Standing up to Hollywood racism

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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.

Read more in this week’s print edition or go to e-paper

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