Critic Accuses Prince of Persia of "Whitewashing"

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Really? Really? Wow, I guess this shows how poorly educated people in the film industry are these days. Persians ARE Caucasian. They have a slightly different skintone due to environmental factors, but complaining about casting a tanned American as PoP is like complaining about casting an African American as a Zulu Tribesman.

Does it matter? I don't think the di'kut Jehanzeb Dar ever complained that Leonidas (a greek) was played by a scotsman, does it really matter in the grand scheme of things? I suppose he'd complain that the Na'vi in avatar weren't played by actual 12 foot tall blue aliens or that chewbacca was not played by a bear

shadow skill:

DTWolfwood:
...

Guess not...On topic though I took a look at the trailer for Last Airbender.....How did all of those white people get cast when at least two of the principle characters are pretty dark especially for an Anime? I hope the movie doesn't suck because the show was actually pretty good given the little I saw of it. What is even weirder is that it aired on Nickelodeon and really wasn't that "kiddy" of a show from the little that I saw.

the Fillers are crazy kiddy. but when it got to the story line it was pretty deep. All the more reason y i love this AMERICAN cartoon :D

Really tho the only ppl in the show i really considered fully 'asian' where those of the Earth Kingdom. Water tribe could be Eskimos, Fire nation could be anything really, and yeh the Airbenders look like buddist monks but really the whole of the Universe was asian inspired but never was explicitly oriental. Ill give them that much for now. But if the Earth Kingdom wasnt asian (with a city name of Ba Sing Se, and a lake named Laogai) I really would cry foul play then.

gyllenhaal looks like the prince and can act, good pick me thinks :P

This is an incredibly stupid criticism.

James Bond is a aging Scotsman in the books, yet he's a perma-young smoothy in the films. They pick people for the roles based on talent, not ethnicity, and anyone who does should be forced out of Hollywood.

How about this: we all grant Jehanzeb Dar free license, in perpetuity, to put American characters in his movies (making them as distasteful as he would like) and he can hire as many Persian performers as he would like to play them.

Fair enough?

Either that or they can rename the film and games "Prince of Peoria". That would also be fine by me. It would probably also play well in... well, you know.

Mackheath:
This is an incredibly stupid criticism.

James Bond is a aging Scotsman in the books, yet he's a perma-young smoothy in the films. They pick people for the roles based on talent, not ethnicity, and anyone who does should be forced out of Hollywood.

good point but its white on white.

They had this kind of angry lamentation when the Memoir of a Geisha came out with an all chinese cast (with the exception of that one japanese dude) playing the japanese. in the west everyone was like "Asians playing asians whats wrong there?" in the east Japan and China damn near banned the movie (much animosity still between the 2 countries) so its a matter of perspective and from what nation you representing.

the end of the day though the argument here is a moot and frivolous one at best. Because this was an American game based on a people that no longer exist (in name) with a leading character that, if your were to say is white you can most definitely get away with.

Talent > Ethnicity for sure!

I'm insulted that the movie is guaranteed to suck, not by the actors they chose.

Aureli:

Hurr Durr Derp:
image

You know, if you look carefully, even though their skin tone is wrong, their facial features are correct.

It's disgusting nonetheless.

Although would it be wrong if Jamie Foxx played the prince, i mean, i love that guy.

Wow.. Im truly stunned.. Who the flock cares what colour the main character is?? As long as the movie is good, it could have been a 8 foot african aussie with a irish dialect wearing diaper for all i care..

This only goes to show how little it takes to insult people these days.. And people throwing such things out in public are only a bunch of PR media horny sobs in my opinion that should get a real day job..

Well I've just come home from seeing the movie at the cinema, and I was pretty impressed. Regardless of ethnicity it was the best film adaptaion of a game thus far, maybe because the game didn't have much to do with it.

Samurai Goomba:
I find it funny anyone would be willing to defend Hollywood from these claims. They've been whitewashing for the last 50 years or more. It's to the point now where we're actually surprised when they DO keep authentic ethnicity in mind when casting characters for a movie.

