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General Discussions => General Discussion => Topic started by: Guillermo on September 11, 2018, 12:06:05 PM

Title: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Guillermo on September 11, 2018, 12:06:05 PM
Is it racist to argue in favor of not changing a character's race to a different one as described in the original source material?

Examples of this happening include:

Clearly, Whitewashing and hating on the topic just because it's one race and and loving it because its another race are clearly racist viewpoint.

I have seen arguments in favor of casting roles that differ from the source material for the purpose of diversity saying that those that oppose it are being racist.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: wastrel on September 11, 2018, 12:15:05 PM
This goes back to reverse racism not being a thing, in my mind.  Changing a character from white/majority to a classically minority or disadvantaged group, probably not a huge problem.  Going the other way.....who the hell would think that's a good idea? At that point, you are very purposefully piling onto a disadvantage group at that point.

This crosses from races into gender, disability, ethnicity, etc.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: SkeptiQueer on September 11, 2018, 12:17:46 PM
Maybe.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: amysrevenge on September 11, 2018, 12:36:34 PM
Can be. 

Most of the time, especially with legacy/older IPs, white guy is the "default" choice for any character.  Peter Parker is a white guy because that's what "normal" people are to a 1960s audience of white people.  Being a white guy isn't critical to the character of Peter Parker or Spider-Man, it's just a default setting.  Casting Peter Parker as an American of Asian descent or Hispanic descent wouldn't change the character (I'm not talking about Miles Morales here, actual Peter Parker) in a way to make it unrecognizable.  And so arguing against that casting choice in a non-racist way would be hard.

For the above example:  if the change went into the actual story, and Peter Parker was a fresh immigrant with an accent who struggled with assimilating into mainstream American culture and Aunt May spoke no English - while an interesting story, it is a *different* story than the Spider-Man story, and you could possibly argue against it in a non-racist way.  "Tell your story, it sounds great.  Just don't re-skin the Spider-Man story to do it, make something new" is the argument you might use.  I wouldn't use it, and you could still run into problems.  But it could be possible.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: random poet on September 11, 2018, 12:37:26 PM
Is it racist to argue in favor of not changing a character's race to a different one as described in the original source material?

Examples of this happening include:
  • Eldris Alba cast as Roland Deschain in the movie
  • Scarlet Johansen cast as Major Motoko Kusanagi
  • Tilda Swinton cast as The Ancient One
  • Samuel L. Jackson cast as Nick Fury
Clearly, Whitewashing and hating on the topic just because it's one race and and loving it because its another race are clearly racist viewpoint.

I have seen arguments in favor of casting roles that differ from the source material for the purpose of diversity saying that those that oppose it are being racist.
You forgot the current internet-exploding racial casting change, Netflix announcing they would cast a "black or asian" actress as Ciri for the Witcher series. The dorks are so riled up, I wouldn't even be surprised to see a DDoS attack coming their way.

And yeah it is pretty much always for racist reasons. If you're not racist, you won't really care what race a character might be in a necessarily-imperfect screen adaptation of a book, comic or game you like. It might even make the character better. And if you are a studio casting a white to play a racial character, you are doing it because you racistly decide that will make you more money.

Let's not forget the torrent of abuse that Kelly Mary Tran got just for being an asian woman playing in a Star Wars film. People are angry that she even exists. She's not replacing a white character from the books or anything. They created that character for the film. But she is still effectively replacing a white man, in the insane, battered clockwork of bigoted fans' heads.



Also, to nitpick, the Major from Ghost in the Shell was white in the books. They took a japanese lady and put her Ghost in an american Shell. That was kind of the point of the character. That whole controversy was even stupider than the others.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: John Albert on September 11, 2018, 12:41:58 PM
I'd say it probably depends on the rationale behind the opinion, but I don't feel quite comfortable being the one to make that decision.

In some cases the race of the character might be so inherent to that character's gestalt, that it cannot be extricated without drastically altering the character's personality, motives, position in society, relationships to other characters, etc. Changing the race of a major character could even change the basic themes of the narrative. That could be a reasonable, non-racist justification for keeping the character's racial identity intact.

Some Hollywood movies already suffer from this problem, when they cast a white guy in place of a character that by all propriety ought to be of a certain ethnicity.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on September 11, 2018, 12:45:35 PM
What a weird question. Racist? I don't think so. But it would be odd.

For example, in the movie Alexander (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_(2004_film)), I assume that they chose Rosario Dawson to play Roxana, rather than Scarlett Johansson. The former looks more like an ancient Bactrian would look like than the latter does.

Meanwhile, in Gladiator (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladiator_(2000_film)), it would have been weird to have Morgan Freeman playing Marcus Aurelius.

So racist, no. Just weird. People who lose sleep over this or who build elobarate castles of air around it have too much sparetime.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: brilligtove on September 11, 2018, 12:51:57 PM
Racist recasting: Shaft as a white guy.
Not racist recasting: The Equalizer as a black guy.

The difference is not whether the character is white or black in the end or in the beginning. The difference is whether the color of their skin is fundamental to their character. An equally bad choice would be to cast Peter Dinklage as a basketball player in their biopic. Not racist in that case, but stupidly insensitive to a core element of the character.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: John Albert on September 11, 2018, 12:53:47 PM
You forgot the current internet-exploding racial casting change, Netflix announcing they would cast a "black or asian" actress as Ciri for the Witcher series. The dorks are so riled up, I wouldn't even be surprised to see a DDoS attack coming their way.

In the case of The Witcher, I can't speak for dorks, but some critics have a reasonable point.

That game is created by a Polish game company, and was very intentionally made to portray a medieval Polish setting with uniquely Polish traditions, themes, and myths. It was clearly intended as an adaptation of old world Polish culture, not a celebration of modern multiculturalism. In a piece such as that, changing the race of a character for no valid aesthetic reason but just to satisfy some diversity quotient could be seen as a compromise of the vision of the original work.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Ron Obvious on September 11, 2018, 01:06:14 PM
Not in my opinion. If the character's ethnicity or sex takes me out of the film, e.g. a female black Julius Caesar, it's a bad casting choice. Nothing racist about that.

I can see doing it for artistic reasons if it's part of making a specific point, but not if that's not the intent. Casting Idris Elba as James Bond or Pippi Longstocking makes me feel it's done to drive home a specific point, which reduces the entertainment value of the film in question. Make a 008 film instead. Wouldn't want to see a white Shaft either.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Rai on September 11, 2018, 01:24:37 PM
Depends on the circumstances, but mostly yes, if it is a white actor playing a non-white character.

Casting a white actor in a non-whit role reinforces white hegemony over the film/tv industry and it also marginalises non-white actors (for example it is already hard enough for South or East Asian actors to get decent roles, but seeing white actors play Asian characters just makes it all that worse), often forcing them into roles that are pure racist stereotypes.

White actors just don't feel the pressure, therefore casting non-white actors for white roles is perfectly OK most of the time. 73% of all roles are White anyway, it's not like Colin Farrell is only cast to play a Leprechaun or David Cross, a native of Atlanta, has no problems getting roles other than that of a Confederate soldier.

You forgot the current internet-exploding racial casting change, Netflix announcing they would cast a "black or asian" actress as Ciri for the Witcher series. The dorks are so riled up, I wouldn't even be surprised to see a DDoS attack coming their way.

In the case of The Witcher, I can't speak for dorks, but some critics have a reasonable point.

That game is created by a Polish game company, and was very intentionally made to portray a medieval Polish setting with uniquely Polish traditions, themes, and myths. It was clearly intended as an adaptation of old world Polish culture, not a celebration of modern multiculturalism. In a piece such as that, changing the race of a character for no valid aesthetic reason but just to satisfy some diversity quotient could be seen as a compromise of the vision of the original work.


How on earth is the vision of a completely fictional world compromised by adding a little variation of skin tone? If the audience accepts fictional geographies, magic, monsters, mythological and fairytale elements, is it so much for them to accept someone who happens to be not pearly white? Were vampires, dragons, elves, child-eating swamp hags all over Old World Poland? Were there cat-eyed, sterile, white-haired, emotionless monster hunters roaming around 13th century Krakow?

Did CD Projekt Red cause trigger the precious fans by having mythological beings speak with a Welsh accent in Witcher 3? I don't think anyone spoke with a Welsh accent in Merry Old White Poland.

Why is it the only thing that ever triggers these overwhelmingly white male snowflake audiences if there are, women or, horrible dictu, people of colour introduced to their precious little white male fantasies?
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: 2397 on September 11, 2018, 01:27:30 PM
In a way I don't care. When people brought up Marvel Heimdall's "race" vs. them being Norse gods, maybe I could complain about cultural appropriation, but given that they're aliens who could be exposed to varying levels of solar radiation where they live, it makes sense they would evolve varieties in pigmentation.

I don't like the idea of changing a character because of their ethnicity, to a "better" one for PR reasons or whatever. Unless it's to make it more historically accurate, or for some story reason where it would make sense to have it different from the way it was originally/commonly thought. If a demigod was born into a population and is supposed to look like some average person, to the point where someone else has to finger them for them to be caught out, then it doesn't make sense to maintain them having a completely different ethnicity to the given local population.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: daniel1948 on September 11, 2018, 01:29:04 PM
I would see it as an issue of equal opportunity. In western culture the heroes are often white, and so people of color seldom get hired to play the role of heroes. Giving a "traditionally white" role to a minority looks to me like expanding equality of opportunity. Giving one of the very rare minority roles to a white person is denying opportunity. However, an exception would be when a story is imported from another culture and adapted to the local culture. If an American filmmaker decides to adapt a Japanese story for the American audience, then casting white actors is not necessarily racist.

We need to see more minorities in strong heroic roles. And if that means casting a black person in a traditionally white role, I've got no problem with that.

Example: When I was visiting London a decade ago I saw a performance of Romeo and Juliette played by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Romeo was played by a black actor wearing dreadlocks. It was a fabulous performance. I see nothing wrong with the casting, and I think it would definitely have been racist to assert that this black actor should not have played the part of Romeo. Juliette was played by a white actor, and this highlighted the whole family feud thing.

OTOH, I think it would be bizarre to cast a white actor in the role of Othello, since his race is an integral part of the story. There is nothing in the story line of most of our traditional stories or pop culture stories that requires the character to be one particular race or another. Peter Parker could as easily be black or Mexican or Asian as white. Same with Clark Kent or any of our other comic-book heroes.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: John Albert on September 11, 2018, 01:29:53 PM
You forgot the current internet-exploding racial casting change, Netflix announcing they would cast a "black or asian" actress as Ciri for the Witcher series. The dorks are so riled up, I wouldn't even be surprised to see a DDoS attack coming their way.

In the case of The Witcher, I can't speak for dorks, but some critics have a reasonable point.

That game is created by a Polish game company, and was very intentionally made to portray a medieval Polish setting with uniquely Polish traditions, themes, and myths. It was clearly intended as an adaptation of old world Polish culture, not a celebration of modern multiculturalism. In a piece such as that, changing the race of a character for no valid aesthetic reason but just to satisfy some diversity quotient could be seen as a compromise of the vision of the original work.


How on earth is the vision of a completely fictional world compromised by adding a little variation of skin tone?

Because of what I said. Read what I said. I think I made myself quite clear.


Not in my opinion. If the character's ethnicity or sex takes me out of the film, e.g. a female black Julius Caesar, it's a bad casting choice. Nothing racist about that.

What's even more annoying is when bad casting choices and maladapted movies are hyped by studios and activicts as "must see," on the basis of their politics instead of being good movies. As if sitting in a theater seat munching popcorn through a shitty movie is a revolutionary act, and we owe the Hollywood producers a debt of gratitude for daring to pander to identity politics in pursuit of a quick buck. 


Example: When I was visiting London a decade ago I saw a performance of Romeo and Juliette played by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Romeo was played by a black actor wearing dreadlocks. It was a fabulous performance. I see nothing wrong with the casting, and I think it would definitely have been racist to assert that this black actor should not have played the part of Romeo. Juliette was played by a white actor, and this highlighted the whole family feud thing.

Black Orpheus is a great movie, regardless what Obama said.


Casting Idris Elba as James Bond or Pippi Longstocking makes me feel it's done to drive home a specific point, which reduces the entertainment value of the film in question. Make a 008 film instead.

I don't know about this. Seven different actors have portrayed the British agent, including a Scotsman, an Irishman, a Welshman, and an Australian. Each actor has brought his own personality to the role. I see no problem with casting a black guy in the role.

However, I'd certainly consider it a racist, pandering insult if they changed his designation to "008" just because he's black.   

Idris Alba is a great actor, but I think it would be very creepy to see him portraying a peppy, young, white girl with ginger pigtails and freckles. 


Racist recasting: Shaft as a white guy.
Wouldn't want to see a white Shaft either.

Only if it starred Chris Elliot.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Rai on September 11, 2018, 01:49:04 PM
You forgot the current internet-exploding racial casting change, Netflix announcing they would cast a "black or asian" actress as Ciri for the Witcher series. The dorks are so riled up, I wouldn't even be surprised to see a DDoS attack coming their way.

In the case of The Witcher, I can't speak for dorks, but some critics have a reasonable point.

That game is created by a Polish game company, and was very intentionally made to portray a medieval Polish setting with uniquely Polish traditions, themes, and myths. It was clearly intended as an adaptation of old world Polish culture, not a celebration of modern multiculturalism. In a piece such as that, changing the race of a character for no valid aesthetic reason but just to satisfy some diversity quotient could be seen as a compromise of the vision of the original work.


