What's with all the Black washing?

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I've just watched the BBC's Les Miserables series. The "demographics" of France was for sure totally ahistorical, Javert played by a black actor, Thenardier by a Pakistani-Kenyan actor, and so many black background actors that probably even today you can see that only in some major French cities. But still it didn't disturb the story, good series with good acting, faithful to the book (minus the physical description of the characters in Hugo's original ofc). I think we could only wish that people were that color blind in the first decades of the 19th century as it is portrayed in the series. So in this regard it is a denial of the racist realities of age, a kind of historical revisionism. But it didn't take away any value from the story and the acting, i can warmly recommend it.
You see that right there annoys me no end to the point where I don't give a damn if the programme is good or not ......... I will refuse to watch it, its one of my biggest gripes.

I want authenticity, especially in historically set films / programmes and the inserting in this case which you say is black people in number in 19th Century France is done for what reason? to push an agenda, and I refuse to be spoon fed political agenda as part of my entertainment.

This also has a reverse to it by the way, the so called White Saviour and in particular Matt Damon appearing as the lead star in the film "The Wall" about the Great wall of China, the sort of revisionist history your describing actually gives license to that .......... and again I have never and will never watch that sad excuse of a film, along with Gods of Egypt and in the same token I won't watch the BBC's Troy either for having an African play what's supposed to be an obviously Greek Achillies.

I mean even the excuse of "diversity" is done with a white privilege that I can't stand (even though I hate using that term), a white TV director to satisfy his own diversity agenda to make him feel good about himself can't see that he's robbing one minority in favour of the other?

That director to meet his own subconscious diversity quota has robbed a Greek actor of the chance of playing a lead role in a history which is there's on the rare occasion a Greek actor is actually required for, and instead decided in his wisdom to just deliberately give it to a black man .......... so basically preppy white people decided that diversity is all about Black and White??

This tokenism may work with the White Liberal crowd but as someone who is of mixed race I see straight through that and the irony is not amusing.
 
Jul 2016
9,347
USA
This also has a reverse to it by the way, the so called White Saviour and in particular Matt Damon appearing as the lead star in the film "The Wall" about the Great wall of China, the sort of revisionist history your describing actually gives license to that ..........
The Great Wall wasn't about white saviors, or revisionist history. It was about about a completely unrealistic origin of the Great Wall, where it was designed to stop a horde of giant lizard beasts. More so, it was a big budget action movie designed to put asses in seats in the US and China. Hence it needed big name Chinese actors (who were the primary audience) but also American actors (because they wanted a big release and return in the US too).

It failed because it was a crappy movie, the CGI stunk, the acting was bad, and the script was garbage.
 
The Great Wall wasn't about white saviors, or revisionist history. It was about about a completely unrealistic origin of the Great Wall, where it was designed to stop a horde of giant lizard beasts. More so, it was a big budget action movie designed to put asses in seats in the US and China. Hence it needed big name Chinese actors (who were the primary audience) but also American actors (because they wanted a big release and return in the US too).

It failed because it was a crappy movie, the CGI stunk, the acting was bad, and the script was garbage.
So as an American, do you feel you need to have a white lead for you to be able to watch a film, because that's what your suggesting the reasoning is or at least what Hollywood view your preference to be?

Me personally I don't need a white lead or a white person in a film at all to watch it.

This was what all the hoopla about Black Panther was, because it showed a black cast could be a box office success without white leads.

I honestly think Americans make up their own paranoia because there so race obsessed, a good film is a good film, I could happily watch a film with zero white people in it.
 
Likes: Tulius

antocya

Ad Honorem
May 2012
5,755
Iraq
You see that right there annoys me no end to the point where I don't give a damn if the programme is good or not ......... I will refuse to watch it, its one of my biggest gripes.

I want authenticity, especially in historically set films / programmes and the inserting in this case which you say is black people in number in 19th Century France is done for what reason? to push an agenda, and I refuse to be spoon fed political agenda as part of my entertainment.

