Minorities playing White figures. Diversity or Tokenism ? Or left wing hypocrisy - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 110 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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Minorities playing White figures. Diversity or Tokenism ? Or left wing hypocrisy


https://www.sixthtone.com/news/10042...ermaid-casting



Ok so I recently came across this. An actress named Halle Baile has been cast as the Little Mermaid for Disney's new movie. Apparently if you complain about this you are a racist.

Amongst the many arguments I have heard about why it is racist to complain is1
1) It is a fictional character
2) It is a fictional creature (ie a mermaid, not a 'human' character)
3) It is a good show of diversity because almost all Disney "princesses" are white

1) There are many fictional characters who are drawn a certain race, and whenever this ORIGINAL source material is non-white...ppl complain about whitewashing eg, White-washing of Biblical figures, White-washing Egyptians and more Recently in Avatar the last Airbender



When this movie came out, the internet lit up by Asians who complained that Asian actors were not used despite the fact that the entire story takes place on a fictional planet

2) Some others argue that comparing Racebending of The Little Mermaid to Mulan, Alladin or Tiana (all of which are ethnic characters in the source material) ....is null and void because the mermaid is a 'mythical creature' and can therefore be any race.

Well...Goku is an alien...but I remember people complaining the he was cast by a white actor. Also I remember ppl constantly complaining that Egyptian Gods are always portrayed by white actors.

3) Because all the princesses are white, it is Ok to randomly make one of them black.

No it is not. That is Tokenism. The Little Mermaid is European tale. They are essential taking a European tale, white culture abound, and slapping a black face onto it and telling us "see diversity we care about you"

It is LAZY. Taking established white characters and making them black for diversity....instead of actually creating a new black character, with black culture
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post #2 of 110 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 09:51 AM
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I bet for every 1 white character that hollywood cast an actor who's a PoC there are 100 characters who are not white but a white actor was cast.
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post #3 of 110 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 11:09 AM
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post #4 of 110 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 11:29 AM
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Maybe the actor was just the best auditioning.

You want it to be impossible that a black actor gets hired over a white one, even if a black actor is better? How wouldn't that be racism?

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post #5 of 110 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 12:02 PM
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I can understand it bothering people if it's a character who has an aesthetic somewhere else that people really like, but generally I don't really care. Besides lots of minority characters are played by white actors. Like The Ancient One being played by Tilda Swinton even though the character was an Asian man, not that that counts because it's Tilda Swinton and she can do what she wants.

Sometimes changing the aesthetics would make more sense. They kept Hela's appearance the same in Ragnarok, but it just seemed weird because Hela wasn't Loki's child in that, yet they looked the same and it made Thor look like the adopted one ahaha.





Also that article mentions Ariel Winter.. She's def not a natural red head anyway. They should cast a red haired guy in the role.


To be clear though it is lazy and it's because Hollywood aren't really interested in taking real risks/writing new scripts. There are mermaids in various African cultures and they could write a story based on that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mami_Wata

Part of the reason they wouldn't want to do that though (but it is mostly that Hollywood is dying and Netflix is the future,) is because they don't want to otherise Black Americans who have been in the country for many generations. They don't really do that with people of other racial backgrounds though. Like Disney's Middle Eastern and North East Asian representation is set in other parts of the world in a different cultural setting, but all the black Disney princesses are Westernised.

Oh another thing is that original story is really dark and depressing but Disney are never going to make that version so it doesn't really matter lol. All of the Danish merfolk stories are depressing.

A while back I had this as my avatar:



It's an illustration of another Danish merfolk story which has a few variations:

Quote:
The tale of Agnete and the Merman is a traditional Danish story that was originally passed down by oral tradition. As the story goes, a young woman named Agnete was passing by the sea when a remarkably forward and decisive merman emerged from the waters and offered her his hand in marriage. Being a spritely and impulsive girl herself, she dropped what she was doing and went to live with him beneath the waves. The couple had seven little mer-kids and things seemed to be going great until Agnete heard distant church bells ringing from land. She left her mer-family to pay a visit to her old life, promising to return. However once she was reacquainted with her old life Agnete decided not to return to the sea, leaving her merman to be a single dad, forever pining for his lost love.
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"Agnete and the Merman" by Jens Baggesen is a creepy and tragic tale. It tells of a merman who comes from the sea, professing his deep love for the human Agnete (a gender reversal of the Melusine/Undine/Little Mermaid stories). She loves him too and agrees to go down into the sea with him; they live for two years happily and she bears him two sons.


