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maestrowork
12-31-2008, 09:04 PM
What I want to see is an Asian in the lead of something that is not a Kung Fun/Martial Art movie or about some Asian country or culture. I honestly cannot think of anything.

African-Americans have come a long way, thanks to trailblazers and box office draws such as Will Smith or Danzel Washington.

Kitty Pryde
12-31-2008, 09:10 PM
What I want to see is an Asian in the lead of something that is not a Kung Fun/Martial Art movie or about some Asian country or culture. I honestly cannot think of anything.

African-Americans have come a long way, thanks to trailblazers and box office draws such as Will Smith or Danzel Washington.


Harold and Kumar go to White Castle! Two Asian lead actors! AND there's a sequel to it!

ETA: And this year, Bruce and Lloyd: Out of Control, starring Masi Oka. It's a spinoff movie of the Get Smart movie.

Cyia
12-31-2008, 09:31 PM
What I want to see is an Asian in the lead of something that is not a Kung Fun/Martial Art movie or about some Asian country or culture. I honestly cannot think of anything.

African-Americans have come a long way, thanks to trailblazers and box office draws such as Will Smith or Danzel Washington.


Wouldn't the trailblazers be more like Sidney Poitier? Will Smith and Denzel Washington benefitted from the doors he started wedging open.

(but you're right about Asian characters, the only one besides Jackie Chan that I can think of is Ken Watanabe (Sp?) and except for the Batman movie he's done the period pieces.)

Satori1977
01-04-2009, 06:12 PM
What I want to see is an Asian in the lead of something that is not a Kung Fun/Martial Art movie or about some Asian country or culture. I honestly cannot think of anything.

What about Brandon Lee in the Crow? He is only half asian, but....lead in a pretty great movie. Action, violence, but not really martial arts, and no asian culture.

Nakhlasmoke
01-04-2009, 06:31 PM
What I want to see is an Asian in the lead of something that is not a Kung Fun/Martial Art movie or about some Asian country or culture. I honestly cannot think of anything.

African-Americans have come a long way, thanks to trailblazers and box office draws such as Will Smith or Danzel Washington.


Thank you!!!

Sorry to say, but the average hollywood movie is way too whitebread for my tastes.

Cyia
01-04-2009, 08:48 PM
What about Brandon Lee in the Crow? He is only half asian, but....lead in a pretty great movie. Action, violence, but not really martial arts, and no asian culture.


And that film is how old???

maestrowork
01-05-2009, 08:50 AM
Wouldn't the trailblazers be more like Sidney Poitier? Will Smith and Denzel Washington benefitted from the doors he started wedging open.

What I meant was crossover or non-ethnic specific leading roles. Poitier was still limited to "black" roles but Smith and Denzel were able to cross over. They can play roles that are not written for or about African-Americans.

I mean, there are famous Asian actors and leads as well -- Yun-Fat Chow or Ken Watanabe, for example, but they're still limited to playing Asian roles. Even Harold and Kumar -- they play to their Asian stereotypes for laughs.

And the Panda in Kung Fu Panda? Voiced by Jack Black!

As for half-Asian actors... they're usually regarded as "white." Keanu Reeves, Brandon Lee, the Rock, for example.

Satori1977
01-05-2009, 08:43 PM
And that film is how old???

So? I didn't read anything about how it had to be in the last several years. It was just mentioned that an asian lead has never been a movie that wasn't about martial arts or asian culture.

Satori1977
01-05-2009, 08:50 PM
What I want to see is an Asian in the lead of something that is not a Kung Fun/Martial Art movie or about some Asian country or culture. I honestly cannot think of anything.


Does it have to be a male actor? Lucy Liu has been in several things, not playing a stereotypical asian chick. Like Cashmere Mafia (her show that got cancelled) or Charlie's Angel. Ok, so there is some martial art type fight scenes, but she is playing a character that was white from the tv show.

MissKris
01-05-2009, 10:52 PM
Does it have to be a male actor? Lucy Liu has been in several things, not playing a stereotypical asian chick. Like Cashmere Mafia (her show that got cancelled) or Charlie's Angel. Ok, so there is some martial art type fight scenes, but she is playing a character that was white from the tv show.

Lucy Lui is exactly who I was thinking of as I read this thread. I've enjoyed watching her in Dirty, Sexy, Money (counfounded cancellation!) as a seriously hard-hitting, yet vulnerable prosecuter-turned Senatorial chief of staff. No Asian references/requirements at all for that role.

Other than her, though, I think the well is dry.

ChaosTitan
01-05-2009, 11:32 PM
I thought this side discussion deserved its own thread. :)

Noah Body
01-05-2009, 11:39 PM
I'm drawing a blank too, though Russell Wong and Rick Yune could probably tackle about anything where ancestry isn't the issue. But look at it this way: In most Asian films, white guys like me are always cast as the villain. I even got offered a part in a Japanese TV series one night while doing the pub crawl in Roppongi, but they settled on a French guy with blond hair and a long pony tail. :D

Oh wait, what about Takeshi Kitano in Johnny Mnemonic? Scraping the bottom of the barrel to recall that one...

CaroGirl
01-05-2009, 11:41 PM
How about Sandra Oh? Her roles in Grey's Anatomy and Sideways weren't specifically "Asian."

She was also fantastic and The Diary of Evelyn Lau, which is an Asian role (biographical) but far from typical.

ChaosTitan
01-05-2009, 11:45 PM
How about Sandra Oh? Her roles in Grey's Anatomy and Sideways weren't specifically "Asian."

She was also fantastic and The Diary of Evelyn Lau, which is an Asian role (biographical) but far from typical.

Thank you! Sandra Oh was the actress I was trying to think of. She was also good in Under the Tuscan Sun.

Stew21
01-05-2009, 11:46 PM
B.D. Wong does a pretty good job of playing roles that don't require him to be Asian.
he's not a headliner, but he does a lot of tv and movie roles that are outside of asian stereotypes.

Jcomp
01-05-2009, 11:58 PM
So far it looks like we can only name some Asian actresses in prominent, non-traditional roles.

This is actually something I was thinking about fairly recently. I remember reading an article a while back where Andy Lau basically said something to the effect of him not accepting offers for Hollywood films because they always want him to play a standard "Asian" character, instead of giving him a role where the race / ethnicity / culture isn't really a primary factor.

maestrowork
01-06-2009, 12:08 AM
Does it have to be a male actor? Lucy Liu has been in several things, not playing a stereotypical asian chick. Like Cashmere Mafia (her show that got cancelled) or Charlie's Angel. Ok, so there is some martial art type fight scenes, but she is playing a character that was white from the tv show.

I suppose Lucy Liu or Sandra Oh (on Grey's Anatomy) are good examples -- but they're still part of an ensemble cast. Still, I admit they're having some success breaking the glass ceiling.

I'm still trying to think of anyone who has a major lead in a feature or an non-ensemble show who is not playing something particularly "Asian" or "martial art," etc. Drawing a blank.

As an actor, I find myself always cast or sent to auditions for Asian-specific roles. Occasionally I get sent to something that calls for "any ethnicity" which is kind of nice. But often if a role is not written for an Asian, I don't get an audition, even if the role doesn't necessarily have to be white or black. I can think of many roles on TV or in movies where, I believe, actors of all colors could have played, but ultimately the roles would end up getting played by a white actor, and occasionally a black actor, and RARELY an Asian actor.

p.s. woo hoo, I got my own thread-split!!!

Cyia
01-06-2009, 12:10 AM
As for half-Asian actors... they're usually regarded as "white." Keanu Reeves, Brandon Lee, the Rock, for example.

Isn't the Rock half African American and half Samoan?

maestrowork
01-06-2009, 12:18 AM
Isn't the Rock half African American and half Samoan?

That makes him half-Pacific Islander, which is usually grouped with Asians. :)

Jcomp
01-06-2009, 12:24 AM
That makes him half-Pacific Islander, which is usually grouped with Asians. :)

But sometimes, some black people can be sort of greedy and tend to abscond with any successful person who has even a hint of black in them, let alone being half. Tiger Woods? Black. The Rock? Black. Obama? Of course.

ChaosTitan
01-06-2009, 12:26 AM
Mark Dacascos (Hawaiian) has played generic leads in a bunch of Sci Fi Channel movies.

Jcomp
01-06-2009, 12:29 AM
Mark Dacascos (Hawaiian) has played generic leads in a bunch of Sci Fi Channel movies.

And he rocked the house in Brotherhood of the Wolf playing a Native American in France... with ninja skills...

maestrowork
01-06-2009, 12:32 AM
But sometimes, some black people can be sort of greedy and tend to abscond with any successful person who has even a hint of black in them, let alone being half. Tiger Woods? Black. The Rock? Black. Obama? Of course.

That always makes me wonder: How do they identify themselves? Does Tiger Woods think he's Asian or Black? How about the Rock? How about Obama? I know Keanu Reeves consider himself half-Asian and he's very in touch with his Asian side in his personal life. But I rarely hear the other ones talking about their Asian heritage as if there's something wrong and hush-hush about it.

maestrowork
01-06-2009, 12:33 AM
And he rocked the house in Brotherhood of the Wolf playing a Native American in France... with ninja skills...

Back to my OP's assertion... ;)

What I'd like to see is an Asian-American romantic lead in a mainstream story without any emphasis on his or her Asian-ness. That's why I was kind of excited to see Grace Park in BSG, or Linsay Price in Lipstick Jungle. In a way, it seems like Asian actresses are having a better time breaking out than the males. Gosh, I don't know how many times I've been asked by casting directors if I knew any martial art.

Cyia
01-06-2009, 12:36 AM
I know Keanu Reeves consider himself half-Asian and he's very in touch with his Asian side in his personal life. But I rarely hear the other ones talking about their Asian heritage as if there's something wrong and hush-hush about it.


That could have something to do with where he was raised. From what I've read, he travelled a lot as a kid - outside the US. Maybe it's a perception or assumption that someone will find fault in the states where there isn't the same atmosphere elsewhere.

Jcomp
01-06-2009, 12:44 AM
That always makes me wonder: How do they identify themselves? Does Tiger Woods think he's Asian or Black? How about the Rock? How about Obama? I know Keanu Reeves consider himself half-Asian and he's very in touch with his Asian side in his personal life. But I rarely hear the other ones talking about their Asian heritage as if there's something wrong and hush-hush about it.

I don't know about the others, but I know there was a mini-ridiculous-overblown "controversy" among the black community for a hot second when Tiger Woods basically pointed out, "I'm not black. I'm mixed." That was way back near the beginning of his career. Since then I think he's largely avoided the subject.


Back to my OP's assertion... ;)

Ha! Well, in defense of that role, by the end of the movie you're hard pressed to find a guy who doesn't have ninja skills. It's a movie set on the cusp of the French Revolution about a monster-wolf (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beast_of_G%C3%A9vaudan) (that appears to be part machine) let loose on the countryside and controlled by some sort of gypsy cult / new-world-order ultimately defeated by a knight (who also has ninja skills) his Native American partner, and some Vatican spies.

In short, it's a pretty good representative of the Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NinjaPirateZombieRobot)trope.

But otherwise, seriously, I can only imagine how frustrated it must be to get pigeon-holed into the same parts over and over based on your race / ethnicity. Asian actors have it very bad from that standpoint.

maestrowork
01-06-2009, 12:53 AM
I don't know about the others, but I know there was a mini-ridiculous-overblown "controversy" among the black community for a hot second when Tiger Woods basically pointed out, "I'm not black. I'm mixed." That was way back near the beginning of his career. Since then I think he's largely avoided the subject.


Meanwhile, the Asians love to claim Tiger Woods as their own when there are no black people around... :) He's voted best role model every year in Asian magazines.

maxmordon
01-06-2009, 12:58 AM
While filling a form dad was asked about his race. His answer? Human. The US government was not amused.

Captshady
01-06-2009, 01:01 AM
Back to my OP's assertion... ;)

What I'd like to see is an Asian-American romantic lead in a mainstream story without any emphasis on his or her Asian-ness. That's why I was kind of excited to see Grace Park in BSG, or Linsay Price in Lipstick Jungle. In a way, it seems like Asian actresses are having a better time breaking out than the males. Gosh, I don't know how many times I've been asked by casting directors if I knew any martial art.

You can always write/direct it, like Kevin Smith.

ChaosTitan
01-06-2009, 01:02 AM
While filling a form dad was asked about his race. His answer? Human. The US government was not amused.

I like your dad. :D

Maryn
01-06-2009, 01:03 AM
As somebody with a serious yen (pun intended) for Asian men, and who has behaved like a perfect lady around Maestrowork, I think it's past time for casting Asian men in leading roles which don't require Asian-ness. The essential problem seems to be that if we rule out the actors who are mixed or who are martial arts titans, that doesn't leave anybody who can put butts in seats, and that's the whole name of the game.

Of course, nobody's giving any of the many Asian actors who are both drop-dead handsome and quite talented a chance to see if they, too, can sell tickets and DVDs.

