What's with all the Black washing?

Naima

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
2,321
Venice
#1
I mean now not only Superman is going to be interpreted by a black african guy but even in the recent TV series Blacks are replacing systematically important European characters like Achilles, Zeus and even Aeneas in the new Series about Fall of Troy, then we have the black legionaries in Britannia, the Fake BBC Black Romans documentary , the Black Hannibal , Blacks are replacing historical and mythological white characters ... why?
 
Dec 2015
2,512
USA
#2
Superman is an alien from another planet. He's not human. He could have skinny-silver skin and green hair if the writers really wanted Kryptonians like that. Him being white is just convention even though he is for all intents and purposes, not European.

Fall of Troy is a BBC production; it's going to include non-white actors by default. Same thing with Dr. Who in the past and like Dr. Who, Fall of Troy isn't historical or meant to be accurate. Honestly the movie "Troy" would be your best bet for any kind of historical accuracy.

Black, or at least non-white soldiers and settlers did exist in Britannia. There were Berbers stationed on Hadrian's Wall and the graves of Syrians and North Africans in England.

The only odd-one out is Hannibal and I don't really know enough about this "fake documentary" to comment, other than Hannibal's ethnicity has always been a debated topic.
 
Likes: Uzoclinton
Jun 2018
50
New York
#3
I have my theories, but that leads into a whole other can of worms. But it does annoy me that this is happening for historical characters as well as well known popular characters. A lot of the time I myself get miffed because it is either laughing in the face of established lore, fiction-wise, or established history.

I don't get hung up on it too much, if I see something i don't agree with i'm just not going to watch it.

I do think that all eligible people should get a shot at a role, no matter their ethnicity, however it goes both ways, you can't replace historically white people with black people for the sake of (and I loathe to put this here) diversity and not expect some backlash, like you would find with the opposite, replacing a historically black person with a white person.

Though I suppose I answered the why above, it is almost always for 'diversity' what that means is up to the casting directors and show-runners and for the fans to do with as they will. At least that is what I have observed.
 
Likes: Uzoclinton
Mar 2017
793
Colorado
#4
I agree that there is a current trend. I think the explanation from the film makers is very simplistic: they think it will make money.

We can discuss why that is. Film makers are capitalizing on something that society seems to think is important ... or some of society ... or a minority ... or a political side ... or whatever.

I think cold hard cash is what green light's movie production. Look at any of the "series" of movies.

Obnoxious, out-of-touch guys are leaning back in their comfy chairs looking at how much money a movie made. "That worked ... do that again."

There were blaxploitation films in the 70's. No one was trying to make a statement. They wanted to sell tickets. It worked for a while, then it didn't ... and they stopped.
"I curse you with my name ... BLACKULA!"

So now movie makers think they can make money another way.

If they make a movie with Abraham Lincoln quite dark, and all the Southern slaves looking like they came from Norway .... and it makes money, you can bet there will be more of them.



For what it's worth, graphic novels (comic books) do exactly the same thing. Peter Parker (Caucasian Spiderman) dies in 2011, Miles Morales (Afro-Latino Spiderman, drawn dark) takes over. Marvel's first gay character was Northstar, in 1979. As the writers noticed sections of society that might possibly buy one of their books, they created characters to appeal to them. Follow the money ...
 
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Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
8,730
The People's Republik of Kalifornia.
#5
I think it's a combination of things.

1. A lack of creativity and laziness on the part of the creators.
2. Political correctness.
3. Black/African history and mythology is being perceived as lacking and isn't as interesting or rich as other cultures.

No creativity=Instead of coming up with new characters and ideas, these folks just reskin existing characters, i.e. having a black James Bond.

Political correctness= back to popular figures like James Bond, for too long the cool characters, like Bond, have been portrayed by whites. It's time blacks got a turn to play him.

Black/African history and mythology being lackluster and boring= if there were more characters and figures in these histories, stories and myths then these creators would use them. But there doesn't seem to be. What figure from Black/African history can be compared with Alexander the Great? Anyone? They'll just come up with some crazy story about how Alexander was actually really black.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
7,790
#6
I mean now not only Superman is going to be interpreted by a black african guy but even in the recent TV series Blacks are replacing systematically important European characters like Achilles, Zeus and even Aeneas in the new Series about Fall of Troy, then we have the black legionaries in Britannia, the Fake BBC Black Romans documentary , the Black Hannibal , Blacks are replacing historical and mythological white characters ... why?
It's a handful of cases it' s far from systematic.
 
#7
Superman is an alien from another planet. He's not human. He could have skinny-silver skin and green hair if the writers really wanted Kryptonians like that. Him being white is just convention even though he is for all intents and purposes, not European.

Fall of Troy is a BBC production; it's going to include non-white actors by default. Same thing with Dr. Who in the past and like Dr. Who, Fall of Troy isn't historical or meant to be accurate. Honestly the movie "Troy" would be your best bet for any kind of historical accuracy.

Black, or at least non-white soldiers and settlers did exist in Britannia. There were Berbers stationed on Hadrian's Wall and the graves of Syrians and North Africans in England.

The only odd-one out is Hannibal and I don't really know enough about this "fake documentary" to comment, other than Hannibal's ethnicity has always been a debated topic.
I take issue with everyone of your points.