That said, there's not much anyone can do about it. And it's more important that the movie is good than that it is accurate. Besides, it's based off a freaking video game. So I'd say it's not going to be either good or accurate (based on the current track record games have).

Exactly.... and not only this, but we're perfectly fine with finding a bunch of Persian and middle-eastern people to play terrorists and random bodyguards for our white heroes to shoot and take down.... but do a movie where one of them is the GOOD GUY and he has to be white.

Also, Jake Gyllenhall isn't exactly an 'action star', so the whole "he's a bankable actor that can carry a summer movie" is a complete line of bullshit.

Canid117:
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.

That movie is a personal favorite of mine, it was pretty fantastic but the fact that it's set in an ancient traditional Asian area didn't explain the amount of actors who happened to be white. At least the fights were good.

OT: Someone's already stated that he matches the game character AND that Persians are white. Maybe this guy should go find Jordan Mechner and ask him about his "blatant white washing" in the original Prince of Persia.

....And the critic does know that persians ran the gambit of color right? from light tanned, to dark tanned to straight up black....Right?
From the games we have no real ideal of what he looked ethnicly but they have made GyllenHaal look quite a match for most images we've seen for prince of persia games.

As well any one that has seen avatar the last airbender knows that they do not look uniquely asian at all...they all look white...

The argument is there, but it's stronger for Airbender, in which a clearly asiatic world was designed. In Prince of Persia, the games (or most of Ubisoft's works for that matter) ever put a heavy emphasis on the casting.

Skipping 9 pages:

I think they should have gone with a Persian actor myself, but at the same time, you give the role who does the best job if you can get away with it. This is a case where they could get away with it.

As for the games, the Prince and other cast have Persian features, though Forgotten Sands is trying to hybridize the Sands of Time Prince with that of the Gyllenheimal. Still, his brother and the other characters? Clearly Persian.

As for Avatar, yeah the setting is Asia inspired, but considering everyone has huge-ass eyes I never thought of them all as being Asian anyway.

There was a time when woman were not allowed on stage and men had to act out the female parts of a play.
There was a time when the colour of one's skin gave them a class that they didn't deserve.

This is a time where it shouldn't matter what colour your skin is, or where your from.
We are all equal and does it really matter if the person is white or black or whatever.

Will Smiths son is the next karate kid, and i recall the karate kid being some white punk.
So i guess to say .. actually Jehanzeb Dar is the racist.
Its insulting to have white people depict a movie based off a video game which will most likely suck since there rarely is a good movie based adaption of a video game.

Not to say there isn't a good Persian actor to do that part.. we saw a pile of nobodies in 300 make a good movie.. then again he did gamer after that and that kinda sucked.. soooo

I don't care if they have Jack Nicholson playing Sun Tzu, as long as the actor does a good job it doesn't matter.

Sure it might be a little distracting if you had Will Smith doing Hamlet surrounded by white people, but if you enjoy the film, something like an actor's appearance shouldn't matter.

Is anyone really surprised, it's Disney, the company that created such wonderful characters like Uncle Remus, the magic negro. Hollywood has been whitewashing for since the beginning, some times its just for cost cutting measures (remember when latinos used to play most asian parts? it was cheaper to hire locals) but most of the times it to cast the star with the most backstage power or biggest ego.

FYI Samuel L Jackson was casted as Nick Fury because Ultimate Nick Fury was modeled off Samuel L Jackson's apperance. His casting of Nick Fury is actually probably the most accurate casting job ever.

I also agree with a previous poster, they should have gotten one of the French parkour guys from District B13 (watch it on netflix instant queue, its a great little French actioner).

Well, I suppose they were just being faithful to the game where the Prince looked quite Caucasian for no reason.

