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Dissatisfaction with racial representation in television and film has become a bipartisan issue. Where once the right of the left, who demanded that more people of color be on screen, was squared off, now some of the right is also criticized for portraying white historical figures by non-white actors. I feel that the portrayal has been slandered.
We were able to see examples of this outrage recently on both sides, and although the circumstances are different, the basic grievance is the same at the end of the day. That race should play a bigger role in how our entertainment is produced. What an incredible mistake.
From left, a character from the animated series Lilo & Stitch, in this case Nani, was cast in a live-action adaptation by actress Sidney Agdon with the skin and features they claim to be a well-worn complaint. rice field. Did not embrace the Native Hawaiian nature of the original characters.
Ok, this is nothing new.
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What is new is the growing eruption from the right over historical figures who were white being played by non-white actors. Especially Netflix productions starring black actresses as Queen Cleopatra of Egypt and Queen Charlotte of England.
Let us stipulate that these figures were historically certainly white. With this kind of colorblind casting going on for decades, why is it suddenly opposed by so many on the right without much mention?
It was only a few years ago that the musical “Hamilton” shook the world with its portrayal of the founding fathers as black and brown. Not only was it celebrated, but it was also celebrated on the right because of its deep patriotic themes.
One thing that has changed is that conservatives say this isn’t really colorblind casting, it’s actually only allowing non-white actors to play white historical figures, not the other way around. is seeing more and more. Needless to say, a white Frederick Douglass is not perceived in the same way as a black George Washington.
This is indeed true, and stems from the “cultural appropriation” theory that non-white culture is effectively owned and controlled by members of a particular identity group, whereas white culture is owned by everyone. No one thinks non-whites in business suits and ties are guilty of cultural appropriation.
But the real issue here isn’t that cultural appropriation is unfair to white people, it’s unfair to everyone. In fact, ironically, this theory benefits white culture tremendously by making it the only one in which everyone is free to participate. No one gets offended when Yo-Yo Ma plays Bach enthusiastically.
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The answer here is not to add white cultures to the list of protected cultures, but to blow away the idea of protected cultures and realize that all of human history and culture belongs equally to all human beings. to accept.
A further and renewed objection to casting non-white actors in white roles is that it is ahistorical, so what is the logical response to this? It’s acting. I’m pretending The purpose of historical movies and TV shows is not to recreate what a live video of the Roman Senate would look like. It’s always interpretative.
Finally, it’s worth looking at this through the eyes of a concerned artist. Another production targeted by Anti-Awakenings is the “Great Performance” broadcast of Shakespeare in the Park, in which a black woman plays the title role of Richard III. This role is her one of a handful of roles considered to be the strongest and finest in the English language. Can only white men really play?
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of course not. Shakespeare’s wonderful words belong to all of us. everyone who breathes.
The colorblind model is not and never is wrong. Skin color doesn’t tell you anything about a person. And that is the reality to which we must return.
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