Critic Accuses Prince of Persia of "Whitewashing"

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 NEXT
 

I dont care about race as long as the acting is good.

He just wants something to complain about

And? It's just a movie. Maybe a bad one at that.

atalanta:

Woodsey:
Maybe no Persian actors applied for the role, maybe a few did but they weren't good enough, maybe they weren't well known enough to star in a Summer blockbuster.

I'm pretty sure that I don't know of any particularly famous Persian actors.

Possibly because Hollywood doesn't hire Persian actors to play Persian characters? Like we're seeing right now?

Yeah, and sometimes they get Brits to play Americans and Americans to play Australians and Australians to play South Africans.

That's why it's called acting. If this whole thing is going on skin tone, there's not an overly compelling argument; if you search for Persian guys on Google then there's not much difference. Admittedly facial features move away from "general Caucasian" but this guy's argument is limited at best.

wow.. aren't there bigger fish to fry?

I mean come on..
who cares

Um wow. Did we all forget that the best actor gets the part? From the critic's standpoint his argument is this "This movie is atrocious because the lead role should only be given to a persian regardless of acting ability!". Is this over-generalized? Yeah, but that is what his critique is and forgetting that it is up to the actor and director to make the audience believe that the character and not the actor is "persian".

Also, realize that this is a fantasy movie based off a video game! Heck the original had a dirty blonde hair protagonist! Not many persians I know of would fit that role if it was based on the original game.

Honestly I'm actually going to say that this critic is just plainly race bating. While we have become a mixed nation, the movie industry is just as much the important of the character being believable to the audience as much as the actors if not more so. The magic of movies and acting is the attempt to make an audience believe in that world and character regardless of the actors actual ethnicity.

I'm rather disappointed that no one seems to recall that the Prince of Persia games are based on the Achaemenid Empire, which existed over two thousand years ago.

Modern Persians are literally nothing like Achaemenid Persians. They had migrated to the Middle East from Europe and looked basically like any other European ethnicity. It's only after centuries of cross breeding and being conquered and settled by three or four distinct ethnic groups that they start to look basically like Arabs.

In short, Gyllenhaal looks like the Prince of Persia should.

Let me just say that again: over two thousand years of residing in the most culturally contested region of the world separates ancient Persians from modern ones. Their ethnic image has not been a static one.

If you make a movie called the Prince of Persia than at least hire a Persian actor to play the prince. In fact, they should just destroy the movie now before it hits theaters because as well all know video game movies are horrible.

Well he is right though.
For the sake of it, he could had added that people need a clear white & black situation in movies as well.

Like in the Legend of the Seeker where Darken Rahl in the book is clad in white robes while in the TV series, wears garment of black and red.

SnootyEnglishman:
As long as the movie is good and does a fair amount of respect to the series on which it's based i don't really give a fuck what actor plays him..except for Gyllenhaal I just plain don't like him

Pretty much this as well. My only real concern is that the movie is good and like Snooty said it pay's a fair amount of respect to the series, these are my only two real worries about this movie. As for Gyllenhaal... well I can't say much about the guy cause I don't even know who he is.

I think it's more an issue that there are no Middle-eastern stars that can carry a hollywood blockbuster.

WAH WAH WAH! Look, a good actor can act the part, it helps if he looks it too, but the main goal is that he has to act it. If they thought he was the best actor for the role, then so be it. Besides we would be way more enraged if he showed up in black face.

A lot of people seem to be forgetting that the original Persians were in fact Caucasian.

So actually, it makes perfect sense to cast a white actor as the Prince.

Its odd that I actually don't really care about this. I was annoyed when they cast 21 with a bunch of white actors and actresses when the actually crew the movie was based on was mostly Asian. For this, I guess it doesn't really matter for me since at least Jake Gyllenhaal is into the part and looks like the Prince in the games. Its a non-issue; they found a bankable actor who's into the part and looks like the character.

This isn't really racism (Though people can go ahead and argue it if they want) just the executives and producers felt he was a better choice than anyone else.

Hell its better than what Hollywood has done in the past with having John Wayne as Genghis Khan and Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

I'm pretty sure Yuri Lowenthal and Nolan North weren't Persian either... could be wrong though... been wrong before.