How on earth is the vision of a completely fictional world compromised by adding a little variation of skin tone?

Because of what I said. Read what I said. I think I made myself quite clear.

No you did not.

Why are child-eating swamp hags, cat-eyed monster hunters, elements of Arthurian legends or non-Polish fairytales acceptable breaks from Medieval Polish reality, but changing generic white character No. 85129 to a slightly darker skintone just totally breaks the world and the holy vision of the author?

Was it so bad when Peter Jackson made Legolas blonde? Was Tolkien's vision tarnished? Was J. K. Rowling's work ruined because Harry Potter had green eyes? Why is skin colour so much more important than any other phenotype variation? Is it maybe because the audiences are racist crybabies?
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on September 11, 2018, 01:56:00 PM
Is it racist to argue in favor of not changing a character's race to a different one as described in the original source material?

Comes down to motive, I think.  With adaptations, I think it's usually some combination of pedantry and people wanting the product to match what's already in their head. 

But, as has been discussed already, there's more to life and art than pedantry and fidelity.  People like recognizing themselves in media, do not like feeling shut out out of the mainstream, etc.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: John Albert on September 11, 2018, 02:08:32 PM
Why are child-eating swamp hags, cat-eyed monster hunters, elements of Arthurian legends or non-Polish fairytales acceptable breaks from Medieval Polish reality

The Witcher contains a lot of obscure Polish legends and fairytales that go unrecognized by most non-Poles unfamiliar with the culture. So many of the things you're assuming to be non-Polish might very well be Polish in origin.

It's a fantasy game, so questioning whether something is an "acceptable" break from real Medieval Poland is irrelevant. It's not meant to portray reality.


generic white character No. 85129

The character of Ciri is a major one, not just a generic "extra."


to a slightly darker skintone just totally breaks the world and the holy vision of the author?

Who said anything about totally breaking the world, or anything being "holy"?

You really do need to reread what I wrote, because you're strongly overstating my opinion in your zeal to don your Paladin armor and ride in on the white horse to fight the big, bad dragon.


Is it maybe because the audiences are racist crybabies?

Why are you so quick to make hasty generalizations about people you've never met? Is it because you're so caught up in your own personal white savior narrative, that you're incapable of being reasonable?
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Ah.hell on September 11, 2018, 02:24:44 PM
Depends.  A lot of fanboys have certain visions in their heads of how a character might look, especially true of stuff that's been in a visual medium for decades.  Even when actors are the same race you often get some of this.  I though MJ's casting in the first spider-man series nearly offensive.  She just doesn't fit the part.   When you sub one race for another or switch genders, there's some of that and usually if not always some racism/sexism too. 

The racist backlash seems to be fading somewhat.  My perception of Idris Elbas casting as Heimdal vs Roland was that their was a great deal more backlash with Heimdal.  Totally subjective analysis on my part of course.

There's also an element of backlash to whitewashing movies that I find rather silly.  When Hollywood remakes foreign properties they often change the race of characters and there is often a backlash.  Who cares what some anime character's race is?  Usually.  Sure, casting a character in a samurai anime as a white guy would be weird but some far future sci fi or something moved from tokyo to new york, meh.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: John Albert on September 11, 2018, 02:38:05 PM
Sure, casting a character in a samurai anime as a white guy would be weird

The Last Samurai was the first thing I thought of after reading Guillermo's original post.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Rai on September 11, 2018, 03:06:56 PM
Why are child-eating swamp hags, cat-eyed monster hunters, elements of Arthurian legends or non-Polish fairytales acceptable breaks from Medieval Polish reality

Because that's the world that the game creators made.

Ok, so why can't the filmmakers make their version of that world? Isn't that the definition of an adaptation?

generic white character No. 85129

The character of Ciri is a major one, not just a generic "extra."

She is a generic white magical "chosen one" protagonist with royal blood, in line with the tired traditions of mainstream fantasy. She is better written and more nuanced than most, but that does not change the big picture.

Is it maybe because the audiences are racist crybabies?

Why are you so quick to make hasty generalizations about people you've never met? Maybe it's because you're so caught up in your own personal white savior complex that you're just not capable of being reasonable?

Because I know how toxic online fantasy/sci-fi fandoms are. Especially communities on Reddit, where this nonsense racist crybaby whining originates from.

Also because, as you failed to address over your gamergate-esque comments about my person, it is always gender and race that triggers these scandals, and never any other kind of standard human variation. Do you think there would have been a scandal over maybe casting a blue-eyed person as Ciri?

Also, since when is Poland white in the Middle-Ages? They had one of the great trade centres of the time, Gdansk, bringing in people from all over the known world. Via Regia, the most important trade route of Northern Europe passed through smack in the middle of the country. They had local Roma, Jewish, Central Asian Turkic (there are still two distinct Turkic languages spoken in Poland) populations. A White  European Middle Ages is a totally ahistorical fabrication.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Ron Obvious on September 11, 2018, 03:21:13 PM
Do you think there would have been a scandal over maybe casting a blue-eyed person as Ciri?

I'm not familiar with the fantasy world in question, but just because it's fantasy doesn't mean anything goes and internal consistency and logic could be done away with entirely.  There was a minor kerfuffle some years back, when a dark-skinned woman was turned down for the role of an extra in the Hobbit.  IMO, adding ethnic diversity to a notoriously insular, immobile population living in an alternate Northern Europe which would not have such genetic diversity would violate internal logic and consistency. Again, nothing racist about not casting Asian and black hobbits in such a case, as it would harm the willing suspension of disbelief.

As for eye-colour, almost never a problem unless, say, casting a brown-eyed Frank Sinatra.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: John Albert on September 11, 2018, 03:48:33 PM
Why are child-eating swamp hags, cat-eyed monster hunters, elements of Arthurian legends or non-Polish fairytales acceptable breaks from Medieval Polish reality

Because that's the world that the game creators made.

Ok, so why can't the filmmakers make their version of that world? Isn't that the definition of an adaptation?

I didn't say they couldn't.


generic white character No. 85129

The character of Ciri is a major one, not just a generic "extra."

She is a generic white magical "chosen one" protagonist with royal blood, in line with the tired traditions of mainstream fantasy. She is better written and more nuanced than most, but that does not change the big picture.

Is that meant as a criticism of the character?

It's a fantasy game that deliberately draws on European fairy tales, within that context the "magical chosen royal protagonist" is a stock fairy tale trope. Hence it's entirely appropriate to the subject matter.
                                                                       black or Asian
So if they cast her differently, she'll be a generic white^magical "chosen one" protagonist with royal blood. It wouldn't substantially improve the clichéd nature of the trope, but it might depart from the original game's vision enough to stick out like a sore thumb.


I know how toxic online fantasy/sci-fi fandoms are. Especially communities on Reddit, where this nonsense racist crybaby whining originates from.

So you just double down on your hasty generalization with even more hasty generalizations. Great reasoning there.


your gamergate-esque comments about my person

You set yourself up for that kind of criticism for assuming this self-righteous posture whenever political issues come up in discussion. It's clear that you feel obligated to assert a take-no-prisoners crusader image, going straight into attack mode without recognizing any nuance in the things that other people say. That's not a reasonable or civil way to have a discussion.

Another problem you have is this penchant for slandering people by associating them with Nazis, Gamergaters and other assorted bigots just because they don't meet your irrational level of political zeal.


Do you think there would have been a scandal over maybe casting a blue-eyed person as Ciri?

Not necessarily, because blue-eyes were not uncommon among royalty in Medieval Poland. Anyway, actors sometimes use contacts to change the color of their eyes for a role.

The arguments that I was defending don't have anything to do with race per se. All I said was that the decision to oppose a POC actress was not necessarily racist, but could be justified on purely artistic principles such as faithfulness to the vision of the original game.


Also, since when is Poland white in the Middle-Ages? They had one of the great trade centres of the time, Gdansk, bringing in people from all over the known [... blah blah blah]

You keep reciting this same canard about realism. I never argued that the game was intended as an accurate portrayal of Medieval Poland. I said that it was the game designers' vision to portray a fantasy impression of Medieval Poland that drew on traditional Polish myths, fairy tales, and specifically Polish cultural artifacts.

Again, I never advocated for an all-white cast or said it was a bad idea to cast a non-Caucasian actor for the role. All I said was that a reasonable, not necessarily racist argument could be made to cast a white actor for the role.

Like I said before, you should read what I actually fucking said, before you go putting words into my mouth and calling me names.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Jeremy's Sea on September 11, 2018, 08:21:38 PM
It's a bit like the character in Thor that Idris played (Heimdall?) and people going bonkers over that. Sure, it's Norse mythology, but it's also almost nothing like Norse mythology. Shit gets adapted from novel to screen or from game to screen, why can't just about anything be "reimagined" in another medium? I'm no fanboy though, so I'm more compelled by interesting ideas/visuals/stories than I am about some slavish reverance of source material, so maybe I don't get the crippling emotional attachment these 4chan types have.

And for anyone worried about white actors getting shut out of non-white roles, they can just wear black face.

kidding, of course.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Rai on September 12, 2018, 03:51:10 AM
(click to show/hide)

OK. First of all, I would appreciate if, after basically starting this coversation with gamergate-esque slurs, you did not make judgements about my character just because I called you out on said slurs. If you don't like to be called out, try addressing the argument of the person instead of insulting them and if you don't want to be associated with bigots, then don't use their slurs.

Secondly, I sense some confusion: First you say that changing eye colour is OK because that is an eye colour that was normal in Medieval Poland. (Let's ignore the fact that the character in question is from the royal line of a cosmopolitan Southern empire that is not based on Poland in any way, but is instead inspired by Rome (both the unified and the Eastern Empires). Then in your next sentence you rail against my "canard about realism"? How can you argue both for and against a history-based view?

BTW, having a non-white protagonist would break the mold of white-dominated fiction. That is the opposite of "generic". Imagine, for example a Roma actor in the role. It would be PERFECT: fits the cultural context, finally allows for the representation of Roma people in media (Can you even name a single Roma protagonist on TV? I sure can't. Not even a Roma actor.) and it would GLORIOUSLY piss off all Polish nazis and reddit bigots.

Finally, your original post, if you read it was markedly not about the decision to cast a white actor. It was about giving support to the "critics" of the idea that the TV series could maybe try to cast a non-white person, who you said ""have a point". Those critics come from Reddit, and while I appreciate your feigned naivety about the fedora demographic of that site that stirred up this particular shitstorm (and all the others when women or minorities appeared in any adaptation of their precious white fantasies), it is clear that they are pretty damn racist.

You also argued that changes to the appearance of the characters is OK (if it is within historical reality), but changing skin colour is seemingly an exception (screw historical reality), and the people who argue against such an artistic choice are not necessarily racist. Their underlying argument is that they just  don't want brown people in particular to soil their white fantasy. Which is totally not racist. Not at all. Nope.

Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: bimble on September 12, 2018, 07:18:52 AM
It's a bit like the character in Thor that Idris played (Heimdall?) and people going bonkers over that. Sure, it's Norse mythology, but it's also almost nothing like Norse mythology. Shit gets adapted from novel to screen or from game to screen, why can't just about anything be "reimagined" in another medium? I'm no fanboy though, so I'm more compelled by interesting ideas/visuals/stories than I am about some slavish reverance of source material, so maybe I don't get the crippling emotional attachment these 4chan types have.


Were people really getting their knickers in a twist over that*? I mean, sure, whilst it's technically based upon Norse mythology, the premise is that Norse mythology is BASED upon that...


* - they could have been... whilst I might occasionally read the comics, I don't follow the culture enough to pick up on trends amongst fans
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: SkeptiQueer on September 12, 2018, 07:40:46 AM
It's a bit like the character in Thor that Idris played (Heimdall?) and people going bonkers over that. Sure, it's Norse mythology, but it's also almost nothing like Norse mythology. Shit gets adapted from novel to screen or from game to screen, why can't just about anything be "reimagined" in another medium? I'm no fanboy though, so I'm more compelled by interesting ideas/visuals/stories than I am about some slavish reverance of source material, so maybe I don't get the crippling emotional attachment these 4chan types have.


Were people really getting their knickers in a twist over that*? I mean, sure, whilst it's technically based upon Norse mythology, the premise is that Norse mythology is BASED upon that...


* - they could have been... whilst I might occasionally read the comics, I don't follow the culture enough to pick up on trends amongst fans

Yes, the same people mad about Heimdall not being white were also mad that any nonwhite characters were included in the series at all, and are now mad about a non-white Ciri.

The Witcher is a great example of the racism inherent in fanboy outrage. The series is based on books, and was adapted (a fancy word that means changed) to fit the video game platform and reach a wider audience. Now that it's being marketed to an even larger audience, it's changing again. Of course the same voices that claim that cultural appropriation doesn't exist are leaping to scream about race-blind casting. There are layers and layers of racism in the fandom and the complaints.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Harry Black on September 12, 2018, 07:50:10 AM
It's a bit like the character in Thor that Idris played (Heimdall?) and people going bonkers over that. Sure, it's Norse mythology, but it's also almost nothing like Norse mythology. Shit gets adapted from novel to screen or from game to screen, why can't just about anything be "reimagined" in another medium? I'm no fanboy though, so I'm more compelled by interesting ideas/visuals/stories than I am about some slavish reverance of source material, so maybe I don't get the crippling emotional attachment these 4chan types have.


