The Big Picture: Skin Deeper

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Moth_Monk:

theSteamSupported:
I'm getting what you're trying to say, but one has to ask the question: why was the context ignored in the first place?

It was ignored by stupid people. ;) There's your reason.

Well stupid people that jumped to conclusions before seeing the film.

OT: If I had been born during that time, my Lord would have told me to be an Abolitionist. I would have moved to Kansas and worked to establish the state with the Union (which did happen), I would have picked up arms and fought off the rebel Missourians (the time known as Bleeding Kansas).

Yes, I count the Abolitionist who died in the name of ending slavery as Martyred for the Lord.

Revolutionaryloser:
How are the casting choices racist?

The overwhelming majority of rolls in Hollywood are written explicitly for white people. When the rolls aren't specified, the overwhelming majority of casting goes to white actors exclusively, because of the assumption that the White American 'everyman' viewing public is too racist to identify whith non-white actors. When rolls are specifically written for colored people, the rolls themselves are quite frequently there to play off of and reinforce racist stereotypes, frequently for 'humor'. In other cases, actors of color are cast only when the story is 'about' race in some way, like white is the default normal.

This is an environment of ongoing, self perpetuating, institutionalized racism (and sexism, for that matter). Racism now, not in the past, hobbling the careers of non-white American actors today and perpetuating modern racist stereotypes and racist standards of 'normalcy' or 'beauty' as equivalent to whiteness.

Asian actors are denied meaningful rolls every day because they are asian, relegated to racially stereotyped supporting rolls if anything at all, and in this real world, today, not-ancient-history context putting a white man in the role of an Asian character is denying limited roles to real Asian American actors in a way that casting a Black Woman in the role of a white character does not do for White American actresses.

And for those who have commented that they "don't even see race":

It's easy for white people to say "I don't see race, I'm color blind". But when you do that all you're really doing is averting your eyes and plugging your ears and saying "I choose to ignore racism because acknowledging it and facing up to it would be inconvenient for me".

"Color blindness", as the euphemism for willful ignorance and passive acceptance of the status quo it has become, is itself racist.

Father Time:
So Bob since the past is unchangeable and that historical stigma and blackface will always be around in the past, isn't those double standard justifications going to be eternal?

Seriously how would we know when we can drop the double standard altogether? I really want to know.

The answer's probably going to be more non-white roles but roughly how many do we need?

Well, actually I think it'll be when other movie hubs across the world gain equal prestige/money making power as Hollywood. When we get 'pink' actors moving to predominantly 'black' or 'yellow' skinned countries to find jobs, then some kind of balance will be had.

Essentially equality through economics. I don't really believe in the power of high minded ideals, but greed... greed you can trust.

Gilhelmi:

Moth_Monk:

theSteamSupported:
I'm getting what you're trying to say, but one has to ask the question: why was the context ignored in the first place?

It was ignored by stupid people. ;) There's your reason.

Well stupid people that jumped to conclusions before seeing the film.

The fictional context of the film DOES NOT TRUMP the real world context of its creation.

It doesn't matter that Avatar, for instance, delivered a message of preserving the environment and respecting native peoples when it was funded by, and its profits rendered unto, major corporations that destroy the environment and trample the rights of native peoples.

Likewise, it doesn't matter that Cloud Atlas delivered a message that racism was wrong, if it's casting choices furthered the racist exclusion of actors of Asian descent from meaningful roles.

OT: If I had been born during that time, my Lord would have told me to be an Abolitionist. I would have moved to Kansas and worked to establish the state with the Union (which did happen), I would have picked up arms and fought off the rebel Missourians (the time known as Bleeding Kansas).

Yes, I count the Abolitionist who died in the name of ending slavery as Martyred for the Lord.

Maybe. Or maybe your Lord would have told you that all black people are subhumans descended from a forsaken people cursed by God for their wickedness, and that slavery is their proper lot in life. Because that was what the majority of 'godly men' taught their white congregations in much of the united states, and those congregations were happy to eat it up and go out and brutalize and enslave their fellow man in the name of the Lord, and your god never did see fit to correct them.