Only last night we watched a movie in which an American Indian actor had a supporting role--which could have been played by anyone. The role didn't involve his Indian-ness or lack of it. He was just a guy. It was so unusual we commented on it. (Graham Greene in one of the Die Hards.) Why isn't there more of this, giving these actors a chance to shine the way Phil Hoffman and Jack Black did in their earlier small roles?

Maryn, disgruntled

Maryn
01-06-2009, 01:05 AM
While filling a form dad was asked about his race. His answer? Human. The US government was not amused.My dad got into trouble with the US government while filling out a form in the 1950s. Under "Religion" he wrote Druid and some guys in suits came by his workplace to ask him if he was a communist or socialist. Idiots.

Back to the thread.

Maryn, sidetracking

nevada
01-06-2009, 01:07 AM
And he rocked the house in Brotherhood of the Wolf playing a Native American in France... with ninja skills...

Totally off-topic but that movie rocked.

maxmordon
01-06-2009, 01:09 AM
I like your dad. :D

He also hasn't paid any taxes in almost 2 decades to any government thanks to a mistake making him legally two different men.

maxmordon
01-06-2009, 01:11 AM
My dad got into trouble with the US government while filling out a form in the 1950s. Under "Religion" he wrote Druid and some guys in suits came by his workplace to ask him if he was a communist or socialist. Idiots.

Back to the thread.

Maryn, sidetracking

My great-grandpa was a communist and smuggled things from URSS to Spain and France...

Better I shut up since I don't feel I can say much here...

Feiss
01-06-2009, 01:26 AM
What about John Cho? He was in Harold and Kumar, but he was also in Better Luck Tomorrow which kind of spits in the face of asian stereotypes. Also, he was in this UPN sitcom called Off Centre that I loved. I know, UPN right? But John Cho's character was disgusting and great.

Oh...in Dexter, there's Masuoka, who is a forensics specialist who wears hawaiian shirts and is totally perverse.

Margaret Cho had a show for a while, but now she's all into tattoos and forgetting how to be funny.

Also...not to derail with a poet, but Korean slam poet Ishle Park has a pretty amazing point of view: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TdrFilOsQA

And she's on youtube which is superior to TV and movies.

dclary
01-06-2009, 02:56 AM
What I want to see is an Asian in the lead of something that is not a Kung Fun/Martial Art movie or about some Asian country or culture. I honestly cannot think of anything.

African-Americans have come a long way, thanks to trailblazers and box office draws such as Will Smith or Danzel Washington.


I looked around and I could not find any demographical sureys that breakdown the movie-going audience by pigment (I looked at things like
http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/tag/movie-audience-demographics/) so let's presume that the movie-going population in America is even across pigments.

Asian-descent represents 4.4% of the American population. Hispanic-descent is 15% and African-descent is 12%.

That means, out of the 150 mainstream movies that were released in America in 2008, only 7 of them needed to have Asian leads for that pigmentation to be proportionally represented.

This year, Asians were woefull underrepresented, having lead-starring roles in only two films:

Forbidden Kingdom
Harold and Kumar

However they did have a good deal of co-starring roles.



You have to look at directors and producers. When Ice-T and Queen Latifah and Oprah Winfrey decided they were going to make movies for "their" people? That's when "black" cinema in America really took off and became mainstream, I think. In the same way, hispanic actors-turned-producers have driven the increase in Hispanic-starring movies.

It's a natural progression.

Did you know that during development of the series, there was a complaint about the number of women Sulu would get in the Star Trek original series, and Roddenberry replied that he would use the Treaty of Yalta battleship rules to resolve it? -- For every 5 women Kirk and Spock got, he'd give Sulu 2.

Noah Body
01-06-2009, 03:00 AM
Wow, George Takei would really have to work on those acting chops to carry those scenes, had they ever happened.

NVS
01-06-2009, 04:55 AM
I don't recall any emphasis on Lucy Liu's race in Rise: Bloodhunter, which she headlined (does a movie with some sexual content score evenly with a romantic lead?), and her inclusion in Chicago defines "colorblind casting", perhaps even to the degree of taking the viewer out of the movie upon her entrance. Sandra Oh's lead character in Dancing at the Blue Iguana was the only one with major mainstream romantic issues (opposite a Caucasian actor, and neither's race was a component of the movie, despite its deialogue being largely constructed by the actors). The gorgeous Maggie Q's star is rightly on the rise, and her latest films (Deception, the seemingly zillionth Mission Impossible and Die Hard efforts) make no issue of her origins. I was too busy rolling my eyes during Miami Vice to focus on the screen to see if Colin Farrell had any hang-ups with Gong Li's being cast as his, um, "worldly" leading lady. I don't recall any non-Asians in the stunning 2046 or even Charlotte Sometimes (sigh, Matt Westmore...) -- both devoid of martial arts, both full of romance to the point of shaming the quality of American cinema.

NVS
01-06-2009, 05:19 AM
...I forgot China Chow, Mark Walberg's leading lady in The Big Hit (though I remembered a certain locker room scene...). On the male side of things, isn't Rob Schneider half Filipino? I would have to sit through as movie of his to know if his ethnicity has ever been a theme, and I'm just not willing to do that.

MissLadyRae
01-06-2009, 05:23 AM
As somebody with a serious yen (pun intended) for Asian men, and who has behaved like a perfect lady around Maestrowork, I think it's past time for casting Asian men in leading roles which don't require Asian-ness. The essential problem seems to be that if we rule out the actors who are mixed or who are martial arts titans, that doesn't leave anybody who can put butts in seats, and that's the whole name of the game.

Of course, nobody's giving any of the many Asian actors who are both drop-dead handsome and quite talented a chance to see if they, too, can sell tickets and DVDs.


You said it, sister! Rick and Karl Yune were on a roll for a while there but I haven't seen them in much lately (that must be fixed pronto, Hollywood!) and the same with Will Yun Lee who I loved in the Witchblade series but sometimes he falls into martial arts territory also (we will forget the Elektra movie ever happened and hope for a reboot by someone with sense). They're practically all I loved about Die Another Day. And of course Halle and Pierce cause that's a rarity with Bond heh.

Oh! And what about Daniel Dae Kim on Lost? I've never seen the show but he's serious yum and gets some publicity here and there for his role there.

And Tia Carrere in the Relic Hunter series (don't hate, that show was awesome for some a fluffy good time!)

dclary
01-07-2009, 02:11 AM
...I forgot China Chow, Mark Walberg's leading lady in The Big Hit (though I remembered a certain locker room scene...). On the male side of things, isn't Rob Schneider half Filipino? I would have to sit through as movie of his to know if his ethnicity has ever been a theme, and I'm just not willing to do that.

I believe he played a hawaiian in 50 First Dates.

kuwisdelu
01-07-2009, 02:49 AM
Despite their playing to the Asian stereotypes in Harold and Kumar, Kal Penn is getting pretty popular. He's currently a member of the team on House, and I'd look to him getting some starring roles in the future.

Cyia
01-07-2009, 02:57 AM
The last Mummy movie wasn't exactly great cinema, but Michelle Yeoh was the best part of it.

ETA:
Despite their playing to the Asian stereotypes in Harold and Kumar, Kal Penn is getting pretty popular. He's currently a member of the team on House, and I'd look to him getting some starring roles in the future.

THAT's where I saw him before!!! (I never saw H&K, but I saw him in the commercials.)

Noah Body
01-07-2009, 03:17 AM
The last Mummy movie wasn't exactly great cinema, but Michelle Yeoh was the best part of it.

She's usually the best part in anything. :D

maestrowork
01-07-2009, 03:44 AM
The last Mummy movie wasn't exactly great cinema, but Michelle Yeoh was the best part of it.


See my OP on "Asian culture or martial art or..." :) She came close to busting the genre barrier as a Bond girl, however.

Cyia
01-07-2009, 03:57 AM
See my OP on "Asian culture or martial art or..." :) She came close to busting the genre barrier as a Bond girl, however.

I know she was the "martial art" type in that one, but she still stole the show from its stars.

katiemac
01-07-2009, 03:59 AM
Despite their playing to the Asian stereotypes in Harold and Kumar, Kal Penn is getting pretty popular. He's currently a member of the team on House, and I'd look to him getting some starring roles in the future.

Wasn't he the lead in The Namesake?

But per your House mention, television is still pretty white, but it is better at incorporating more diverse casts than the silver screen. (As well as non-chick flick female roles.)

maestrowork
01-07-2009, 06:08 AM
Wasn't he the lead in The Namesake?

But per your House mention, television is still pretty white, but it is better at incorporating more diverse casts than the silver screen. (As well as non-chick flick female roles.)

In that case shows like ER have been doing it long before it became a trend.

Chumplet
01-07-2009, 06:20 AM
I really like Archie Kao (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0438055/) on CSI. I think he has a couple of movies in the tank, and looks to be on his way up.

katiemac
01-07-2009, 08:10 AM
In that case shows like ER have been doing it long before it became a trend.

Right. Television has been a step ahead of the silver screen for awhile.

Daniel Dae Kim is an interesting, whoever mentioned him, even if he hasn't quite broken out. But he's been around for ages, before LOST, and is usually cited right up there with sex appeal same as Josh Holloway or Matthew Fox. He's been in ER, 24, Spider-man, Hulk, Seinfeld, CSI, Star Trek, Law & Order ... nothing specifically Asian except for the Lost role ... yet he still can't get out of the sideline characters.

Grey's Anatomy is another interesting point too, although here I'm delving into African American actors. For being such a diverse cast on and off-screen, it suffered from stereotype, too. Isaiah Washington (black actor) originally auditioned for the role of Dr. Shepherd. They liked Washington enough to create the Dr. Burke character for him, but the "lead" role eventually went to Patrick Dempsey (white actor). This was after Ellen Pompeo (white), the love interest, was already cast. And, if you watch the show, Washington's character eventually dates Sandra Oh's.

Something tells me either the network or the show itself wouldn't have gone for "Dr. McDreamy" as a black man in a biracial relationship. Washington was obviously talented enough for them to make up a character for him but apparently he didn't meet the requirements of a standard love interest.

... Which brings me back to LOST. Yunjin Kim initially tried out for the lead role of Kate (which went to a white actress), and the writers liked her so much they created her and Daniel Dae Kim's storyline. Again, liked her a lot, just didn't see her as the lead caught in a love triangle with two white men.

Claudia Gray
01-07-2009, 08:18 AM
Michelle Yeoh definitely stole "The Mummy 3."

That said, I agree with the original post. We need more variety up there on the big screen. I want female action stars besides Angelina Jolie. I want Asian lawyers besides Lucy Liu. The next time the networks cook up a high-concept show with a charismatic lead and a funny best friend, I want the charismatic lead to be African-American and the funny best friend to be white. Seriously, let's mix it up.

sabo10
01-07-2009, 03:12 PM
I see everyone's pretty much looking to Hollywood here and ignoring some of the great Asian movies that are coming out of Britain. "Bend It Like Beckham" is considered to be the one that really kicked it off (sorry). Then we have Bhaji on the Beach, East Is East and quite a few more. These all deal with British Asian issues, of course. The problem is, if you've got a contemporary setting, race IS going to play a part in the characters' stories.

Cyia
01-07-2009, 04:12 PM
Michelle Yeoh definitely stole "The Mummy 3."

That said, I agree with the original post. We need more variety up there on the big screen. I want female action stars besides Angelina Jolie. I want Asian lawyers besides Lucy Liu. The next time the networks cook up a high-concept show with a charismatic lead and a funny best friend, I want the charismatic lead to be African-American and the funny best friend to be white. Seriously, let's mix it up.


I want Angelina Jolie to stop making action movies period. :tongue

dolores haze
01-07-2009, 04:33 PM
Asian actors can't even get cast as Asian frickin' characters. Anyone else deeply disappointed by the proposed cast of Avatar: The Last Airbender?

And Shyamalan is the director! Wouldn't ya think he'd be a little more likely to cast Asian characters in Asian and Inuit roles?


Avatar casting makes fans see...white (http://io9.com/5111680/avatar-casting-makes-fans-see-white)


P.S. Michelle Yeoh was perfect in the ensemble cast of 'Sunshine.' I'd go watch that woman in ANYTHING.

Captshady
01-07-2009, 06:42 PM
There was a guy in Star Trek 4 that was captain of a ship. He hailed star fleet command, and was talking about creating a "make shift solar sail".

Claudia Gray
01-07-2009, 07:05 PM
Asian actors can't even get cast as Asian frickin' characters. Anyone else deeply disappointed by the proposed cast of Avatar: The Last Airbender?

And Shyamalan is the director! Wouldn't ya think he'd be a little more likely to cast Asian characters in Asian and Inuit roles?


Avatar casting makes fans see...white (http://io9.com/5111680/avatar-casting-makes-fans-see-white)


P.S. Michelle Yeoh was perfect in the ensemble cast of 'Sunshine.' I'd go watch that woman in ANYTHING.

I am so, so with you on the Avatar casting. I mean, what is the point? It's not like taking a Japanese horror movie and remaking it set in U.S. culture -- that sort of thing is fine, I think, and of course works both ways. It's taking cultures that are part of the story and the adventure and whitewashing them. What could they be thinking? It's turned Avatar from a must-see to a must-NOT-see film for me.