Were people really getting their knickers in a twist over that*? I mean, sure, whilst it's technically based upon Norse mythology, the premise is that Norse mythology is BASED upon that...


* - they could have been... whilst I might occasionally read the comics, I don't follow the culture enough to pick up on trends amongst fans
Yeah, it was a whole thing.
Apparently a pantheon with a world creation myth are only supposed to look like one category of people in the world that was created.

I saw The Last Samurai mentioned? Thats actually more a mighty whitey trope as no character ethnicity was swapped.

If race is not integral to the character and story then theres no reason not to increase representation so more people can feel good while watching.

If you say race is not integral and then cast a white person in a role that was traditionally for people of colour then that is playing into a white supremacist system, by intention or not, by reducing the already limited roles for people of colour.

Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: brilligtove on September 12, 2018, 07:59:32 AM
I find these arguments often rely on ignoring nuance and ignoring generalities at the same time. It's frustrating. I make a general point, and get leapt on for specific exception with nuanced reasons for being exceptions. Then I get leapt on for making specific claims that don't fit with the general point. Happens a lot in affirmative action discussions too.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: mindme on September 12, 2018, 08:32:24 AM
I think it depends on the motivation. Arguably, say, Samuel Jackson was the best person for the role. Swapping in a white woman for a Japanese woman because you fear Chinese audiences, hepped up on anti-Japanese sentiments, will reject your movie seems like a form of racism.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Guillermo on September 12, 2018, 09:21:27 AM
If a movie casts a white person to fill a role established as a minority, because said actor has a following and would gain many times more viewers, and thus more profit.

vs

If a movie casts a minority in a in a role established as a white person, because adding diversity would gain many times more viewers, and thus more profit.

If a person argued in favor or against both cases, then they are consistent and not racially motivated. But I often see one sided arguments, rage for one and not the other.

I get tired of said discussions but am quite interested in the motivation and psychology behind the argument. This seems to be part of the tribal nature of humans.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Harry Black on September 12, 2018, 09:30:56 AM
Yeah. Its tribalism.

Not the fact that the entertainment industry clearly pays differently based along racial and gendered lines and that execs are on record as saying (in private emails, unchallenged as its 'common wisdom') that Denzel cannot open a movie outside the US due to his skin colour.
We know that the American (and UK) entertainment industry as it exists today has grown to its current form based on decades of an assumed white audience with cishet men and women as the default.
This is part of a white supremacist structure, in just the same way that unfair sentencing on black people is and in just the same way that companies have implicit hiring biases.

Its not necessarily or even usually the classic frothing at the mouth, hood wearing and tiki torch racism, but it is racially based predjudice none the less.
No one really needs to be villified and cast out over it, but it should be pointed out where we see it so we can begin to make a change.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Guillermo on September 12, 2018, 09:52:05 AM
No one really needs to be villified and cast out over it, but it should be pointed out where we see it so we can begin to make a change.
I agree with calling out everything that is prejudiced. But I am also of the mind that this current culture is calling out situation that could be marginally considered insensitive, and the overflow of said calling out is actually causing more harm than good, because it gives valid munition to those that are racially motivated.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Harry Black on September 12, 2018, 11:13:28 AM
No one really needs to be villified and cast out over it, but it should be pointed out where we see it so we can begin to make a change.
I agree with calling out everything that is prejudiced. But I am also of the mind that this current culture is calling out situation that could be marginally considered insensitive, and the overflow of said calling out is actually causing more harm than good, because it gives valid munition to those that are racially motivated.
I may need you to rephrase that as I'm not sure I understand.

The good is that we are clearly seeing more talented people of colour starting to get the roles and recognition they deserve.

What harm is being done?
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: daniel1948 on September 12, 2018, 11:22:28 AM
If a movie casts a white person to fill a role established as a minority, because said actor has a following and would gain many times more viewers, and thus more profit.

vs

If a movie casts a minority in a in a role established as a white person, because adding diversity would gain many times more viewers, and thus more profit.

If a person argued in favor or against both cases, then they are consistent and not racially motivated. But I often see one sided arguments, rage for one and not the other.

I get tired of said discussions but am quite interested in the motivation and psychology behind the argument. This seems to be part of the tribal nature of humans.

For me (though I'm repeating myself here) it's about equal opportunity in the entertainment industry. I think that diversity is good. Historically, minorities have only been cast in negative roles. We need more minorities in positive roles. If that means putting more minority actors in "traditional" white roles, and avoiding putting white actors in the few roles previously played by minorities, then I think that's fine.

Affirmative action is not "reverse discrimination." It's an attempt to correct present discrimination.

There are roles like Othello where the race of the character is integral to the story. But there are extremely few such roles.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on September 12, 2018, 12:28:44 PM
But I often see one sided arguments, rage for one and not the other.

'Load balancing' appears to be the constant factor
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Jeremy's Sea on September 12, 2018, 02:40:29 PM
No one really needs to be villified and cast out over it, but it should be pointed out where we see it so we can begin to make a change.
I agree with calling out everything that is prejudiced. But I am also of the mind that this current culture is calling out situation that could be marginally considered insensitive, and the overflow of said calling out is actually causing more harm than good, because it gives valid munition to those that are racially motivated.
I may need you to rephrase that as I'm not sure I understand.

The good is that we are clearly seeing more talented people of colour starting to get the roles and recognition they deserve.

What harm is being done?
This is the gist of it all right here. There isn't any harm to point to, it's all hypothetical and smacks of hand wringing about some slippery slope we're on. Scarlett Johansen may have lost a role due to this, however, was she really harmed? It's not like she's never going to be cast and paid $10M again...

I have some personal anecdotes about "potential harm" as a white man in Hollywood, but in the larger perspective, I'm fine and can get work on my own merits. A friend (who is a minority woman) who writes for Marvel comics and on a popular fantasy TV series once pointed out to a whining white bro about "diversity" hiring that "now you just have to work hard to be better than everyone else in order to get your recognition, like I have always had to."
Sorry, not sorry white people.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Guillermo on September 12, 2018, 03:50:37 PM
No one really needs to be villified and cast out over it, but it should be pointed out where we see it so we can begin to make a change.
I agree with calling out everything that is prejudiced. But I am also of the mind that this current culture is calling out situation that could be marginally considered insensitive, and the overflow of said calling out is actually causing more harm than good, because it gives valid munition to those that are racially motivated.
I may need you to rephrase that as I'm not sure I understand.

The good is that we are clearly seeing more talented people of colour starting to get the roles and recognition they deserve.

What harm is being done?
Complaining and raging against something that is not racist as being racist would hurt the movement and a racist person a way of saying "This is getting out of hand" and then with enough of those, people will start thinking that there are too many snowflakes and that the government needs to do something about that and end up voting for Trump. include social media bubbles and people are going to side with the racist debater.

It's about the same effect as when a woman calls rape when there is no rape.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Nosmas on September 12, 2018, 04:01:07 PM
Is it racist to argue in favor of not changing a character's race to a different one as described in the original source material?

Comes down to motive, I think.  With adaptations, I think it's usually some combination of pedantry and people wanting the product to match what's already in their head. 

But, as has been discussed already, there's more to life and art than pedantry and fidelity.  People like recognizing themselves in media, do not like feeling shut out out of the mainstream, etc.

Agree with all of this. I think there's usually not racist motivations but sometimes I'm sure there are. People who are big fans of a thing really want adaptations to match the original content even in small details for no rational reason. When something I'm moderately familiar with is adapted into a movie I don't care at all if someone is suddenly black, or blonde or a grey alien is blue etc. If it's something I'm a big fan of or nostalgic about then it does bug me a little for no good reason. I don't care enough to rant about it or even complain but it's still a feeling. Some people are also straight up racist and may disguise it in the same way as an irrational fanboy.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: John Albert on September 12, 2018, 04:38:52 PM
OK. First of all, I would appreciate if, after basically starting this coversation with gamergate-esque slurs

I made no such slurs. You misinterpreted my argument and went all bonkers on me, so I called you on it. Then you made the ridiculous connection to Gamergate to try and slander me.


try addressing the argument of the person

That's what I did. I addressed the argument, and you didn't even bother to read it through before misinterpreting it into something you could easily rage against, in your zeal to paint me out as some sort of racist. 

I can't help it that you won't be bothered to attentively read posts and consider the person's actual argument before hitting the keys to blast out a knee-jerk reaction.


Secondly, I sense some confusion

Gee, you think? Maybe you need to learn how to read and respond to actual arguments instead of projecting your own animosity onto others.


BTW, having a non-white protagonist would break the mold of white-dominated fiction. That is the opposite of "generic".

So you're saying that simply having a white person playing the character makes a character "generic," and casting a nonwhite person in the exact same role suddenly renders it non-"generic"?


Finally, your original post, if you read it was markedly not about the decision to cast a white actor. It was about giving support to the "critics" of the idea that the TV series could maybe try to cast a non-white person, who you said ""have a point".

Yes.


Those critics come from Reddit

Who the fuck cares? I'm not interested in your small-minded hasty generalizations about Reddit.


You also argued that changes to the appearance of the characters is OK (if it is within historical reality), but changing skin colour is seemingly an exception (screw historical reality)

No, I absolutely did not argue that. That is a strawman that you created.


the people who argue against such an artistic choice are not necessarily racist.

This snippet is the only part of your post that even acknowledges my point. Thank you for that.

The rest of what you said is a projection of your own ideological baggage onto me.


Their underlying argument is that they just  don't want brown people in particular to soil their white fantasy.

No, I never presumed any "underlying argument" or motive on the part of the people who made the argument. That's another strawman of yours.

Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: seamas on September 12, 2018, 05:27:37 PM
I think it depends on the character.
Wanna make Santa Claus black, go for it--but FROSTY stays WHITE!!!!!
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: John Albert on September 12, 2018, 05:44:30 PM
Is it racist to argue in favor of not changing a character's race to a different one as described in the original source material?

Comes down to motive, I think.  With adaptations, I think it's usually some combination of pedantry and people wanting the product to match what's already in their head. 

But, as has been discussed already, there's more to life and art than pedantry and fidelity.  People like recognizing themselves in media, do not like feeling shut out out of the mainstream, etc.

Agree with all of this. I think there's usually not racist motivations but sometimes I'm sure there are. People who are big fans of a thing really want adaptations to match the original content even in small details for no rational reason. When something I'm moderately familiar with is adapted into a movie I don't care at all if someone is suddenly black, or blonde or a grey alien is blue etc. If it's something I'm a big fan of or nostalgic about then it does bug me a little for no good reason. I don't care enough to rant about it or even complain but it's still a feeling. Some people are also straight up racist and may disguise it in the same way as an irrational fanboy.

I expect that the reason why it bugs you, is because to some degree it feels like a bastardization of the original work.

One one hand, artists create a work in a complex medium for entertainment purposes, and audiences appreciate and cherish the work, relate to the characters, and engage with the story as it is presented. One needn't be a racist to watch a show, read a comic or play a game, and come to an acceptance of the characters as they're represented. Whenever you have a very different actor playing a well-established character, it's going to be perceived as a change in the personality of that character in the new medium. That's unavoidable.

Then on the other hand you have disconnected third parties in the form of ideologues, political activists, producers, and financiers with no emotional investment in the work, who see it only as a way to profit or promote their own ideals. So when it comes time to adapt that existing work to a new medium, they try to inject their own influences over the work to turn it into something to serve their purposes, regardless of the original artists' intent and audience expectations.

Whenever this kind of thing is done, it smacks of injecting somebody's identity politics or financial motives into a cherished work of art. If you go in with an expectation of seeing your favorite character as you know them and then the movie switches it up for some obvious political or financial reason, that takes you out of the experience. That's one reason why so many people react so badly against it. It's not necessarily because they're racists.

Of course some of them are also racists to boot, but I'd rather give most people the benefit of the doubt. I don't believe that hasty generalizations, namecalling, and projecting ulterior motives really serve the ends of social justice as much as some other people seem to think.

For a non-racial example of what I'm talking about, take the movie Constantine, which was a film adaptation of the Hellblazer comic series. That movie was lambasted by fans of the comic, largely because Keanu Reeves appears nothing like the John Constantine character. Even though John Constantine is a 'white' character and Keanu Reeves is also a white guy, Reeves looked, spoke, acted, and carried himself nothing like the character from the comic.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Harry Black on September 12, 2018, 06:09:10 PM
No one really needs to be villified and cast out over it, but it should be pointed out where we see it so we can begin to make a change.
I agree with calling out everything that is prejudiced. But I am also of the mind that this current culture is calling out situation that could be marginally considered insensitive, and the overflow of said calling out is actually causing more harm than good, because it gives valid munition to those that are racially motivated.
I may need you to rephrase that as I'm not sure I understand.

The good is that we are clearly seeing more talented people of colour starting to get the roles and recognition they deserve.

What harm is being done?
Complaining and raging against something that is not racist as being racist would hurt the movement and a racist person a way of saying "This is getting out of hand" and then with enough of those, people will start thinking that there are too many snowflakes and that the government needs to do something about that and end up voting for Trump. include social media bubbles and people are going to side with the racist debater.

It's about the same effect as when a woman calls rape when there is no rape.
So we shouldnt point out things that are fucked up in case it turns people more racist or makes them vote Trump?