Revnak:
Only a Sith deals an absolute. ONLY A SITH.

Is that not, in upon itself an absolute?

Or is everyone else allowed just this one absolute or perhaps an absolute of their choosing, but anymore than the one and they fall to the Dark Side and become a Sith?

Paradoxrifts:
Is that not, in upon itself an absolute?

Or is everyone else allowed just this one absolute or perhaps an absolute of their choosing, but anymore than the one and they fall to the Dark Side and become a Sith?

Only a Sith "deals in" absolutes.

You don't have to be a Sith to have some absolutes, but once you start trading them on the commodities market then your journey to the Dark Side is complete.

I know a Woopi Goldberg quote that seems pretty apt for this discussion:

"I'm an actor, not an actress. An actress can only play a woman. An actor can play anything."

Mmm, I'd forgotten about the Donald Glover remark about playing Spiderman.

I've got the least weird boner of them all right now...

Gavmando:
I know a Woopi Goldberg quote that seems pretty apt for this discussion:

"I'm an actor, not an actress. An actress can only play a woman. An actor can play anything."

Which is terribly ironic coming from a woman who is only ever hired to play Woopi Goldberg.

Malisteen:

Gilhelmi:

Moth_Monk:

It was ignored by stupid people. ;) There's your reason.

Well stupid people that jumped to conclusions before seeing the film.

The fictional context of the film DOES NOT TRUMP the real world context of its creation.

It doesn't matter that Avatar, for instance, delivered a message of preserving the environment and respecting native peoples when it was funded by, and its profits rendered unto, major corporations that destroy the environment and trample the rights of native peoples.

Likewise, it doesn't matter that Cloud Atlas delivered a message that racism was wrong, if it's casting choices furthered the racist exclusion of actors of Asian descent from meaningful roles.

OT: If I had been born during that time, my Lord would have told me to be an Abolitionist. I would have moved to Kansas and worked to establish the state with the Union (which did happen), I would have picked up arms and fought off the rebel Missourians (the time known as Bleeding Kansas).

Yes, I count the Abolitionist who died in the name of ending slavery as Martyred for the Lord.

Maybe. Or maybe your Lord would have told you that all black people are subhumans descended from a forsaken people cursed by God for their wickedness, and that slavery is their proper lot in life. Because that was what the majority of 'godly men' taught their white congregations in much of the united states, and those congregations were happy to eat it up and go out and brutalize and enslave their fellow man in the name of the Lord, and your god never did see fit to correct them.

I almost did not respond. There is a verse about not arguing with fools and I am questioning if you saw this episode of "The Big Picture".

1. Context is important - that means the movie is not racist because it was arguing against racism by using the same actors in every time period. I must see that movie.

2. I know a good deal more about the voice of God then you. The Lord never told anyone in early America to be racist. I can actually point out every part of the Bible that says that it was wrong, I even have access to historical documents showing treason onto the Lord by churches who did make unholy claims of this.

This is all I will say, I do not think that what I just said will be heard. I already know all of the normal, mock mock mock, responses. If that is your response I will ignore it in the future.

*a sad sigh and contemplating tomorrow*

1) The internal context of a films fictional narrative does not trump the external context of the films real world production.

2) Believing in God does not make you good.

There's a reason that Frederick Douglas wrote that of all slave owners, religious slave owners were the worst.