ChaosTitan
01-07-2009, 08:16 PM
Something tells me either the network or the show itself wouldn't have gone for "Dr. McDreamy" as a black man in a biracial relationship. Washington was obviously talented enough for them to make up a character for him but apparently he didn't meet the requirements of a standard love interest.

... Which brings me back to LOST. Yunjin Kim initially tried out for the lead role of Kate (which went to a white actress), and the writers liked her so much they created her and Daniel Dae Kim's storyline. Again, liked her a lot, just didn't see her as the lead caught in a love triangle with two white men.

Curious: Do you really see either of them, though, in those other roles?

Washington is attractive, but he's a very intense actor, and (to me, anyway) doesn't strike me as the "OMG-SRSLY! He'sSOHOT" persona they were looking for for McDreamy. Likewise, Kim is a terrific actress and lovely enough to be caught in a triangle (hello, Michael!), but I don't think she has the "tough" quality the Kate Austin character needs.

I think it says a lot about the producers that, even though the actors were not right for the roles they auditoned for, they had roles created specifically for them. Most actors get, "Sorry, no, next!"

katiemac
01-07-2009, 09:54 PM
Curious: Do you really see either of them, though, in those other roles?

Washington is attractive, but he's a very intense actor, and (to me, anyway) doesn't strike me as the "OMG-SRSLY! He'sSOHOT" persona they were looking for for McDreamy. Likewise, Kim is a terrific actress and lovely enough to be caught in a triangle (hello, Michael!), but I don't think she has the "tough" quality the Kate Austin character needs.

I think it says a lot about the producers that, even though the actors were not right for the roles they auditoned for, they had roles created specifically for them. Most actors get, "Sorry, no, next!"

I agree it says a lot about the producers, and I believe Lost and Grey's are still two of the most diverse casts (on and off screen, especially Grey's) on TV.

And no, I don't see them in those roles. But then I wonder if my own perception of them as actors not fitting the role is part of me being white-washed. Which is a secondary point I wanted to make in that thread, but I rambled too much. ;)

darkprincealain
01-08-2009, 11:29 AM
The men of Lost are yummy. Yunjin and Daniel Dae are pretty much steeped in Korean culture in all the flashbacks--a first for him, as he has played characters of pretty much every Asian origin except his own.

Also, let's not forget that Ken Leung is now a series regular. I'm not sure if the role is billed as recurring or starring, but as yet, he has not been scripted stereotypically, if I recall.

I can't wait for the new season to start Jan. 21.

maestrowork
01-08-2009, 08:24 PM
I agree that Ken Leung's character is not stereotypical or even Asian-slanted -- it could have been played by anyone. So that's really good. I don't mind that Yunjin and Daniel are playing more traditional Korean roles, because those are their characters, but it kind of bothers me that Yunjin doesn't really have much of an accent. LOL.

dgiharris
01-08-2009, 08:57 PM
That always makes me wonder: How do they identify themselves? Does Tiger Woods think he's Asian or Black? How about the Rock? How about Obama? I know Keanu Reeves consider himself half-Asian and he's very in touch with his Asian side in his personal life. But I rarely hear the other ones talking about their Asian heritage as if there's something wrong and hush-hush about it.

I think a large aspect of this is how others view them. In the US, if you have 'black' ancestory, you are just regarded 'as black'. I think this is mostly due to the fact that black is about as far away as you can get from white, thus, any mixture is extremely obvious. With the other races, most mixes 'look' white and are much more easily assimulated into the majority.

This view from society is why the vast majority of my mixed friends identify themselves as black, because they are treated as blacks. Sure, if asked specifically they will say "I'm half white/asian/hispanic and half black".


Meanwhile, the Asians love to claim Tiger Woods as their own when there are no black people around... :) He's voted best role model every year in Asian magazines.

I know many of my asian/black mixed friends have problems with acceptance by their asian ancestory so this is nice to hear, I would like all of us to learn to 'get along' and regard each other as equals.


While filling a form dad was asked about his race. His answer? Human. The US government was not amused.

You know, there is a T.V. show called, "What would you do" that showed the other day. It is basically a candid camera meets punk'd. They had one episode where two actors playing the part of migrant hispanic workers who didn't speak english went into a deli (this was in New Jersey) and tried to order something to eat. The guy behind the counter (another actor) was blatantly discriminating against them, telling them to learn how to speak english and to go back to Mexico, we don't serve your kind here, etc. etc. The whole point of this was to judge how the other people witnessing this discrimination acted.

What surprised me was that out of 88 people, about 40 people ignored it and didn't get involved one way or the other. 9 people actually supported the jerk guy behind the counter. And 39 people objected in the defense of the hispanic actors being abused (which was nice to see btw).

I hope one day we all learn that we are all 'human beings'


Asian actors can't even get cast as Asian frickin' characters... This is something that always amazes me when it happens. It's really got to stop.


I think the Asian actresses are having an easier time breaking through (as mentioned earlier).

This may be a little bit of the chicken and the egg, but what is needed is for a 'really asian' person to have a #1 movie that has nothing to do with the Asian stereotypes. And by the 'really asian' I mean someone that has a strong asian look and there is no doubt of his heritage so that we are out of our comfort level in regards to the typical 'look' that should accompany a role.

I think what hollywood will discover is that the public will be comfortable with a strong asian lead and that ultimately we only care about good acting.

at least, that would be my hope

Mel...

caromora
01-08-2009, 09:24 PM
This topic is very interesting to me, as my significant other is of Korean descent and talks a lot about how much the lack of male Asian actors on TV/in movies bothers him. (Was that sentence vaguely comprehensible?)

In any case, I think Daniel Henney (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2024644/) has a good chance of breaking out. He's incredibly charming and handsome, and has a role in the upcoming Wolverine origin movie. He's playing David North/Agent Zero, who I believe is a German character in the comics (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong).

Cranky
01-08-2009, 09:34 PM
This topic is very interesting to me, as my significant other is of Korean descent and talks a lot about how much the lack of male Asian actors on TV/in movies bothers him. (Was that sentence vaguely comprehensible?)

In any case, I think Daniel Henney (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2024644/) has a good chance of breaking out. He's incredibly charming and handsome, and has a role in the upcoming Wolverine origin movie. He's playing David North/Agent Zero, who I believe is a German character in the comics (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong).

Yes, it made sense to me. :)


Wow. My goodness, he's...wow. Verra, verra handsome. I've been wanting to see the Wolverine movie, and now I have extra incentive to check it out. :) And yes, that character is German, AFAIK, and so says Wiki. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_North_(comics))

Ken
01-08-2009, 09:58 PM
...sad if this is the case, but it may not entirely be the result of bias. Directors may just be trying to capitalize on Bruce Lee's everlasting fame by putting out copycat films. Bruce Lee was a legend and has almost become a mythical figure -- for good reason!

maestrowork
01-08-2009, 10:15 PM
This topic is very interesting to me, as my significant other is of Korean descent and talks a lot about how much the lack of male Asian actors on TV/in movies bothers him. (Was that sentence vaguely comprehensible?)

In any case, I think Daniel Henney (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2024644/) has a good chance of breaking out. He's incredibly charming and handsome, and has a role in the upcoming Wolverine origin movie. He's playing David North/Agent Zero, who I believe is a German character in the comics (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong).

He reminds me of a younger Russell Wong. In the trailer I thought it was Russell Wong for a second.

It's great that he's been cast in a German role. I like it when Hollywood breaks away from typecasting. My friend Ming-Na was able to be cast in a few non-Asian roles (such as Trudy on Single Guy) but it also seems to be more difficult for Asian male actors to break out like that, so it's good to see this guy get cast in that role.

mscelina
01-08-2009, 10:37 PM
Casting--period-- is a pain in the ass though--from both sides of the table. In theatre it was even worse, trying to convince theatre directors that it didn't freaking matter what race the actor was as long as they played the role well. I directed a show a few years ago that cast both black and white actors in the same family. It was controversial for that reason alone--but no one could fault the performances the actors gave on the stage.

Film casting, where it's all about looks, is even more difficult--even for a skinny red-headed white girl, some of the comments I got from casting directors still resonate to this day. It never mattered how good my reading was, it all came down to a physical feature or body part in the end. I stayed away from Hollywood on purpose, but New York was enough of a horror scene for me. After about two years, I had an agent look at me and say, "The way you read, you should be a star but I can't get you a damned tuna fish commercial because of your chin."

Yeshanu
01-08-2009, 11:37 PM
I think that's part of why Kung Fu Panda disappointed me. The main character didn't sound even remotely Asian, not just with the accent, but also the writing. It made it hard to believe in the world the film was trying to create.

I personally would like to see more Asian leads in films like romcoms and action movies that aren't martial arts movies. There are a few non-lead roles that stand out for me in the past few months, though--in Nick and Nora, one of the gay guys was Asian, and in Get Smart, one of the geeks was Asian, and in neither of these cases was the race important.

dgiharris
01-09-2009, 01:38 AM
I think that's part of why Kung Fu Panda disappointed me. The main character didn't sound even remotely Asian, not just with the accent, but also the writing. It made it hard to believe in the world the film was trying to create.

You know, the best part in the film was the tortiouse who was Asian if i'm not mistaken.

But yes, I was surprised by the casting of Kung Fu Panda as well.

Mel...

katiemac
01-09-2009, 01:47 AM
Asian actors can't even get cast as Asian frickin' characters. Anyone else deeply disappointed by the proposed cast of Avatar: The Last Airbender?

And Shyamalan is the director! Wouldn't ya think he'd be a little more likely to cast Asian characters in Asian and Inuit roles?


Avatar casting makes fans see...white (http://io9.com/5111680/avatar-casting-makes-fans-see-white)


P.S. Michelle Yeoh was perfect in the ensemble cast of 'Sunshine.' I'd go watch that woman in ANYTHING.


Yeah I thought that was an 'interesting' move myself. Same goes for the Dragon Ball Z live action, where I think the only Asian cast member is one of the actresses.

eyeblink
01-09-2009, 04:09 AM
Gong Li (Chinese) has turned up in some American films, such as Miami Vice.

Ethnicity can be tricky - would you count Cameron Diaz (part-Cuban) or Madeleine Stowe (part-Costa Rican) as Hispanic actresses?

One film that struck me in this respect was One Night Stand from ten or so years ago, which featured Wesley Snipes married to Ming-Na Wen. Not all mixed-race relationships are black/white. In that film, Snipes then went on to have the one night stand of the title with Nastassja Kinski (a white German).

poetinahat
01-09-2009, 04:18 AM
Lucy Liu
Jack Soo, from Barney Miller

Enzo
01-09-2009, 04:44 AM
Ari's gay secretary on Entourage is an Asian, but I don't know his name.

maestrowork
01-09-2009, 09:39 AM
There are a few non-lead roles that stand out for me in the past few months, though--in Nick and Nora, one of the gay guys was Asian, and in Get Smart, one of the geeks was Asian, and in neither of these cases was the race important.

Right, there's Aaron Yoo. He's obviously Asian but the roles he's played so far can be anyone; they're not race-specific: 21, Nick and Nora, Suburbia... and in fact, he made great impression on me because he's so all American and yet he's clearly Asian in appearance. Still, like John Cho before he did Harold & Kumar, Aaron Yoo is limited to playing supporting roles.

Speaking of 21, that kind of pissed me off -- the real story behind the film was about a Chinese-American MIT student who cheated the casinos... but of course, when it came to the movie, they cast a white British kid as an American... It would have been great if they had cast an Asian.

Ken
01-09-2009, 04:27 PM
just watched Tokyo Story, 1953, directed by Yasujiro Ozu.
Great Japanese flick if you get a chance.
No karate, or samurai, stuff.
Just great acting and heart-wrenching portrayls.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo_Story

Satori1977
01-10-2009, 01:11 AM
B.D. Wong does a pretty good job of playing roles that don't require him to be Asian.
he's not a headliner, but he does a lot of tv and movie roles that are outside of asian stereotypes.

I was going to mention B.D. Wong. I love him, think he is a great actor. And I can't remember any roles he played that were "asian". He is really good in SVU as a psychiatrist and was excellent as a priest on Oz. Being a gay asian man, it is probably easy for him to get stereotyped, but he never has been.

Satori1977
01-10-2009, 01:13 AM
Right. Television has been a step ahead of the silver screen for awhile.

Daniel Dae Kim is an interesting, whoever mentioned him, even if he hasn't quite broken out. But he's been around for ages, before LOST, and is usually cited right up there with sex appeal same as Josh Holloway or Matthew Fox. He's been in ER, 24, Spider-man, Hulk, Seinfeld, CSI, Star Trek, Law & Order ... nothing specifically Asian except for the Lost role ... yet he still can't get out of the sideline characters.

Grey's Anatomy is another interesting point too, although here I'm delving into African American actors. For being such a diverse cast on and off-screen, it suffered from stereotype, too. Isaiah Washington (black actor) originally auditioned for the role of Dr. Shepherd. They liked Washington enough to create the Dr. Burke character for him, but the "lead" role eventually went to Patrick Dempsey (white actor). This was after Ellen Pompeo (white), the love interest, was already cast. And, if you watch the show, Washington's character eventually dates Sandra Oh's.