Im sorry, I dont buy it and I dont buy the idea that Trump is a result of this kind of progress.
I certainly dont think we should be telling people to accept such bias in case it makes some thin skinned racists more racist.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on September 12, 2018, 06:20:01 PM
I took his point as, "false Positives blunt rhetoric, benefit reactionaries."  An easy example being what happened to, "socialism."
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: John Albert on September 12, 2018, 06:21:48 PM
Harry, I think Guillermo said that calling "racist" on things that aren't really racist is not helpful. On the contrary, it actually hurts the anti-racist movement by making anti-racists into The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

Before long, people will start to think the activists are irrational hysterics who consider everybody a racist, and will just ignore them. Same thing happens when antifa refer to all conservatives as Nazis.

Steven Novella has called this phenomenon "alarm fatigue," where people become so accustomed to hearing warnings all the time that they eventually just ignore them.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Jeremy's Sea on September 12, 2018, 06:48:52 PM
I took his point as, "false Positives blunt rhetoric, benefit reactionaries."  An easy example being what happened to, "socialism."
This goes back to hand wringing though, as it assumes we know that it is a significant adverse reaction. How often does it happen when someone's concern truly is guided by ignorance and not hate? How much energy do we need/want to spend separating all of that out?
Like most of us, I'm only human and sometimes in exhaustion I'll lump them both together, but also, we're all adults and have to be responsible for our feelings. When someone on a forum calls me racist, my hackles don't immediately go up and I don't double down. I kinda feel like I'm not the one who needs to be responsible for those who do. If I have the time and energy to really parse, but we have enough 88s wasting everyone's time in bad faith.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Jeremy's Sea on September 12, 2018, 06:50:01 PM
No one really needs to be villified and cast out over it, but it should be pointed out where we see it so we can begin to make a change.
I agree with calling out everything that is prejudiced. But I am also of the mind that this current culture is calling out situation that could be marginally considered insensitive, and the overflow of said calling out is actually causing more harm than good, because it gives valid munition to those that are racially motivated.
I may need you to rephrase that as I'm not sure I understand.

The good is that we are clearly seeing more talented people of colour starting to get the roles and recognition they deserve.

What harm is being done?
Complaining and raging against something that is not racist as being racist would hurt the movement and a racist person a way of saying "This is getting out of hand" and then with enough of those, people will start thinking that there are too many snowflakes and that the government needs to do something about that and end up voting for Trump. include social media bubbles and people are going to side with the racist debater.

It's about the same effect as when a woman calls rape when there is no rape.
(https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/353/279/e31.jpg)
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: arthwollipot on September 12, 2018, 06:54:29 PM
I took his point as, "false Positives blunt rhetoric, benefit reactionaries."  An easy example being what happened to, "socialism."
This goes back to hand wringing though, as it assumes we know that it is a significant adverse reaction. How often does it happen when someone's concern truly is guided by ignorance and not hate? How much energy do we need/want to spend separating all of that out?
Like most of us, I'm only human and sometimes in exhaustion I'll lump them both together, but also, we're all adults and have to be responsible for our feelings. When someone on a forum calls me racist, my hackles don't immediately go up and I don't double down. I kinda feel like I'm not the one who needs to be responsible for those who do. If I have the time and energy to really parse, but we have enough 88s wasting everyone's time in bad faith.

I dunno. If someone on a forum calls me racist, I take a hard look at what I just posted, acknowledge their concerns, and do whatever I can to change my behaviour.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Jeremy's Sea on September 12, 2018, 07:10:37 PM
I took his point as, "false Positives blunt rhetoric, benefit reactionaries."  An easy example being what happened to, "socialism."
This goes back to hand wringing though, as it assumes we know that it is a significant adverse reaction. How often does it happen when someone's concern truly is guided by ignorance and not hate? How much energy do we need/want to spend separating all of that out?
Like most of us, I'm only human and sometimes in exhaustion I'll lump them both together, but also, we're all adults and have to be responsible for our feelings. When someone on a forum calls me racist, my hackles don't immediately go up and I don't double down. I kinda feel like I'm not the one who needs to be responsible for those who do. If I have the time and energy to really parse, but we have enough 88s wasting everyone's time in bad faith.

I dunno. If someone on a forum calls me racist, I take a hard look at what I just posted, acknowledge their concerns, and do whatever I can to change my behaviour.
I was making a general point, as to my knowledge no one has ever called me a racist anywhere, but I'm saying being misunderstood and labelled over a single comment isn't the end of the world and people need to be okay with who they are.
Of course, self reflection is always welcome.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Guillermo on September 12, 2018, 07:15:03 PM
No one really needs to be villified and cast out over it, but it should be pointed out where we see it so we can begin to make a change.
I agree with calling out everything that is prejudiced. But I am also of the mind that this current culture is calling out situation that could be marginally considered insensitive, and the overflow of said calling out is actually causing more harm than good, because it gives valid munition to those that are racially motivated.
I may need you to rephrase that as I'm not sure I understand.

The good is that we are clearly seeing more talented people of colour starting to get the roles and recognition they deserve.

What harm is being done?
Complaining and raging against something that is not racist as being racist would hurt the movement and a racist person a way of saying "This is getting out of hand" and then with enough of those, people will start thinking that there are too many snowflakes and that the government needs to do something about that and end up voting for Trump. include social media bubbles and people are going to side with the racist debater.

It's about the same effect as when a woman calls rape when there is no rape.
So we shouldnt point out things that are fucked up in case it turns people more racist or makes them vote Trump?

Im sorry, I dont buy it and I dont buy the idea that Trump is a result of this kind of progress.
I certainly dont think we should be telling people to accept such bias in case it makes some thin skinned racists more racist.
in what way am I saying that we shouldn't point out the fucked up things. We should crucify them and burn them in fire.

This world is not black and white. It's not all or nothing.

We should not accept bias that are obvious racial motives or originated from racially established situations.

But please, don't be outraged at the girl who wanted to wear a kimono to Prom night and don't confront a white guy for wearing dreadlocks if he just wants to get to class.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: arthwollipot on September 12, 2018, 07:36:16 PM
I took his point as, "false Positives blunt rhetoric, benefit reactionaries."  An easy example being what happened to, "socialism."
This goes back to hand wringing though, as it assumes we know that it is a significant adverse reaction. How often does it happen when someone's concern truly is guided by ignorance and not hate? How much energy do we need/want to spend separating all of that out?
Like most of us, I'm only human and sometimes in exhaustion I'll lump them both together, but also, we're all adults and have to be responsible for our feelings. When someone on a forum calls me racist, my hackles don't immediately go up and I don't double down. I kinda feel like I'm not the one who needs to be responsible for those who do. If I have the time and energy to really parse, but we have enough 88s wasting everyone's time in bad faith.

I dunno. If someone on a forum calls me racist, I take a hard look at what I just posted, acknowledge their concerns, and do whatever I can to change my behaviour.
I was making a general point, as to my knowledge no one has ever called me a racist anywhere, but I'm saying being misunderstood and labelled over a single comment isn't the end of the world and people need to be okay with who they are.
Of course, self reflection is always welcome.

I was once called racist on this very forum. I posted a joke, the punchline to which depended on a caricature of a Mexican accent. It was pointed out to me (politely) that it was racist, and I could see their point. I haven't used that particular joke again.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Harry Black on September 12, 2018, 07:58:43 PM
No one really needs to be villified and cast out over it, but it should be pointed out where we see it so we can begin to make a change.
I agree with calling out everything that is prejudiced. But I am also of the mind that this current culture is calling out situation that could be marginally considered insensitive, and the overflow of said calling out is actually causing more harm than good, because it gives valid munition to those that are racially motivated.
I may need you to rephrase that as I'm not sure I understand.

The good is that we are clearly seeing more talented people of colour starting to get the roles and recognition they deserve.

What harm is being done?
Complaining and raging against something that is not racist as being racist would hurt the movement and a racist person a way of saying "This is getting out of hand" and then with enough of those, people will start thinking that there are too many snowflakes and that the government needs to do something about that and end up voting for Trump. include social media bubbles and people are going to side with the racist debater.

It's about the same effect as when a woman calls rape when there is no rape.
So we shouldnt point out things that are fucked up in case it turns people more racist or makes them vote Trump?

Im sorry, I dont buy it and I dont buy the idea that Trump is a result of this kind of progress.
I certainly dont think we should be telling people to accept such bias in case it makes some thin skinned racists more racist.
in what way am I saying that we shouldn't point out the fucked up things. We should crucify them and burn them in fire.

This world is not black and white. It's not all or nothing.

We should not accept bias that are obvious racial motives or originated from racially established situations.

But please, don't be outraged at the girl who wanted to wear a kimono to Prom night and don't confront a white guy for wearing dreadlocks if he just wants to get to class.
Now you are moving the goal posts from people commenting about casting decisions and being pissed at Idris Elba being a norse god to people on social media having a problem with a racially insensitive prom dress.

Two VERY different issues and two very different discussions, but they seem to be all one from your perspective? Again, correct me if Im wrong! I did ask you to elaborate earlier because I was concerned I may not fully understand what you were saying.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Nosmas on September 12, 2018, 07:59:46 PM
Harry, I think Guillermo said that calling "racist" on things that aren't really racist is not helpful. On the contrary, it actually hurts the anti-racist movement by making anti-racists into The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

Before long, people will start to think the activists are irrational hysterics who consider everybody a racist, and will just ignore them. Same thing happens when antifa refer to all conservatives as Nazis.

Steven Novella has called this phenomenon "alarm fatigue," where people become so accustomed to hearing warnings all the time that they eventually just ignore them.

I really haven't listened to the SGU in close to a year and haven't been keeping up on SBM or Neurlogica so I haven't seen Steve reference that term. I've never heard it at all before. I like it.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Harry Black on September 12, 2018, 08:02:48 PM
I would like to add that splitting hairs between 'racist' and 'racially biased predjudice' is about as pointless as doing it between 'ethnic cleansing' and 'genocide'.
You can make an argument about your preferred defjnition of each and the differences between them, but its really not relevant to the overall issue being discussed except to make a subset of people feel more comfortable.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: CarbShark on September 12, 2018, 08:26:40 PM
Is it racist to argue in favor of not changing a character's race to a different one as described in the original source material?

Examples of this happening include:
  • Eldris Alba cast as Roland Deschain in the movie
  • Scarlet Johansen cast as Major Motoko Kusanagi
  • Tilda Swinton cast as The Ancient One
  • Samuel L. Jackson cast as Nick Fury

Clearly, Whitewashing and hating on the topic just because it's one race and and loving it because its another race are clearly racist viewpoint.

I have seen arguments in favor of casting roles that differ from the source material for the purpose of diversity saying that those that oppose it are being racist.

Back on topic....

Let's say you're a producer, and you have a great property, a high-concept action novel. A sure money-maker. The protagonist happens to be Asian.

You pay thousands (maybe hundreds) to a writer to have it adapted for the screen and now you have a great script and are ready to take it to a studio to have them: commit to producing it get full funding from investors and securing a contract for releasing it.

Now you happen to know that the first question any studio, investors and  releasing company will all ask is "who is the box office draw?" Usually, that's the main star. Tom Hanks; The Rock; Scarlet Johanson; Reese Witherspoon etc. Sometimes it's the director (Spielberg).

Say Reese Witherspoon loved the book and asks to see the script and loves it and will commit to star in the leading role (although in the original material that character is Asian).

Your choices are go ahead with the movie with Witherspoon in the lead role, or not make the film.

Finding an Asian actress to star is not an option. There is not an Asian actress with the stature to convince studios, investors and releasing companies to commit to funding the film. A big star in a lessor role won't work.

Is it racist to take this production with Witherspoon as the to the studio?

Is Witherspoon being racist by wanting to do this role?

Are the studios, investors and releasing company being racist in not wanting to risk their money on an unproven star?

Is it racist to make this movie?
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: bachfiend on September 12, 2018, 08:52:22 PM
Is it racist to argue in favor of not changing a character's race to a different one as described in the original source material?

Examples of this happening include:
  • Eldris Alba cast as Roland Deschain in the movie
  • Scarlet Johansen cast as Major Motoko Kusanagi
  • Tilda Swinton cast as The Ancient One
  • Samuel L. Jackson cast as Nick Fury

Clearly, Whitewashing and hating on the topic just because it's one race and and loving it because its another race are clearly racist viewpoint.

I have seen arguments in favor of casting roles that differ from the source material for the purpose of diversity saying that those that oppose it are being racist.

Back on topic....

Let's say you're a producer, and you have a great property, a high-concept action novel. A sure money-maker. The protagonist happens to be Asian.

You pay thousands (maybe hundreds) to a writer to have it adapted for the screen and now you have a great script and are ready to take it to a studio to have them: commit to producing it get full funding from investors and securing a contract for releasing it.

Now you happen to know that the first question any studio, investors and  releasing company will all ask is "who is the box office draw?" Usually, that's the main star. Tom Hanks; The Rock; Scarlet Johanson; Reese Witherspoon etc. Sometimes it's the director (Spielberg).

Say Reese Witherspoon loved the book and asks to see the script and loves it and will commit to star in the leading role (although in the original material that character is Asian).

Your choices are go ahead with the movie with Witherspoon in the lead role, or not make the film.

Finding an Asian actress to star is not an option. There is not an Asian actress with the stature to convince studios, investors and releasing companies to commit to funding the film. A big star in a lessor role won't work.

Is it racist to take this production with Witherspoon as the to the studio?

Is Witherspoon being racist by wanting to do this role?