That "between the Christianity of [America] and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference - so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked." The slavery-preaching American Christianity that Douglas described was ubiquitous, and endured well after the Civil War. Oh, yes, there were a few noble exceptions, but they were just that, exceptions. The revisionist fantasy delivered by so many of Hollywood's "anti-racism" narratives is just just that, a fantasy - the smug, self aggrandizing belief that "if I had been alive at the time, I would have been one of the good guys! I would have been the white man living with and fighting for the American Indians! I would have been the white guy learning the way of the samuri and fighting against european cultural imperialism! I would have been the abolitionist ally helping slaves escape! I would would never have been the invader, the killer, the imperialist, the slaveholder"

And you buy these soft serve messages and reassure yourself about your own fundamental goodness and that of your faith and your culture even while willfully turning a blind eye to the ways in which you have benefitted from the racism of the past and come up with 'contextual' excuses to ignore or explain away the racism of the present, because not seeing a freaking movie is too much inconvenience for your morals to bear.

Jesus does not protect his flock from those who would hijack their faith to do great harm, nor does he protect the rest of the world from zealous believers who have twisted their faith to justify the oppression of others. History repeatedly attests to this. Believing in God does not make you good, nor does it stop you from being evil. One can be good and be a believer, but if you think the latter is enough to ensure the former, then you leave yourself open to those who would use your faith as a tool for cruelty and corruption, and thats assuming your own self interest doesn't beat them to it.

Arakasi:
If a famous actor can play a mentally handicapped person instead of a mentally handicapped person playing themselves I am perfectly fine with that.

As such, I am perfectly fine with black face, white face, whatever face a good actor puts on to play his/her role. Who cares if a minority doesn't get a role because of it? As long as they had the equally denied opportunity that your average white actor had when applying for it.

I agree if anything this movie proves that race is less of a issue when choosing actors. Actors can be chosen for being the best choice now and not necessarily just being a certain ethnicity.

The Tall Nerd:

Father Time:
So Bob since the past is unchangeable and that historical stigma and blackface will always be around in the past, isn't those double standard justifications going to be eternal?

Seriously how would we know when we can drop the double standard altogether? I really want to know.

The answer's probably going to be more non-white roles but roughly how many do we need?

its gonna be a while, slavery wasn't that long ago, i know that's like 200 or so years, but in comparison to the life span of the planet , and humans, 200 years isn't that long.

200 years is a long time. It insures that everyone, even the infants who were alive at the start won't be alive at the end. Comparing it to the lifespan of human existence is arbitrary.

The Tall Nerd:

and then civil rights, those things still have effects on our culture, like in this case people not liking to cast people with color for lead roles.

Is that why in movies like Thor they sometimes replace white actors with non-white ones (oh and I thought calling black peopled colored was taboo).

The Tall Nerd:

until enough time has passed where as the cultural balances can be tipped in a way that non white male can get fair say, you gotta deal with the double standards

What is a fair say and how do we know when they get it?

People want racism to go away yet everyone keeps insisting on labeling each other like this. Why does it matter what actors got chosen they were obviously the best for their parts. People just need to let this whole race thing drop or it will never go away.

beniki:

Father Time:
So Bob since the past is unchangeable and that historical stigma and blackface will always be around in the past, isn't those double standard justifications going to be eternal?

Seriously how would we know when we can drop the double standard altogether? I really want to know.

The answer's probably going to be more non-white roles but roughly how many do we need?

Well, actually I think it'll be when other movie hubs across the world gain equal prestige/money making power as Hollywood.

Why? That seems like a such an arbitrary and absurd standard

beniki:
[
When we get 'pink' actors moving to predominantly 'black' or 'yellow' skinned countries to find jobs, then some kind of balance will be had.

So the new standard is Hollywood losing a lot of ground?

About the double standard:

Hollywood is a business (well Ok it's several companies), not a charity it doesn't owe non-white actors slots in their films. It shouldn't be the job of any individual studio or (Hollywood as a whole) to make sure those actors find work. I can kind of see where Bob's coming from but though, I'm just not sure it's convincing.

Comparing this to black face though is stupid. They're not playing racial stereotypes, not by a long shot.

Sorry Bob I'm still not buying the double standard. Looking forward to hearing from you that I'm just not enlightened enough to get it (I bet as a film critic you just love hearing that excuse).

You know, you could've summarized the entire video in one sentence:

Phil (the guy who's been trolling Bob's blogspot account about this issue) is a fucking moron.

