Critic Accuses Prince of Persia of "Whitewashing"

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Is anyone really surprised that someone complained? I've been waiting a long time.

I love how there's always people that cry racism. There was that movie about cards once, in casinos, that no one remembers anymore... But people were all up in arms since the character in the book was asian while the one in the movie was white. This isn't racism, people. It's business. Besides, PoP is set in a fantasy universe. It's not real Persia; this shit didn't actually happen.

I do wish Hollywood would stop trying to make everyone speak English in movies that are supposed to have a shred of Realism to them (i.e. Valkyrie, Enemy at the Gates). But PoP is hardly realistic.

I tinted the screen, there he's slightly darker!

im sorry, do we need to order a whambulance for the complainers? its a damn movie!

Yeah I saw this on Yahoo yesterday and thought to myself does anybody care, isn't this just a way to advertise your movie freely so far it seems to be working getting everyone rilled up. Being white and feeling the need to be outraged with my own people so I don't look like a racist I realize it's kinda right but they're american films. In Japan the majority or most of the actors will be Japanese same as in other countries most people here are white so most the actors would be white. I think that we should enjoy the fact that we are so diverse we can complain about this sort of thing. And Gyllenhaal is a famous actor, they want a famous actor for the lead role and I can't think off the top of my head right now a famous actor of middle eastern decent equal or greater to the actor they have now. And I could careless about Avatar and Disney's backing Prince of Persia so that really doesn't matter either.

This remind me of Kung Fu, surely David Carradine looks very oriental, also they laid down Bruce Lee for that block and the guy didnt even know any martial arts at the time the series started. Old hollywood buisness old rant; if the actor is good it doesnt matter, if the actor stinks bad for them. Anyway is just prince of Percia, for all i care they could put a potato head as the main character.

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

(nerd)Samuel L Jackson is playing the Nick Fury from... I want to say Ultimate Marvel? In that universe, Nick Fury was black, and based on Samuel L. Jackson, so that is actually Samuel L Jackson playing a parody of himself(/nerd)

OT - I reckon Naveem Andrews would have made a great prince, but damn Gyllenhal looks near-perfect...

Be nice to keep it authentic and all, don't really think it's a problem with white people need to see movies with only white people. Most likely it's more a studio hoping to fill seats with known actors. Given the past history of video game movies I really don't blame the studio.

The flippancy with which most of you approach this undeniably serious topic both amuses and disturbs me. But white arrogance aside, I can't help but support in Walter Chaw in his speculation:

"You could say that it's harmless, escapist fun for stupid people, but I do wonder how a movie produced in Iran with an all-Persian cast about, oh, the signing of the Declaration of Independence would play in Providence?"

The Persian civilisation died out over a thousand years ago, we have little idea what race they actually were and its often misconstrued that they are the same as the arabs that now inhabit the area.

Interestingly, the word 'aryan' was first used by the Persians (in particular during Xerxes' era) to describe their race... so perhaps this is not so wrong after all?

Hmm, doesn't it make sense that a game produced in a country would feature actors from that country simply because they're easier to find?

This is why racism exists, because people create it out of nothing.

That being said, I can't remember ever seeing a Persian actor, or at least one capable of holding a starring role.

saintchristopher:

Incidentally, I never liked the idea of Gyllenhaal in this role. I'd suggest a replacement, but can anyone name an actor from the middle east off the top of your heads? Sayid from LOST is all that comes to mind.

And the funny part is that he's an Aussie of Middle Eastern descent Brit of Indian descent. My bad.

Anyway, I think the guy has a fairly decent point about the whole whitewashing thing (the plot of "Prince of Persia" does draw some inspiration from a similarly-themed movie called "The Thief of Baghdad", which had a white guy playing an Arabic prince, so this sort of thing goes back quite a ways), but I don't think it was racism on the part of the studio or the directors (at least not overtly). Gyllenhaal's a good actor, who's been in some commercially successful films, and just seems to fit the role.

Incidentally, "Thief of Baghdad" is pretty awesome, if a little cheesy, and did have a popular-for-the-time Iranian actor named Sabu (in the sidekick role...sorta) who did runny-jumpy-climby stunts. It could have been awesome if the studio tried banking on someone like that nowadays.

The_Healer:
The Persian civilisation died out over a thousand years ago, we have little idea what race they actually were and its often misconstrued that they are the same as the arabs that now inhabit the area.

Interestingly, the word 'aryan' was first used by the Persians (in particular during Xerxes' era) to describe their race... so perhaps this is not so wrong after all?

Iran is supposedly a bastardization of the word Aryan.

It's odd, casting a white guy to play the prince is a bad thing, yet casting a black guy as Heimdall in the upcoming Thor movie hasn't raised any eyebrows, and he is literally described as the white god.

It's pretty annoying, yes, but there has been much worse examples of white washing...

Didn't, what's his name, Stallone once play fucking Genghis Khan?

Fuck, not Stallone, I forget his name. The aikido cop guy who ends up beating the shit out of everyone instead of being, you know, a policeman.

I won't get into the pedantics of it all but ancient Persians did not appear the same way as modern ones do nowadays. Here in the west we have some major misconceptions about what the middle east is/was like, as evidenced by the way everything in entertainment is painted over with this archetypal "Arabian Nights" theme. That's what happened with Alexander and the movie sucked.

