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Old 05-18-2013, 03:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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ethnicity in movies

Do you like when a character's ethnicity changes in a film adaption? Do you believe that it's right or acceptable in anyway?

I don't really like it very much. I've always supported multiethnic casts and diversity in film, and I believe that bigotry still exists in the movie industry, but I don't believe that "race-change" is right because it disrupts the artistic integrity of the adaption. When a character is adapted it should be done so faithfully. However, I can mostly ignore it if the character's ethnicity isn't integral to his/her personality.

I bring out another point which is the real aim of this topic. A big controversy always erupts when a non-white actor plays a white character in a superhero movie adaption, but not the reverse. I heard much outcry over the casting of Heimdall and Nick Fury, yet little over Ra's Al-Ghul, Bane, or Storm, and most people only complained about the Mandarin because of "political correctness," not obvious racism. Is that fair? I don't believe that the viewers are racist, but something is wrong here.
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

I had when movies change anything from whatever they adapted from. Those god awful transformers... /shutter.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

Is this really something people will debate? Seems like it's just a matter of personal preference and lots of answers will be basically "yes" or "no". I'll move it to chat for now and if it develops into a debate I can always move it back.

As for my answer I don't really care about it as long as it doesn't distract too much from the movie. One that annoyed me was Will Smith as the guy from I Am Legend. There was no reason to recast the character from the book. I like Will Smith but they could've easily cast a white dude to keep in line with the book. But they destroyed the story anyways so I guess it doesn't really matter.

Why would anyone be mad about Storm?
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Old 05-19-2013, 01:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

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Originally Posted by unclechicken View Post
I don't see Black, White, Hispanic or Asian, I see Human.
It's not about being racist, it's about accurate portrayal. I'm pretty sure that you'd think it was dumb if a new Fat Albert movie came out and the entire gang was white.
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Old 05-19-2013, 03:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

I prefer to think of people as Human as well, but that's difficult in certain artificial contexts.

By the way, I intended that I put this in "Chat," but I mistakenly put it in certain"Debate." I realize that this isn't an intensely important topic, but I just wanted to know others' opinion on the subject.

Last edited by Mikman; 05-19-2013 at 03:26 PM..
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

If it is a real person like Gandhi or Richard Pryor then there shouldn't be any changes.

If it is important to the characters story such as Django or Tonto or Mohinder Suresh from Heroes then they shouldn't make changes.

If Leo and Fox changed roles in Django it would have ruined the movie simply because the color of their skin would not work with the story.

If it doesn't matter to the story or characters then I don't care if they make changes. Super Man and Spider Man can be any color from any country.
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

I believe that people make too big a deal of a character's ethnicity sometimes.

Here are some related questions. Do you believe that an actor should play a character of another ethnicity?

Do you like when a character's sex is changed?
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Old 05-20-2013, 04:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikman View Post
Do you believe that an actor should play a character of another ethnicity?

Huh?

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  that movie was funnier that I thought it was going to be
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

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Originally Posted by Mikman View Post

Do you like when a character's sex is changed?
Hannibal tv series does this with the reporter. In the novel, the reporter is a man.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

That movie parodied those kinds of roles, so it's not really the same thing. But in a serious movie, I believe that it's mostly wrong. I really dislike when a mixed-race person plays a single-race person, because that implies the continuation of archaic "one-drop rule" attitudes, which have no place in modern society.

As for gender change, I dislike it because it seems like tokenism to me, although I dislike it less if the character is minor or the gender isn't important to his/her persona.
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

So is that why you had a problem with Storm? Halle isn't black enough because she's bi racial? I agree that casting her was bad but not for that kind of reason.
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Old 05-22-2013, 02:18 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

Actually I disliked her because she didn't act convincingly enough like an African woman or a powerful superhuman. In this case, she's just an example of this problem I have with movies, which is that mixed people can play black people but not white people. That's my problem with Storm and others like her.