Are the studios, investors and releasing company being racist in not wanting to risk their money on an unproven star?

Is it racist to make this movie?

It depends.  If the source material (I wonder if ‘high concept action novel’ isn’t an oxymoron) relies heavily on the protagonist’s racial origin (and I use the term advisedly since there’s no biological races of humans), and the film adaptation carries this over, then it would be racist to change the character’s race.  But often the character’s race is only of minor interest.  I’ve read many novels in which I’m completely unaware or not particularly aware of the protagonist’s race, and it doesn’t interest me at all.  And film adaptations don’t always carry all the elements of the original source material - as an unrelated and non-racial example, casting Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher for his box office appeal was a marked alteration of the original source material; the novels made it clear that he was a giant of a man, which formed part of the plots.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: CarbShark on September 12, 2018, 09:05:16 PM
"high concept" is a bit of show-biz jargon that connotes a story or setting that is condusive to making a lot of money. The novel "Jaws" was considered "high concept."
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Rai on September 13, 2018, 01:32:13 AM
Finding an Asian actress to star is not an option. There is not an Asian actress with the stature to convince studios, investors and releasing companies to commit to funding the film. A big star in a lessor role won't work.

Is it racist to take this production with Witherspoon as the to the studio?

Is Witherspoon being racist by wanting to do this role?

Are the studios, investors and releasing company being racist in not wanting to risk their money on an unproven star?

Is it racist to make this movie?

The underlying cause for the lack of Asian actresses is exactly this logic. It is a catch 22 of white dominance in the film industry: you won't get cast because you are not famous enough and you can't get famous enough because you don't get cast. All this despite the fact that there are humongous audiences out there for non-white actors and stories, just look at the enormous success of Black Panther.

Of coures It is totally racist.

Especially if you consider that studios have no qualms basing movies around washed-out stars who hardly anyone wants to see or work with anymore ( professional alcoholic and wife-beaterJohnny Depp, for example) but still get cold feet over discovering and introducing non-white talent.

Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: SkeptiQueer on September 13, 2018, 06:17:11 AM
Perpetuating racism is racism, there's no "the system is racist, not my fault" copout.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: heyalison on September 13, 2018, 08:12:57 AM
It's about the same effect as when a woman calls rape when there is no rape.

So, other than one gif, no one's going to comment on this sexist BS?
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Harry Black on September 13, 2018, 09:20:40 AM
It's about the same effect as when a woman calls rape when there is no rape.

So, other than one gif, no one's going to comment on this sexist BS?
Ok. Yeah.
That didnt fully register on my first reading. I'll be honest, I just dont have the energy for it.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: superdave on September 13, 2018, 09:42:25 AM
yes.  But I think here we need to be careful and explain that racism has degrees.  It's become such a toxic word that it's hard to have meaningful conversations about it.  It's totally understandable that people be bothered when a character they love is portrayed in a way different from their imaginations or previous incarnations.  That doesn't make it less racist.  But it does suggest this topic should be treated carefully and with sympathy.  Sadly treating topics with care and sympathy is not the internets forte.

The fact is that this is racist in a subtle way that is easy to "self justify" for people in denial, so it's just not an easy argument to have.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Guillermo on September 13, 2018, 10:17:31 AM
Now you are moving the goal posts from people commenting about casting decisions and being pissed at Idris Elba being a norse god to people on social media having a problem with a racially insensitive prom dress.

Two VERY different issues and two very different discussions, but they seem to be all one from your perspective? Again, correct me if Im wrong! I did ask you to elaborate earlier because I was concerned I may not fully understand what you were saying.
Did I move the goal post? I believe I have not equated those to perspectives. I pointed out that there is a situation with eldris alba (and others) but I never agreed or disagreed with any position. I have generalized the situation to social media because it proves the point that sometimes people obsess about situations that are not really examples bigotry or racism.

To be clear, I wasn't disagreeing with you when you said: "No one really needs to be villified and cast out over it, but it should be pointed out where we see it so we can begin to make a change." I was adding to it, by saying that one should be careful not to point out things that are not racist as racist when pointing out such stuff and that this could potentially cause harm.  Then you asked, "What harm is being done?" And I explained, al though it seems badly, but it was rephrased better by someone else that it is the phenomena of Calling wolf and Alarm Fatigue. Which would hurt the movement.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Guillermo on September 13, 2018, 10:25:37 AM
It's about the same effect as when a woman calls rape when there is no rape.

So, other than one gif, no one's going to comment on this sexist BS?
Is it not true that it hurts the movement when a Women Calls for rape when there is no rape? Because even if it happens rarely, they get exposure in the media and drawn out of proportions, and used by people opposing the #metoo movement.

Also, explain to me how is it what I said sexists?
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: SkeptiQueer on September 13, 2018, 10:32:35 AM
Now you are moving the goal posts from people commenting about casting decisions and being pissed at Idris Elba being a norse god to people on social media having a problem with a racially insensitive prom dress.

Two VERY different issues and two very different discussions, but they seem to be all one from your perspective? Again, correct me if Im wrong! I did ask you to elaborate earlier because I was concerned I may not fully understand what you were saying.
Did I move the goal post? I believe I have not equated those to perspectives. I pointed out that there is a situation with eldris alba (and others) but I never agreed or disagreed with any position. I have generalized the situation to social media because it proves the point that sometimes people obsess about situations that are not really examples bigotry or racism.

To be clear, I wasn't disagreeing with you when you said: "No one really needs to be villified and cast out over it, but it should be pointed out where we see it so we can begin to make a change." I was adding to it, by saying that one should be careful not to point out things that are not racist as racist when pointing out such stuff and that this could potentially cause harm.  Then you asked, "What harm is being done?" And I explained, al though it seems badly, but it was rephrased better by someone else that it is the phenomena of Calling wolf and Alarm Fatigue. Which would hurt the movement.

Have you demonstrated that the false examples generate enough movement on their own to result in alarm fatigue? Is there a "solution" that prevents alarm fatigue? Is the alarm fatigue worse than the perpetuating of racism?

My reading of it is no, no, and no. The groups that most promote the false alarms are always the groups opposed to the movement, and there's nothing that stops people with a metaphorical axe to grind from substantively misrepresenting the facts. See earlier in the thread when The Witcher was discussed as though it was a videogame IP, and not a novel adapted substantively to a videogame and now considered for adaptation to a Netflix show. Another example might be the alt-reich trying to say Black Panther was in favor of ethnonationalism despite the ethnostate clearly being disadvantaged in the film. Much like the toxic waste that sounds the False Rape Accusation alarm any time a sexual assault is accused but does not lead to convict, the facts don't matter so much as scoring a point. Even if we had perfect control and only ever pointed out problematic elements or casting discussions that propagated racist traditions, the trolls would still say the same things. "Bond is English and Idris Elba is really English!" despite Elba being as English as the Queen and Bond having been played by Irish and Scottish actors.

Until its demonstrated that the problem of false positives is substantive and the negative effect both material and solvable, there's little point in worrying about it, just like there's not a substantive problem with false accusations of sexual assault or harassment or with "diversity hires" resulting in unqualified hiring of peopel of minority backgrounds. It's just a talking pooint to scare people away from supporting change.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: 2397 on September 13, 2018, 10:37:44 AM
I'd like to see movie productions use a greater variety of actors just so that it's not the same few faces that star in the big movies.

And so they have more of a reason to complain about not making enough money, if they're not paying individual actors tens of millions of USD.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Guillermo on September 13, 2018, 10:48:41 AM
Now you are moving the goal posts from people commenting about casting decisions and being pissed at Idris Elba being a norse god to people on social media having a problem with a racially insensitive prom dress.

Two VERY different issues and two very different discussions, but they seem to be all one from your perspective? Again, correct me if Im wrong! I did ask you to elaborate earlier because I was concerned I may not fully understand what you were saying.
Did I move the goal post? I believe I have not equated those to perspectives. I pointed out that there is a situation with eldris alba (and others) but I never agreed or disagreed with any position. I have generalized the situation to social media because it proves the point that sometimes people obsess about situations that are not really examples bigotry or racism.

To be clear, I wasn't disagreeing with you when you said: "No one really needs to be villified and cast out over it, but it should be pointed out where we see it so we can begin to make a change." I was adding to it, by saying that one should be careful not to point out things that are not racist as racist when pointing out such stuff and that this could potentially cause harm.  Then you asked, "What harm is being done?" And I explained, al though it seems badly, but it was rephrased better by someone else that it is the phenomena of Calling wolf and Alarm Fatigue. Which would hurt the movement.

Have you demonstrated that the false examples generate enough movement on their own to result in alarm fatigue? Is there a "solution" that prevents alarm fatigue? Is the alarm fatigue worse than the perpetuating of racism?

My reading of it is no, no, and no. The groups that most promote the false alarms are always the groups opposed to the movement, and there's nothing that stops people with a metaphorical axe to grind from substantively misrepresenting the facts. See earlier in the thread when The Witcher was discussed as though it was a videogame IP, and not a novel adapted substantively to a videogame and now considered for adaptation to a Netflix show. Another example might be the alt-reich trying to say Black Panther was in favor of ethnonationalism despite the ethnostate clearly being disadvantaged in the film. Much like the toxic waste that sounds the False Rape Accusation alarm any time a sexual assault is accused but does not lead to convict, the facts don't matter so much as scoring a point. Even if we had perfect control and only ever pointed out problematic elements or casting discussions that propagated racist traditions, the trolls would still say the same things. "Bond is English and Idris Elba is really English!" despite Elba being as English as the Queen and Bond having been played by Irish and Scottish actors.

Until its demonstrated that the problem of false positives is substantive and the negative effect both material and solvable, there's little point in worrying about it, just like there's not a substantive problem with false accusations of sexual assault or harassment or with "diversity hires" resulting in unqualified hiring of people of minority backgrounds. It's just a talking pooint to scare people away from supporting change.
No, no, and no. The question is, are they scoring enough points to influence the masses. I know of people that have been turned away by the arguments from those that promote false alarm. And they are becoming more vocal and extending past their bubble. Mind you. I have no proof or statistics of this, but to me, and to some people I have talked to with about the subject. The trend is happening that the the groups opposed to the movement and that the talking points and misleading arguments are growing. So it seems to me (although I may be wrong) that even if it is not a problem today, and that we do not have a solution today, it is trending to become a problem.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: SkeptiQueer on September 13, 2018, 10:55:44 AM
Now you are moving the goal posts from people commenting about casting decisions and being pissed at Idris Elba being a norse god to people on social media having a problem with a racially insensitive prom dress.

Two VERY different issues and two very different discussions, but they seem to be all one from your perspective? Again, correct me if Im wrong! I did ask you to elaborate earlier because I was concerned I may not fully understand what you were saying.
Did I move the goal post? I believe I have not equated those to perspectives. I pointed out that there is a situation with eldris alba (and others) but I never agreed or disagreed with any position. I have generalized the situation to social media because it proves the point that sometimes people obsess about situations that are not really examples bigotry or racism.

To be clear, I wasn't disagreeing with you when you said: "No one really needs to be villified and cast out over it, but it should be pointed out where we see it so we can begin to make a change." I was adding to it, by saying that one should be careful not to point out things that are not racist as racist when pointing out such stuff and that this could potentially cause harm.  Then you asked, "What harm is being done?" And I explained, al though it seems badly, but it was rephrased better by someone else that it is the phenomena of Calling wolf and Alarm Fatigue. Which would hurt the movement.

Have you demonstrated that the false examples generate enough movement on their own to result in alarm fatigue? Is there a "solution" that prevents alarm fatigue? Is the alarm fatigue worse than the perpetuating of racism?

My reading of it is no, no, and no. The groups that most promote the false alarms are always the groups opposed to the movement, and there's nothing that stops people with a metaphorical axe to grind from substantively misrepresenting the facts. See earlier in the thread when The Witcher was discussed as though it was a videogame IP, and not a novel adapted substantively to a videogame and now considered for adaptation to a Netflix show. Another example might be the alt-reich trying to say Black Panther was in favor of ethnonationalism despite the ethnostate clearly being disadvantaged in the film. Much like the toxic waste that sounds the False Rape Accusation alarm any time a sexual assault is accused but does not lead to convict, the facts don't matter so much as scoring a point. Even if we had perfect control and only ever pointed out problematic elements or casting discussions that propagated racist traditions, the trolls would still say the same things. "Bond is English and Idris Elba is really English!" despite Elba being as English as the Queen and Bond having been played by Irish and Scottish actors.

Until its demonstrated that the problem of false positives is substantive and the negative effect both material and solvable, there's little point in worrying about it, just like there's not a substantive problem with false accusations of sexual assault or harassment or with "diversity hires" resulting in unqualified hiring of people of minority backgrounds. It's just a talking pooint to scare people away from supporting change.
No, no, and no. The question is, are they scoring enough points to influence the masses. I know of people that have been turned away by the arguments from those that promote false alarm. And they are becoming more vocal and extending past their bubble. Mind you. I have no proof or statistics of this, but to me, and to some people I have talked to with about the subject. The trend is happening that the the groups opposed to the movement and that the talking points and misleading arguments are growing. So it seems to me (although I may be wrong) that even if it is not a problem today, and that we do not have a solution today, it is trending to become a problem.


