Stand­ing Up to Hol­ly­wood Racism

Costa del Sol News - - FRONT PAGE -

WHAT a great time to be white and in Hol­ly­wood. You get all the plum roles be it Arab princes, Ja­panese mar­tial arts ex­perts, Na­tive Amer­i­cans or peo­ple of Filipino de­scent.

So I doff my cap in re­spect to Bri­tish ac­tor Ed Skrein who has made the bold and coura­geous move of pulling out of a ma­jor Hol­ly­wood film be­cause of the back­lash against his cast­ing as a char­ac­ter of mix Asian her­itage when he is noth­ing of the sort.

His stance is against the com­mon movie in­dus­try prac­tice of white­wash­ing. That's the black and white min­strels ap­proach to cast­ing where white char­ac­ters are cho­sen for non-white roles. It is based on the dreadful as­sump­tion that movie­go­ers would pre­fer to see white peo­ple on screen. His­tor­i­cally, the worst ex­am­ples were Mickey Rooney don­ning false teeth and af­fect­ing an un­in­ten­tion­ally comic ac­cent to por­tray Mr. Yu­nioshi in Break­fast at Tif­fany's and that lump of wood John Wayne por­tray­ing Genghis Khan.

But racist and of­fen­sive cast­ing has not been left in the dark ages. Re­cently, we had Johnny Depp as Tonto and 2016's Gods of Egypt where most of the prin­ci­pal cast of Egyp­tian char­ac­ters were played by, you guessed it - white ac­tors.

Movie bosses de­fend them­selves by say­ing ac­tors with the right ex­pe­ri­ence and right skin colour aren't out there which is why they have rely on us white folk. But that's hog­wash. They need to look harder.

Skrein is par­tic­u­larly brave be­cause he's an up and com­ing ac­tor with little clout in an in­dus­try that could turn against him. Let’s hope it doesn’t harm his ca­reer and that big­ger stars start speak­ing out against this form of racism. vices of the re­sources they so des­per­ately need? Our safety and se­cu­rity must come first above any bud­getary con­cerns yet we are con­tin­u­ally be­ing let down by an un­car­ing and un­sym­pa­thetic gov­ern­ment that is fail­ing in its most fun­da­men­tal duty. We are sim­ply not safe from the short-sighted slasher Tories.

I doff my cap in re­spect to Bri­tish ac­tor Ed Skrein who has made the bold and coura­geous move of pulling out of a ma­jor Hol­ly­wood film

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