The chances of finding a good actor who speaks fluent english with the physicality required to at least look like his stunt doubles or CGI stand-in who is also persian and anything resembling a big name is almost nil. But make no mistake, that last bit is the entire purpose of jake gyglahgarlbasr being the prince of persia.

Ben Kingsely played fucking ghandi, though. I think hes ethnic enough.

I suppose one of the reasons they didn't cast a Persian for the role is that they couldn't find one that fitted... dunno about you guys but I don't know many good Persian actors. :)

Woodsey:

Yeah, and sometimes they get Brits to play Americans and Americans to play Australians and Australians to play South Africans.

That's why it's called acting. If this whole thing is going on skin tone, there's not an overly compelling argument; if you search for Persian guys on Google then there's not much difference. Admittedly facial features move away from "general Caucasian" but this guy's argument is limited at best.

The reason people are upset or annoyed about this is because whitewashing happens all the damn time. Sure, in this particular case the Prince already looked Caucasian and the visual difference between white guys and Persian guys isn't as marked as between, say, white guys and Asian guys. However, it's part of a larger trend that makes it difficult for Asian, Middle Eastern, and Latino actors to get recognition and jobs.

For instance, the Avatar cast has been turned into white kids for the movie; a white guy is being cast as Genghis Khan in an upcoming biopic; the movie 21 (came out a few years ago, was apparently pretty bad) was reasonably close to reality except the kids it was based on were all Asian (and who also used racism to pull their scam off, which makes whitewashing the movie doubly funny/sad). There's a lot of examples here.

The first thing I thought when reading this was about the Airbender movie. Then it was brought up. Good stuff. I don't know about Prince of Persia, but man did I have a rage about Aang from Airbender being caste by a Caucasian. The entire cartoon made a pretty strong statement about the different nationalities and races of everyone.

Oh well, I can always wait for the "Avatar: The Last Airbender" Bollywood movie, in solid Mandarin. All Asian actors, with Jackie Chan in there somewhere (maybe as Iroh or something ballsy like that) to gain reputation.

I guess their plan is to combine the plot of Sands of Time with the style of the newest game.

Jehanzeb Dar:
This part really needed to go to someone who's Persian. It's not only insulting to Persians, it's also insulting to white people. It's saying white people can't enjoy movies unless the protagonist is white.

Does anyone care, really? If you can look past something as petty as race, then that means you're enjoying the experience. Be glad the film is out-right insulting the people they're trying to portray. I mean, it's not like the Blackface era.

The Prince has been white since around 1989, I see no problem with him being white in the film 20 years later.

I think that actor fits the role nicely. He LOOKS like the Prince from the GAME which the movie is loosely based on, and he SOUNDS like the Prince from the game. Why the hell people care what his ethnicity is?

BarbaricGoose:
No one ever complains about Blackwashing.. Like when Samuel L. Jackson was cast as Nick Fury?

That fury and most of the newer film cannon is based off the ultimate story line where they redid EVERYTHING....................

BarbaricGoose:
No one ever complains about Blackwashing.. Like when Samuel L. Jackson was cast as Nick Fury?

Or Halle Berry as Catwoman?

It's not like they are having Mickey Rooney play a stereotypical Asian landlord...

Anyone remember The Forbidden Kingdom? Now that was a case of blatant white washing that annoyed me to no end. Every time I was having fun watching Jet Lee and Jackie Chan do their thing and be awesome while doing it, boom! a damn 15 year old white kid shows up and ruins the moment.

Do you know that's the first thing I thought when I heard about the casting...he is supposed to be the prince of PERSIA!

Sigh...can't have a positive portrayal of an Arab in a major motion picture perhaps? ;-)

While The Last Airbender has some actors of considerably questionable ethnicity, I never saw it as a problem that the Prince of Persia is Caucasian. With the dark hair and beard he pulls off the role very well, at least from what I've seen. It's a pretty far cry from "the Prince of Persia is racist!"

Well I think its racist that Mr. Dar thinks a white actor can't act in a persian role. I mean Samuel L. Jackson does a pretty good job at being this guy:
image

And also:

Cheesebob:
Isn't the Prince white in the games?