So we agree alarm fatigue isn't an issue, that there's no solution to false alarms, and that false alarms aren't havign a susbtantive and material negative impact, then it sounds like we're in agreement that it's not a real problem to be addressed. If you're seeing people swayed, then it sounds like you have an opportunity to push back by helping amplify the positive signal against the noise.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on September 13, 2018, 11:58:40 AM
false alarms aren't havign a susbtantive and material negative impact

How much muscle-memory out there accounts for intention? Spurious 'racism!' call-outs are commonly used by Democrats against left-leaning Democrats.  They work pretty well.

I still regularly see people who don't realize Sanders-style policies would help, and are popular with, women and minorities, too.  It garners the same reaction against Sanders, UHC, etc. that you're having against Guillermo right now.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: SkeptiQueer on September 13, 2018, 12:00:22 PM
false alarms aren't havign a susbtantive and material negative impact

How much muscle-memory out there accounts for intention? Spurious 'racism!' call-outs are commonly used by Democrats against left-leaning Democrats.  They work pretty well.

I still regularly see people who think don't realize Sanders-style policies would help, and are popular with, women and minorities, too.  It's the same reaction against Sanders, UHC, etc. that you're having against Guillermo right now.

I'm not sure I'm understand the question, do you have a specific example in mind?
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on September 13, 2018, 12:02:28 PM
It's a rhetorical question.  You're advocating credulity and neglect of whether something's correct or incorrect.  This increases vulnerability to exploitation/manipulation.  I gave an example of this vulnerability being exploited to public detriment.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Guillermo on September 13, 2018, 03:34:24 PM
If you're seeing people swayed, then it sounds like you have an opportunity to push back by helping amplify the positive signal against the noise.
This is primarily the main reason I started this thread, to understand why people are being swayed. Mostly because when said people want to argue in against the movement, they are (as reported by them) called racist and bigots and end up doubling down.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: John Albert on September 13, 2018, 04:04:30 PM
So we agree alarm fatigue isn't an issue, that there's no solution to false alarms, and that false alarms aren't havign a susbtantive and material negative impact, then it sounds like we're in agreement that it's not a real problem to be addressed.

So you think that just saying "alarm fatigue isn't an issue," makes it so?

Well, that's incorrect. Alarm fatigue is known to cause desensitization, lack of confidence in the source of the alarm, increases in anxiety and irritability, wastage of valuable resources, and neglect of actual emergencies.

It's also wrong to assume there's no solution to alarm fatigue. Many solutions are actively being implemented in the real world. For example, manufacturers of alert devices have invented smarter logic for their alarm systems to minimize false positives; in the law, our criminal justice system requires some standards of evidence before prosecuting offenders, and falsely reporting a crime is illegal.

In cases of calling "racism," an easy solution would be not to go throwing accusations around unless you really know the person's motive.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Calinthalus on September 13, 2018, 04:37:09 PM
I’ve read many novels in which I’m completely unaware or not particularly aware of the protagonist’s race, and it doesn’t interest me at all. 


I just wanted to give a mention two John Scalzi's novels "Lock In" and "Head On", in which the lead character "Chris Shane" is mixed race...but we have no idea what gender they are.  I wonder how Hollywood would handle that pickle.  Possibly cast The Rock?
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: CarbShark on September 13, 2018, 05:40:05 PM
Finding an Asian actress to star is not an option. There is not an Asian actress with the stature to convince studios, investors and releasing companies to commit to funding the film. A big star in a lessor role won't work.

Is it racist to take this production with Witherspoon as the to the studio?

Is Witherspoon being racist by wanting to do this role?

Are the studios, investors and releasing company being racist in not wanting to risk their money on an unproven star?

Is it racist to make this movie?

Quote
The underlying cause for the lack of Asian actresses is exactly this logic. It is a catch 22 of white dominance in the film industry: you won't get cast because you are not famous enough and you can't get famous enough because you don't get cast.

Well, it's not famous, it's bankable. If you have a track record of successful movies that makes studios and investors willing to risk their money and resources to invest in your movie instead of another movie.

The way you become bankable really isn't up to the studios and investors. You start in smaller films, or minor roles, or TV and gradually build up a track record of success. The investors and studios don't really cast the secondary and tertiery roles, so they don't block people from landing those. In fact, studios are putting a big priority on diversity, in part as a response to just this kind of criticism and in part because they'll make more money. Audiences will get bigger if more people have someone to relate to. Hollywood knew this and for got this and knew this throughout its history.

But their analysis of whether or not to back a film is probably not based on race. Denzel could probably get any movie he wanted to star in made.

Quote
All this despite the fact that there are humongous audiences out there for non-white actors and stories, just look at the enormous success of Black Panther.

That's a good point. As a result of "Black Panther's" success, it's likely that the star(s) and the director will get better scripts to work with or easier paths to a green light their own projects, and if those go well then they'll be considered "bankable."

Quote
Of course It is totally racist.

I agree the result is racist. I'm asking which of the players are racist?

If there were a bankable minority actor who wanted the role the studios and investors would green light the production, but there isn't (not just for this hypothetical movie).

Is it racist for them to not to want to take a much bigger risk with their money? (The fastest way out of the industry is to back projects that don't make money)

Quote
Especially if you consider that studios have no qualms basing movies around washed-out stars who hardly anyone wants to see or work with anymore ( professional alcoholic and wife-beaterJohnny Depp, for example) but still get cold feet over discovering and introducing non-white talent.


I disagree with this. The second part. Yes, studios keep trying former bankable stars in the hopes the they can recapture the magic, and sometimes it doesn't work.

But they are making more of an effort now and for the last few years to be more diverse and and inclusive.


In this hypothetical, Witherspoon knows that if she does not agree to play the lead, the movie will not get made.

She has artistic reasons for wanting the role and wants the movie made because she really likes the source material.

Her choice is between taking the role and killing the production. No Reese, no movie. Is it racist for her to take the role?

The producer/director/screenwriter would all prefer the lead be true to the race/gender/orientation etc. of the character in the source material.

Their choice is either not make the movie, or make it with RW in the lead role.  Are they being racist for deciding to make the movie instead of not making it?

I don't think there's any easy answers to these questions, and just dismissing it with "Of course it's totally racist" is a cop out.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: SkeptiQueer on September 13, 2018, 05:47:35 PM
It's a rhetorical question.  You're advocating credulity and neglect of whether something's correct or incorrect.  This increases vulnerability to exploitation/manipulation.  I gave an example of this vulnerability being exploited to public detriment.

I'm doing no such thing. I'm saying that merely correcting the incorrect is sufficient, and that there's not a fundamental problem with calling out racism when it happens. I am frankly lost how you came to that conclusion or roped in Bernie Sanders.

If you're seeing people swayed, then it sounds like you have an opportunity to push back by helping amplify the positive signal against the noise.
This is primarily the main reason I started this thread, to understand why people are being swayed. Mostly because when said people want to argue in against the movement, they are (as reported by them) called racist and bigots and end up doubling down.

That's the sort of thing that had to be analyzed on a case by case basis. If I go to Reddit and look at the people whining about Ciri's casting, there's a whole lot of overlap with ethnonationalist movements and post history, or cries of reverse racism and white genocide. If you're discussing Idris Elba and someone says he's not British enough for Bond because he's black, that's pretty standard racism. The thing about GITS is hit or miss, because there's some really disturbing undertones of "whiting up" in manga and anime, Westernizing characterswho are supposed to be Japanese. If the movie was going to tackle the dissonance of the self-image of a Japanese women in the body of Scarlet Johansen then that's a really cool thing for the movie to do, but I'd be shocked if it did.

Motivations and arguments can't be addressed merely by arguing from the final outcome. "I don't think Ciri should be anything but white" isn't racist on it's face, but golly gee there's a lot of racists and racist reasoning in the defense of that statement.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: John Albert on September 13, 2018, 06:01:48 PM
If I go to Reddit and look at the people whining about Ciri's casting, there's a whole lot of overlap with ethnonationalist movements and post history, or cries of reverse racism and white genocide.

Evidence?
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: SkeptiQueer on September 13, 2018, 06:06:00 PM
If I go to Reddit and look at the people whining about Ciri's casting, there's a whole lot of overlap with ethnonationalist movements and post history, or cries of reverse racism and white genocide.

Evidence?
If I want your input I'll ask for it.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Harry Black on September 13, 2018, 06:29:48 PM
Administrator Comment This is a forum for open discussion. Kindly retain some civility
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Rai on September 14, 2018, 01:42:33 AM
]

Well, it's not famous, it's bankable. If you have a track record of successful movies that makes studios and investors willing to risk their money and resources to invest in your movie instead of another movie.

The way you become bankable really isn't up to the studios and investors. You start in smaller films, or minor roles, or TV and gradually build up a track record of success. The investors and studios don't really cast the secondary and tertiery roles, so they don't block people from landing those. In fact, studios are putting a big priority on diversity, in part as a response to just this kind of criticism and in part because they'll make more money. Audiences will get bigger if more people have someone to relate to. Hollywood knew this and for got this and knew this throughout its history.

But their analysis of whether or not to back a film is probably not based on race. Denzel could probably get any movie he wanted to star in made.

The issue is that many minority actors just cannot progress. If you are an Indian or Middle-Eastern actor, how do you break out of endless "Terrorist 2" and "Taxi Driver" roles, especially when they keep casting white people for possible breakout roles? Many people spend their careers playing goat herders and convenience store owners because they aren't even auditioned for anything else. It is incredibly hard for non-white actors to be even considered for roles that are outside their respective racist typecasting bracket.

Aziz Ansari's Master of None had a great episode about this in Season 1, I think.

Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: superdave on September 14, 2018, 09:36:38 AM
the bigger issue here is whether or not something is still racist even if there some reasonable justification for it.
The answer is yes.

But I think that does mean too that we should focus on calling out the behavior as racist and not the people. 
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Harry Black on September 14, 2018, 09:41:27 AM
the bigger issue here is whether or not something is still racist even if there some reasonable justification for it.
The answer is yes.

But I think that does mean too that we should focus on calling out the behavior as racist and not the people.
I admit I dont use twitter etc but what I see mostly is:
"Thats racist"
Not
"Youre racist"
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: brilligtove on September 14, 2018, 01:04:18 PM
I’ve read many novels in which I’m completely unaware or not particularly aware of the protagonist’s race, and it doesn’t interest me at all. 

I just wanted to give a mention two John Scalzi's novels "Lock In" and "Head On", in which the lead character "Chris Shane" is mixed race...but we have no idea what gender they are.  I wonder how Hollywood would handle that pickle.  Possibly cast The Rock?

I really enjoyed those books. I had no idea that Chris had no assigned gender, either. Scalzi has some interesting thoughts on the subject. (http://whatever.scalzi.com/2014/09/22/in-which-tor-com-reveals-a-thing-i-did-with-lock-in-lock-in-spoiler-thread/)

Casting the Rock... ha! Maybe they have different actors play different Threeps? He could be good for the Hilketa threep. :)
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: brilligtove on September 14, 2018, 01:26:34 PM


TL;DR Racist and other kinds of biased actions can happen at an individual or systemic level. Interventions need to take this into account to be effective.
___

Upthread there was some discussion of systemic racism vs individual racism, but it seems to have been left dangling. I think it's important to recognize the difference because these types of biases require very different interventions.


In the case of non-white actors (and female actors, I think) getting cast in potentially breakout roles, the individual biases and expectations of the people doing the casting are a big deal. Increased personal exposure to other ethnicities, education, and conversations about unconscious bias can work on that level, given enough time. Affirmative action type quotas are a systemic intervention to increase exposure (among other things). It is an overt thumb on the scales, and it pisses people off.


I think there is also a rystemic or structural problem in the way 'bankable' is evaluated. A collection of relatively unbiased decisions keeps churning out biased results. I'm not at all sure what specific interventions can be made in this system - I don't know enough about it. I'll hazard a guess that better market research into who and what people are willing to spend money on is a good start. I remember this happening in advertizing to gay folks in the 80s and 90s. Companies suddenly realized that gay people had a lot of disposable income and no one was catering to that market.



Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: CarbShark on September 14, 2018, 01:31:00 PM
So it sounds like the issue boils down to not enough minority and marginalized actors are getting cast in potential breakout roles?

Sounds simple enough to solve. Maybe if Hollywood would make an effort to increase diversity...
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Calinthalus on September 14, 2018, 01:32:24 PM
I’ve read many novels in which I’m completely unaware or not particularly aware of the protagonist’s race, and it doesn’t interest me at all. 

I just wanted to give a mention two John Scalzi's novels "Lock In" and "Head On", in which the lead character "Chris Shane" is mixed race...but we have no idea what gender they are.  I wonder how Hollywood would handle that pickle.  Possibly cast The Rock?

I really enjoyed those books. I had no idea that Chris had no assigned gender, either. Scalzi has some interesting thoughts on the subject. (http://whatever.scalzi.com/2014/09/22/in-which-tor-com-reveals-a-thing-i-did-with-lock-in-lock-in-spoiler-thread/)

Casting the Rock... ha! Maybe they have different actors play different Threeps? He could be good for the Hilketa threep. :)
The audiobook for the second book is available in two versions, one with Wil Wheaton reading, the other with Amber Benson.  Since the book is from Chris' POV, it allows you go pick a gendered voice to hear if you choose to.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: brilligtove on September 14, 2018, 02:03:02 PM
I’ve read many novels in which I’m completely unaware or not particularly aware of the protagonist’s race, and it doesn’t interest me at all. 

I just wanted to give a mention two John Scalzi's novels "Lock In" and "Head On", in which the lead character "Chris Shane" is mixed race...but we have no idea what gender they are.  I wonder how Hollywood would handle that pickle.  Possibly cast The Rock?