This also has a reverse to it by the way, the so called White Saviour and in particular Matt Damon appearing as the lead star in the film "The Wall" about the Great wall of China, the sort of revisionist history your describing actually gives license to that .......... and again I have never and will never watch that sad excuse of a film, along with Gods of Egypt and in the same token I won't watch the BBC's Troy either for having an African play what's supposed to be an obviously Greek Achillies.

I mean even the excuse of "diversity" is done with a white privilege that I can't stand (even though I hate using that term), a white TV director to satisfy his own diversity agenda to make him feel good about himself can't see that he's robbing one minority in favour of the other?

That director to meet his own subconscious diversity quota has robbed a Greek actor of the chance of playing a lead role in a history which is there's on the rare occasion a Greek actor is actually required for, and instead decided in his wisdom to just deliberately give it to a black man .......... so basically preppy white people decided that diversity is all about Black and White??

This tokenism may work with the White Liberal crowd but as someone who is of mixed race I see straight through that and the irony is not amusing.
In the USA, applications which ask race actually specify if you’re of middle eastern or North African ancestry you should mark white. Not sure how that works in Europe and many people in America also now say middle eastern people aren’t white. I think this is relatively recent and in the past they were largely considered white. I’ve met a lot of Arabs who don’t noticeably look different from Europeans and really this is all very arbitrary.

The Mamluk name is a bit ironic here since a lot of Mamluks were European or from the Caucasus and Richard Burton even uses the term to mean a white slave.

I suppose with Gods of Egypt it’s a bit different because the Egyptians were not Arab and on average darker.

People have a lot of preconceived ideas of how certain people are supposed to look. Some people brought up Italians I think and it’s not really that unusual to see blonde Italians. Isabella of Castile was also blonde but people tend to think of her as dark haired.

To the original subject, race seems like it’s become even more polarizing in America with all this nonsense about cultural appropriation and offense taken to every petty little thing so it’s not surprising that casting has become affected by this.
 
Likes: Tulius
Nov 2018
277
Denmark
So as an American, do you feel you need to have a white lead for you to be able to watch a film, because that's what your suggesting the reasoning is or at least what Hollywood view your preference to be?

Me personally I don't need a white lead or a white person in a film at all to watch it.

This was what all the hoopla about Black Panther was, because it showed a black cast could be a box office success without white leads.

I honestly think Americans make up their own paranoia because there so race obsessed, a good film is a good film, I could happily watch a film with zero white people in it.
Yes, for example, Seven samurai of Akira Kurosawa. I saw it as a child on television and I loved it.

But the problem is perhaps that it is very common for people to identify with people similar to them self.

I think I have read that Chinese films which want to sell in the Western market choose actors who match a Western beauty ideal.
 
Jul 2016
9,347
USA
So as an American, do you feel you need to have a white lead for you to be able to watch a film, because that's what your suggesting the reasoning is or at least what Hollywood view your preference to be?

Me personally I don't need a white lead or a white person in a film at all to watch it.

This was what all the hoopla about Black Panther was, because it showed a black cast could be a box office success without white leads.
I didn't want to watch The Great Wall anyway, the trailers looked horrible, the plot looked dumb. And no, I didn't need a white lead. But I'm not watching a movie clearly made by and largely for a Chinese audience without some sort of A-list Hollywood star that might have some sort of draw, as well inclusion in the overall plot that makes it bearable to watch.

Seriously? Black Panther was released last year, and you can't think of a single other movie made in the last 100 years that was black leading actors and was a box office hit? Really?

LOL, next thing you'll be saying that it was the first black super hero movie.

I honestly think Americans make up their own paranoia because there so race obsessed, a good film is a good film, I could happily watch a film with zero white people in it.
Yeah, right. Americans are race obsessed. I think that point I bolded basically sums up your entire position on this matter quite succinctly. :neutral:
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
I didn't want to watch The Great Wall anyway, the trailers looked horrible, the plot looked dumb. And no, I didn't need a white lead. But I'm not watching a movie clearly made by and largely for a Chinese audience without some sort of A-list Hollywood star that might have some sort of draw, as well inclusion in the overall plot that makes it bearable to watch.