Malisteen:

Revolutionaryloser:
How are the casting choices racist?

.

Okay well I disagree in a good few ways so I will just let ya know why and you can agree or disagree and do what you want with it.

"The overwhelming majority of rolls in Hollywood are written explicitly for white people."

I gotta ask what roles are you talking about? I am hard pressed to think of even 10 roles that couldn't be played by someone of any race outside roles that were based on a pre-existing source so the characters looks were already set in stone. I challenge you to name 10 roles that only a "white" person could play that wasn't based on a pre-existing character. Sure most roles got to "white" people but the majority of people in that part of world are "white". Would you go to China and give them crap because most of their actors are Chinese? Sure roles are stereotyped but that is just true for most roles in general. This is where all tropes come from. Mind you I am not a fan of the overplayed stereotypes myself so I won't really argue how annoying and sometimes offensive they can be.

I have found Asian actors do tend to get really stereotyped roles I would be hard pressed to name more than 50 different characters that were Asian but not a stereotype. This really needs to change in my opinion.

It's easy for white people to say "I don't see race, I'm color blind". But when you do that all you're really doing is averting your eyes and plugging your ears and saying "I choose to ignore racism because acknowledging it and facing up to it would be inconvenient for me".

This is way off base you really shouldn't pretend you know what people are thinking better than they do. You definitely shouldn't tell people what they think or what they mean. I know if I were to say I don't see race I am colour blind I would be making a reference to the fact that I don't feel the need to group or judge people based on race. To be honest you just came off as a little racist yourself this last bit I mean that first line was really rude.

While I have my doubts about several of Bob's ruminations on Geek Culture his positions on the wider humanity are nearly always spot on.

Thanks Bob.

I've yet to see the film, but one point that Bob made I found quite jarring: equating Adam Ewing's and Hae-Joo Chang's stories seems to be outright contradictory, given that

Unless they changed that from the book to the film, of course, in which case I can't help but be disappointed that the central thesis of the entire chapter has been completely rewritten.

Can somebody who's seen the film clarify for me?

Am I the only one that thought the "tl;dr:" of this is simply "Haters gonna hate."

Father Time:

beniki:

Father Time:
So Bob since the past is unchangeable and that historical stigma and blackface will always be around in the past, isn't those double standard justifications going to be eternal?

Seriously how would we know when we can drop the double standard altogether? I really want to know.

The answer's probably going to be more non-white roles but roughly how many do we need?

Well, actually I think it'll be when other movie hubs across the world gain equal prestige/money making power as Hollywood.

Why? That seems like a such an arbitrary and absurd standard

beniki:
[
When we get 'pink' actors moving to predominantly 'black' or 'yellow' skinned countries to find jobs, then some kind of balance will be had.

So the new standard is Hollywood losing a lot of ground?

I don't know what standard you think I suggested... I just thought it was a matter of practicality. Hollywood is in a predominantly 'pink' country, so it's films have more pink skinned actors. Since most of the best selling world releases come from Hollywood, that's why you see a lot of pink skinned actors. By the same token, you see a lot of 'yellow' skinned actors in Japanese movies.

I guess you could argue that other movie making hubs becoming stronger is Hollywood losing ground, but honestly, increasing the diversity of film sources doesn't bother me that much... especially if they can all produce with Hollywood production values.

Kind of reminds me of how a lot of people thought the "Starship Troopers" movie was really in support of fascism rather than a satire. You can check out a video analysis of it here:

http://youtu.be/jQcUa38KNFo

The Gentleman:

Batsamaritan:

The Gentleman:
I'm surprised you didn't bring up the Mandarin when you were talking about "yellowface" racial acting. Hell, just us responding to that article had an interesting conversation on how to adapt the character to the modern hair-trigger racial response...

