HALLO EVERYONE. MY NAME IS THE BOULDER. THE BOULDER IS UPSET ABOUT THE RACEBENDING OF THE FILM ADAPTATION OF THE BOULDER'S FAVORITE ANIMATED SERIES: Avatar: The Last Airbender.
What this Community is For:
For more information and RULES, please view the community profile. Criticism towards the comm should be directed to The Fire Nation Man Thread.
- Updates on the production of The Last Airbender critiquing the film's failure to maintain the integrity of the original series.
- Promoting entertainment media that represents and celebrates marginalized groups.
- Sharing information and engaging members in a safe-space discussion about groups that have been underrepresented in the media due to systemic and institutionalized discrimination.
- Finding ways to defeat Toph, since she hurt The Boulder's feelings.
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The first book of Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series ws optioned to become a TV show last year, and production just started yesterday. In the books, the character of Jeremy is described as dark-haired with "tilted eyes." In another book in the series, it's revealed that his mother (who he was taken away from as a baby) is Japanese.
This is Greg Bryk, the actor playing Jeremy in the show.This
is the press release with the casting announcement.
Which is a case not specifically of racebending, but of colorism, which has the same root: racism. Apparently the filmmakers are going ahead with Zoe Saldana, but are putting her in black(er)face and giving her a prosthetic "more African" nose. Which... just... I don't even. To quote this open letter from Nina Simone's estate
Imagine if you will, telling the story of Nina Simone as a dark-skinned little girl with what are considered African features and phenotype (her hair, her nose, her lips, etc). Imagine that is the focus of the story we are going to tell in this film. It’s not hard to imagine it since that IS the story of NINA SIMONE. Anyone who knows anything about Nina Simone knows that the manifestation of her race, her features, her sex, and her personality clashed with societal norms in such a way that she struggled against them her entire life and it shaped her career and her spirit. It’s not hard for us to imagine telling her story using that struggle as the reference point because that was Nina Simone. Given that focus, given the focus on Nina’s fire of a spirit in fighting for beautiful dark skinned and wide nosed black women, how in the world could they have cast Zoe Saldana, only then to darken her and widen her nose?
Can you imagine Zoe all made up like she’s been, playing up on the big screen acting out and singing about Nina’s struggles against racism, colorism, her appearance, and being exploited and marginalized because of those things? Can you imagine how much of a parody that would turn into, as the audience sits back and, knowing what Zoe actually looks like, becomes so confused by what efforts have been taken to make Zoe look like Nina that they are distracted from the actual story? Would it even make any sense? Wouldn’t they wonder why Zoe ever got the role in the first place since that contradicts the entire nature of the movie – the entire nature of Nina’s life – and wouldn’t they sense the hypocrisy? Would it make ANY sense?
There's more going on with this film; apparently they're also straightwashing her out, gay personal assistant in order to fictionalize a relationship between him and Nina. It's just looking like a big, revolting mess.
Apparently there's a Nina Simone movie in the works
; this is news to me, and it's wonderful, because I'm a raging Nina fan. But there's already some controversy, because apparently Zoe Saldana is being considered for the role. Fans are not happy.
I'm of two minds. On the one hand the producers want people to see this film, and Saldana can at least pull an audience. There currently is no dark-skinned black actress out there with Saldana's drawing power. On the other hand... there is no dark-skinned black actress out there with Saldana's drawing power. And there's a reason for that: darker-skinned black actresses rarely get lead roles. Given that this is Nina Simone we're talking about -- a singer who explicitly addressed the issue of colorism
in much of her work -- it would be a sad and bitter irony for this film to perpetuate the very thing she fought for so long.
So I would like to see this film succeed, but I want to see it do so with a talented dark-skinned newcomer in the lead role.
Today In Racism: YA Series “Save The Pearls” Employs Offensive Blackface And Bizarre Racist Stereotypes Plot:
Victoria Foyt is the (white) author of a new young adult book series called Save the Pearls. The book chronicles the adventures of Eden Newman, a white woman, or a “Pearl,” whose entire race has been enslaved by the dominant race of “Coals” — or dark-skinned people. Hoping to capitalize off of the popularity of dystopian young adult novels like The Hunger Games, Foyt constructed a narrative in which, she explains, “Solar radiation has wiped out most of the white race whose lack of melanin causes them to succumb to the Heat. The survivors, called Pearls, suffer from oppression under the new majority of dark-skinned Coals.” In the new world, Eden must rely on Bramford, a Coal. As Foyt describes it, Pearls is “a Beauty and the Beast story in which both parties must find self-acceptance before they can discover true love.”( Read MoreCollapse )
In an essay on Huffington Post, presumably meant to publicize her book, Foyt prides herself on receiving mostly positive reviews for her story. She marvels at the way Pearls‘ “interracial love story” is being so positively received by the audience. She writes:
Maybe someone can help me with this one bcz I might have entirely gotten things wrong. So I'm watching this trailer for an upcoming Tom Hanks / Halle Berry movie and I see something really strange. No, not Hanks' facial hair; Jim Sturgess in Yellowface[starts at 1:53]:
That is Jim Sturgess, right? Anyways, here's the directors explaining the film, in which they comment that the actors are to play multiples rolls: different ages, different races, and different genders[starts at 1:05]:
I don't get it. Even if people are perfectly "cool" about this, how can you look at that guy's face and think he looks perfectly normal? Oh, wow, and it's Jim Sturgess from 21
. How odd is that?
Apparently the two actors play different roles in another part of the film, and from this image it looks like the actress, Doona Bae, is playing a white lady?
I hope this post is appropriate here; if not, please let me know and I'll take it down.
I'm a longtime follower and occasional commenter in this community. I'm also the program chair for Readercon
, a speculative literature convention that takes place in the Boston, Mass. area every July. Participation in our program--that is, speaking on panels, giving talks, and doing readings--is by invitation, and while our invitation list includes some fabulous people of color (including past guests of honor Samuel R. Delany and Nalo Hopkinson), I'm looking for ways to diversify it further. I hope you can help by recommending amazing people you'd like to see on our program!
Readercon is very focused on the written word, so I'm primarily looking for authors, editors, publishers, critics, and academics who are well-versed in written science fiction, fantasy, and horror. That said, we do have occasional items on related media, including cover art and illustrations, movies, and television. You can get a sense of who usually comes to Readercon by looking at this year's guest list
I would greatly appreciate recommendations of people of color (and other members of disprivileged groups within fandom) who you think would have a good time at Readercon and enjoy contributing to our conversations. Please comment on this post or write to firstname.lastname@example.org anytime between now and December with your suggestions. (You can put yourself forward too.) The people you recommend don't need to be famous; they just need to be inquisitive, opinionated, and passionate about speculative literature and related fields. This link
lays out exactly what we're looking for in a recommendation. If you have contact info, great! If not, send suggestions anyway and we'll find ways to contact them.
Feel free to pass this link around to anyone who might be interested, post it on mailing lists, etc.
Thanks very, very much!