Something tells me either the network or the show itself wouldn't have gone for "Dr. McDreamy" as a black man in a biracial relationship. Washington was obviously talented enough for them to make up a character for him but apparently he didn't meet the requirements of a standard love interest.

... Which brings me back to LOST. Yunjin Kim initially tried out for the lead role of Kate (which went to a white actress), and the writers liked her so much they created her and Daniel Dae Kim's storyline. Again, liked her a lot, just didn't see her as the lead caught in a love triangle with two white men.

I remember reading an article about Kim, how he had never been cast in a romantic part before, never had a kiss before Lost with Yunjin. I think that is sad. He is a great actor (so is Yunjin) and they are wonderful together. I agree with another poster about the hot men of Lost, and he is certainly on that list. I would watch him headline a movie.

poetinahat
01-12-2009, 05:26 AM
Oh, yeah - and not in the acting area, but Ang Lee's doing some notable things as a director, hey?

(If you haven't seen it, see Lust/Caution -- but not with the kiddies. Sensational.)

BenPanced
01-13-2009, 02:22 AM
I was going to mention B.D. Wong. I love him, think he is a great actor. And I can't remember any roles he played that were "asian". He is really good in SVU as a psychiatrist and was excellent as a priest on Oz. Being a gay asian man, it is probably easy for him to get stereotyped, but he never has been.
The closest he's gotten to playing "traditional" Asian was he played Margaret Cho's older brother in her short-lived sitcom All-American Girl. He was a med student in that.

One non-traditional character might be Trixie Tang in The Fairly Oddparents. She's the prettiest, most popular girl at Dimmsdale Elementary, the school Timmy, the main character, goes to; you'd expect her best friend, blonde blue-eyed Veronica would be. She's also voiced by an Asian actress, Dionne Quan.

Kryianna
01-13-2009, 05:29 PM
Romance author and entertainment reporter/critic Candy Havens is at the LA TV Press Tour. She mentioned in her blog that there was a Chinese in film/tv session. Rather appropriate timing for the discussion here. :) I wonder if there's any way to get a transcript or something from the session?


There was a Chinese in film/tv session, which had some great stars. BD Wong (Law & Order: SVU) and I had a moment in the elevator later that day, but it's off the record so sorry. :-) He's a funny and cool guy. (And yes, I know I say that a lot.)
http://candyhavens.livejournal.com/126710.html

darkprincealain
11-02-2009, 10:37 PM
I know this isn't quite what this thread was intended for, because it's an ensemble show again, but John Cho is really doing great work on FlashForward, despite some material which has a few problems.

Sarpedon
11-03-2009, 12:23 AM
I seem to recall a ballet version of Dracula, where Dracula is played by an asian guy. Or did I just hallucinate that one?

Lyra Jean
11-03-2009, 01:29 AM
I know this isn't quite what this thread was intended for, because it's an ensemble show again, but John Cho is really doing great work on FlashForward, despite some material which has a few problems.

I was going to mention this one. I think his character is great.

Cranky
11-03-2009, 04:41 AM
I know it's not a leading role, as he's part of an ensemble cast, but I'd also like to mention Tim Kang. I love him in The Mentalist. Definitely not a character which one *has* to be Asian in order to play, and quite frankly, I love the way he plays Cho. His deadpan delivery and facial expression, even when he's saying something hilarious kills me. And his "undercover" bit last season, when he's picking up a woman in a bar? Fan-tastic. Love him, and hope to see him in more things, bigger things.

Here's a link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgGExB74-H8)to see for yourself. :D

jodiodi
11-03-2009, 09:56 AM
I just adore Asian men and personally, would like to see them in everything. All the time.

I've always found Asian men attractive. Even when I was a little girl and watched Star Trek reruns, I absolutely lived for the episodes featuring Sulu.

Fortunately, I married my own Hot Asian Guy. He laughs and always gives me a "Hot Asian Guy Alert" when we're watching TV or a Movie.

As for me, I'm as lily-white as it's possible to be and not be classified as albino. I wish I could tan. This "porcalina" look is boring.

blacbird
11-03-2009, 11:21 AM
Back to my OP's assertion... ;)

What I'd like to see is an Asian-American romantic lead in a mainstream story without any emphasis on his or her Asian-ness.

I'd like to see this, too. But it's taken American movieness forty years to get to the point where African-Americans are getting non-racially related roles. For Asians and some other ethnic groups, we just don't seem to be there quite yet, regrettably.

But the stepping-stone that Black Americans went through was from the stereotypes of Stepin Fetchit to stories directly related to racial issues to stories in which race increasingly diminished in importance (the stardom of Denzel and Will Smith and Morgan Freeman and Sam Jackson being major examples of such). One of my quiet favorite examples of such development was the much-underrated comedy Mystery Men, in which William H. Macy, one of the most white-bread Middle American actors around, was married to a black woman and had a child and it was absolutely treated as a normal American family, with no fanfare involved at any point.

Remember, it wasn't much different for women until forty years ago, either. And gays are still fighting this battle.

We need this same development for Asian-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and East Indian Americans, the sooner the better. Such a thing was unthinkable in the 1960s. It's become less so now, and I'd bet my firstborn cat it it's going to happen in the next decade or so.

But, the historical record remains, and literature and movies will still reflect those old racial practices, as appropriate for the context of the work. As they should, lest we forget.

caw

eyeblink
11-03-2009, 01:23 PM
I'd like to see this, too. But it's taken American movieness forty years to get to the point where African-Americans are getting non-racially related roles. For Asians and some other ethnic groups, we just don't seem to be there quite yet, regrettably.caw

Not quite what you're asking for, but take a look at the 1997 film One Night Stand. In that you have an African-American (Wesley Snipes) married to an Asian-American (Ming-Na Wen) and they have children. The plot involves Snipes having the one-night stand of the title with a white European woman (Nastassja Kinski). I haven't seen the film since its release, but I don't remember much mention of any character's race. It was nice to see an interracial marriage which didn't involve a white person.

In the UK, we had Parminder K. Nagra as the lead in Bend It Like Beckham (forget about Keira Knightley :)), but it took an Asian-British director (Gurinder Chadha) to make that.

On British TV, a good example of colour-blind casting is Dr Zoe Hanna in the BBC's long running medical drama Casualty, played by Sunetra Sarker. I've not heard a single mention of her character being Asian-British from Liverpool.

maestrowork
11-03-2009, 07:23 PM
It is definitely changing, albeit slowly and sparsely. Ming-Na actually talked about being offered "non-Asian" roles or "roles that were not written for Asians" including Single Guy and SGU. When she got the role in One Night Stand, she talked to me about the casting and was very excited -- I was insanely jealous since she got to work with Natasja Kinski!!! (but the film didn't do well). John Cho's role in Flashforward doesn't sound like it was written as an Asian -- they only mentioned "Korean" like once, I think. And I think Sandra Oh's character in Gray's Anatomy could have been of any race. So I definitely see it happening here and there, but as an Asian actor, I still see a lot of stereotyping in casting, and it's very difficult to break that, especially for an unknown.

Satori1977
11-03-2009, 08:47 PM
I know this isn't quite what this thread was intended for, because it's an ensemble show again, but John Cho is really doing great work on FlashForward, despite some material which has a few problems.

I am loving on John Cho in Flashforward. He used to do such goofy stuff, and I didn't like him. I thought he was a one trick pony (the goofy drunk/stoned Asian guy). Then I saw him in Star Trek and was pleasantly surprised. In FF, he is kinda badass and now, I think he is hot. Don't get me wrong, he was always cute, but now that I know he can act, in a serious role. HAWT.

Satori1977
11-03-2009, 08:48 PM
It is definitely changing, albeit slowly and sparsely. Ming-Na actually talked about being offered "non-Asian" roles or "roles that were not written for Asians" including Single Guy and SGU. When she got the role in One Night Stand, she talked to me about the casting and was very excited -- I was insanely jealous since she got to work with Natasja Kinski!!! (but the film didn't do well). John Cho's role in Flashforward doesn't sound like it was written as an Asian -- they only mentioned "Korean" like once, I think. And I think Sandra Oh's character in Gray's Anatomy could have been of any race. So I definitely see it happening here and there, but as an Asian actor, I still see a lot of stereotyping in casting, and it's very difficult to break that, especially for an unknown.

Not sure if it was mentioned (I read this thread when it started but didn't go back over posts) but Sandra Oh in Sideways was amazing! I adored her character. And no, not an Asian role. I adore her though, she is quickly become a fave actress of mine. I seriously think she can play anything. Give her a role meant for a man and she will pull it off.

Kitty Pryde
11-03-2009, 08:56 PM
Daniel Henney plays a sexy surgeon on Three Rivers, which just started this fall, and he is half-Korean. He's a womanizer and kind of a charming jackass. His character is one of the three main characters in an ensemble cast. Definitely not a traditional role. He's American but he got his start in Korean movies and tv.

JoNightshade
11-03-2009, 09:10 PM
Sort of sideways to the topic, since this thread has talked about African American actors as well... but recently I went to see The Hurt Locker. I was really impressed with the movie overall, but after I walked away there was something gnawing at the back of my brain. Then I realized: It was the first movie I had seen in a long time with a black character (the supporting actor in a very small cast) where his "blackness" was not addressed. At all. At one point he calls the MC something like "white trailer trash," but other than that, there was none of the idiotic racial bantering you'd expect from a movie like this. (Two partners doing cop/military work.) It made me think, I bet there were no racial specifications in the original script. Good for them. I'm tired of that crap.

On the other hand, the last Rush Hour movie? We got it from Netflix and I wasn't expecting anything particularly great, but... wow. My husband and I found the stereotyping so blatant and offensive that we were literally embarrassed to watch. We turned it off not even halfway through. Geez. Just because you belong to a race doesn't make it any more okay to do that sort of stuff.

maestrowork
11-03-2009, 09:40 PM
On the other hand, the last Rush Hour movie? We got it from Netflix and I wasn't expecting anything particularly great, but... wow. My husband and I found the stereotyping so blatant and offensive that we were literally embarrassed to watch. We turned it off not even halfway through. Geez. Just because you belong to a race doesn't make it any more okay to do that sort of stuff.

I refuse to see Jack Chan or Jet Li's movies for that reason... they keep perpetuating the Asian stereotypes. A friend of mine loves these "kung fu" movies. Not me.

Noah Body
11-03-2009, 09:49 PM
Sort of sideways to the topic, since this thread has talked about African American actors as well... but recently I went to see The Hurt Locker. I was really impressed with the movie overall, but after I walked away there was something gnawing at the back of my brain. Then I realized: It was the first movie I had seen in a long time with a black character (the supporting actor in a very small cast) where his "blackness" was not addressed. At all. At one point he calls the MC something like "white trailer trash," but other than that, there was none of the idiotic racial bantering you'd expect from a movie like this. (Two partners doing cop/military work.) It made me think, I bet there were no racial specifications in the original script. Good for them. I'm tired of that crap.

So what's this, the black guy can get away with it?

In the military, people rarely take each other to task over their race. It's against regulations, and you don't want to cause an ill will with someone over something as trivial as that, especially since your life might be in their hands one day.

I've not seen The Hurt Locker yet, but the reviews were pretty good...but of course, 99.9999% of the people doing the reviews have no idea what life in the military is about, and even fewer know anything about life as an EOD bubba.

Noah Body
11-03-2009, 09:51 PM
I refuse to see Jack Chan or Jet Li's movies for that reason... they keep perpetuating the Asian stereotypes. A friend of mine loves these "kung fu" movies. Not me.

Jackie also trashes his won Hollywood movies when back in HK, publicly apologizing to his HK fans for taking the work but rationalizing it as he gets paid "an insane amount of money" to do it.

Thanks, Jackie.

Jet also says he'll never do another martial arts movie, because his morals are in a different place now. Then he goes back to China and...makes martial arts movies, and even martial arts commercials, of all things. Now that's conviction, I tell ya.

mscelina
11-03-2009, 10:01 PM
I refuse to see Jack Chan or Jet Li's movies for that reason... they keep perpetuating the Asian stereotypes. A friend of mine loves these "kung fu" movies. Not me.

Unfortunately, Ray (and as you are probably well aware) it is extremely common for casting agents to look for the lowest common denominator when casting--especially on either the big or small screen. Interestingly enough too, in my opinion, casting agents on the other side of the pond don't seem to be as hidebound about it as US agents are. (For example, the casting of David Harewood as Friar Tuck in the BBC's Robin Hood)

Most casting call descriptions are extremely specific due to the large number of actors available for any given call. I used to get casting sides that called for *white woman, red hair, 115-120, over 5'5" tall, pale skin, able to speak French and juggle* or some such squat back in the day. When you have thirty seconds to sell a product on TV, for example, directors and ad agencies are looking for the immediate recognition of a stereotype. Period. While you'd think that Hollywood would have gotten past this sort of thing, they haven't. Not even close. To steal a catchphrase, Hollywood needs to 'reimagine' their casting requirements instead of relying upon outdated visual cues to stimulate specific responses in the viewing public.