However, I can give a historical explanation for this "White-washing". Western kings have ruled over Persia in the past. During the Hellenistic period following Alexander the Great's conquest of Persia, numerous Greeks rules lands stretching from the Mediterranean to Afghanistan. (However, exactly how "White" these "Greeks" were is entirely unknowable due to the incredible ethnic influx and mixing during the last two thousand years. But that's a different issue.) If this movie takes place during the Seleucid period of Persia, the royal family and most nobles would be ethnic Greeks speaking a western language, even if they ruled over an Asian territory.

(Checks and discovers that this movie takes place in the Sixth century.)

Okay, that explanation is out, sorry. By then Persia was ruled by the Sassanid Empire, and was in bloody rivalry with the Eastern Roman Empire. These rulers were extremely ethnic Persian, and probably did not look "White". The plot of the movie says that the Prince was an adopted street urchin, so he easily could have been descended from either Greek colonials left over from the Hellenist period, Roman soldiers at the frontier, or just merchants coming out from the Mediterranean. It is possible, just very unlikely.

The original prince of persia was blonde, wasn't he?

Case closed, its silly.

Oh and he isnt being racist by taking note of the colour of skin *DING DING DING*, idiot.

WHAT? prince of persia is about persian people?
the movie just needs one thing...TO LOOK AND FEEL like the GAME!
and when i look at the "white non persian guy" i got that vibe...so F U unknown whiner!

Now i just hope the movie turns as good as it looks :D

Should we really care? Just because the title has "Persian" in it, doesn't necessarily mean that we need a Persian to play the character. Jake looks as close to the game character as you can get, and I have no doubt that the movie will be awesome, so why should I care about whitewashing anyways? It doesn't offend me at all. What does offend me, is people who point this stuff out, just stfu and enjoy the movie.

I don't think the BIG and EVIL Hollywood executives deliberately tried to be racist. They are out to make money and Jake Gyllenhaal is a big name and will probably rein in a few bucks.

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

image

Looks so to me atleast....

Really, we don't have bigger worries then this?

That's great news!

What bugs me the most (for some reason) are the fake English accents.
Why not fake Persian accents?
You expect them to totally screw up the casting but if you're going to make everyone fake the wrong accent, just work without the accents(everyone's natural accent).

The guy in the games in not even close to Persian >.>

Who funded the movie? Who came up with Prince of Persia?

well if they remade the war of worlds set in America/Britain/etc etc with just persian actors I'd be annoyed.

Not sure if this has been mentioned, but you think the comments might be motivated by the fact that Gyllenhaal is Jewish? I mean modern day Persians (who are now Iranians, as far as I can tell) are not exactly known for getting along with the Jews.
I guess what I'm asking is if Jehanzeb Dar, a person I admittedly know nothing about, is himself racially motivated in bringing this up.
Or is this opening a whole can of racist worms that should have stayed closed?

sosolidshoe:
Persians ARE Caucasian

I LOLed sooooo hard at this XD

image

Read BEFORE you post.

My gods, this thread had become a trainwreck of stupidity before it hit the fourth or fifth page. Everything anyone has said from about pg.4 on, has already been covered. Each concurrent page just looks like a copy-paste of the previous. Used to be a time when Escapists were a better class of forum-goer. Where people read the posts others wrote before adding their two cents. When a thread would grow from page to page, forming a long debate that continued in a definite direction.

This... This is not Escapist grade posting. This is a bunch of third-graders yelling their opinions on a subject while they plug their ears to what others are saying. This, people, is why the "celebrity" members rarely post anymore, why nobody bothers to present a well-worded beefy post. Put simply, if you can't be bothered to read what others have said before you, piss off, don't post. If you won't give them the time of day, why would they care what you have to say on the matter?

/rant

persians are white dumbass

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

persians are white dumbass

Dark Templar:

sosolidshoe:
Persians ARE Caucasian

I LOLed sooooo hard at this XD

Why?

Morty815:

Dark Templar:

sosolidshoe:
Persians ARE Caucasian

I LOLed sooooo hard at this XD

Why?

Because it makes the entire complaint redundant. I find that funny.

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