simple.  Stop trying to brainwash folks into believing everythings alright with this.  And if I hear that AMERICA has GOTTEN OVER RACE because they elected OBAMA, I'm gonna scream.  Look at all this disrespect this man has gotten.  Not one U.S. President has gotten the level of disrespect (TO HIS FACE IN HIS OWN COUNTRY) that this mans gotten and he's only been in office ONE YEAR.  I know that I dont know every decision him or his cabinet makes, but there have been worse people in office that were in there 8 years and gotten less negativity.  Add in the fact that racist death threats have been sent to him and his family constantly since his election.  Check the National Race Site.  Racism has risen a record 200% since he was elected.  Concidence?

Tevii 3/29/2010 11:45:13 AM

@goldeneyez...... im not trying to say that at all. I'm just point ing out that it is a trend to make everything black now. But if we made a Shaft movie and he was white it would be considered racist. That is a double standard. im all for total equality if thats what it truly was. 

There is a difference between making it work for the story like GL or just doing it for no reason like Catwoman.  (which you couldnt be more off my point....  john stewart is greatand it works, kyle rayner getting the ring was one of the biggest mess ups in comic history, thank god for Geof Johns)

Im just as apalled that they made Terry Fitgerald white when he is a black man.  how easy tosay that is racist (AND IT IS) but its not to say the same for some of these other examples? thats a great example of a double standard and racism right there.


Tashiro 3/29/2010 11:52:28 AM

 @Tevii:  Actually, Kyle Rayner was one of the best Lanterns out there.  :p  They screwed with him later (Eon), but at the start, he was awesome.  And I'm still ticked off with how they dealt with his girlfriend.

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