I was always taught in theatre to never underestimate my audience. Hollywood and most casting agencies have made billions of dollars doing just that, so the change is slow in coming. Hell, we're already a century away from legal blackface, for God's sake.

caromora
11-03-2009, 10:38 PM
Not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but Ming-Na has a potentially meaty role on the new Stargate spin-off, Stargate Universe. She hasn't been featured too much so far, but I have hopes that as the season goes on, she'll be given more to do.


Daniel Henney plays a sexy surgeon on Three Rivers, which just started this fall, and he is half-Korean. He's a womanizer and kind of a charming jackass. His character is one of the three main characters in an ensemble cast. Definitely not a traditional role. He's American but he got his start in Korean movies and tv.

It's great to see DH in something else. I admit, I've got a huge crush on him. Thanks for mentioning his new show--it's not something I would have watched on my own.

Jcomp
11-03-2009, 10:39 PM
This thread makes me sort of feel bad for really looking forward to seeing Ninja Assassin.

mscelina
11-03-2009, 10:41 PM
This thread makes me sort of feel bad for really looking forward to seeing Ninja Assassin.

I feel you. I don't feel right about mentioning that Glory is one of my top five movies ever.

Jcomp
11-03-2009, 10:45 PM
I feel you. I don't feel right about mentioning that Glory is one of my top five movies ever.

Ha. Yeah. I think it comes down to balance. There's nothing wrong with certain movies and "stereotypical" roles because there are real stories to be told with those types of characters. The problem occurs when either the roles aren't treated with an ounce of respect (the Rush Hour flicks, particularly 2 & 3, were a bunch of shucking and jiving for Asians and black folks, with too many of the latter just accepting it), and/or they're almost the only roles available to the people in that demographic.

mscelina
11-03-2009, 10:53 PM
Agreed. There's a difference between showcasing a culture and exploiting it. Glory was such a groundbreaking movie for me for exactly that reason.

Kitty Pryde
11-03-2009, 10:59 PM
I feel you. I don't feel right about mentioning that Glory is one of my top five movies ever.


Ha. Yeah. I think it comes down to balance. There's nothing wrong with certain movies and "stereotypical" roles because there are real stories to be told with those types of characters. The problem occurs when either the roles aren't treated with an ounce of respect (the Rush Hour flicks, particularly 2 & 3, were a bunch of shucking and jiving for Asians and black folks, with too many of the latter just accepting it), and/or they're almost the only roles available to the people in that demographic.

Poor old Morgan Freeman. He's such a good actor, but he may as well change his name to Typecasty McTypecasterson because he nearly always has to play "extremely wise and competent old black man/deity who for some reason inspires a young white protagonist to accomplish great things and then dies theatrically, rather than just taking care of business himself which would make a lot more sense".

In his new movie he's playing Nelson Freaking Mandela, and I'll bet you a shoebox full of DVDs about magical negros that he's got to give Matt Damon And His Enormous Teeth some worldly wisdom and then fade into the background.

Jcomp
11-03-2009, 11:05 PM
In his new movie he's playing Nelson Freaking Mandela, and I'll bet you a shoebox full of DVDs about magical negros that he's got to give Matt Damon And His Enormous Teeth some worldly wisdom and then fade into the background.

Seriously. I saw the preview for this and, even as a huge Matt Damon fan, my first thought was "They're making a movie about how Mandela inspired a rugby team? Really? Just a story about Mandela isn't enough?" And yes, I know the movie's not even out yet and its synopsis would ask us to believe it's focused primarily on Freeman, but you don't just cast Matt Damon to be a minor player.

mscelina
11-03-2009, 11:06 PM
Um...

No. I disagree. Morgan Freeman has had a long and distinguished career, despite his start on the Electric Company on PBS when I was a kid. His role in Glory broke the mold for black actors at a time when African Americans were protrayed either as drug dealers or breakdancers.

Kitty Pryde
11-03-2009, 11:13 PM
Um...

No. I disagree. Morgan Freeman has had a long and distinguished career, despite his start on the Electric Company on PBS when I was a kid. His role in Glory broke the mold for black actors at a time when African Americans were protrayed either as drug dealers or breakdancers.

He brings amazing acting and great depth to his roles, but they're all the same annoying racist role (even Glory). Like Jcomp said, it's down to a lack of other roles. And like you said, a huge lack of imagination on the part of Hollywood.

Jcomp
11-03-2009, 11:18 PM
He brings amazing acting and great depth to his roles, but they're all the same annoying racist role (even Glory). Like Jcomp said, it's down to a lack of other roles. And like you said, a huge lack of imagination on the part of Hollywood.

Well, not all of Freeman's roles are like this, just seemingly his most prominent / memorable ones. Movies where he plays against type (like Lucky Number Slevin, Wanted or Dreamcatcher) often flop. I wouldn't say the other roles are racist--everybody loves Red from Shawshank--just redundant and sometimes see him playing second-fiddle to a character that shouldn't take precedence over his (the Mandela thing kills me, but I have to wait for the movie to come out ... have to wait for the movie to come out...)

mscelina
11-03-2009, 11:24 PM
I still love Freeman even if I hadn't grown up watching him on the Electric Company. And Glory? That wasn't a racist role. Denzel's character began as a racist stereotype and morphed into something different. Freeman's character, however, didn't. Think on it carefully: he could write his name, something the Army sergeants didn't expect. He'd volunteered as a gravedigger for the Union Army before he was able to serve active duty. His character (historically based) was the first African-American NCO in American history.

I'd say that for a black man in the Civil War era, it would be difficult to call his role "racist." *shrug* But then again, I look at things like this as an actor so maybe it strikes me harder. Who knows? Much the same thing happened for me in Much Ado About Nothing--the Kenneth Branaugh version--when Denzel played the Prince. As a Shakespearean specialist theatrically, it was the first time I had seen an African-American playing any Shakespearean role on film other than Othello--and even then I remember the Orson Welles version done in blackface.

Jcomp
11-03-2009, 11:33 PM
I still love Freeman even if I hadn't grown up watching him on the Electric Company. And Glory? That wasn't a racist role. Denzel's character began as a racist stereotype and morphed into something different. Freeman's character, however, didn't. Think on it carefully: he could write his name, something the Army sergeants didn't expect. He'd volunteered as a gravedigger for the Union Army before he was able to serve active duty. His character (historically based) was the first African-American NCO in American history.

I'd say that for a black man in the Civil War era, it would be difficult to call his role "racist." *shrug* But then again, I look at things like this as an actor so maybe it strikes me harder. Who knows? Much the same thing happened for me in Much Ado About Nothing--the Kenneth Branaugh version--when Denzel played the Prince. As a Shakespearean specialist theatrically, it was the first time I had seen an African-American playing any Shakespearean role on film other than Othello--and even then I remember the Orson Welles version done in blackface.

I don't think it's racist, but it sort of ties into Ray's OP regarding Asian actors in Kung Fu / Martial Arts flicks. It's not a bad thing by itself, it's that it's seemingly (though not literally) ubiquitous. The "Magical Negro" stereotype also is going to hang on for the same reason the Asian martial arts expert has hung on: it's seen by a lot of folks as not a bad thing. And again, by itself it isn't.

The Morgan Freeman role that has been sort of modeled after Glory for years--the wise, intelligent black guy who imparts a bit of perspective and wisdom on a white counterpart--indeed is a step up from the drastically negative black stereotypical characters. He's seen as a great guy.

Likewise the noble, strong, heroic martial arts expert Asian guy is a step up from the cow-towing, Engrish speaking, Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's Asian guy. The martial arts Asian guy is cool. He's badass. Who doesn't want to be a ninja and/or a samurai? Everything's better with ninjas...

But I think sometimes it'd be nice to just be given more opportunities to be something else. Something completely different that isn't about any color, it's just about the character. A love interest (Will Smith in Hitch style), or a cool, menacing, Lecter-esque villain. Black guys have been given a lot more opportunities in the past decade or so. Asian guys are still frequently typecast unfortunately when it comes to lead roles.

mscelina
11-03-2009, 11:50 PM
*cough*

Let's try this again. Glory is based on historical fact. As a result, I don't see either the story or the characters as racist. If you take the movie in the context of the time it was released, it was truly groundbreaking, particularly because the story was factual and the characters were based on real people.

Especially when you take a look at how the real Massachussetts 54th ended up:

http://homepage.mac.com/dmhart/WarFilms/OldGuides/Glory.html (http://homepage.mac.com/dmhart/WarFilms/OldGuides/Glory.html)


54th Mass. organised shortly after Lincoln's proclamation by Mass. Governor John Andrew with the assistence of Frederick Douglass as recruiter.

179,000 blacks served in the Union army in 166 black regiments (all segregated until integrated units were introduced following the Second World War), of which 33,000 men died. Of the 1,354 blacks who served in the Mass. 54th 23 died, 394 wounded, 57 missing (total casualties 664). White soldiers were paid $13 per month; black soldiers were paid $10 per month (the rate black labourers earned) but had $3 per month deducted as "clothing allowance". Black soldiers did not get equal pay until September 1864 (well after the events depicted in the film). Blacks continued to serve in segregated units until the Korean War (see Milestone's Pork Chop Hill). No black regiment was permitted to participate in the Grand Review of the victorious Union Army in Washington D.C. in August 1865. The Mass. 54th returned to Massachusetts and was mustered out of existence.



That being said, are things the same now? No....well, no, not really. Has Hollywood followed this up with greater insight in cultures other than white Anglo-Saxon Protestant male? Some. While IMO Glory was a groundbreaking film in regards to the portrayal of Black history, Hollywood has yet to manage to supersede that. When it comes to other cultures, like the Asian culture, they're even slower to respond. It was different with the Jewish culture, especially after WWII when the moguls of Hollywood felt a residual guilt for not portraying Nazi horrors accurately during the course of the war and the five years or so leading up to it. (And here I tip my hat to Charlie Chaplin who, even in the course of a superlative comedy like The Great Dictator was bold enough to actually show the prejudice Germans had toward Jews--something the bigwigs in Hollywood never did)

Sorry for the derail. This is kind of a hobby of mine. Unfortunately, though, as I said above--casting opportunities are limited from the beginning by an industry that looks to instant racial profiling in its audience to perpetuate stereotypical casting decisions.

maestrowork
11-04-2009, 01:50 AM
Ha. Yeah. I think it comes down to balance. There's nothing wrong with certain movies and "stereotypical" roles because there are real stories to be told with those types of characters. The problem occurs when either the roles aren't treated with an ounce of respect (the Rush Hour flicks, particularly 2 & 3, were a bunch of shucking and jiving for Asians and black folks, with too many of the latter just accepting it), and/or they're almost the only roles available to the people in that demographic.

J, if they're deliberately making ninja or kung fu master movies, that's okay. I can choose to watch or not watch them. I went to see Kung Fu Panda and thought it was fun (although secretly I still wish they would STOP doing all these stereotypes -- oh, it's about China, so it must have PANDA and Kung Fu!)

What I can't accept is when they pigeonhole every Asian role to stereotypes. The Asian kid must be a brainiac or a gangster. The Asian guy at the office is probably a nerd. The Asian chick is either a kung fu bitch or a subservient geisha or something.

And not just the Asians we see on screen, but the Asians we don't get to see -- I often wonder, why are those characters all Caucasian (especially in sitcoms that take place in LA or NY)? I often find there really is no reason, except that the casting directors are too lazy to think out of the box.

Asian women are having a better time breaking out: Lucy Liu, Ming-Na, Sandra Oh, Moon Bloodgood, to name a few. Asian men still have a hard time breaking out, and I'm happy to see someone like John Cho taking on non-stereotypical roles.

maestrowork
11-04-2009, 01:53 AM
He brings amazing acting and great depth to his roles, but they're all the same annoying racist role (even Glory). Like Jcomp said, it's down to a lack of other roles. And like you said, a huge lack of imagination on the part of Hollywood.

Huh? Freeman has broken out playing "black" roles long ago. He's played Presidents with nary a word about his race. He's played roles that happen to be African-American (such as in Bucket List) without drawing any kind of stereotypes or conclusions based on race. I don't get this "annoying racist" remark bout Freeman.

Anyway, back to my point... it's one thing if you're making historical movies or TV and try to portray the ethnic groups as truthfully as history had them. How can you do war-era Japan without geishas? Or 15th Century China without martial arts? Or slaves during the Civil War without the "racist" portrayal of African-Americans? But with contemporary stories, it pays to break the stereotypes and "lazy" moviemaking. That goes with everything else, outside of race: the skinny, gawky guy gets typecast as the nerd all the time; the military guys are all brawny and rough (in fact, it tickled me to see BD Wong play a military guy in Executive Decision -- although the movie sucked)... the list goes on and on and on. Hollywood is so unimaginative and they believe the general public is just as ignorant.

Sadly, they're probably right.