But Agnete hears church bells coming from land and desires to go back; she promises her husband to return by morning. She follows the midnight church bells and sees her mother. Her mother pleads with her to come back to land; she has abandoned not only her parents by joining the merman, but her two human daughters. Agnete claims she must go back to her new family, but then she is told that her father, after searching for her in vain, killed himself; the church bells she had heard were for his funeral. She then turns around and sees her mother's name on a grave-time passes differently under the sea (as it often does in Faerie) and the conversation with her mother was either with her ghost or vision from the past.

The poem "Agnes" by Adam Gottlob Oehlenschlager is essentially the same story with some minor differences, Agnes stays underwater 8 years and bears 7 children instead of two; she does not encounter her parents' funerals or tombstones but seems to die randomly after returning to the surface.

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post #6 of 110 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 12:17 PM
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Ok I don't have an opinion on this, but I'm trying to decide if your beef stems from some kind of 'purist' loyalty to the original story right down to the last detail. Or if it's just a race thing.

The original 'Little Mermaid' was set in Europe, sure, but there's nothing preventing future producers from doing a remake and translocating the entire story to Africa and using an all-black cast. It's still the same story of the Little Mermaid in essence, and in fact this has been done, across media. For example Kurosawa's Japanese feudal retelling of Shakespeare's King Lear. Or that weird '90s Romeo & Juliet set in some kind of quasi-steampunk fururistic society. Are you against those types of remakes too?

Ultimately I think these kinds of changes should add meaning/value to the original work. But that's a complex judgment call to make.

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post #7 of 110 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 12:22 PM
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It's definitely liberalism: Hollywood's "affirmative action". But, the way I see it, let them sink themselves like what happened with that all-female "ghostbusters". The box office trend is heading downwards anyway. Let them pat themselves on the back while riding on a sinking ship.

on the other hand: hey, maybe it'll be a good movie, and the actress will have a good performance. let's hope. It would be a welcome change from black women only being lauded for their performances as slaves, servants, inner-city youth, or resistance fighters. It would be fantastic if this actress hit it out of the park as a princess.

As for minorities in general not being in movies originally written by minorities, I'm pretty sure it's all politics. producers need to make money with youthful marketable names (otherwise Charlton Heston would be in every movie if it were just about pure acting talent); there may only be a tiny shortlist of minority actors in the portfolio of the preferred agency [you know, the one that offered the largest bribe] and they didn't have any that fit the bill. I always wondered why Asian-themed hollywood films never hired seasoned actors from Hong Kong, or Japan, for their movies (or why hispanic movies seem to have the same actors over and over: Jimmy Smits, Cheech Marin, Rosie Perez, J-Lo), and I figure it has to do with the union. Actors from Japan, Argentina, Germany, etc. probably don't belong, and therefore won't appear in hollywood movies. so you got what you got. Kind of a bummer.

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post #8 of 110 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Persephone The Dread View Post
I can understand it bothering people if it's a character who has an aesthetic somewhere else that people really like, but generally I don't really care. Besides lots of minority characters are played by white actors.

To be clear though it is lazy and it's because Hollywood aren't really interested in taking real risks/writing new scripts. There are mermaids in various African cultures and they could write a story based on that.



Oh another thing is that original story is really dark and depressing but Disney are never going to make that version so it doesn't really matter lol. All of the Danish merfolk stories are depressing.
To be clear...do I want the violent 19th centre horror story ? Not really. But that still doesn't mean that a Danish should be portrayed by people who don't at least look Danish.

Someone else posted a video where this man is basically saying that the race thing is a non- issue because it is unimportant to the plot.

I'm just trying to be fair to white folk and not be a hypocrit about it. I dislike the idea of white Jesus as much as the next guy...but that doesn't mean I want a Hercules movie with a black Hercules knowing fully well its based on greek mythology.

All I am saying is...if we can agree that "The last Airbender" was white washed, as with Gods of Egypt, Moses and a whole bunch of other stories based on non-white myths.

Let's not go the other way and racebend culturally white stories for "diversity"

If Hollywood wants cultural diversity...do some research and produce a movie based on African myths, like the Jumbie, La Ja Bless, Soucouyant etc....