Ben kingsly is asian BTW, just a bit further west than china is all (india)

While I was referring to the Mandarin character in general, this actually pisses me off a lot more than it should. "Asian" is a really troubling concept for me, mainly because it merges several distinct cultures that each maintain a single identity but historically exchanged key cultural elements (such a Buddhism) while maintaining their separate identities. Hell, what is commonly referred to as "the Chinese" is actually an amalgamation of several ethnic groups that were unified every few centuries under an emperor. Hell, ever noticed that the northern half of the continent is Russia?

But the thing that really infuriates me is the idea that Indian is close enough to Chinese that they can be effectively swapped. It's not. Minus a small handful of similarities (hey, there's Buddhism again), they are very, very different cultures and people. Even their traditional ideas of time itself are starkly different from each other. The traditional Chinese take was that was more objective and could be cataloged, which was the reason behind a surprisingly accurate and complex bureaucracy and historical record system, where as the traditional Hindu concept of time was more fluid and that humans had been living the same cycles of life and death meant specific moments in time were less important than the people travelling through it (truthfully, it's been a while, so some of the specifics may be inaccurate, but the macro points are there). And this is one of the elements that distinguishes the two cultures. Nor does this get into the modern history of the last 200 years and how the west had drastically different approaches to the two cultures.

Wow... that was probably more of a rage post than I anticipated. My point is not to say that Ben Kingsly is a bad actor or pick because he's of Indian heritage, as he's probably one of the best actors in the modern era, but rather the idea that "hey they're both Asian; who's going to notice?" is okay...

wow... errr thanks for the lecture I guess?
Ironically it will probably be the chinese that are the only ones not complaining that the arch villain isn't the horrific Fu-manchu sterotype.

I wasnt saying "hey they're both Asian; who's going to notice?" is okay...[/quote]
That came from your brain, because your a racist and it bothers you. Me, i'm not so bothered I can accept I have prejudices, and in this instance I was trying to point out that the mandarin wasn't the traditional 'white guy in make up' casting Bob's article was discussing. The mandarin as a character was part asian part english of mixed race descent. In this case at worse it was like hollywood casting a korean as a japanese, not ok but not outright racist, just ignorant. That said we still have to see WHAT IS DONE with the character so it's too early to say for sure.

Well, while history and general availability might matter in descriptive sociology, they don't really do so in normatively determining whether an individual was treated unjustly.

Taken individually, "racebending" is unjustifiable if it cannot be justified to the specific individual subjected to it. A black actor who is denied a suitable role on the basis of his race, is no more or less discriminated against than a white actor denied a suitable role on the basis of his race.

Arguing that due to collective factors it's OK to discriminate an innocent individual - who has no responsibility for these factors, and don't necessarily benefit from them - while granting special treatment to another, isn't really all that convincing... unless you see people not as individuals, but as "racial hives", where ensuring/determining that one part of that hive has a benefit is justification for taking away from other parts of it. A collectivist premise that might work with ants or bees, but hardly for humans.

That little snag aside, it's patently obvious that if the "racebending" casting choice grounds itself in valid and savoury reasons, related to the narrative quality/impact of the movie, then it obviously won't be discrimination whichever way it might go. Though I suppose that since "justification" in regard to the individual didn't really matter to the collectivist social engineering types defending maintaining a racial double standard, it won't matter in regard to individual movies like "Cloud Atlas" either. Unless of course they happen to like them.

Father Time:
snips

1) do you know how long ago Christianity was started at it still has effects in this society, 200 years isn't that long , especially when the practice that predates it was for 400 years, then after those 400 years there was another 100 or so of more oppression trickling down to today , still affecting in this case African Americans, and other minorities, or are you one of those douches that think racism doesn't exist, Arizona needs...screw it , the planet needs to have a talk with you.

2) thor is one movie, one guy being cased regardless of race is meaningless to hang onto when the whole of the movie industry is acting the same, you can be cast as a lead actor unless its some crime drama, or film directed at a specific demographic, and you die first. you sound like fox "well this one [insert entertainment here] had a [insert minority ] so why do they need to
be in everything" don't be fox .