Kitty Pryde
11-04-2009, 02:03 AM
Huh? Freeman has broken out playing "black" roles long ago. He's played Presidents with nary a word about his race. He's played roles that happen to be African-American (such as in Bucket List) without drawing any kind of stereotypes or conclusions based on race. I don't get this "annoying racist" remark bout Freeman.

In the Bucket List he dies so that he can inspire the white guy to appreciate his life. They would never make a movie where a white guy did the same for a black guy. In Bruce/Evan Almighty, he plays god, so that he can inspire a white guy to go on a quest and achieve greatness. He did play the president, but only as a minor character. Wikipedia lists him playing 5 different magical negro parts, tvtropes lists 6 and calls him the ultimate magical negro character. The top of the tvtropes wiki page about "magical negro" says



The film opens with yet another voiceover narration by Morgan Freeman, extolling the saintly virtues of a white person who deserves our reverence. óRoger Ebert reviewing The Bucket List.


It's not quite the same as being typecast to play either a nerd or a kung-fu badass, but he's been very typecast into racist roles, either as the magical negro or as generally sacrificing himself for a nice young white guy. PS This page is very informational for anyone who doesn't know what I'm rambling on about: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MagicalNegro

JoNightshade
11-04-2009, 02:04 AM
So what's this, the black guy can get away with it?

No, that wasn't my point. My point was that most hollywood movies in which the two main characters are white and black will almost inevitably, at some point, get into some racial crap. This was clearly not written into this movie. The one line that did refer to race at all was the one about "white trash" and it works in the context of the scene. It wasn't about race, it was about one guy insulting another for being a complete dickhead.


In the military, people rarely take each other to task over their race. It's against regulations, and you don't want to cause an ill will with someone over something as trivial as that, especially since your life might be in their hands one day.

I know, my dad is a vet. Hence my approval of the handling of race in this movie.


I've not seen The Hurt Locker yet, but the reviews were pretty good...but of course, 99.9999% of the people doing the reviews have no idea what life in the military is about, and even fewer know anything about life as an EOD bubba.

See the movie. I was extremely, extremely reluctant to see it, as I am usually offended by Hollywood's portrayal of "realistic" military life. There was some over-the-top stuff in this film, but it was something I would definitely recommend to my dad.

mscelina
11-04-2009, 02:06 AM
You know, Kitty, I just really don't get where you're coming up with this racist tag. I really don't. Morgan Freeman plays non-racially typecast roles. When he does play an African-American character, he is not perpetuating any of the traditional stereotypes within the movies. That's like saying James Earl Jones plays only racist characters because he's Darth Vader's voice. Plus, if there is such a thing as a 'magical negro' role, then Morgan Freeman originated it. And that means he broke through barriers, not that he was held back by them.

JoNightshade
11-04-2009, 02:13 AM
Okay to add to the pile further, there is one area in which racial stereotypes are still out in the open, no disguise even attempted: CARTOONS.

I am freaking SICK of seeing the wise old Asian guy or the cute, silent Asian girl with amazing martial arts moves. Or the affable, big burly black guy.

What drives me the craziest is the accents. The STUPID STUPID STUPID "Asian" accents they give to these characters just drives me up the wall. They ALL sound the same, like some voice casting exec has decided that one accent is THE Asian accent and everyone with slanty eyes has to sound like that. Are you kidding me? Of the 120 Chinese students I taught from like 10 different provinces, everyone had a slightly different accent. NONE of them are what I hear in cartoons. Nor do they even sound remotely like my Japanese uncle. Or any exchange student I've ever had. So I dunno what accent it's supposed to be, but I hate it!!!

/rant

maestrowork
11-04-2009, 02:16 AM
In the Bucket List he dies so that he can inspire the white guy to appreciate his life. They would never make a movie where a white guy did the same for a black guy. In Bruce/Evan Almighty, he plays god, so that he can inspire a white guy to go on a quest and achieve greatness.

It could very well be white, black or Asian guy, or a woman for that matter, and the movies would have worked just fine. In the Bucket List, he is a flawed man, just like Jack Nicholson. He wasn't some saintly, wise old black dude -- in fact, he was very unwise when it comes to his own family--he was inspired by Jack Nicholson (to live free and wild) just as much as Jack is inspired by him. In fact, we didn't know who died first up till the end.

I mean, if those parts were played by women, would you say it's sexist because, "ooh, a woman has to inspire a man." Or if it's Asian or Latino, is it also racist? So, the only person who can play those parts would HAVE to be a white man, then, without any kind of "-ism" attached to it? That, to me, is even more racist.

I don't ever get the 'magical negro' reference in those movies. I seriously think you're reading too much "racism" stuff into it.

maestrowork
11-04-2009, 02:20 AM
What drives me the craziest is the accents. The STUPID STUPID STUPID "Asian" accents they give to these characters just drives me up the wall. They ALL sound the same, like some voice casting exec has decided that one accent is THE Asian accent and everyone with slanty eyes has to sound like that. Are you kidding me?

Don't even start. It pisses me off. You have no idea how many times I was asked at auditions to "do an accent." And when I fail to do the kind of Asian accent (think "off the boat"), they're disappointed and they won't cast me.

Honestly, I'm RELIEVED I did not get those parts.

Kitty Pryde
11-04-2009, 02:32 AM
From tvtropes page above (not that they are the ultimate authority on anything, but this is a concise description of what I'm talking about.


In order to show the world that minority characters are not bad people, one will step forward to help a "normal" person, with their pure heart and Closer To Earth wisdom. They are from a minority that is discriminated against, physically or mentally disabled, or social outcasts (drifters, the homeless, ex-cons). They step (often clad in a clean, white suit) into the life of the central character (often white, American and racist) and, in some way, enrich the central character's life.

While this can work as a plea for tolerance, or simply An Aesop about not dismissing people just because they're different, it's all too easy to go too far and make them into an all-knowing Mary Sue or pseudo-narrator whose magical minority-powers save the day. It also tends to raise the question that if the Magical Negro (more commonly called the Magic Negro, and sometimes the Mystical Negro) is so powerful and intelligent, why he's never saving the day, himself, instead of helping the mainstream hero to get all the glory. Also, quite often he's just ditched or even killed after he's fulfilled his purpose for the plot.

The reason the Magical Negro is problematic is because it is a moral and artistic shortcut, replacing a genuine moral message with a well-intentioned but patronizing homage to the special gifts of the meek.

The magical negro isn't a traditional stereotype, it's a relatively new stereotype. It's still a stereotype. While it's better to be a magical negro than some minstrelsy character or something, it's still racist because minorities are cast into this role, and not white people. Again, Jack Nicholson would never nobly expire after dispensing worldly wisdom to Morgan Freeman. Never. I don't know of any movie wherein a powerful white character playing god/with magic powers/who is spiritual and earthy provides worldly wisdom to a black protagonist (the closest would be Finding Forrester) and then stands back while said black protagonist saves the day.

Jcomp
11-04-2009, 02:34 AM
It could very well be white, black or Asian guy, or a woman for that matter, and the movies would have worked just fine. In the Bucket List, he is a flawed man, just like Jack Nicholson. He wasn't some saintly, wise old black dude -- in fact, he was very unwise when it comes to his own family--he was inspired by Jack Nicholson (to live free and wild) just as much as Jack is inspired by him. In fact, we didn't know who died first up till the end.

I mean, if those parts were played by women, would you say it's sexist because, "ooh, a woman has to inspire a man." Or if it's Asian or Latino, is it also racist? So, the only person who can play those parts would HAVE to be a white man, then, without any kind of "-ism" attached to it? That, to me, is even more racist.

I don't ever get the 'magical negro' reference in those movies. I seriously think you're reading too much "racism" stuff into it.

Bagger Vance was definitely a magical negro. I get the idea of it. I don't think it's the worst thing in the world, but you really don't see it reversed too often. I think if these parts were played by women often enough and if you almost never saw it reversed, you could make an argument for it being unsavory. Maybe not sexist, but certainly not ideal. Nobody wants to be the wind beneath someone else's wings all the time. It'd be nice to be the Bette Middler of the relationship from time to time....

mscelina
11-04-2009, 02:39 AM
From tvtropes page above (not that they are the ultimate authority on anything, but this is a concise description of what I'm talking about.



The magical negro isn't a traditional stereotype, it's a relatively new stereotype. It's still a stereotype. While it's better to be a magical negro than some minstrelsy character or something, it's still racist because minorities are cast into this role, and not white people. Again, Jack Nicholson would never nobly expire after dispensing worldly wisdom to Morgan Freeman. Never. I don't know of any movie wherein a powerful white character playing god/with magic powers/who is spiritual and earthy provides worldly wisdom to a black protagonist (the closest would be Finding Forrester) and then stands back while said black protagonist saves the day.

Actually, I disagree. Denzel Washington--The Fallen.

mscelina
11-04-2009, 02:40 AM
Bagger Vance was definitely a magical negro. I get the idea of it. I don't think it's the worst thing in the world, but you really don't see it reversed too often. I think if these parts were played by women often enough and if you almost never saw it reversed, you could make an argument for it being unsavory. Maybe not sexist, but certainly not ideal. Nobody wants to be the wind beneath someone else's wings all the time. It'd be nice to be the Bette Middler of the relationship from time to time....

I'll admit it--I haven't seen Bagger Vance. *hangs head in shame* I can barely get into golf in real life, much less on the screen.

Jcomp
11-04-2009, 02:42 AM
Actually, I disagree. Denzel Washington--The Fallen.

Well, at the risk of spoiling a brilliant ending that's actually better than the film itself... let's just say that Denzel doesn't exactly save the day here... plus no one really gives their life to help him or just seems to materialize for the sole purpose of leading him to some sort of spiritual salvation.

All things considered, I'm way more offended by damn near anything Tyler Perry does than the magical negro character.

Kitty Pryde
11-04-2009, 02:44 AM
Bagger Vance was definitely a magical negro. I get the idea of it. I don't think it's the worst thing in the world, but you really don't see it reversed too often. I think if these parts were played by women often enough and if you almost never saw it reversed, you could make an argument for it being unsavory. Maybe not sexist, but certainly not ideal. Nobody wants to be the wind beneath someone else's wings all the time. It'd be nice to be the Bette Middler of the relationship from time to time....

Bagger Vance is totally a magical negro. The movie was based on a book with a magical negro. The book was based on the Hindu religion--the golfer dude is based on a human cultural hero, and the bagger vance character is based on an actual avatar of a deity (Krishna). No magical negroes there, just good ole worldly wisdom from god.

mscelina
11-04-2009, 02:46 AM
Agreed. BUT *spoilers* he tried to. That's what made the movie so great for me. It was perfect...and he failed.

Between that and having the Stones' Time is on My Side stuck in my head for months made the movie a lot more worthwhile. See for me, when I think of the term *magical Negro* I think of Disney's Song of the South...which I absolutely loathe (my MIL watches it all the time and thinks it's great). I don't think of Glory or Philadelphia--which, now that I think about it, would be another great role for Denzel.

Jcomp
11-04-2009, 02:50 AM
In bringing it back to the OP, the magical negro character is sort of like the old wise, Asian sensei who plays the yoda to some young American guy who wants to learn martial arts so he can be the hero. The Kung Fu series with Carradine, No Retreat, No Surrender, Karate Kid, The Forbidden Kingdom, even Kill Bill. Flicks like that give us the comparable character.

Note that none of these are terribly bad or egregious. Just sort of annoying when it's done over and over again.

Kitty Pryde
11-04-2009, 02:50 AM
Actually, I disagree. Denzel Washington--The Fallen.

Haven't seen it, but it doesn't seem to have any white magical negros to support Denzel.



All things considered, I'm way more offended by damn near anything Tyler Perry does than the magical negro character.

Don't even get me started. :)

Jcomp
11-04-2009, 03:04 AM
Now that I think about it, Blade sort of reverses the Magical Negro thing. He takes Blade in, creates the serum, makes the weapons for him, even makes the sacrifice (that gets promptly retconned in the sequel). And he's sort of an example of how this character can be done at its best, or at least giving the character an opportunity to be a genuine badass in his own right.

mario_c
11-04-2009, 03:07 AM
Story structure teaches us about the Mentor - every Hero has a mentor, an instructor on the path. This can be as mundane as the supervisor on the new job, or the coach in a sports movie, or God dictating his will. But this applies to story in a universal sense. So anyway, the Mentor in a casting sense :D is supporting or second banana or sidekick or what you will. The issue is really that blacks and Asians are disproportionately getting supporting and not lead roles, not that black or Asian role models are a bad thing in a story. Sorry, it sounded like that was the subtext happening in the discussion regarding Glory and Morgan Freeman.

Jcomp
11-04-2009, 03:10 AM
Story structure teaches us about the Mentor - every Hero has a mentor, an instructor on the path. This can be as mundane as the supervisor on the new job, or the coach in a sports movie, or God dictating his will. But this applies to story in a universal sense. So anyway, the Mentor in a casting sense :D is supporting or second banana or sidekick or what you will. The issue is really that blacks and Asians are disproportionately getting supporting and not lead roles, not that black or Asian role models are a bad thing in a story. Sorry, it sounded like that was the subtext happening in the discussion regarding Glory and Morgan Freeman.