Firstly the "reason" for all this is the push for diversity is hot topic among the Left Wing of the world who have pretty much taken over our media industry, millennial's in particular born in the 90's and 2000 are starting to creep into job roles that control what we watch and have influenced the leaning left seniors ........ we're being spoon fed this as agenda.

Now firstly as a half white / half arabic man I have zero problem with more representation, I won't even watch films like "Gods of Egypt" white washing is over, there's no excuse for it anymore, this isn't the 60's.

However the following you mentioned ............

Superman - "Superman is an alien from another planet. He's not human. He could have skinny-silver skin and green hair if the writers really wanted Kryptonians like that"
But they didn't ......... and 50 years of comics have him depicted as Clark Kent and to CB fans he is visually recognizable.
Either keep to the source material or don't call it Superman simple as that, unless you've been a comic book reader you wouldn't understand and in all fairness ......... not qualified to hold an opinion as the whole industry is only here because of comic book readers, both today and historically.

Fall of Troy - Another PC driven ridiculous depiction, the Left rob one minority for another, instead of showing a Greek they insert a black man for giggles and controversy because to them and their racially selfish views the world is Black & White, as someone who is neither I find their views of someone with White privilege who treat black people like a University subject rather than people.
This is why I also haven't and won't watch this program, I don't want a spoonful of politics with my entertainment and I won't rob one minority for another just to troll the Right.
A black man in Greece is likely to be a slave, this is just facts, Achilles is supposed to be Greek of standing as far as I recall, a noble, a man in charge of the Myrmidons how is an African in ancient Greece going to be a Greek noble?
Its just not authentic.

Hannibal's ethnicity is not "hot debate" .......... I'd bet my house he is a North African of native Berber / Moorish stock same as all the other Carthage majority.
 
Jan 2009
1,170
#9
Political correctness= back to popular figures like James Bond, for too long the cool characters, like Bond, have been portrayed by whites. It's time blacks got a turn to play him.
I like to subscribe to the idea that "James Bond - 007" is simply a code name, and that the different actors have been different agents in that fictional universe. Yes, I know that this is against Skyfall's gravestones, and that it is the same man in all Ian Fleming's novels, but frankly, the movie universe is so out of whack that any attempt at continuity between the reboots is useless. Much more fun to take each guy as he is. Thus, I would have absolutely no problem with a black actor playing James Bond.

Was I taken aback by the (a bit scrawny) freckled redhead Jimmy Olsen suddenly being a handsome, buff black man in Supergirl TV-series? I admit, a bit, in the beginning, but then why not? These are fictional characters. There is no reason that they have to be one particular race or even gender (in the TV show Elementary, the modern day Dr. Watson is a female Asian-American doctor played by Lucy Liu; absolutely not a problem). The chances that Kryptonians would be exactly human (let alone Caucasian) are slim. So if someone were to reboot Superman as a Black or an Asian, no problem with that. I'd happily even accept that Jor El decided where the capsule would land and tweaked Kal El's phenotype to match the median coloration, in order to enhance the chances that the kid would be adopted and not be ostracised/discriminated against.

Black/African history and mythology being lackluster and boring= if there were more characters and figures in these histories, stories and myths then these creators would use them. But there doesn't seem to be. What figure from Black/African history can be compared with Alexander the Great? Anyone? They'll just come up with some crazy story about how Alexander was actually really black.

Sonni Ali of the Songhai?

The preceding Mali Empire might be cool, too. Mansa Musa's pilgrimage is quite famous, too.

Everyone knows Shaka Zulu, of course.

Kingdom of Aksum has very interesting history, trading with India and expanding to Yemen.
 
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#10
I like to subscribe to the idea that "James Bond - 007" is simply a code name, and that the different actors have been different agents in that fictional universe. Yes, I know that this is against Skyfall's gravestones, and that it is the same man in all Ian Fleming's novels, but frankly, the movie universe is so out of whack that any attempt at continuity between the reboots is useless. Much more fun to take each guy as he is. Thus, I would have absolutely no problem with a black actor playing James Bond.
........... yet James Bond isn't black, simple as that, and if a Director gave it the old "It's all fictional anyway" then fine, if your work is that flippant then why should I pay to watch it?

Again I have no problems with a black 007 because as you say that's a code name, "Jeffery Winter the new 007 played by Idris Elba" ........ all for it, new take on the role, new back story, James Bond has retired and "Jeffery Winter" is the replacement, where's the problem?

That's representation / diversity, their own original character, editing over a well established 40 yr old white character just reinforces that people of colour need to "copy" white people by stepping into their shoes instead of walking in their own, I thought Black Panther would of dispelled that myth.

Starring in a white characters role is lazy, devoid of ideas, politically inflammatory, not original and as a mixed race guy I find it insulting that Directors in Hollywood don't think a person of colour is worth their own original character.

Classic example, if you want a black Iron man = James Rhodes.

They even did it in the comics and it was a great run, Stark retired and Rhodes took over ....... but replacing Tony Stark for a black Tony Stark is poor form.

Quite frankly I'm fed up of Lefty millennial's spoiling my entertainment and film / comic lore I grew up on with their political point scoring BS.

On the same token by the way I refuse to watch "The Wall", "Gods of Egypt" and "Fall of Troy" ........ all for the same reasons.

What's a white guy doing in Ancient China? why are Egyptian Gods all white? why is Achilles black instead of Greek?

They can stick all those movies up their you know what ........
 

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