ATR 121 – casting actors, Australian blackface, Derrion Albert, privilege and oppression

Why does Hollywood continue to whitewash movies by casting white actors to play characters that were originally people of color? A popular Australian TV show is being criticized for featuring a blackface skit, but can we apply American attitudes toward race to other countries? Would Derrion Albert’s death be any less of a tragedy if he wasn’t an honors student? Why are people often reluctant to admit the ways in which they experience privilege in addition to oppression? Carmen Van Kerckhove, Tami Winfrey Harris, Thea Lim, and Latoya Peterson discuss.

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2 thoughts on “ATR 121 – casting actors, Australian blackface, Derrion Albert, privilege and oppression”

  1. To be fair, some of the non-iconic characters in pop culture, when all the characters might have been all previously white, end up as black or Hispanic. I’m thinking about the Kingpin, a Daredevil villain, white in the original comic book but black in the movie (and subsequently in the comic). Since there are several Green Lanterns, the one in “our sector” has been black.
    The real issue is whether you do that with a more known commodity, say Lois Lane: http://rogerowengreen.blogspot.com/2006/02/lois-lane-is-negress.html

  2. @Roger Green To be fair that is the most ridiculous argument I have heard in some time. None of the characters you have listed are iconic. That was why the race of the characters where changed to give popular black actors in films that quite frankly needed all the start power they can get because of a lack of a quality script, and John Stewart started off as a substitute Green lantern added to DC in order introduce more minority characters. They did it because they really had nothing to lose.

    On the other hand when the source material takes place in regions of the world where whites are the minority or where themes involved people other than white Hollywood takes liberties to interject white characters.

    I thought the folks at racialious decided to delete posts such as Roger’s since they are dismissive and reactionary?

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