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Shadow And Act Featured In CNN Story: “White Actors Snagging Minority Roles Causes Furor”

2765436348_86dc11be2eYours truly was one of a few interviewed for a CNN story, regarding the Angelina Jolie/Cleopatra casting backlash – some of which we felt on this blog, when I posted an entry announcing the news of Jolie’s casting (you can read it all HERE).

The piece, titled White Actors Snagging Minority Roles Causes Furor, was written by Lisa Respers France, and it just hit the web, via CNN’s website.

Read it HERE.

12 comments to Shadow And Act Featured In CNN Story: “White Actors Snagging Minority Roles Causes Furor”

  • I can’t wait to see your interview, now that I have cable again I won’t miss it. Geez, backlash over Cleopatra. I have a lot of catching up to do.

    • Actually my contribution to the story is in the article I linked to.

      • Sorry about that Tambay. I just read the article. it wasn’t saying nothing new and I disagree with most of it but it was great that they interviewed you and S & A will get more exposure from it.

  • So many disturbing observations

    Like someone pointed out on the CNN website, the title of the article should have been “Cleopatra is more white than she is Black so there!” because it seems as though, based on that very pervasive argument within the piece, non white people have no basis for which to complain. What’s more disturbing are the comments accompanying the article–apparently no one white understands why this dialogue should even take place when we have a black president! How can Racism still exist…

    The article’s significance is lost on the overwhelmingly asinine and vacuous population. It is unjust to cast white as non whites when non whites are literally starving for quality roles. And for Tyler Perry to be the barometer by which we base the success of a “black film” is monetarily sound but quite sad.

  • As long as Gabrielle Union doesn’t play Cleopatra, I don’t care what black woman they give the role to (hyperbole) but for godssakes let’s give black women actors a chance! If we keep making excuses about raking in $$$ and distribution and white audiences being hesitant to see movies with a black female lead (who is not morbidly obese and being molested by everyone including fried chicken) then how will this paradigm ever change. Change, by definition, means trying something NEW–hopefully until it sticks…I’m really upset about this. It seems that change will only come once we have more black women directors. It ain’t easy though…

  • I totally agree. Hollywood needs to stop being so focused on whiteness. Whether it’s Prince of Persia, Avatar, Genghis Khan… they should be give minority actors work, and they should assume that the American moviegoer can identify with a non-white actor in those parts. About the Cleopatra thing, though. Cleopatra really was Greek, of the Ptolemies (I’m black so I’m not being racist. Just speaking the truth of history.) So that’s so not Black folks should be getting in arms about. It makes us look ridiculous. There are so many false “truths” that we believe in the Black community…and it takes so much for us to really accept that what we believe is not true. For instance try as hard as I can to show folks that the “jumping the broom” tradition really is Irish and not African, Black folks won’t believe it. So I’m sure all of Greece, and even folks in Egypt, are thinking we Blacks are being very historical wrong re this Cleopatra thing. But in other instances, yeah, we should stand up for the minority character.

  • L.P.

    Enough about Cleopatra! Bring on some other African Kings and Queens of note already. There are plenty of those in history, and we don’t have to debate their ethnicity either.

  • John Benson

    Color isn’t the issue – for better or worse (usually worse) big budget hollywood films are all about the already established stars. They’re only concerned with name recognition and the casting almost always suffers. The newest example is Leonardo Dicaprio playing Edgar J. Hoover in Clint Eastwood’s upcoming film. A good actor to be sure, but COMPLETELY inappropriate for this character.

  • Sky Captain

    @Carole McDonnell: For the record, Persians (the race of people in Prince Of Persia) are white, so Jake Gyllenhall’s casting is actually spot-on.

    I will say this though; this Cleopatra movie sounds boring (the subject’s been done to death) so I won’t be seeing it.

  • Miles Ellison

    Interestingly, the Persians were black in 300. They were also monstrously, ridiculously, and stereotypically evil. I Wonder why there wasn’t any “spot on” casting of Jake Gyllenhall in that movie?

  • Sky Captain

    @Miles Ellison: That was Frank Miller’s view of history in his graphic novel and movie, not this one. Study a side-by-side comparison with that of the Iranian President or with the Crown Prince of Iran, and you will see that there’s nor really that much difference at all-sure as hell not enough for everybody to be bitching about it all of the time.

    Incidentally, I wonder where was the uproar about Idris Elba playing a Norse god in the new Thor movie from our community, especially since Norse gods are white?

  • Batare

    Great point L.P., there are ones like Shanakdakhete (about 177B.C. – 155 B.C.) of Kush, Affonso 1 (king of the Kongo 1506 – 1540), Idris Alooma (Sultan of Bornu 1580 – 1617), the list goes on…

    Eqypt is not the only place in Africa where there were rulers. branch out people.