3) and how long its gonna take, a long time , i don't wanna go into a how it would happen speech, but is many theories, mostly the black Hispanic and Asian populations increasing, while the caucasian casually decreases due to interracial kids, the people who are in control dying and ideologies being expelled from our society.

a while, get a chair

aba1:
This is way off base you really shouldn't pretend you know what people are thinking better than they do. You definitely shouldn't tell people what they think or what they mean. I know if I were to say I don't see race I am colour blind I would be making a reference to the fact that I don't feel the need to group or judge people based on race. To be honest you just came off as a little racist yourself this last bit I mean that first line was really rude.

"Color Blindness" quite a while ago lost most of its positive connotations. For one, it's an established falsehood by scientific research: our brains are programmed to recognize race. Alongside gender its one of the very first things we process about any face we see. But more to the point, it's used to shut down open discussion of ongoing racism: "Well, I don't see race", made functionally equivalent to "I don't want to talk about it, don't want to hear about it".

One person says "Asian descended actors in America are overwhelmingly rejected from general roles, relegated to racially stereotyped supporting roles if that, and in this environment a white man playing one of the few well rounded Asian characters to show up in a Hollywood production has an entirely different and far more negative real world context than an actor of color playing a white role."

This person isn't demanding that you hate the movie. They might prefer you not support it with your money, but they're not even demanding that. They're asking you to simply be aware of the real world context of institutionalized racism that permeates the bones of Hollywood's studio system. To take it into account and consider it. Context counts for a lot, if not everything, but there's more to context than just the internal narrative of a film. The society and system which produced it is also part of its context. The one cannot wipe out the other. The good does not wash away the bad, nor the bad the good. If you can acknowledge the cinematic talent and innovation behind "Triumph of the Will" while still being aware of and denouncing its horrific social context, then you can like Cloud Atlas as a film and still acknowledge that establishing technology for and furthering a precedent of white actors being cast in non-white roles is handing a racist Hollywood system more tools and excuses to marginalize colored actors and genuine colored representation in media.

Responding instead with "Well I don't even see race, any actor should be allowed to play any role", is ignoring the issue that any actor isn't allowed to play any role. That actors of color are attacked for even stating that they would like to play a white role, that scripts are frequently rejected or rewritten when they explicitly call for a colored character in the lead role. That the Hollywood system regularly plays to and reinforces racial stereotypes while delivering a message that white = beautiful, white = good, white = normal. There's racism out there, and by refusing to see race, you're refusing to see the ways in which the race of non-white people is still held against them. It's choosing to not notice and not care because noticing and caring is too inconvenient if it comes between you and your appreciation of a movie. And no, I don't have to show the least respect for that sentiment.

It's a self serving mantra that reaffirms the notion that you don't need to do even consider anything. As if ignoring the issue was enough. What problem ever went away by ignoring it? Racism isn't just something that one actively chooses, like a mustache-twirling villain. It's also something you can passively accept by simply choosing not to see, not to care. "Color blind" is just that - willfully blind to the real world issues faced by colored people. It can be a great moral for teaching kindergartners how the world should be, but once you're past grade school, once your world and your influence stretches past the room you're currently sitting in, once it's time for you to start dealing with how the world is, once reconciling the "is" with the "should be" is your responsibility, it's just not good enough anymore.

--------

And in response to the comment from a while ago, that the US is a 'pink' country and a 'pink' bias in its media representation is to be expected, well there's more to Hollywood's pink bias than that. But even if that were all, the idea that this is a 'pink' country is increasingly just not true anymore. White is a plurality, not a majority now. Even that may not last our lifetime. Obama won re-election despite losing the white vote by a whopping 20 points. The America of the 1940's simply is not the America of the 2010's. Hollywood is behind the times on this as they are on many other things (the digital revolution, for instance) and any pressure the film-going public can put on them to catch up is a good thing.