You know, this summarizes it nicely. It comes down to being portrayed far more often as the sidekick than the hero.

I swear if this Invictus movie reduces Nelson freaking Mandela to a sidekick for the rugby captain...

Kitty Pryde
11-04-2009, 03:10 AM
Now that I think about it, Blade sort of reverses the Magical Negro thing. He takes Blade in, creates the serum, makes the weapons for him, even makes the sacrifice (that gets promptly retconned in the sequel). And he's sort of an example of how this character can be done at its best, or at least giving the character an opportunity to be a genuine badass in his own right.

But Whistler's not magical or world-wise (though he's handy with a gadget!), he's just a plain old mentor. But Blade is a good example of two roles that aren't race-specific (badass daywalker and crusty old techie mentor/babysitter).

jodiodi
11-04-2009, 05:16 AM
Fallen was a great movie. And Denzel's character could've been any race. Frankly, I believe most roles can be played by any race unless there's a specific reason why a race should be excluded (a historical tale where the real characters were specific).

Now casting directors are another issue entirely. They do seem to be ethnocentric. Too many of them don't think outside what's always been done even though they like to think they're cutting-edge. In fact, they're actually perpetuating stereotypes.

Even among caucasian roles, there are stereotypes that are so irritating: All New Yorkers either sound like characters from The Sopranos or nebbishy Jewish mama's-boys; all Southerners are in-bred hicks and sound like they're on Hee Haw; all Californians are surfer dudes; all Midwesterners have that, "Don'tcha knoo" twang.

And speaking of Southern accents, I hate to hear non-Southerners try to do them. There are a rare few who do them well, but most are so horrendously exaggerated they make my ears bleed. There's some dishwashing liquid commercial that's run recently that has the worst Southern accent; worse than nails on a chalkboard.

blacbird
11-04-2009, 05:20 AM
In the Bucket List he dies so that he can inspire the white guy to appreciate his life. They would never make a movie where a white guy did the same for a black guy.

Brian's Song

caw

poetinahat
11-04-2009, 05:43 AM
Brian's Song

caw
and, essentially, Men in Black

Jcomp
11-04-2009, 05:50 AM
And speaking of Southern accents, I hate to hear non-Southerners try to do them. There are a rare few who do them well, but most are so horrendously exaggerated they make my ears bleed. There's some dishwashing liquid commercial that's run recently that has the worst Southern accent; worse than nails on a chalkboard.

I remember leaving The Life of David Gale and hearing multiple people voice the same thing I was thinking--"Did they have to make Texans seem that damn country?" I went to school in a small town full of cowboys aka "kickers" who didn't sound close to how professionals and politicians were portrayed in that flick.

small axe
11-04-2009, 06:58 AM
I recall the controversy among some when a Chinese actress was hired to play a Japanese geisha. I didn't know how to see that one: Was it a sad and insulting ignorance of the differences among Asian cultures and peoples -- a sort of white guys deciding that "Any chick with Asian eyes will pass as Japanese" ??? Or was it simply casting an attractive Asian actress with some box office buzz ... and refusing to fall into a trap of thinking "She's not Japanese enough" ???

How often does a lighter-skinned African American actor (not light-skinned, lighter-skinned ... and lighter than WHOM? How many USA blacks can play an AFRICAN black, anyway?) run into the prejudice that they're not "black enough" ???

Some folks hate on Tyler Perry ... (and I cannot argue pro or con) ... But there's no doubt (is there?) that Tyler Perry is an amazing story of a black artist demanding control of his own work and having great success as both a Businessman and an Artist. And surely we cannot deny that his success was due to African American audiences enjoying his stuff. His wild, whacky comedy. His dramatic, sometimes-on-the-nose pathos and bathos.

Artistic control. Creativity. Success and power in his industry. Support from the ticket-buying African American audience. How can we begrudge any of it?

Message? Well ... okay ... Tyler Perry does what he does.

I'm a "white guy" ... I could put forth any whacked-out "Message" I wanted and who'd worry about whether my Message was somehow ... "white enough" ??? :)

People could luv me or hate me as an artist doing his thing ... but the folks I'D worry about would be the ones who worried about whether my stuff was "white enough" !!!

Now, I've only seen about two and a half Tyler Perry movies, and seen or read a few interviews, but I know lots of folks disdain him. I say: I wanna be Tyler Perry when I grow up. :D

Kitty Pryde
11-04-2009, 08:15 AM
Brian's Song

caw

Again, not a white magical negro. Brian's not magical, he's not world-wise, he doesn't dispense wisdom and fade into the background, and he doesn't die expressly to let the black teammate be the protagonist. The two characters are in service to one another in different ways, as opposed to one providing all the support to the other.


and, essentially, Men in Black

And again, Tommy Lee isn't a white magical negro. In some ways, he's a mentor, but he's on a fairly equal footing with will smith and they share billing and screen time and protagonist-hood. And he isn't magical or self-sacrificing. Again, read the Magical Negro article--it's a very specific character, far beyond a mere mentor, and you never see straight white people portraying it, but you do see black, latino, american indian, and gay people portraying it. It's problematic because it puts minorities in the service of white protagonists far more often than the reverse situation occurs.

A similar, less-bad example is the sassy black female best friend role --yes, plenty of people have a sassy black female friend, but there's always a white protag with a sassy black best friend, and almost never ever ever a black protag with a sassy white best friend. The roles are substantial...but the overall pattern is racist.

Jcomp
11-04-2009, 06:26 PM
Now, I've only seen about two and a half Tyler Perry movies, and seen or read a few interviews, but I know lots of folks disdain him. I say: I wanna be Tyler Perry when I grow up. :D

I dunno, do you really want to undermine the credibility of a whole group of people's creative potential like that? No amount of money is worth that.

Well... maybe some amount of money's worth that, but you should at least try to get that money by doing some good work first.

Anyhow, Tyler Perry didn't really do anything original. He just took chitlin circuit plays that came with an existing black / country evangelical Christian audience and put them on film and television. He is to black cinema what Michael Bay is to action movies. Just because it makes money doesn't mean its actually good...

maestrowork
11-04-2009, 06:33 PM
Karate Kid...


And they're doing that again with Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. Ugh.

I get what you're saying. I only contest that Freeman doesn't just play magical negro parts and that his roles aren't often racist or even race-specific. E.g. he plays a bad guy in Wanted that has nothing to do with is race.

The old, wise Asian sensei doesn't bother me. What bothers me is when the Asian sensei wears Asian clothes, talks in riddles, and speaks in a thick Asian accent. One Mr. Miyagi is enough (it worked for Karate Kid because the character was fully-developed and not just a 2-D Asian stereotype -- which is rare).

And the roles do sometimes reverse. Clint Eastwood's role in Gran Torino, for example (although he has some personal growth to do, too, just like Mr. Miyagi did).

And I still think that Freeman's role in the Bucket List is not a magical negro -- he's Jack Nicholson's equal (but opposite). They both died at the end -- and you actually don't know who died first until the end. I think to call that role magical negro is playing the race card too far. A good test for such is to see if the role is specially written with the race in mind, or that if the role is played by someone else, would it make a difference? For example, is John Cho's role in Flashforward racist because he plays an uptight, serious Korean? No, because it could be anyone, white, black, Asian, Latino, etc. Could Freeman's role in the Bucket List played by, say, James Garner? Hell yes - there's nothing overtly African-American about that character. But could Mr. Miyagi be played by David Caradine? No.

mario_c
11-05-2009, 09:35 AM
Now casting directors are another issue entirely. They do seem to be ethnocentric. Too many of them don't think outside what's always been done even though they like to think they're cutting-edge. In fact, they're actually perpetuating stereotypes.

Even among caucasian roles, there are stereotypes that are so irritating: All New Yorkers either sound like characters from The Sopranos or nebbishy Jewish mama's-boys; all Southerners are in-bred hicks and sound like they're on Hee Haw; all Californians are surfer dudes; all Midwesterners have that, "Don'tcha knoo" twang.

And speaking of Southern accents, I hate to hear non-Southerners try to do them. There are a rare few who do them well, but most are so horrendously exaggerated they make my ears bleed. There's some dishwashing liquid commercial that's run recently that has the worst Southern accent; worse than nails on a chalkboard.
That's just crappy acting. :D Too lazy to research? Too vain to leave their inner circle and travel to where their character comes from? In love with the sound of their own voices?

Exir
11-05-2009, 09:51 AM
Is Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption a magical negro?

small axe
11-05-2009, 10:19 AM
I dunno, do you really want to undermine the credibility of a whole group of people's creative potential like that? No amount of money is worth that.

Well... maybe some amount of money's worth that, but you should at least try to get that money by doing some good work first.

Anyhow, Tyler Perry didn't really do anything original. He just took chitlin circuit plays that came with an existing black / country evangelical Christian audience and put them on film and television. He is to black cinema what Michael Bay is to action movies. Just because it makes money doesn't mean its actually good...

Well, I guess we just have different tastes when it comes to Tyler Perry and his stuff ... and like I said, I've only seen some of his work.

Without asking too much of your time, would you care to just give a few sentences about what you don't like about Tyler Perry?

And what do you think about Eddie Murphey, by the way? Just curious. I remember falling down laughing at that guy on SNL, loved 48 HOURS, and then ... change in direction, right? I know the kidz love DR. DOOLITTLE, but it seems his career and artistic choices have just gone off the rails, compared to the edge he had ...

Anyway: I don't mean to cast you as his ultimate anti-Tyler critic, maybe you've said all you care to say. But, if not ... The Sins of Tyler Perry are ... what?

maestrowork
11-05-2009, 06:24 PM
Good catch, Poet.

Let's try again:

Morgan Freeman in The Bucket List is not a white magical negro. He's not magical, he's not world-wise, he doesn't dispense wisdom and fade into the background, and he doesn't die expressly to let the black white teammate be the protagonist. The two characters are in service to one another in different ways, as opposed to one providing all the support to the other.



There, I feel better now.

Jcomp
11-05-2009, 07:57 PM
Well, I guess we just have different tastes when it comes to Tyler Perry and his stuff ... and like I said, I've only seen some of his work.

Without asking too much of your time, would you care to just give a few sentences about what you don't like about Tyler Perry?

He appeals to the lowest common denominator of his target audience. He's like BET programming setting a ridiculously low bar for what is acceptable / expected for black filmmakers and script writers. It's this hideous, unsubtle, shucking and jiving, "See look at these Negroes acting like Negroes!" approach to comedy and melodrama that isn't even realistic. His desire to inject ridiculous living caricatures into already sensationalistic stories reeks of hack-dom. Madea's over the top antics don't add anything to Diary of a Mad Black Woman except bottom-of-the-barrel humor, and it's indicative of Perry's approach to every story I've seen, from stage to film to television. And he's so successful that it's influencing the current state of "black" movies, so instead of thoughtful, relatively patient and reasonably plausible / identifiable stories like Eve's Bayou, Soul Food or Love Jones we get ridiculous, hackneyed stuff like This Christmas, Meet the Browns and Daddy's Little Girls.



And what do you think about Eddie Murphy, by the way? Just curious. I remember falling down laughing at that guy on SNL, loved 48 HOURS, and then ... change in direction, right? I know the kidz love DR. DOOLITTLE, but it seems his career and artistic choices have just gone off the rails, compared to the edge he had ...


Um... kind of an out of nowhere question, but I just think Eddie just forgot how to be funny. But he might've cleaned himself up as a person, so it's hard to knock him too much. When he was at his funniest was when he was also at his most misogynistic and homophobic. When even Richard Pryor thinks your humor is too mean-spirited, you might be crossing some lines.



Anyway: I don't mean to cast you as his ultimate anti-Tyler critic, maybe you've said all you care to say. But, if not ... The Sins of Tyler Perry are ... what?

Hell, I cast myself as that role. I've catalogued what I believe his "sins" are above. At a time when "black" cinema happened to be making more and more movies that weren't overtly "black," just solid films that happened to have black people in them, he gave us what in my opinion is pretty close to just being evangelical blaxploitation.

maestrowork
11-05-2009, 08:13 PM
I'm not black but I can't stand Tyler Perry's movies. I do think he panders, but his target audience flocks to see his movies because they're thirsty for representation: "black cinema." Otherwise than Perry, who else is doing black cinema these days? And that's where Perry got them.

mscelina
11-05-2009, 08:16 PM
Okay, I'm jumping back in. I know I shouldn't, but I'm going to try to do it anyway.

Big name stars, like Freeman or Smith or even *gods help us* Murphy have control over their careers. They actively work with their agents to select the projects they want to work on. And you know what most actors look for when selecting roles? Good writing. A great character. The chance to do something memorable. For some, maybe, a script they think is Oscar-nomination worthy will be preferred over something that pays buckets of cash.

Now--unfortunately, the way to become a big name is to NOT be so selective on the roles you take on. What's a young black actor to do when his agent calls him up and says, "Hey, I got you a gig in a major picture playing a drug dealer." or a young Asian actor hears, "Hey, I got you a gig playing a computer nerd opposite in a *insert big name movie star's name* film"? Right. Exactly. Acting is a soul-sucking, gut-curdling, statistically horrific career choice, especially in the film business. You literally take what you can get, always hoping someone will see you, remember you, ask your name, or turn around in six months and say to a casting director, "Remember that kid who played the drug dealer in the last film? Get him. I want to see him audition for x."

