What's with all the Black washing?

Status
Closed

Ancientgeezer

Ad Honorem
Nov 2011
8,894
The Dustbin, formerly, Garden of England
Sam Goldwyn said (apocryphally--as all his quotes are) "If you want to send a message, use Western Union". He was irritated by screenwriters who wanted to tack on social messages into storylines when they did nothing for the plot--and rightly so. One would hardly have a scene that put a cellphone into the hands of 1920s Chicago Gangster or have Beau Brummel using a Gillette razor--they are anachronisms and just don't belong (although Hollywood is often guilty of minor transgressions, they usually get things right to the nearest century). Likewise inserting an actor with characteristics totally at odds with historical reality is just an attempt at political indoctrination and nothing to do with artistic merit.
Recently a British TV series "Peaky Blinders" about the rise of a post WW1 criminal empire won awards left right and centre. Like many British shows it recreated an historical era with convincing vividness, although the vernacular was modernised for a modern (and international audience). While it played a bit fast and loose with a few historical events and figures it was all pretty credible until it introduced a uniformed full Colonel as the head of British Military intelligence played by Kingsley Ben Adir, a mid-twenties Half-Moroccan actor who specialises in playing African characters (he is a very dark Moroccan). Now this was just gratuitous--there were plenty of parts he could have played in the show set in 1922, but a twenty-something British Army Colonel wasn't one of them.
Over the past few years British TV shows have featured Black and South Asian Roman legionaires, A Nigerian (complete with accent) chief advisor to William the Conquerer, a raft of Black and Asian Dickens characters including the Artful Dodger, the Landless twins, Little Nell and Nancy as well as various Medieval Queens and noble Lords and Ladies, Ancient Greek heroes as well as (in Dr Who) the entire population of an 1830s London Frost Fair!
Perhaps the idiots producing these shows don't think that anyone notices or that it is a "subtle" way of implying that Europe has always been a "multi-racial" continent--if they do, it's not working. People are beginning to notice.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,245
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Who's gonna tell me they wouldn't watch Samuel L. Jackson playing King Arthur?
 
Dec 2017
167
America
Imagine if we had a White man in a black suit play Black Panther or a White man play a Zulu king?

Sent from my SM-G925T using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

Peter Graham

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
2,626
Westmorland
Sam Goldwyn said (apocryphally--as all his quotes are) "If you want to send a message, use Western Union". He was irritated by screenwriters who wanted to tack on social messages into storylines when they did nothing for the plot--and rightly so.
Perhaps the idiots producing these shows don't think that anyone notices or that it is a "subtle" way of implying that Europe has always been a "multi-racial" continent--if they do, it's not working. People are beginning to notice.
The problem with this argument is the assumption that screenwriters are trying to tack a social message onto a story line. Assuming that every casting of a black actor into a role previously filled by a white actor (or into a role which you feel should be filled by a white actor) is a deliberate political statement is unwarranted, unless you actually have soem prof that this is what is happening.

The world changes and, with the exception of the cranks and loonies, the younger generations appear to have a very different conception of ethnicity to their forebears. Those of us who are now middle aged doubtless recall how we would cringe at the casual racism of our parents' and grandparents' generations. Well, let's accept that we are the ones who are now being cringed at. Just because we might register an individual's skin colour before we register anything else about them most certainly doesn't make us racist, but we shouldn't assume that everyone looks at the world in the same way.

Samuel L Jackson would absolutely make a great King Arthur.
 

Peter Graham

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
2,626
Westmorland
The problem with this argument is the assumption that screenwriters are trying to tack a social message onto a story line. Assuming that every casting of a black actor into a role previously filled by a white actor (or into a role which you feel should be filled by a white actor) is a deliberate political statement is unwarranted, unless you actually have soem prof that this is what is happening.

The world changes and, with the exception of the cranks and loonies, the younger generations appear to have a very different conception of ethnicity to their forebears. Those of us who are now middle aged doubtless recall how we would cringe at the casual racism of our parents' and grandparents' generations. Well, let's accept that we are the ones who are now being cringed at. Just because we might register an individual's skin colour before we register anything else about them most certainly doesn't make us racist, but we shouldn't assume that everyone looks at the world in the same way.

Samuel L Jackson would absolutely make a great King Arthur.
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,745
USA
That would be King Arthur in Zululand then?
Tatem would be cast as Shaka Zulu. I think he has the acting range. They can make the Shaka Zulu remake into a comedy, put Danny McBride and Seth Rogan as Boers, Craig Robinson as a rival chieftain, have a lot of stoner jokes.
 
Status
Closed