Revnak:
Note how I quoted your whole post and argued against all your points. Note how you quoted the easiest parts of my post to deal with and ignored half of my points. Go back and notice the other point I mentioned in that paragraph then get back to me.

Your post had two points and one silly quote. I argued the points that were relevant and ignored you infantile attempt at humour.

You also ignored the point I made about how past discrimination doesn't justify present discrimination because you didn't have an argument and attempted to derail my post. Let me know when your willing to discuss these issue like a grown up.

You're the one who needs to listen. Bob clearly stated that in a "perfect world" he wouldn't have to explain to people why he was right and they were wrong. This shows just how arrogant Bob is and how little he thinks of the opinions of others.

Yeah, no insults, no belittling, just noting that in a perfect we wouldn't have these issues, which could be interpreted to say that in a perfect world (one without the current inequalities) it would be the same, or that people would think contextually and already understand why it is an issue.

Oh the irony. Bob clearly stated that in a perfect world he wouldn't have to explain why he was right, not that in a perfect world there wouldn't be discrimination.

The rest of your post was just whining about nothing so I saw no reason to respond to it.

Imperator_DK:
Arguing that due to collective factors it's OK to discriminate an innocent individual - who has no responsibility for these factors, and don't necessarily benefit from them - while granting special treatment to another, isn't really all that convincing... unless you see people not as individuals, but as "racial hives", where ensuring/determining that one part of that hive has a benefit is justification for taking away from other parts of it. A collectivist premise that might work with ants or bees, but hardly for humans.

That little snag aside, it's patently obvious that if the "racebending" casting choice grounds itself in valid and savoury reasons, related to the narrative quality/impact of the movie, then it obviously won't be discrimination whichever way it might go. Though I suppose that since "justification" in regard to the individual didn't really matter to the collectivist social engineering types defending maintaining a racial double standard, it won't matter in regard to individual movies like "Cloud Atlas" either. Unless of course they happen to like them.

I'm glad someone else realised this. Bob's whole video came across as "giving non-white roles to white actors is wrong, except in this movie because I liked it". It's like Bob made this video to reaffirm his racist casting preferences while trying to justify why this movie is an exception to other people with similarly racist views.

Malisteen:
"Color blindness", as the euphemism for willful ignorance and passive acceptance of the status quo it has become, is itself racist.

No, it's not. IT'S THE ENTIRE POINT.

Dr. King stood in front of a crowd one day and said he dreamed of a place where people were judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

And now you're saying that if people are judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character, that's racist. America has a lot of reasons that it has not yet moved beyond race, but I submit that one of those reasons - and a significant one, at that - is that some people WON'T LET IT.

Likewise, it doesn't matter that Cloud Atlas delivered a message that racism was wrong, if it's casting choices furthered the racist exclusion of actors of Asian descent from meaningful roles.

You DO know that Donna Bae is not only of Asian descent, but was actually born IN South Korea, right?

Look again at the cast list, if you can be bothered. The main cast consists of people who are black, white, asian, male, female, who then play blacks, whites, asians, and even males and females interchangeably, in varying roles of power or subjugation. The point of the movie, whether one agrees with it or not, was to demonstrate common threads of humanity along lines of race, gender, status, and even civilizations along spans of time. The idea behind the casting and varying makeup was because the characters themselves represent those common threads. The cast itself is diverse, and the roles played by each are themselves diverse, something I thought you would appreciate given your long-winded complaint about stereotype in minority roles.

TheSchaef:
No, it's not. IT'S THE ENTIRE POINT.

Dr. King stood in front of a crowd one day and said he dreamed of a place where people were judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

And now you're saying that if people are judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character, that's racist. America has a lot of reasons that it has not yet moved beyond race, but I submit that one of those reasons - and a significant one, at that - is that some people WON'T LET IT.

