Saturday, May 25, 2013

Why? No Really Why?

So the latest League question is both simpler and more complex than normal, thus I think it's time to do the same with the article the question they wanted is "Why" Why am I called a racist?

What?  Racist? how in the hell did you equate why to racism? I know both are bad pet names (so is spam by the way) but what do the two have in common. It's simple Why is the question I seem to always ask when I see some of the dumbest choices in casting. Thus I think I have to label myself a cinematic racist.

I say this because I am the one who get annoyed when Idris Elba is cast as Heimdall,  I mean WHY? after all it is not as if Asgard wasn't pointed out to be a nordic culture and the basis of nordic religion, why cast Elba as Heimdall? is it just political correctness gone amuck. Yeah he did a good job albeit a pretty limited part. but Why?

By comparison Donald Glover petitioned very hard to get the coveted role of Spiderman in Sony's new film and it fell on deaf ears. Instead we went with a british kid named andrew Garfield who (and I am more than willing to blame the director and scripts as much as Garfield) played a sullen boardpunk version of parker that I simply did not like. Glover (who is best known by most as Troy Barnes on Community) would have made a spectacular Spiderman (Pun completely intended) his optimism is infectious. So what is the difference?

In my mind it's simple, race just isn't what makes spiderman, spiderman.  Spiderman (and his alter ego of Peter Parker) are about being the nerd, the geek, the social outcast, and still never giving up. he is a hero who in many ways has every right to be as sullen as Batman but just isn't he refuses to be. and Glover could have easily brought that to the role. Though it's not like the new Spiderman movie was anything to crow about, maybe there is still a chance for a good reboot!

I heard the same thing in Star Trek: Into darkness as Benedict Cumberback, (a lily white British guy known best for playing Sherlock Holmes in the modern adaptation by the BBC) got a ton of flack for playing Khan as he was originally played by Mexican actor Ricardo Montelbon, who played Khan in the original series, yet even there Khan was a Sikh.

I don't think one was any better or worse choice than the other, neither looks particularly like a Sikh, but also Khan's ethnicity didn't really enter into it, he was a genetic superman, that was the important part of his origin.

Yet no one took issue with Bane being played by equally white brit, Tom Hardy. WHY!? Bane is latino in origin, his costume is that of a Luchador, he is a luchador, That's all part of his origin, A luchador is a mexican masked wrestler, yet no one complained when bane was simply as mexican as fish and chips!

This is the time it may have mattered more than Khan. Or what about the film Mortal Kombat when Raiden the Japanese god of Thunder was played by....
French actor Chrisopher Lambert. considering his thick accent I really doubt they hired him for his elocution. Considering the lack of fighting Raiden had to do in the film, and the possible desire to have Raiden explain everything in the plot, why not choose someone like I don't know...
I mean it's not like he is not charismatic, has a deep booming voice that can command respect, and is also ironically enough not just asian looking but ACTUALLY JAPANESE!! THis decision can only make sense if Takei was offered the part and declined.

So I have been called racist on forums for disliking Heimdall, or the like but let me put it to you, if race matters why would you not at least TRY I understand that if you are casting a hollywood movie about inuits that celebrity inuit actors who can speak good 'Merican for a hollywood film may be in short supply. I am also cool with an Asian actor playing the Flash, or a black Harry Dresden, I am decidedly less cool with say Matthew Maconahay playing T'chala's brother, or cousin in a Marvel Black Panther movie. But why am I a racist for wanting authenticity in a role when race mattered in the script/ original source?

So now that I have that off my chest what is everyone else up to?

Cal's Canadian Cave of Cool
Infinite Hollywood
30(ish) year old boy
Geek til it hurts
claymation werewolf
Pop Pop, It's Trash Culture
Fortune and Glory (days) 
Diary of a Dorkette
Pop Rewind
Cool And Collected


  1. Donald Glover would have been the most sensational Spider-Man, yes.

    I get where you're coming from, though I don't necessarily agree with Idris playing Heimdall.

    It's the same sorta' PC-agenda as wanting to cast a black actor as Johnny Storm. I've seen no mention of casting a black actress as Sue, which is what bothers me, because that changes the entire dynamic of the Fantastic Four. The FF is always about being a family, Sue and Johnny need to be brother and sister, which is the only reason I've taken issue with the rumored casting.

  2. Agreed though if they are doing that, may i suggest Aiesha Tyler as Sue Storm (Love her as Lana in Archer!)