I really enjoyed those books. I had no idea that Chris had no assigned gender, either. Scalzi has some interesting thoughts on the subject. (http://whatever.scalzi.com/2014/09/22/in-which-tor-com-reveals-a-thing-i-did-with-lock-in-lock-in-spoiler-thread/)

Casting the Rock... ha! Maybe they have different actors play different Threeps? He could be good for the Hilketa threep. :)
The audiobook for the second book is available in two versions, one with Wil Wheaton reading, the other with Amber Benson.  Since the book is from Chris' POV, it allows you go pick a gendered voice to hear if you choose to.

I was vaguely aware of this, but never thought about it. I really like Wheaton's narrations, so bought that one. When I have a chance to listen again I'll get the Benson version. Neat.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: John Albert on September 14, 2018, 02:25:51 PM
If I go to Reddit and look at the people whining about Ciri's casting, there's a whole lot of overlap with ethnonationalist movements and post history, or cries of reverse racism and white genocide.

Evidence?

If I want your input I'll ask for it.

What an answer! 

Make whatever claim you want, even one that directly implies you've done research, and when somebody asks for the evidence you just tell them to go suck. How's that for intellectual honesty?

And this from the guy who accuses me of arguing in bad faith.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Harry Black on September 14, 2018, 03:14:57 PM


TL;DR Racist and other kinds of biased actions can happen at an individual or systemic level. Interventions need to take this into account to be effective.
___

Upthread there was some discussion of systemic racism vs individual racism, but it seems to have been left dangling. I think it's important to recognize the difference because these types of biases require very different interventions.


In the case of non-white actors (and female actors, I think) getting cast in potentially breakout roles, the individual biases and expectations of the people doing the casting are a big deal. Increased personal exposure to other ethnicities, education, and conversations about unconscious bias can work on that level, given enough time. Affirmative action type quotas are a systemic intervention to increase exposure (among other things). It is an overt thumb on the scales, and it pisses people off.


I think there is also a rystemic or structural problem in the way 'bankable' is evaluated. A collection of relatively unbiased decisions keeps churning out biased results. I'm not at all sure what specific interventions can be made in this system - I don't know enough about it. I'll hazard a guess that better market research into who and what people are willing to spend money on is a good start. I remember this happening in advertizing to gay folks in the 80s and 90s. Companies suddenly realized that gay people had a lot of disposable income and no one was catering to that market.
I like your point about bankable.
We just had a couple of years where Tom Cruise and Will Smith movies tanked hard but movies with largely unknown and diverse casts such as Get Out, Black Panther, Crazy Rich Asians all did really well.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: John Albert on September 14, 2018, 03:22:39 PM
The studios definitely do some extensive market research before sinking money into a picture. Perhaps they're somewhat hindered by the methodology of the marketing firms who conduct that research.

If they were on top of their game, I'd have expected them to have seen the current paradigm shift coming at least a decade ago.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Harry Black on September 14, 2018, 04:08:41 PM
The studios definitely do some extensive market research before sinking money into a picture. Perhaps they're somewhat hindered by the methodology of the marketing firms who conduct that research.

If they were on top of their game, I'd have expected them to have seen the current paradigm shift coming at least a decade ago.
Im sure they do.
But the decision still falls to an exec and from the Sony hack we know how arbitrary and illogical they can be in their pronouncements.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Captain Video on September 14, 2018, 04:22:53 PM
The studios definitely do some extensive market research before sinking money into a picture.

 ???  HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaH aHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa

BTW not laughing at you John, just the thought
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Guillermo on September 14, 2018, 04:32:52 PM


I really enjoyed those books. I had no idea that Chris had no assigned gender, either. Scalzi has some interesting thoughts on the subject. (http://whatever.scalzi.com/2014/09/22/in-which-tor-com-reveals-a-thing-i-did-with-lock-in-lock-in-spoiler-thread/)

I think this sounds like a good break between Wheel of Time Books.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: brilligtove on September 14, 2018, 04:41:51 PM
The studios definitely do some extensive market research before sinking money into a picture.

 ???  HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaH aHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa

BTW not laughing at you John, just the thought

The problem with market research is that you tend to get answers to the questions you ask.

I know that sounds circular and stupidly obvious, but it's an enormous problem in many domains. If it never occurs to you that black people might go see a movie with black people on the screen, you never collect evidence to figure out if it's an option or not.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: John Albert on September 14, 2018, 04:47:50 PM
The studios definitely do some extensive market research before sinking money into a picture.

 ???  HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaH aHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa

BTW not laughing at you John, just the thought

They don't? I was told otherwise.

Are you suggesting it still operates on sole decision of the fat old white guy with a cigar?
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Calinthalus on September 14, 2018, 04:53:55 PM
The studios definitely do some extensive market research before sinking money into a picture.

 ???  HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaH aHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa

BTW not laughing at you John, just the thought

They don't? I was told otherwise.

Are you suggesting it still operates on sole decision of the fat old white guy with a cigar?
fat old white guys are tight.




Sorry, the discussion was reminding me of those "Pitch Meeting" videos.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Captain Video on September 14, 2018, 05:02:17 PM
The studios definitely do some extensive market research before sinking money into a picture.

 ???  HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaH aHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa

BTW not laughing at you John, just the thought

They don't? I was told otherwise.

Are you suggesting it still operates on sole decision of the fat old white guy with a cigar?

Most market research if any at all happens after the film is made. They have also learned not to trust it as much.

If by "fat old white guy with a cigar" you mean some producer or studio exec then yes but its more complicated than that and they are no longer just old white guys, but market research, no.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Jeremy's Sea on September 14, 2018, 05:15:22 PM
The studios definitely do some extensive market research before sinking money into a picture.

 ???  HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaH aHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa

BTW not laughing at you John, just the thought
lol that was my reaction to. From someone else in the "biz" I can guarantee you it's more of a boys club/handshake club than a well researched program, despite what they may claim. They're really good at reacting to market forces after the fact though. But a pretty stink has to be made on social media.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: CarbShark on September 14, 2018, 05:16:37 PM
The studios definitely do some extensive market research before sinking money into a picture.

 ???  HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaH aHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa

BTW not laughing at you John, just the thought

They don't? I was told otherwise.

Are you suggesting it still operates on sole decision of the fat old white guy with a cigar?

Most market research if any at all happens after the film is made. They have also learned not to trust it as much.

If by "fat old white guy with a cigar" you mean some producer or studio exec then yes but its more complicated than that and they are no longer just old white guys, but market research, no.

Part of their challenge is that it takes a minimum of two years from the moment a project is green lighted to a film's premiere, and often longer. Market research doesn't hold up over two-years.

Plus there's the old Hollywood rule that "no one knows" if a movie is going to be a blockbuster or a flop. Every film that gets green lighted is a huge risk, and getting bankable stars is the best way they know to minimize that risk, but even then any production can go right off the cliff.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: brilligtove on September 14, 2018, 05:18:03 PM
That's one of the things that differentiates Netflix from the competition: they use their information about what people watch to decide what to fund next. Note I said 'differentiates' not 'makes them better'. They have biases in their funding formulae too, but they do use data .to drive their decisions.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Jeremy's Sea on September 14, 2018, 05:19:28 PM
The studios definitely do some extensive market research before sinking money into a picture.

 ???  HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaH aHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa

BTW not laughing at you John, just the thought

They don't? I was told otherwise.

Are you suggesting it still operates on sole decision of the fat old white guy with a cigar?

Most market research if any at all happens after the film is made. They have also learned not to trust it as much.

If by "fat old white guy with a cigar" you mean some producer or studio exec then yes but its more complicated than that and they are no longer just old white guys, but market research, no.

Part of their challenge is that it takes a minimum of two years from the moment a project is green lighted to a film's premiere, and often longer. Market research doesn't hold up over two-years.

Plus there's the old Hollywood rule that "no one knows" if a movie is going to be a blockbuster or a flop. Every film that gets green lighted is a huge risk, and getting bankable stars is the best way they know to minimize that risk, but even then any production can go right off the cliff.
I had always heard it takes 8 years to make a film. When Charlie Rose asked Michael Bay the same question, Bay said about 8 years...
I do think star power in some cases brings at least part of an audience out, but the way streaming is changing the landscape, that mentality may not hold much water for much longer.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: John Albert on September 14, 2018, 06:54:37 PM
Most market research if any at all happens after the film is made. They have also learned not to trust it as much.

OK this makes a lot of sense.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: CarbShark on September 14, 2018, 07:31:11 PM
The studios definitely do some extensive market research before sinking money into a picture.

 ???  HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaH aHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa

BTW not laughing at you John, just the thought

They don't? I was told otherwise.

Are you suggesting it still operates on sole decision of the fat old white guy with a cigar?

Most market research if any at all happens after the film is made. They have also learned not to trust it as much.

If by "fat old white guy with a cigar" you mean some producer or studio exec then yes but its more complicated than that and they are no longer just old white guys, but market research, no.

Part of their challenge is that it takes a minimum of two years from the moment a project is green lighted to a film's premiere, and often longer. Market research doesn't hold up over two-years.

Plus there's the old Hollywood rule that "no one knows" if a movie is going to be a blockbuster or a flop. Every film that gets green lighted is a huge risk, and getting bankable stars is the best way they know to minimize that risk, but even then any production can go right off the cliff.
I had always heard it takes 8 years to make a film. When Charlie Rose asked Michael Bay the same question, Bay said about 8 years...
I do think star power in some cases brings at least part of an audience out, but the way streaming is changing the landscape, that mentality may not hold much water for much longer.

No argument there. I think he's probably referring to starting with a blank page and typing "FADE IN:" to the time the curtain opens at the premiere.

But I was referring to from the time the studio gets its first look at a production (including script; producers; director and cast) to the time the film is released.

But both could vary widely, and the longer it takes, the less relevant market research becomes.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: brilligtove on September 14, 2018, 09:47:58 PM
If the research is sufficiently broad to tackle large demographic shifts it should have some good staying power over time.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: SkeptiQueer on September 15, 2018, 02:27:49 AM
The studios definitely do some extensive market research before sinking money into a picture. Perhaps they're somewhat hindered by the methodology of the marketing firms who conduct that research.

If they were on top of their game, I'd have expected them to have seen the current paradigm shift coming at least a decade ago.
Im sure they do.
But the decision still falls to an exec and from the Sony hack we know how arbitrary and illogical they can be in their pronouncements.

The Sony emails out the pie to the efficacy of their market research. For example, execs didn't want Will Smith to go to Cannes because they had it in their minds that Europe was too racist for a black actor. Smith went on his own home and execs wrote it off as a fluke when he threw a party and was popular as hell, and continued using the "they don't like black people" justification for not opening Equalizer 2 overseas. If you start from a faulty premise, say by not promoting movies with a black lead overseas as much, then your market research will reach a faulty conclusion.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Harry Black on September 16, 2018, 10:09:06 AM
The studios definitely do some extensive market research before sinking money into a picture. Perhaps they're somewhat hindered by the methodology of the marketing firms who conduct that research.

If they were on top of their game, I'd have expected them to have seen the current paradigm shift coming at least a decade ago.
Im sure they do.
But the decision still falls to an exec and from the Sony hack we know how arbitrary and illogical they can be in their pronouncements.

The Sony emails out the pie to the efficacy of their market research. For example, execs didn't want Will Smith to go to Cannes because they had it in their minds that Europe was too racist for a black actor. Smith went on his own home and execs wrote it off as a fluke when he threw a party and was popular as hell, and continued using the "they don't like black people" justification for not opening Equalizer 2 overseas. If you start from a faulty premise, say by not promoting movies with a black lead overseas as much, then your market research will reach a faulty conclusion.
I was just reminded of this while thinking about the new Wahlberg dumpster fire.
Ostensibly, the plot should have revolved around the Iko Uwais character. He was more interesting, likeable and visually dynamic than Marky Mark, but nope. We got stuck with Wahlberg being a dick to people for 90min.
But what was really interesting, was the use of a fake country to stage the action in.
With the Equaliser and other action dad movies, we end up with the villains all being Russian or Chinese etc etc. However reliance on foreign markets now mean its harder than ever to find a financially safe scary foreigner, for our pure hero to tear through with his civilised, never fading 'skills' gained from service to a morally righteous crusade on behalf of Uncle Sam.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: haudace on September 16, 2018, 10:23:09 AM
Would people care this much if superman was suddenly pigmented green?
Do people even care that superman at some point became golden? What was his name? Superman prime one million or something?

I wonder why it matters so much that a character has adopted a specific human pigmentation.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: heyalison on September 16, 2018, 10:27:31 AM
It's about the same effect as when a woman calls rape when there is no rape.

So, other than one gif, no one's going to comment on this sexist BS?
Is it not true that it hurts the movement when a Women Calls for rape when there is no rape? Because even if it happens rarely, they get exposure in the media and drawn out of proportions, and used by people opposing the #metoo movement.

Also, explain to me how is it what I said sexists?

Injecting the idea that women falsify rape charges often enough for this metaphor to be relevant is sexist. If you're insistent using rape charges as a metaphor you'd be more statistically relevant to say "When men accuse women of lying to deny their experiences of being raped, and how that undermines men's ability to be taken seriously on the topic."