What they are doing here is not diversity, its tokenism.
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post #9 of 110 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 01:02 PM
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It is purely inconsequential whether a mermaid in a Disney film is black, white, or even ****ing blue. So, there are better hills to die on than crying "hypocrisy" over this.

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post #11 of 110 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 01:37 PM
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To be clear...do I want the violent 19th centre horror story ? Not really. But that still doesn't mean that a Danish should be portrayed by people who don't at least look Danish.

Someone else posted a video where this man is basically saying that the race thing is a non- issue because it is unimportant to the plot.

I'm just trying to be fair to white folk and not be a hypocrit about it. I dislike the idea of white Jesus as much as the next guy...but that doesn't mean I want a Hercules movie with a black Hercules knowing fully well its based on greek mythology.

All I am saying is...if we can agree that "The last Airbender" was white washed, as with Gods of Egypt, Moses and a whole bunch of other stories based on non-white myths.

Let's not go the other way and racebend culturally white stories for "diversity"

If Hollywood wants cultural diversity...do some research and produce a movie based on African myths, like the Jumbie, La Ja Bless, Soucouyant etc....
Danish people are usually blond/brunette, it's rare to find natural red heads who aren't of British descent.

I'd like a darker/edgier story actually, but then this stuff is marketed at children I suppose (even though I read the original story as a child too.)

I don't think there should be hard rules about people only playing characters who are exactly like them because that's incredibly boring. It really depends on the end result and how relevant their ethnic background or whatever is to the story. There are a few female actors now that play roles that were initially written for a male and I think most of the results have been pretty interesting like:




Apparently they kept the lines the same.

The problem is when it seems very unbalanced towards one group of people.

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post #12 of 110 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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What about Black Achilles, and Black Zeus ? is that 'diversity' too ?


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Originally Posted by Persephone The Dread View Post
Danish people are usually blond/brunette, it's rare to find natural red heads who aren't of British descent.

I'd like a darker/edgier story actually, but then this stuff is marketed at children I suppose (even though I read the original story as a child too.)

I don't think there should be hard rules about people only playing characters who are exactly like them because that's incredibly boring. It really depends on the end result and how relevant their ethnic background or whatever is to the story. There are a few female actors now that play roles that were initially written for a male and I think most of the results have been pretty interesting like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5DuqqFyGNo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPzC4iALMtk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blotlQRWWYU

Apparently they kept the lines the same.

The problem is when it seems very unbalanced towards one group of people.

https://www.digitalspy.com/tv/a85017...chilles-black/

The liberal sided press just dismiss this as racists unable to adapt.

But that is Beside the point; how can you do a story about Greek Mythology and portray greek dieties as black ??!

That's like portraying Pocahontas as a white woman and saying 'diversity'

Each culture has contributed to the World. We do not have to pretend that different cultures did not exist.

I watched the Samurai X movie series. It was in Japanese, all the actors were Japanese, not a single black man, no female samurai. Was I offended ?? No...because even if its a fictional story....in the age of Samurais it makes no sense that Kenshin would be Black or that there would be female samurai
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post #13 of 110 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 02:45 PM
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the racism nitpicking continues while real issues are ignored. this is just entertainment - not just the movie, but the racism and anti-racism.

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post #14 of 110 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by VIncymon View Post
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTb_V1ndJYs

https://www.digitalspy.com/tv/a85017...chilles-black/

The liberal sided press just dismiss this as racists unable to adapt.

But that is Beside the point; how can you do a story about Greek Mythology and portray greek dieties as black ??!

That's like portraying Pocahontas as a white woman and saying 'diversity'

Each culture has contributed to the World. We do not have to pretend that different cultures did not exist.

I watched the Samurai X movie series. It was in Japanese, all the actors were Japanese, not a single black man, no female samurai. Was I offended ?? No...because even if its a fictional story....in the age of Samurais it makes no sense that Kenshin would be Black or that there would be female samurai
Portraying Pocahontas as a white women isn't the same as portraying the little mermaid as a black woman though, since Pocahontas was a real person, and her ethnic background is important to the role.

I'm not sure why you keep using examples where ethnicity is important and that were based on historically real people like Mulan and Pocahontas, and then compare them to fictional mythological figures..

Black Zeus I can't say I care about much. I bet Idris Elba would do a decent job with that role.

Do you see any non-white people in the main cast of the TV series Vikings? No? Exactly.