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  Halle Berry cannot act period
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

I'm kinda afraid to ask but now I have to, how does someone act like an African woman?
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

Ethnicity in not my concern, I just don't like Halle Berry's acting in any movie (an exception would be Monster's Ball).
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dudebro View Post
I'm kinda afraid to ask but now I have to, how does someone act like an African woman?
By that I mean that she didn't convincingly play an African person. When an actor plays a character of another ethnicity, he/she should seem as if he/she is of that ethnicity, because that's what an actor does. Mostly it was her accent.
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:08 PM   #16 (permalink)
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+1 (+1/-0)     
Re: ethnicity in movies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikman View Post
When an actor plays a character of another ethnicity, he/she should seem as if he/she is of that ethnicity


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  I've been getting this feeling a lot recently
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:27 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

How about Ben Kingsley as Gandhi?


Now he's set to play The Mandarin in Iron Man 3, a character who's Chinese in the comics. It's hard to doubt his acting ability but those are odd roles for a British guy right?
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:55 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

I agree that Ben Kingsley isn't the right choice even if he's a good actor. Remember, though, that the Mandarin is half English and half Chinese, with some Mongolian ancestry. Really they should have cast a mixed European-Asian actor, although I hear that some final twist in IM3, which I've not seen yet, explains this, so I don't know if I'm wrong.

Ultimately my point is that if an actor plays an another ethnicity then he/she should do it right.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:47 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

You don't think Kingsley plays a believable Indian? It was a trick question he's half Indian. He was born in England but his birth name is Krishna Pandit Bhanji. So is he still a bad choice?

Your point is kinda offensive to be honest. It's like you expect the actors to play up the stereotypes to get the role the way you think it should be.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:14 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

LOL..... Dope Topic, Im Havin' A Ball...hahaha
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:05 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

I really don't like it when they transform an actor/actress to play a role.
I'm supposed to be impressed that Christian Bale gained 150 pounds to play a role? No, I'm pissed they did'nt give some dude who already weighs 300 lbs a chance.
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Old 05-25-2013, 01:50 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dudebro View Post
You don't think Kingsley plays a believable Indian? It was a trick question he's half Indian. He was born in England but his birth name is Krishna Pandit Bhanji. So is he still a bad choice?
I meant the Mandarin, not Gandhi, and I know that he's half Indian and that he played that role very well.

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Originally Posted by Dudebro View Post
Your point is kinda offensive to be honest. It's like you expect the actors to play up the stereotypes to get the role the way you think it should be.
How is my point offensive? My point is that an actor should play the role well, not that he/she should portray a stereotype, which is the opposite of my intent. I'm offended when filmmakers cast roles with people who aren't of the right ethnicity because actors of all ethnicities exist and should be given the chance so that they can perform important roles, and shouldn't be passed over for someone who just looks like the character because it's convenient. I promote diversity and you say that's it's offensive. Wow.
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Old 05-25-2013, 05:03 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

But you're saying they should play that nationality without explaining how they'd pull it off. How could someone play an African woman? How could they portray a Chinese man? It seems like the only answer is to play up the stereotypes. Obviously I don't mean the mean spirited exaggerated kind. So help me understand, what would you suggest Hallie could've done to seem black enough like an african woman.
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:31 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

Essentially her accent was weak, which I suppose isn't much but I've heard when other actors have used more realistic accents. What bothered me really was that the filmmakers didn't bother that they find a capable actress who could playan African. My ultimate point was that I dislike how filmmakers seem that they believe that all black people are the same, which isn't true. Of course, Magneto should have a Polish accent as well.

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Old 05-26-2013, 02:05 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: ethnicity in movies

But if she tried to put on an accent(which would have to be a stereotypical accent to be recognizable) then people would've complained that it was offensive or strange.

How do you "play African"? I've asked something similar a few times and you haven't explained it.

Lots of characters in the Xmen movies were off. Did Hugh Jackman sound Canadian? Was Xavier supposed to sound like he's of French lineage like Patrick Stewart? It's the same in most shows/movies you pick the best actor for the role instead of worrying about minor points only die hards will care about, like Wolverine saying aboot every now and then.
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