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Should Hollywood stop blackwashing characters?

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Should Hollywood stop blackwashing white characters in film/TV?

Yes. Characters should fo... 49 85.96%
 
No. Representation trumps... 8 14.04%
 
Total:57

It really depends on how important race is to the character in question. If being white is a key focal point of the character, then I would hope it's left the same, assuming they're planning to do a faithful adaptation. If it's just white noise (heheh), then I couldn't care less. I always thought it thought it was annoying how much attention the race swapping in the Netflix Death Note received, when I was far more concerned with the characters acting completely foreign to their manga counterparts. Turning a quirky sleuth known for his anonymity into someone who gives public speeches annoys me far more than changing something as arbitrary as his skin tone.

Of course, people making adaptations have no obligation to follow the source material 1:1 either...personally I just wish to see the spirit of the original story and characters intact. If that doesn't happen, then said adaptation simply doesn't deserve my attention.



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Paatar said:

Agreed with this but also, Ghost in the Shell isn’t a good example of whitewashing. The creator of the anime specifically said that that character wasn’t Asian and that they wanted Scarlett to play the main character, so if it comes from the creator, then I don’t think anyone should be complaining about that. 

I do think that people are way more vocal with whitewashing though because “minorities matter” except minority differs country to country... so.

People over react a lot and quite frankly I’m sick of people bashing on white people simply for being white, which is very racist.

Back to the topic, as much as I believe you should use the source material, I also believe that if you are in charge of making something, you have the right to make it how you see fit in your vision. Gets kinda complicated.

Bolder = Like when Dave Jaffe (creator of God Of War) said he’d love to see Djimon Hounsou play Kratos in a live film and everyone lost their sh!t. I mean, he created it so he can do what he wants. 



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DevilRising said:
I'm sorry, but there is no solid "representation" argument to make. Either you care about being true to source material, or you don't. If a character isn't black, or Asian, or Latino, or any other "non-white" thing, then they shouldn't be cast as such. Period. It isn't "a new take on an old favorite", it's lazy, pandering casting practices.

If they want more "representation", then make new properties or characters who are those things. Aquaman is a white-looking blonde, blue eyed man. That's how he should be cast. Iris (and Wally) West, are pale white, red haired people. Not black. So they should be cast as what they are. The most egregious and lazy as fuck examples, are "Domino" and "Starfire". At least they KINDA tried with the outfit of Starfire, but the thing is, it was more important to them to show that "SEE WE HAVE A BLACK WOMAN", than it was to be true to what the character actually is: IE NOT a black human. Starfire is a goddamn alien, with goldish/bronze skin, red hair, and glowing green eyes. NOT a black chick in a hooker outfit, with a shitty pink dye job.

Domino honestly blew me away, because they actually bothered and put in EFFORT for Deadpool to look like Deadpool, and Cable to (mostly) look like Cable. But Domino? It's like they didn't even look at the comic. She's just some black chick, with a black accent, and an afro, and a weird little white loop around one eye. Yes, she vaguely has "luck powers", but her look is the height of Hollywood laziness. In BOTH cases, they could have cast a black actress if they really wanted to, but for god's sake, put them in MAKEUP, and at least TRY to make Starfire look like a bronze alien, and Domino look like a stark white woman with a black eye patch, and ZERO afro. It is pathetic when cosplayers with limited funds can do a spot on job, but Hollywood with millions and professional makeup artists and costumers, can't or won't.

And for the record, I'm a stickler even for crappy casting among "white" actors. It was lazy as hell to cast a brown eyed, brown haired woman as Jean Grey. It was lazy as hell to cast a blonde as Mary Jane Watson and then dye her hair. And then ironically cast a redhead, who by the way would have made a better Mary Jane in the first place, as a (bleached) blonde Gwen Stacy. It even boils down to lazy little shit, where it's obvious they're not even paying attention or just don't care, where they have, say, a brown eyed boy, playing the child version of blue-eyed Robin Williams' character. They do that a LOT in movies, with child and adult versions of characters with different eye colors, as if they just expect the audience to be too stupid to notice. Does it matter all that much? No, not really. But it's STILL incredibly lazy attention to detail, and lack of care in your own work.

But to reiterate my earlier point, as someone of "color" (though I hate that term) myself, if they want more "representation" of non-white/etc. characters in things, then MAKE them. It is lazy and insulting to remake a pre-established character, and shape them into what YOU want them to be, just to meet some kind of imagined quota. I'd be mad as hell if they cast Blade or Falcon or Cyborg as white, or asian, or arab. And I'd be just as pissed if they cast Superman or James Bond or Harry Potter, as a black actor.

You’re the first person I’ve seen make noise about the Aquaman switch. For months people griped about Starfire and I’d “what about?” Aquaman and people would say it’s OK because he looks cool. 



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I guess I'll never understand how a person's skin tone can change the quality of a movie.



sometimes a change of colour is done for comedy.... very poorly.

 

I know this isn't a case directly related to what the OP is referring to, but while movies like this are seen as fine but the reverse of it would be deemed horrifically racist then the issue of skin colour in Hollywood is not on equal footing to begin with.