Sure they probably could have found a truly Persian actor for the role of the prince, but does that make it a bad film just because they didn't? I don't think so. Gylenhaal is half Jewish by the way, if that makes you feel any better, although they aren't really that culturally or historically related either...Anyway, don't worry about that crap, just go see the movie for yourself.

Uhh... I wish Hollywood would prove that they are not just "Story Corp." (a cookie to if you know what I am talking about) and do something that would be more correct thematically and not something that will get them more money.

Of course how much star power does, "that guy from Day after Tomorrow" have?

Oh come on, it's Prince of Persia, not Prince of Persian Rugs and Drapes.

But seriously, I kid. Name one big name Persian action hero.

Bingo.

Gyllenwhatever will put seats in chairs, both gaming males AND the females. Hence, Gyllenguy.

While I haven't watched Airbender, and I'm planning to - I'm pretty certain the Antagonist is white but is now Indian, and the two best friends of the main character were white as well.

Andy Chalk:
"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."

Of course! Because I must not have enjoyed Bad Boys 1/2 enough to have watched them multiple times because I'm white!

*Shakes head* ...fuckin' critics...

Liberal guilt from indie guy, embarrassed to be a part of his culture, etc.

They shoulda cast Antonio Banderas! You know what I'm talkin' 'bout.

Billion Backs:
It's pretty annoying, yes, but there has been much worse examples of white washing...

Didn't, what's his name, Stallone once play fucking Genghis Khan?

Fuck, not Stallone, I forget his name. The aikido cop guy who ends up beating the shit out of everyone instead of being, you know, a policeman.

John Wayne played Genghis Khan once.

Now if only Persia still existed.

*facepalm*

I understand what the man is saying, but that doesn't relieve the stupidity.

EDIT: Apparently Iran is still known as Persia. I just thought the name died with their empire.

Well given that the World of Prince of Persia is completely fictional and has nothing to do with any semblance of reality, why the hell should ethnicity be a matter at all?

That being said the guy in the original PoP game was as white as a turkey sandwich so if they producers of the film really think this may hurt them at all in anyway then maybe they should say they werwe 'paying a parodising homage to the original creation" :3

Seriously, PC-ness can curl up and die! The sooner the better ... people should stop pussy footing about when it comes to things like "what may potentially offend people" ... Does the movie entertain? That should be the criterion on how it should be judged ... but by saying this is a classic case of 'whitewashing' is fucking bat-shit insane.

People who find that the Prince's ethnicity is 'wrong for the part' should drink a glass of concrete and harden the fuck up.

Someone had to play the goddamn race-card. Can't we just sit back and try to enjoy the movie? Why do we have to get all upset over something as irrelevant as the race of the lead actor?

I'm always confused by this sort of thing. Are we really saying that actors should be limited in their roles to those which match their ethnicity? Because I don't think I'd mind seeing the part of Othello being played by a Japanese man for instance.

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

Well, not exactly, he does looks more white than actual Persians, but does not have the ethnics distinctions of Caucasian ones.

Khaiseri:

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

Well, not exactly, he does looks more white than actual Persians, but does not have the ethnics distinctions of Caucasian ones.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Prince_of_Persia_%281989_video_game%29_IBM_PC_Version_gameplay.gif

lol ... unless you're an albino, that guy is definitely 'white'. The only thing that gives him a shred of colour is that fact that his outfit is whiter than he.

M night shamwow is not white though

i guess i am in the minority here, but why did they get a white guy is the first thing i thought when i saw who would be playing him. im not up in a fit about it, but i do think its stupid.

hudsonzero:
i didn't really care about the ethnicity as long as the prince goes about his jumpy platformy business

Don't forget his "fucking up his own timeline" business.

So I assume that in the original Prince of Persia games, the fact that the sprites are based off of a white guy's brother also makes that whitewashing? Or how about in the newer games? Are the voice actors Persian? If not, it's clearly a whitewashing attempt by racist assholes who clearly believe that Caucasians are superior.

Honestly, can we get past this stupid racial paranoia? Drawing attention to this crap is just further proof that we still use race as a defining characteristic, which I have a problem with. Also, although Persians are still an ethnic group, most of them are genetically nothing like the Persians from the period the film is attempting to portray.

I'm so sick of this complaining, especially after the whole 'Boomer/Starbuck is now a CHICK' fanboy rants when the new Battlestar came out.

PaulH:

Khaiseri:

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

Well, not exactly, he does looks more white than actual Persians, but does not have the ethnics distinctions of Caucasian ones.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Prince_of_Persia_%281989_video_game%29_IBM_PC_Version_gameplay.gif

lol ... unless you're an albino, that guy is definitely 'white'. The only thing that gives him a shred of colour is that fact that his outfit is whiter than he.

HAHAHAHAHA! I LOL at that. It was supposed to be a joke, right? But whatever, I do not really know so many people that have white skin, and I definitively do not know any Persian/Asian people, so I guess I may have been wrong.

mabye its because there are not that many good asian actors who speak perfect english. and the movies need big names to draw crowds. and people get tired of seeing jet lee and jackie chan all the time

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