Seriously? Black Panther was released last year, and you can't think of a single other movie made in the last 100 years that was black leading actors and was a box office hit? Really?

LOL, next thing you'll be saying that it was the first black super hero movie.



Yeah, right. Americans are race obsessed. I think that point I bolded basically sums up your entire position on this matter quite succinctly. :neutral:

A genre of movies called "Blacksploitation" began in the US in the 1970's.

Blaxploitation or blacksploitation is an ethnic subgenre of the exploitation film that emerged in the United States during the early 1970s. The films, though receiving backlash for stereotypical characters, are among the first in which black characters and communities are the heroes and subjects of film and television, rather than sidekicks or villains or victims of brutality.[1] The genre's inception coincides with the rethinking of race relations in the 1970s.
Blaxploitation films were originally aimed at an urban African-American audience,[2] but the genre's audience appeal soon broadened across racial and ethnic lines. Hollywood realized the potential profit of expanding the audiences of blaxploitation films across those racial lines.

Blaxploitation - Wikipedia


Before that, I think the first major black Hollywood movie was "Porgy And Bess", in 1959.

Context: Hattie McDaniels, a portly black actress ,won the best supporting actress Oscar in 1939, for her role as Scarlett O'Hara's 'mammy', in 1939. Sh ewas not permitted to enter the premises by the front door-this was Hollywood California, not Mississippi

I'd rather make $700 a week playing a maid than working as one': How the FIRST black Oscar winner dealt with being segregated from white Gone with the Wind co-stars at Academy Awards

  • Hattie McDaniel was first African American to win an Oscar when she took home a trophy for Best Supporting Actress at the 12th Academy Awards
  • McDaniel played Scarlett O'Hara's eye-rolling maid in Gone With The Wind
  • She was not even allowed to attend the premier of the movie
  • Movie executives had to beg for her to get into Ambassador Hotel ceremony and still she was sat at table in back of ballroom
  • Even in death she faced racism as Hollywood Cemetery denied her final wish to be buried there
  • McDaniel's Oscar trophy vanished from Howard University, which was left to the school in her will
  • Celebrities like Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, George Clooney, Mark Ruffalo plan to boycott 2016 Oscars over only white nominees in major categories
  • See the latest news on the Oscars 2016 diversity row and celebrity boycott
How the FIRST black Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel dealt with being segregated | Daily Mail Online


I agree that race remains entrenched as US social problem. Deeply embedded attitudes cannot be abolished by making laws. Looks like they may have a few generations to go. I really hope it is sorted; I understand Washington DC has or almost has a black majority. That California is well on the way to an Hispanic majority.

I am not being "holier than thou", but simply making an observation. Race has been an issue in Australia since first white settlement, it's a matter of degree. My observation is that the reasons Australia has not had the racial problems of the Us are; we did not have institutionalised slavery nor did we have the same numbers of black people proportionally. Australia's race relations have improved, a lot, but still have a long way to go. Aussies have always been able to find a group to hate and fear, currently ,it's Muslims.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
33,788
T'Republic of Yorkshire
The Great Wall wasn't about white saviors, or revisionist history. It was about about a completely unrealistic origin of the Great Wall, where it was designed to stop a horde of giant lizard beasts. More so, it was a big budget action movie designed to put asses in seats in the US and China. Hence it needed big name Chinese actors (who were the primary audience) but also American actors (because they wanted a big release and return in the US too).

It failed because it was a crappy movie, the CGI stunk, the acting was bad, and the script was garbage.
Sounds like The 47 Ronin - take a true Japanese story, stick Keanu Reeves, fireball throwing ghosts and a giant dino-chicken in it, and expect it to be a hit.
 
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