1. Not only did a Latino actor not play Tony, who clearly in real life looks like a Chicano, but his ethnicity is stolen from the Latino community at a time when Latinos have been demonized. Our real Latino national heroes if acknowledged would dramatize our patriotism and contribution to the United States…

    In “Argo” we have yet another instance where the public has been denied of an opportunity for all Americans to learn of an American Latino’s valor, talent and patriotism. This occurs because there has been no consequence to this behavior. It is time for a change.


    Moctesuma Esparza on Ben Affleck’s Argo and the White-Washing of the Mexican-American.  Esparza says:

    The film actually goes out of its way to obscure Tony Mendez’ ethnicity. His name (Mendez) is mentioned only once and the character says he is from New York (Tony was born in Nevada from a mining family with six generations in Nevada and raised in Colorado). Nowhere in the movie does the viewer get that the hero is Mexican American. 

    Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Antonio “Tony” Mendez was very contained and had very little range, I don’t know what Tony personality is like to judge the portrayal but this did not impact the movie’s success or failure. It was an excellent role that would have elevated a Latino actor like Benjamin Bratt or Michael Peña.

     Instead, like with the story of Guy Gabaldon, whose extraordinary achievements in the WWII Battle of Saipan,  capturing, by himself, 1800 enemy soldiers, more than any other  American soldier in the history of our country, was similarly white-washed as Jeffrey Hunter played him in the 1960 film, “Hell to Eternity.”  But that was more than half a century ago, Argo is now

    In the closing credits, the photos of the real people portrayed are presented side-b- side with the actors’ photos showing the very close resemblance and care that was taken in the casting process to cast actors who looked like the real people. Yet, for the key role of Tony Mendez, the director/producer Ben Affleck chose a single long shot of Tony with President Carter where his image was not distinct or recognizable, breaking the pattern he had chosen for all the other real people depicted. 

    (via racebending)

    White privilege is being able to star in a person of color’s life story. See also: Angelina Jolie in A Mighty Heart and almost everyone in 21. Nevemind. I should have made a separate post. Sorry, folks.

  2. One of the ancient ploys of the film industry is to make a film about non-white people and find a way, however convoluted, to tell it from the point of view of a white character.

    Film critic Roger Ebert on Hollywood in his review of “Flowers of War”

    “Can you think of any reason the character John Miller is needed to tell his story? Was any consideration given to the possibility of a Chinese priest? Would that be asking for too much?”

    (via racebending)
  3. masteradept:




    1/5. Why you should see “La Bayadere”

    The drama: Love triangle story that ends in death

    i was extremely confused and for a minute i’m like

    why would all these indian people have white makeup on

    then i realized it was just white people

    and now i has a sad

    Yeah, I’m not about that cultural appropriation life. Fuck that, you want to support actual Indians doing classic Indian dance without the whiteness? Check out Kuchipudi Kalanidhi, a classical Indian dance company. My mom is good friends with the instructors and they are absolutely amazing live.

    Still makes no sense to me why there are only white people in this..

  4. Well this is not surprising at all. Colorblind casting by the Royal Shakespeare Company for “The Orphan of Zhao”, a Chinese play, resulted in a cast that is predominantly white and with all the leading roles played by white actors. Of course, the RSC has defended their decision as neutral and fair:

    The RSC defended its decisions on two counts. One is that they saw “lots and lots” of East Asian actors but in the end opted for “colour blind casting” and simply cast the “best actor for the role”. Generally, Joe Public is satisfied with this response, but a closer examination will reveal that the actors playing leading roles at the RSC are usually in the British classical theatre “circuit” which is very much a “no go zone” for East Asian actors.

    East Asian actors can generally only audition for poorly written tokenistic roles, often in awful broken English and possessing not a jot of the wit, charisma and sex appeal of a Harry Hotspur, a Jack Worthing, a Hedda Gabler or even a Horatio. This makes it nigh on impossible for an East Asian Actor to build a track record that would make a company like the RSC feel secure in casting them in a lead role. I fully support casting “the best actor for the role” but only when there is a fully level playing field for the “best” to be assessed fairly. I also support “colour blind casting” but only as a mechanism for creating opportunities for actors from minority groups for whom chances are few and far between–not as a means of protecting those opportunities for the dominant social demographic.

    That’s precisely the problem with colorblind policies of any kind—they assume POC and whites are starting on a level playing field, which is demonstrably false. If employers don’t make a conscious effort to hire minorities, then they’re contributing to a vicious circle in which minorities who are historically underrepresented in an industry are guaranteed to remain underrepresented.

    As well, this kind of whitewashing of roles promotes the idea that race/ethnicity consists of nothing more than putting on the right costume or makeup, that POC are just white people + something else, that whiteness is neutral. Whitewashing is just the ‘PC’ version of black/brown/yellowface (and sometimes, as in the case of Cloud Atlas, they go hand-in-hand).

    Whitewashing is an assertion of white supremacy. Think about what the casting decisions for “The Orphan of Zhao”, Cloud Atlas, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Prince of Persia really signal: the people in charge not only think people of color aren’t good enough to be leads, but they aren’t even good enough to play themselves.

    Finally, the fact that whitewashing still happens these days (and frequently too) means that white people have zero right to complain about a hypothetical black James Bond or Asian Doctor Who. Any honky who does can take a flying leap off the fucking planet.

  5. Erace: (v.) To cast movie roles with Caucasian actors.


    M. Night Shyamalan’s ludicrous decision to hire white actors to fill the principal heroic roles of “The Last Airbender” — the gigabudget live-action adaptation of a hit animated series whose aesthetics, ideas and iconography are all deeply rooted in Asian culture — prompted a massive grass-roots protest campaign rallying fans to boycott the film’s July 1 release. Sadly, neither that effort nor widespread critical dismissal did much to dim the film’s opening: It earned $70 million over the Fourth of July weekend, on its way to a disappointing-but-not-disastrous $319 million global gross.

    This lack of box-office consequences may have emboldened Hollywood producers to engage in further cinematic desaturation. Comic fans were aghast over whispers that Marvel was considering non-Asian actresses for the key role of Japanese American superteen Nico Minoru in its film adaptation of cult-fave comic “Runaways,” while in November, anime fans raged at the proposed players for Leo DiCaprio’s live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s manga masterpiece “Akira,” a cast featuring Morgan Freeman as military hardcase Colonel Shikishima, Zac Efron as hero biker-boy Shotaro Kaneda, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as psychic wunderkind Tetsuo Shima. To accommodate the, er, reimagined cast, the action has apparently been moved from futuristic NeoTokyo to equally dystopian Neo York (though word has it that many of the characters will actually be commuting from Neo Jersey). Rumors that the film will be retitled “Alvin” have gone unconfirmed.

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2010/12/31/apop123110.DTL#ixzz1A6qvc6sa