But, no, you chose to go with the sexist lie that women lie about rape in numbers to undermine any rape allegation. That's the sexism. But I doubt you'll agree, and instead you and others will double-down and rage about it.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: heyalison on September 16, 2018, 10:29:11 AM
Would people care this much if superman was suddenly pigmented green?
Do people even care that superman at some point became golden? What was his name? Superman prime one million or something?

I wonder why it matters so much that a character has adopted a specific human pigmentation.

Because "pigmentation," as you say, matters in the real world. It isn't a fantasy, and to argue in this "I love all colours, green, purple, white, black" way is actively ignoring the impact of systemic racism.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: haudace on September 16, 2018, 05:09:23 PM
Would people care this much if superman was suddenly pigmented green?
Do people even care that superman at some point became golden? What was his name? Superman prime one million or something?

I wonder why it matters so much that a character has adopted a specific human pigmentation.

Because "pigmentation," as you say, matters in the real world. It isn't a fantasy, and to argue in this "I love all colours, green, purple, white, black" way is actively ignoring the impact of systemic racism.

Actually, I wasn't downplaying the effects of systemic racism or any types of racism whether it be trivial or not. The mere fact that the subject of fictional character's race is a hot topic of conversation shows how racialized this whole thing has become. Trying to defend that a fictional character should be of a specific race, to the point of antagonizing others, is basically racist. On the other hand, no one cares that superman became golden at some point. I can already imagine the reaction if some daring artist portrays him as a minority.


Eh, hopefully what I wrote makes sense this time.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Harry Black on September 16, 2018, 06:18:34 PM
Would people care this much if superman was suddenly pigmented green?
Do people even care that superman at some point became golden? What was his name? Superman prime one million or something?

I wonder why it matters so much that a character has adopted a specific human pigmentation.

Because "pigmentation," as you say, matters in the real world. It isn't a fantasy, and to argue in this "I love all colours, green, purple, white, black" way is actively ignoring the impact of systemic racism.

Actually, I wasn't downplaying the effects of systemic racism or any types of racism whether it be trivial or not. The mere fact that the subject of fictional character's race is a hot topic of conversation shows how racialized this whole thing has become. Trying to defend that a fictional character should be of a specific race, to the point of antagonizing others, is basically racist. On the other hand, no one cares that superman became golden at some point. I can already imagine the reaction if some daring artist portrays him as a minority.


Eh, hopefully what I wrote makes sense this time.
I see the point you are making, but being gold was temporary wheras people lost their shit when DC got rid of his underpants.
It really is a case of nerds feeling ownership over things who take certain things as the default. Race is one of those things, and it gets really ugly when they see that other people have not felt as represented as us.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: The Latinist on September 16, 2018, 08:05:46 PM
Because of the tradition of white-washing in casting, the ongoing underrepresentation of non-white characters in entertainment, and ongoing systemic racism, casting a non-white actor as a traditionally white character is a fundamentally different act than casting a white actor in a traditionally non-white role.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Guillermo on September 17, 2018, 11:25:17 AM
It's about the same effect as when a woman calls rape when there is no rape.

So, other than one gif, no one's going to comment on this sexist BS?
Is it not true that it hurts the movement when a Women Calls for rape when there is no rape? Because even if it happens rarely, they get exposure in the media and drawn out of proportions, and used by people opposing the #metoo movement.

Also, explain to me how is it what I said sexists?

Injecting the idea that women falsify rape charges often enough for this metaphor to be relevant is sexist. If you're insistent using rape charges as a metaphor you'd be more statistically relevant to say "When men accuse women of lying to deny their experiences of being raped, and how that undermines men's ability to be taken seriously on the topic."

But, no, you chose to go with the sexist lie that women lie about rape in numbers to undermine any rape allegation. That's the sexism. But I doubt you'll agree, and instead you and others will double-down and rage about it.
Wow, you intermediately characterize me in such a way assuming that my comment was completely intentional in the precise way without even taking into account the context or even if I am a person who would double-down and rage about it. Even after reading later on that I back down on some of the things I have said on the topic.

You are correct. The comparison is not equal because the frequencies are not the same. So I apologize for using said comparison. The situation in which women falsify rape charges are Considerably rare, and I recognize that.  My argument was that assuming that something is racist when it is not and having a public outcry about it, hurts the civil rights movement, which does not compare to my ill used metaphor.

And no, I did not deliberately used the example to undermine any rape allegation.


 
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: John Albert on September 17, 2018, 04:10:50 PM
Maybe it's a good idea to get your knee reflexes checked—or at least try mustering up your most generous spirit of charity and then reread the post—before calling somebody sexist or racist on a public discussion forum.

Though it was unnecessary and probably ill-advised to invoke a touchy subject such as rape to make his point about false accusations, what Guillermo said was not explicitly sexist. At least I didn't read it as an implication that false rape reports are the default, or even common.

What he actually said is that any known false reports have the potential to hurt the #metoo movement, by providing excuses for the naysayers to always grant benefit of the doubt to the accused. It's actually a reasonable statement that supports the movement and does not attack or demean the interests of women at all.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: JohnM on September 17, 2018, 04:43:02 PM
I haven't read all of this thread but I am interested in asking a similar question on diversity and would appreciate other's views.

There's a fiction show I'm watching (The Bodyguard BBC) and as usual, The BEEB make a good effort to have a diverse cast - all well and good. However, I think they've done overdone it in this series to the extent that the situation becomes unrealistic and which takes something away from the quality of the show.

without going into detail everyone in senior management of the police is either a woman or black of a variation thereof. There's not an overweight ginger in sight.

In one sense it's a fiction show so they can do whatever the hell they want but these sort of thrillers only pull you in if there is in some sense it's believable..

Any thoughts?

Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: John Albert on September 17, 2018, 04:50:38 PM
I haven't read all of this thread but I am interested in asking a similar question on diversity and would appreciate other's views.

There's a fiction show I'm watching (The Bodyguard BBC) and as usual, The BEEB make a good effort to have a diverse cast - all well and good. However, I think they've done overdone it in this series to the extent that the situation becomes unrealistic and which takes something away from the quality of the show.

without going into detail everyone in senior management of the police is either a woman or black of a variation thereof. There's not an overweight ginger in sight.

In one sense it's a fiction show so they can do whatever the hell they want but these sort of thrillers only pull you in if there is in some sense it's believable..

Any thoughts?

A lot of people would argue that it's your fault for not finding that situation believable.

"Are you saying it's not credible for black women to be ranking officers in the police department? What are you, some kind of a racist?" Etc, etc.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Calinthalus on September 17, 2018, 04:52:37 PM
I'm reminded from a quote from Supergirl's first season:
Quote
All four of you standing there doing nothing, you look like the attractive yet non-threatening, racially diverse cast of a CW show.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Harry Black on September 17, 2018, 05:01:57 PM
I haven't read all of this thread but I am interested in asking a similar question on diversity and would appreciate other's views.

There's a fiction show I'm watching (The Bodyguard BBC) and as usual, The BEEB make a good effort to have a diverse cast - all well and good. However, I think they've done overdone it in this series to the extent that the situation becomes unrealistic and which takes something away from the quality of the show.

without going into detail everyone in senior management of the police is either a woman or black of a variation thereof. There's not an overweight ginger in sight.

In one sense it's a fiction show so they can do whatever the hell they want but these sort of thrillers only pull you in if there is in some sense it's believable..

Any thoughts?
My thoughts are that it is a really good thing.
As I said elsewhere, I think it is the unremarked upon assumptions of a show that sink into the psyche of culture at large and finding a way to cast more talent that would not otherwise be seen (especially on the BBC which has had criticism for focusing on mostly white period dramas) is a good thing in my opinion and its very possible that these were all just the best people who auditioned.

There are people of colour at all levels of the police so I dont see why its a stretch to imagine that there may be clusters here and there due to statistical weirdness.
Failing that, just pretend its a dystopia where affirmative action has pushed white people out of management.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: John Albert on September 17, 2018, 05:16:06 PM
Failing that, just pretend its a dystopia where affirmative action has pushed white people out of management.

Maybe the fit black women beat out all the overweight gingers in the physical portion of the police exam.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: Harry Black on September 17, 2018, 05:21:00 PM
Failing that, just pretend its a dystopia where affirmative action has pushed white people out of management.

Maybe the fit black women beat out all the overweight gingers in the physical portion of the police exam.
I remember my buddy applied to the London Met and was furious that he had one of the top fitness scores but didnt get in.
Maybe he assumed police work is 90% sprinting?
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: gebobs on September 17, 2018, 05:24:40 PM
I haven't read all of this thread but I am interested in asking a similar question on diversity and would appreciate other's views.

There's a fiction show I'm watching (The Bodyguard BBC) and as usual, The BEEB make a good effort to have a diverse cast - all well and good. However, I think they've done overdone it in this series to the extent that the situation becomes unrealistic and which takes something away from the quality of the show.

without going into detail everyone in senior management of the police is either a woman or black of a variation thereof. There's not an overweight ginger in sight.

In one sense it's a fiction show so they can do whatever the hell they want but these sort of thrillers only pull you in if there is in some sense it's believable..

Any thoughts?

Come visit Atlanta. It's only remarkable when you see a policeman or airport security that isn't black. But Atlanta is a majority black city. I don't know if such a place exists in the UK.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: SkeptiQueer on September 18, 2018, 03:16:39 AM
It's about the same effect as when a woman calls rape when there is no rape.

So, other than one gif, no one's going to comment on this sexist BS?
Is it not true that it hurts the movement when a Women Calls for rape when there is no rape? Because even if it happens rarely, they get exposure in the media and drawn out of proportions, and used by people opposing the #metoo movement.

Also, explain to me how is it what I said sexists?

Injecting the idea that women falsify rape charges often enough for this metaphor to be relevant is sexist. If you're insistent using rape charges as a metaphor you'd be more statistically relevant to say "When men accuse women of lying to deny their experiences of being raped, and how that undermines men's ability to be taken seriously on the topic."

But, no, you chose to go with the sexist lie that women lie about rape in numbers to undermine any rape allegation. That's the sexism. But I doubt you'll agree, and instead you and others will double-down and rage about it.
Wow, you intermediately characterize me in such a way assuming that my comment was completely intentional in the precise way without even taking into account the context or even if I am a person who would double-down and rage about it. Even after reading later on that I back down on some of the things I have said on the topic.

You are correct. The comparison is not equal because the frequencies are not the same. So I apologize for using said comparison. The situation in which women falsify rape charges are Considerably rare, and I recognize that.  My argument was that assuming that something is racist when it is not and having a public outcry about it, hurts the civil rights movement, which does not compare to my ill used metaphor.

And no, I did not deliberately used the example to undermine any rape allegation.

This is a learning opportunity. When I run over someone's foot with my cart, I don't do it intentionally, but it still hurts them and I should still apologize for accidentally running over someone's foot. If they said "Hey, you ran over my foot!" then the response from me should be "I'm sorry I ran by over your foot, it was an accident." and to be more careful in the future.

In this instance you repeated a common talking point used to undermine reported rape and sexual assault. You didn't no intend to contribute to the culture or rape-apologism, and when it was pointed out it would have been a simple fix to say "Oh, that was no my intention, yeah I can see how that was in bad taste, I'm sorry" and be more careful about invoking sexual assault analogies in the future. For some reason when we hurt someone with our words we don't do this though, insisting that it was our perogative to run over someone's foot and they should just wear thicker shoes. Thank you for acknowledging that even though it wasn't intentional, you did cause a form of harm.

Similarly, back to the Sony example it's likely as not that the execs aren't intentionally discriminating against black actors. It's the bigotry of low expectations at work, and since you learned that nobody likes black actors and that black breakouts are a couple, you keep sustaining that bigotry unintentionally. It's still helpful to call attention to the harm, even if it wasn't intentional.  The issue with the false alarms isn't that people see them and begin to doubt, it's that there are groups actively pushing the narrative of false alarms in order to diminish or discredit the real problem. The way to combat that is by supporting the evidential issues and talking about the systemic problems because no matter how hard we work we will never stop the false alarms. There will always be someone on Tumblr or Facebook who is so outrageous that they hurt the movement, but short of taking away their access to the internet there's nothing to do about it.
Title: Re: is it racist to argue in favor of...
Post by: JohnM on September 18, 2018, 05:30:47 AM
I haven't read all of this thread but I am interested in asking a similar question on diversity and would appreciate other's views.

There's a fiction show I'm watching (The Bodyguard BBC) and as usual, The BEEB make a good effort to have a diverse cast - all well and good. However, I think they've done overdone it in this series to the extent that the situation becomes unrealistic and which takes something away from the quality of the show.

without going into detail everyone in senior management of the police is either a woman or black of a variation thereof. There's not an overweight ginger in sight.

In one sense it's a fiction show so they can do whatever the hell they want but these sort of thrillers only pull you in if there is in some sense it's believable..

Any thoughts?
My thoughts are that it is a really good thing.
As I said elsewhere, I think it is the unremarked upon assumptions of a show that sink into the psyche of culture at large and finding a way to cast more talent that would not otherwise be seen (especially on the BBC which has had criticism for focusing on mostly white period dramas) is a good thing in my opinion and its very possible that these were all just the best people who auditioned.

There are people of colour at all levels of the police so I dont see why its a stretch to imagine that there may be clusters here and there due to statistical weirdness.
Failing that, just pretend its a dystopia where affirmative action has pushed white people out of management.

Yes it is London so it would be more expected there and the show is doing well in the ratings so my criticism isn't in anyway being felt.