This?

rembrandtqeinstein:
Prince of Persia was miscast but not because of whiteness...it was miscast because the lead should have been David Belle http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1042642/

Exhibit A:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x98jCBnWO8w (if someone can tell me how to embed the video I would appreciate it)

David Belle IS the prince in real life. If you haven't already see B13, IMO the best action movie of the 00s

To embed the vid:
Type: [ youtube=x98jCBnWO8w ] without the spaces. the numbers after the = are the same as the ones after the = in the original URL

EDIT: I only watched the first 2 minutes but that guy is parkour king

I normally don't care so much about such ethnic issues but I did consider it in this case the first time I saw the previews...

...Prince of PERSIA is white... huh.

Spacefly:
Well I think its racist that Mr. Dar thinks a white actor can't act in a persian role. I mean Samuel L. Jackson does a pretty good job at being this guy:
image

Samuel L Jackson's Nick Furry is based off the Ultimate Marvel version, which itself is based off L Jackson.

Grr I hate the wording of the people complaining in this article so much;

Cusasian: an INCREDIBLY obsolete racial term, you may as well call a black person "negroid" it is also misrepresentative, the region of the Caucasus has no significance in the origins of the lighter skin tones. The term people are struggling for is: Racially Northern European

(It means nothing to say Jake is from Los Angeles, the NATIVES of that region (racially) are American Indians. Jake is racially European the majority of the population of the United States is, though Los Angeles is now what... 35-40% Hispanic? More relevant to mention that his last name, Gylenhaal, is distinctly Swedish)

Persian: Also, not a fucking race. It is an ancient country and/or empire that encompasses DOZENS of different highly distinct races, including many of fair skin and light eyes.

Whitewash: means something completely different in the UK, nothing to do with race, it means a coverage or analysis of an incident which covers up (usually through tactful language) the causes and responsibility of problems to protect favoured individuals. So if this guy just invented that terms maybe he should google it first to check if some people aren't already using it.

Who gives a fuck about race anyway? Especially about something as anal as the INCREDIBLY SUBTLE differences between Europeans and Middle Easterns. It's not like the difference between Sub Saharan or East Asians. Show me the middle eastern actor who REALLY wanted that role and could have done it but was turned away because the director was racist.

I think people should rather be asking why the film was so fucking boring than whether Jake Gylenhaal looked Middle Eastern enough.

Generic_Dave:

Sigh...can't have a positive portrayal of an Arab in a major motion picture perhaps? ;-)

Mcface:
It's dumb, but so is casting the whitest man in the world to play a Persian.

Good to see that people never read these threads.

Me and another person have already explained the very relevant historical reason for an ancient Persian prince being played by a white actor.

It's dumb, but so is casting the whitest man in the world to play a Persian.

Stabby Joe:
I normally don't care so much about such ethnic issues but I did consider it in this case the first time I saw the previews...

...Prince of PERSIA is white... huh.

Spacefly:
Well I think its racist that Mr. Dar thinks a white actor can't act in a persian role. I mean Samuel L. Jackson does a pretty good job at being this guy:
image

Samuel L Jackson's Nick Furry is based off the Ultimate Marvel version, which itself is based off L Jackson.

Oh right... I didn't know that but there are other examples, that was just an extreme example I thought of straight away because of Iron Man 2

Jesus Christ, people! This has been going on since... erm, well, Jesus Christ!

Seriously, the Anglicanization of Jesus (a Jew, after all) has been happening since the Dark Ages. It's called 'playing to your audience'.

And to be honest, I don't see how this is deletorious to the Persians. If it were a historical reenactment, you could (and should) argue that, for authenticity's sake, the races should be properly represented (stipulating that that might not even change things, as noted above in this thread); however, this is a mindless, popcorn action-fest with ZERO to do with actual events. In fact, my understanding is that- other than the setting- there isn't much 'Persian' about it. Could be wrong tho, since I haven't read up on the movie. Besides, it's not like Iran would've gotten a cut of the actor's salary if he was Persian, or that most people even realize that 'Persia' and 'Iran' are interchangable. I'm sure if you asked your average schmo standing in line for the film what 'Persia' was, they would say "some empire back in Roman times" or "somewhere out in the Middle East", rather than being able to provide accurate information.

Sad? Kinda, I suppose. But all and all, a tempest in a teapot.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here