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As far as I'm concerned, creators should do whatever they want, within the confines of any contracts they may have with creators of source material. Hire white chicks to play black, male superheros. Cast anyone for anything. I really DGAF about any of that. I just like to see good movies and shows. To that end, I want the people making those movies and show to have the freedom to make good stuff. They're a lot better at it than I am, so I ain't gonna tell them what to do. I certainly don't think this calls for a "consistent set of rules".



VAMatt said:
As far as I'm concerned, creators should do whatever they want, within the confines of any contracts they may have with creators of source material. Hire white chicks to play black, male superheros. Cast anyone for anything. I really DGAF about any of that. I just like to see good movies and shows. To that end, I want the people making those movies and show to have the freedom to make good stuff. They're a lot better at it than I am, so I ain't gonna tell them what to do. I certainly don't think this calls for a "consistent set of rules".

The thing is though even if it would make sense for a certain group of people in a comedy scenario to be all of one ethnicity that is seen as a scenario being white washed even though the reality of it is that not every group of black friends has a white and Asian mate and the same way every group of white people do not have token ethnicity's scattered in to tick boxes Sitcoms from the 90s for example had a group of 6 friends... the entire cast was.... yup monochromatic with one slight dash of Italian in there

6 people, 1.5 ethnicity's

201x sitcom cast shot

6 people, 4 ethnicity's

Just a random example but hopefully you get what I mean, I would think a casting director would now be weighing in an addition pro/con as they go through auditions simply on a basis of "we already have one of your colour / gender" it's a shame really when positive discrimination is used to make racism sound like anything other than what it is, discrimination, it's never positive, Ever.

 

 

Edit - The Good Place (The picture which isn't Friends) is probably one of the best dark comedies I've seen in years, if you've not seen it, I can't recommend it enough but do not read up about it just check out the first episode or two on netflix, all 3 seasons are on there and yeah.... fantastic! but don't google it, spoilers galore since it's going into Season 4!



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Ganoncrotch said:
VAMatt said:
As far as I'm concerned, creators should do whatever they want, within the confines of any contracts they may have with creators of source material. Hire white chicks to play black, male superheros. Cast anyone for anything. I really DGAF about any of that. I just like to see good movies and shows. To that end, I want the people making those movies and show to have the freedom to make good stuff. They're a lot better at it than I am, so I ain't gonna tell them what to do. I certainly don't think this calls for a "consistent set of rules".

The thing is though even if it would make sense for a certain group of people in a comedy scenario to be all of one ethnicity that is seen as a scenario being white washed even though the reality of it is that not every group of black friends has a white and Asian mate and the same way every group of white people do not have token ethnicity's scattered in to tick boxes Sitcoms from the 90s for example had a group of 6 friends... the entire cast was.... yup monochromatic with one slight dash of Italian in there

6 people, 1.5 ethnicity's

201x sitcom cast shot

6 people, 4 ethnicity's

Just a random example but hopefully you get what I mean, I would think a casting director would now be weighing in an addition pro/con as they go through auditions simply on a basis of "we already have one of your colour / gender" it's a shame really when positive discrimination is used to make racism sound like anything other than what it is, discrimination, it's never positive, Ever.

 

 

Edit - The Good Place (The picture which isn't Friends) is probably one of the best dark comedies I've seen in years, if you've not seen it, I can't recommend it enough but do not read up about it just check out the first episode or two on netflix, all 3 seasons are on there and yeah.... fantastic! but don't google it, spoilers galore since it's going into Season 4!

What examples are there where it only makes sense to have white people in a sitcom? And i'm not talking about ones where some random city has a 1:230 minority population, I mean one's where it makes sense thematically? There's not a lot that's exactly unique to that experience and that's been done a thousand times before. Notice too that you start off your argument talking purely about comedies that make sense with having one ethnicity, which is a very general sentiment that can be shared among all groups, yet quickly change to talking about whites specifically. Is that because sitcoms that predominantly feature one ethnicity in there cast are actually pretty popular right now? With Blacked and Straight Off The Boat? 

What you are describing here is not really "discrimination", it's artistic freedom. And this is why the idea of giving an inch and taking a mile works both for sides. You simultaneously highlight how shows which are freshly created are somehow considered "whitewash" just for featuring an all white cast, but then mention how it's "positive discrimination" or "racism" if a production team makes a show and envisions specific races in each role. Those two statements contradict each other, because both highlight the  artistic values at play (having an all white-cast and having a multi-racial cast) that can easily be discredited as racist or white-washing in some way. You can try to justify it as the white cast being "more realistic", but that doesn't really change the ends. And no, just because a decision is made by a casting director, does not mean the decision should be discredited. I doubt you'd be saying the same thing if a writer of a book created characters with specific ethnicity, because to do so would be to put into question artistic expression as a whole. Well ... in a TV production, or movie production, or game production ... multiple individuals make the decisions, because it's not realistic for one persons vision to carry the creation of an entire show. 



Whitewashing needs to stop first its a much bigger problem and has been going on for much longer.



If race matters to the story or character, then obviously cast to that race. Other than that, who cares? Cast the best actors/actresses for the roles, irrespective of race.