That's literally what it takes. The big name stars, the Jackie Chans and the Tyler Perrys have to stop settling for the lowest common denominator to make the path easier for those coming after. It was only fifty years ago that Indians were just caucasians in makeup and Japanese film meant either a new Godzilla movie or samurai film. If you take a good hard look at the filmographies of actors like Freeman or Washington or even Will Smith, not all of those roles are stereotypical "black" roles and every single one of them owes every role he's ever had to Sydney Poitier and his courageous choices in Hollywood forty and thirty years ago.

Or so my opinion goes, at any rate. It still amazes me that Guess Who's Coming to Dinner ever got made at that specific era in history, even if Poitier's character was sterilized to such a point that no rational person could ever have had a problem with him unless it was racially motivated. But I digress.

Hollywood has come a long way since Amos n Andy and Bucwheat. But that doesn't mean they don't have further to go still.

jodiodi
11-05-2009, 09:05 PM
Okay, Hollywood has come a long way since Amos n Andy and Bucwheat. But that doesn't mean they don't have further to go still.

"In case you haven't heard, Buckwheat is dead. We have footage of the tragedy as it unfolded. For those of you who may have missed it, let's take a look."

Sorry. Every time I see or hear Buckwheat references, the old SNL skit where Murphy's Buckwheat was shot, overtakes my brain.

mscelina
11-05-2009, 09:08 PM
ROFLMAO! That was one of the funniest skits ever. EVER. Eddie Murphy in his heyday on SNL (and with Delirious, IMO) was one of the funniest men walking the face of the earth.

That and the great Mr. Robinson 'Kill my landlord' poem.

See big dog
Do he bite?
Kill my landlord
Kill my landlord.

C-I-L-L my landlord.

Betcha I can find that on Youtube.

*runs off to look*

[/Eddie Murphy is funny as sh*t derail]

Stew21
11-05-2009, 09:11 PM
Is Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption a magical negro?

I don't think so. The book was written with Red (freeman's character in the movie) as an Irish man. The casting of Freeman was fantastic, and never once was race brought into it. The character narrated, and had an active story arc of his own in the film.



and back to Asian actors, I'm going to put D.B. Wong up there again.

He was phenomenal in Oz as the priest. He was also in a kids' movie playing the dean of a private school. Race had zero to do with the role. ZERO.


the roles exist. Probably not as many of them as their should be, but they do exist.

jodiodi
11-05-2009, 09:25 PM
BD Wong is one of my favorites. He was in some Steven Segal movie too, I think. I just remember him in that black uniform. Hawt! I love him on Law & Order, too.

Come to think of it, I don't recall seeing him in many movies/TV shows where his ethnicity was crucial.

firedrake
11-05-2009, 09:26 PM
and back to Asian actors, I'm going to put D.B. Wong up there again.

He was phenomenal in Oz as the priest. He was also in a kids' movie playing the dean of a private school. Race had zero to do with the role. ZERO.


the roles exist. Probably not as many of them as their should be, but they do exist.

I have to agree about B.D.Wong. He's terrific in Law and Order SVU, no more so than last night.

small axe
11-06-2009, 03:25 AM
Hell, I cast myself as that role. I've catalogued what I believe his "sins" are above. At a time when "black" cinema happened to be making more and more movies that weren't overtly "black," just solid films that happened to have black people in them, he gave us what in my opinion is pretty close to just being evangelical blaxploitation.

Thanks for the insights. I've heard Perry attacked, but it always seemed like the attacker was grinding their own axe and maybe not giving the guy his right to be an artist, regardless of the fact that art can be disagreeable and annoying but still ... the guy's self-expression, y'know?

Like they were attacking Perry's right to be "a successful black artist" -- How dare he! Well, he dare he because that's what he has within himself to say, and he has worked to have the ability to say it ... and THAT'S why I admire him especially, as an artist with the authority to succeed at his art (even though we can then fairly debate the quality or value or impact of his art, etc)

Anyway ... thanks for the time and insights!

I guess another question (put not just to you, but to all who might care to reply) would be:

Given his success, do we think Tyler Perry is creating the Art that is truely inside him and wants to be self-expressed?

Or did he just know a niche was there that he could fill and so he makes the movies he feels will fulfil his audiences' interests, and bring much success? But maybe isn't as enlightened or cutting-edge or controversial as he might make it? (Though he does inspire controversy, obviously!)

People rightfully protest when every black character is a crack gangsta ... I think that's eroding away and we're seeing a lot of "African American as Joe EveryMan" on TV and movies now.

Being Joe Everyman means they won't be the troubled, dramatic, LEAD CHARACTER though. Those are the supporting roles. Nothing to complain about, really.

I just think when you become the FOCUS of the story, it means they're going to heap alot of drama and conflict on you -- and it's EASY / LAZY to write it if gangsta be shootin' at you or the Man be on your back or ... well ... "be" was meant with affection, it's a purposeful affectation. I recall hearing an interview with a black actor where the white director kept harping on him because he said "is" instead of "be" and the actor says "Look, African Americans say "is" okay? Trust me, it'll be alright." like the white director was having a meltdown because his assumptions were being cross-wired. :)

My mind wandered, sorry. It's a tricky topic, is what I'm saying. Thanks for explaining!

MsGneiss
11-12-2009, 06:24 AM
What I want to see is an Asian in the lead of something that is not a Kung Fun/Martial Art movie or about some Asian country or culture. I honestly cannot think of anything.

African-Americans have come a long way, thanks to trailblazers and box office draws such as Will Smith or Danzel Washington.

There's an Asian character on FlashForward, definitely not stereotyped, I think. Although, I've only seen two episodes. He seemed rather good.

Kristiina
11-16-2009, 06:56 PM
I'd want to see a science fiction movie where most of the cast is not white.

One perfect chance for that would have been 'John Carter of Mars' (should come out 2012, filming will start January 2010) but so far all the already cast characters are white actors. Well, I think the lady playing the female lead may have some Native American blood, maybe (Lynn Collins?), but everyone else is white. And in the book the main group of human looking people of Barsoom (Mars) are a mixed race, with reddish, sort of light copper skin color and black hair, the end result of mixing the original yellow, white and black peoples during the time when the oceans started to dry, so it would have been in some ways a perfect chance to go for a racially diverse group of actors. Especially since when you do mix people of different racial origins while the coloring of the resulting mix may settle to something sort of uniform a bit earlier the different looks will keep on coming out a lot longer.

(At least that seems to be the case with my people. I'm Finnish, and judging by recent DNA studies we are of almost pure European descent, except that there is a very small percentage of East Asian genes in the mix. And mostly we look pure European, except sometimes you get an individual with some Asian features. My mother was one. Her parents, siblings and grandparents looked European, as do I, but with her cheekbones and eyes she could have passed for somebody who was half Asian. From what she told me she was called 'the Chinese' when young, and not always in a nice way - I'm nearly fifty years old, she was born 1922, at a time when my people were busy trying to prove to the rest of Europe that we were every bit as white as them in spite of speaking a language which has its origins somewhere beyond the Ural mountains...heh, in the old geography books, from the 19th century, Finns are actually often referred to as Mongols. Which seems to have been something like a national trauma during the early decades of the 20th century.)

Other, already done movie, which would have been perfect for a not mostly white cast would of course have been Starship Troopers, considering that the main character Johnny Rico in the book is a Filipino. But since the main point with the movie seems to have been something like 'lets make fun of Nazis and militarism' maybe the decision to cast a guy who looks like some sort of Aryan ideal does make some sense.

But yes, please give me a planet where most of the population is not white, or a starship where there are only a couple of token whites in the crew. Pretty please?

Lyra Jean
11-17-2009, 12:05 AM
Sulu on the new Star Trek is still asian but his fighting experience is in fencing not martial arts. Does that count?

maestrowork
11-17-2009, 12:08 AM
Sulu on the new Star Trek is still asian but his fighting experience is in fencing not martial arts. Does that count?

I just wish he wasn't so technically savvy and smart. ;)

Can't we just have a big, dumb Asian jock who gets the hot, sexy Latino cheerleader?

Jcomp
11-17-2009, 12:10 AM
Can't we just have a big, dumb Asian jock who gets the hot, sexy Latino cheerleader?

And I bet you know a guy who'd be perfect for that part....

Haggis
11-17-2009, 12:14 AM
And I bet you know a guy who'd be perfect for that part....

I was gonna say...

:roll:

maestrowork
11-17-2009, 12:16 AM
Wait a minute....

Kristiina
11-17-2009, 10:41 AM
Who should play the Latina cheerleader?

maestrowork
11-17-2009, 10:46 AM
Eva Mendez. Seriously, I don't mind.

Kristiina
11-17-2009, 01:32 PM
You know, that 'John Carter of Mars' movie - if the first one does well enough, Disney will presumably go on and film the whole trilogy (based on the first three books of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars -series) and while I suppose it's likely it will be all or mostly white actors with skin dyes, maybe there is some hope. In the second book of the series the main character starts finding remnants of the original Barsoomian races. One character belonging to the white people, Therns, has been cast (Mark Strong) but there are still the Black pirates and the Okarians (the latter have lemon colored skins and most of the men have thick beards). The Black pirates (sky pirates, they raid from flying ships) are highly decadent and use all the other people of the planet as their slaves, the Okarians are sort of rougher.

Since all these people are not supposed to be like Earth cultures, at one point there was some fan talk that it might be fun if, say, the actors for the Black pirates would be Asians, and the Okarians would be played by Black actors.

Well, as said, probably they will all be whites with skin dyes.

Ken
11-17-2009, 02:24 PM
... Anna May Wong.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_May_Wong

(Lock Thread.)
Actually, after reading the wikipedia article that has cast Anna in a new light to me, I'd have to say instead:

Carry on; sigh :-(

Kitty27
11-20-2009, 12:24 AM
I want to see an Asian guy get the girl,complete with love scene and much showing of abs. The trend of portraying Asian men as totally asexual has to end. Now.


I have seen some serious hotties who would have NO problem getting women. I am quite put out as I am an equal opportunity lover of hotness. I am missing out on hot guys and this makes me cry. Yes,I am being shallow.

Asian actors/actresses can do so much more than martial arts movies. I would love to see them cast in other roles. I don't quite understand why Hollywood is so reluctant to cast POC's in movies. For example,with Native American roles,they cast white actors who may have had a Native American ancestor or two. Say what? Why not cast the role properly? This is very irritating.

As for Tyler Perry,the man is a genius. He took an underserved audience and catered to them. There is controversy concerning his movies,but I love him to bits. I see aspects of my life and growing up in his movies.

Lyra Jean
11-20-2009, 12:44 AM
okay I know it's women but what about The Joy Luck Club? Maybe not so much for the mom roles but perhaps the daughters?

Tiger
11-20-2009, 11:49 PM
The big difference I see is between the films that come out of Asia, and the ones made in America. Being Asian is well... normal in Asia.

I rather liked the role of Agent Cho in "The Mentalist." He always just struck me as a cop--not an Asian cop.

maestrowork
11-20-2009, 11:58 PM
What I'd like to see is Hollywood casting parts without consideration of the actor's race as part of the "type." I mean, there's still a lot of "white by default" in casting today. My agent will not send me to an audition unless it says specifically "Asian" or "any ethnicity."

To me, unless the race is important (e.g. they're casting a drama set during the Civil War), there's no reason why the cop or the military guy has to be white.

Recently, I do see more and more "any ethnicity" in casting, which is a good trend. Still, often I see descriptions such as "AMY, grad student, 20-25, Caucasian" and my thought is: Why must Amy be Caucasian? There's nothing in the script that describe Amy's race or background, but often it's automatically assumed that the character is white unless specified otherwise. And I'd love to see agents and casting directors get out of their shells and see actors of the right "type" despite their races.

Exir
11-21-2009, 12:08 AM
Interesting, Ray. Is it the casting directors who refuse to think outside the box, or the lowest common denominators that they cater to?

Tiger
11-21-2009, 12:37 AM
Wouldn't it be interesting if companies that hire actors and models were held to the same anti-discrimination laws--with regard to age, appearance, sex, and race--as practically everywhere else?

maestrowork
11-21-2009, 12:45 AM
Interesting, Ray. Is it the casting directors who refuse to think outside the box, or the lowest common denominators that they cater to?

I think it's a lack of imagination, and that goes all the way to the writers. Often, however, the writers don't even specify the race, but the casting director automatically assumes everyone is white until specified otherwise. But like I said, I see more and more "any ethnicity" which is a good thing, but it doesn't mean the casting director doesn't "see" white actors in his or her mind when auditioning actors -- that means the ethnic minorities have to fight harder to get those roles. It gets even more complicated when you consider there are more white actors (at least outside of LA or NY) so unless someone specifically asks for minorities, usually the agents don't even bother sending their talents because it'd just be a waste of time...