Ignoring the ongoing structural racism in this country won't make it go away, and that's what color blindness has become. It's no longer used as a vision for the future to motivate us to fix the injustice of the present, it's used as an excuse to ignore the injustice of the present and wallow in the status quo. As it has been done here. As it always is whenever the issue of racial injustice is raised, only for those comfortable in the status quo to shout it down with a message of "I don't need to do anything, I don't even need to think about or acknowledge any racial problem, it's enough for me to just choose to be blind to it". When the ongoing racial problems in society are pointed out, those who champion the color blind mantra don't say "hey, society isn't living up to our ideal, we should get off our butts and do something about it", no, instead they shout down the squeaky wheel for so much as mentioning race in the first place.

If you think that's what Dr. King's message was about, if you think that's what his Dream was, then I would posit that you don't know Dr. King very well.

You DO know that Donna Bae is not only of Asian descent, but was actually born IN South Korea, right?

First, the good does not wash out the bad. Casting a Korean actor in a Korean Role does not make it ok to cast a white actor in another Korean role. Likewise, casting colored actors in white roles doesn't make it ok to cast white actors in colored roles. And this is because context is important, and the real world context means these two things are not equivalent.

That Bae's role as Sonmi 451 fell well within Hollywood's accepted stereotypes for Asian women does not stand in the films favor in this issue either, even if the role was meant in part as a criticism of those stereotypes, because we end up an Asian woman playing a role that fits with Hollywood's accepted asian racial stereotypes, while the white actor is playing the typically white role of 'heroic male lead', even when the character in question is Asian.

Look, it's not that I don't understand the fictional context of the films narrative, and it's not that I don't appreciate a cast that is far more diverse than one typically sees out of a big budget production. But that still doesn't make the casting of white actors in Asian roles ok. Furthering the technology for and precedent of white actors playing Asian roles is a bad thing. The things the film does well don't change that. It's not about hating the film or insisting that this one thing makes it bad or even stops it from being good. If I didn't allow myself to like anything with problematic racial or sexual representation issues, there wouldn't be much coming out of popular culture that I could like. But you can appreciate the good qualities of a film or other media offering while still pointing out and acknowledging problems it may have or negative social issues it may be a part of or contribute to.

I would also like to chime in with the people who decry "colour blindness" as an unwillingness of, let's face it, white people to acknowledge the systematic privilege they continue to enjoy at the expense of other groups.

The Tall Nerd:

Father Time:
snips

1) do you know how long ago Christianity was started at it still has effects in this society, 200 years isn't that long ,

Yes it is. It may not be a long time for a religion but religion never even entered the discussion.

The Tall Nerd:
still affecting in this case African Americans, and other minorities, or are you one of those douches that think racism doesn't exist, Arizona needs...screw it , the planet needs to have a talk with you.

Lovely straw men. This was about whether two centuries was a long time, nothing more. Also lovely that someone who disagrees with you on that is a douchebag.

The Tall Nerd:

2) thor is one movie, one guy being cased regardless of race is meaningless to hang onto when the whole of the movie industry is acting the same, you can be cast as a lead actor unless its some crime drama, or film directed at a specific demographic, and you die first. you sound like fox "well this one [insert entertainment here] had a [insert minority ] so why do they need to
be in everything" don't be fox .

You said they don't like to cast non-whites and that's not true.

The Tall Nerd:

3) and how long its gonna take, a long time , i don't wanna go into a how it would happen speech, but is many theories, mostly the black Hispanic and Asian populations increasing, while the caucasian casually decreases due to interracial kids, the people who are in control dying and ideologies being expelled from our society.

a while, get a chair

What is a fair say? You didn't answer that.

LiquidGrape:
I would also like to chime in with the people who decry "colour blindness" as an unwillingness of, let's face it, white people to acknowledge the systematic privilege they continue to enjoy at the expense of other groups.

a couple comics I like to show the "color blind" crowd who reject any discussion of race based social injustice, as well as those who decry affirmative action as "reverse racism":

http://www.redbubble.com/people/barrydeutsch/works/5562735-how-bob-benefits-from-racism?p=poster

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m5rr52cAlU1r38c2ko1_1280.jpg

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