ianf wrote:I'm not exactly sure what you mean by this sentence. Are you saying that movies are made the way they are and we should let things stay as they are?
Sorry that was a mistake of mine, given the "if" I thought that "If X were to happen, Y should be true" I misread your sentence. Sorry about that.
That sounds like institutional racism to me. If you said similar things about another industry (e.g. most police recruiters are white and don't feel comfortable relating to non-white people, so don't hire non-white police), it would definitely look racist.
No, it's not the same thing because you recruit other people, you CREATE characters. What I'm saying is that there's no overt sexism or insitutional racism, what there is the simple and unavoidable fact that those characters reflect their author, what he is and what he isn't.
Even if you are the best author in the world you will notice that X character looks to much as the author and no amount of race lifts will solve that. Asimov? Full of those. Cervantes? Please, it's obvious.
Myself. I will not lie the main character is me, no amount of tits is going to solve that, she is me, and I prefer to be honest about it and make the character male, black short-haired and white because that character is me. Heck, the other characters are ME too. I may change them and try to hide it but they still reflect me in one way of another. Who do you think most of? Yourself! You can't lie!
And no, you can be a very good writer without writing outside of your experience. Artistic merit doesn't require writing about what you don't know about. In fact, Cervantes wrote about what he knew best, Literature and Spain.
You are trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist. Writers don't write male white characters because they are racist or sexist but because they are white and male. If you made them change you would still have the same gender roles around because you didn't fix them. You hid them but didn't solve them because you were busy with something that wasn't broken.
You would hope that this would lead him to reflect on his attitude to casting next time around.
The problem is that he didn't have any attitude to casting! He chose the best actors and since most actors are white it's not his fault! This is what I'm saying all the time. You can't blame the producer or the writer, blame the gender roles or past racism but not the director.
You are pointing the finger wrong, and that is of no help.
Or how about casting a black actor as James Bond? Why does he need to be white? Yes, I know that he was white in the original books, but the films discard many aspects of the books so why shouldn't he become a black character?
Because there's no need to. It makes as much as much sense as saying "Why isn't X's hair red?". Well I like the character that way. That's all, why should your cosmetic tastes be prevalent over the author? It makes no sense. If race doesn't matter don't make it matter so as to tell everyone it doesn't matter.
All you achieve is to be inconsistent in your portrayal of the character. Remember how bad everyone took Daniel Craig as the new Bond because he is blonde? And we are talking about Mr. Hotness here.
What reason there is, plotwise, to have a black James Bond? None. So don't change it.
Most people also think that race lifts are pretty racist, so no.
And don't even start on "historical accuracy". There are many examples where black historical figures were played by white actors.
Duh, then that doesn't apply. But if I make a femenine girl, or my army has almost no women in sight that is not sexist, that is realistic. It refelects a sexist trend in the society I'm portraying but the portrayal isn't sexist.
This is just the worst attitude. You are taking the white bias of the film industry and then making it a problem for the black part of the film industry to sort out.
Duh. It's analogous to saying "If there are not enough female engineers get more women to study engineering". I don't see where I make it a problem for the women or not.
There are far less black actors, that is a fact. How are you going to solve that without getting more black actors? All you avhieve this way is getting token characters with no plot.
You know why the black guy always dies first right? Because he is, more often than not, a token character in response to cries of racism like this. And, as a token character, is a bad character.
st filmakers are white
Like I said before, this is not a reason to let things continue.
To let what continue? This is the point, nothing bad is happening!
It's bad to write about myself? It's bad to write about my friends? What about my mother? None of those things are bad!
If a writer cannot write outside their experience, then they are a poor writer and the film industry should be looking for better writers.
As a counterexample, there is a very successful series of books (and a TV series based on them") called "The Number One Ladies Detective Agency". The books are about female black detectives and were written by a white man. Agatha Christie's Poirot character was a male character written by a female author.
A lot of the time, characters aren't specifically "white" or "black" they are just human. One of the main characters in Friends could just as easily have been black as white. In most action movies, the main characters could just as easily be black as white.
And don't even start on "historical accuracy". There are many examples where black historical figures were played by white actors. Obvious examples are white actresses playing Cleopatra and white actors playing Jesus (depending on how you want to define history). More recently there was the situation in the "World Trade Center" movie where two african-american people (Jason Thomas and Bruce Reynolds) were represented by white characters.
What I am saying is that in situations where there is no plot reason for a character to be a specific race, why not use a black actor instead of a white actor?
And I ask, why choose a black actor instead of a white actor? Choose the best one not the one who fits a certain race! You desire what you hate! You complain about white people being chosen over black ones and then complain because black people isn't being chosen over white ones!
If most actors are white then what would be rare to have as many black characters! If for every female engieneering student there are 10 male ones it's no surprise most engineers are male! The problem is not at the workplace, it's way back, when they get the gender roles. People want to "fix" the problem in a pinch when it's a deep one that can't be solved so easily.