Also you're kind of missing the point here, as long as the end result works I don't really care either way. I think I'd only care if it was a character who I was attracted to, based partly on their appearance, and then they changed it to be very different but that's just disappointment on loosing out on eye candy and I'm not really that entitled. I'm used to not having movies appeal to me lol.

Like if they rebooted LoTR or the Hobbit films and all of the elves were big burly looking people with huge muscles, that would be disapoint.son.jpg, or if they made a film about faeries and they were all super masculine looking. You see, I only care about vain/shallow **** like that.

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Anyway we all know race is less important than them being British or Australian.



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We have to export the talent somewhere, nobody's really writing/creating good stuff here (or there, really, but yeah....)

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post #16 of 110 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 03:47 PM
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This stuff doesn't matter. If you are over the age of 12 and you have an opinion about Little Mermaid casting, you are not very mature for your age.
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post #17 of 110 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 03:47 PM
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Makes me think of A Wrinkle in Time a year or so back, another big budget film from Disney that made a big deal of the diversity of its crew and cast. It was a massive failure, earning $130 million on a $100 million budget, when it needed $400 million to turn a profit. I'm not sure if the race switching rubbed people the wrong way, but it seems to be a common theme in reviews. Some would probably say that the filmmakers were too focused on being "woke" and forgot to make a good film. My theory on one of the causes is that it wasn't really a problem with "blackwashing" per se, but in the interest of diversity they hired the wrong folks. The director had no experience with either films in the genre, or the budget range. Shouldn't be a problem with this one, as both the director and writer are quite experienced in both those criteria.

It's a cartoon adaptation entirely rooted in fantasy so it doesn't seem like a big deal nor was it in Dr. Who. Now if they cast Idris Elba or a woman as James Bond, a character who is noted to be a white man, that would be kind of lame. Not as lame as the rumoured Jamie Bell though. He looks like a total ***** and isn't convincing as a tough, gritty, arrogant womanizer. Maybe I can't shake Billy Elliott.
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It is purely inconsequential whether a mermaid in a Disney film is black, white, or even ****ing blue. So, there are better hills to die on than crying "hypocrisy" over this.

Halle****inglujah



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post #19 of 110 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Portraying Pocahontas as a white women isn't the same as portraying the little mermaid as a black woman though, since Pocahontas was a real person, and her ethnic background is important to the role.

I'm not sure why you keep using examples where ethnicity is important and that were based on historically real people like Mulan and Pocahontas, and then compare them to fictional mythological figures..

Black Zeus I can't say I care about much. I bet Idris Elba would do a decent job with that role.

Do you see any non-white people in the main cast of the TV series Vikings? No? Exactly.


Also you're kind of missing the point here, as long as the end result works I don't really care either way. I think I'd only care if it was a character who I was attracted to, based partly on their appearance, and then they changed it to be very different but that's just disappointment on loosing out on eye candy and I'm not really that entitled. I'm used to not having movies appeal to me lol.

Like if they rebooted LoTR or the Hobbit films and all of the elves were big burly looking people with huge muscles, that would be disapoint.son.jpg, or if they made a film about faeries and they were all super masculine looking. You see, I only care about vain/shallow **** like that.
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This stuff doesn't matter. If you are over the age of 12 and you have an opinion about Little Mermaid casting, you are not very mature for your age.
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Halle****inglujah

Only a moron would give a **** what she is
If it is so inconsequential as you all put it why is it that when a fictionally non-white character is portrayed as white...THEN everybody calls it racist.

Remember Avatar the last airbender ? Set in a completely fictional world...yet the Asian community was upset because they felt underrepresented and white-washed ???
Nobody called those protesters immature or racist.

I get it....its against the narrative to complain about this...so we all must celebrate it.

I even quoted a video here where a woman basically says white-washing is racist but black-washing is ok because we are underrepresented.

That is wrong ! That is the equivalent of saying it is Ok to descriminate against boys in school because women have been historically oppressed.

Its not just a piece of fiction. Entertainment affects society. The minstrel shows of the past were condoning of racism.
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post #20 of 110 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 04:57 PM
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If it is so inconsequential as you all put it why is it that when a fictionally non-white character is portrayed as white...THEN everybody calls it racist.

Remember Avatar the last airbender ? Set in a completely fictional world...yet the Asian community was upset because they felt underrepresented and white-washed ???
Nobody called those protesters immature or racist.
I did. Both sides of this debate is stupid.
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