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Mwm

Why is Hollywood responding so strongly to actors criticisms regarding Game of Thrones predominately white cast with the big upcoming epic fantasy adaptations?

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It's funny you should put Bob Morley forward as your preferred option, as if you hadn't told me his background I would have thought he was just some white dude. So clearly the lines are all a bit blurred here, if some guy who looks white is your ideal casting, but only because you happen to know that he is half filipino, which suggests the problem is more to do with your own bias. 
 
But as you say, as far as I can tell, Heathcliffs background isn't clear. Here I found a good post speculating about it, it might be completely wrong, I'll leave that to you to discuss.

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-possible-ethnic-background-of-Heathcliff-in-Wuthering-Heights

This was the conclusion however:
 

Quote

As for modern casting in theatre and film, I could easily see Heathcliff played successfully by a black actor, or a mixed race one, or even just a moderately tanned ethnically white actor. The textual support is there for each choice.

In summary, Heathcliff is probably either a Romani or a mixed race child, probably with a native English parent. The best candidates for that English parent were either his mother who may have lived in Newcastle or Mr Earnshaw. Based on the racial mix of the era, it’s likely that he has a southern European or North African mother or father, though an Arab or Indian subcontinent father is also possible, with a mother far less likely 

 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

It's funny you should put Bob Morley forward as your preferred option, as if you hadn't told me his background I would have thought he was just some white dude. So clearly the lines are all a bit blurred here, if some guy who looks white is your ideal casting, but only because you happen to know that he is half filipino, which suggests the problem is more to do with your own bias. 
 
But as you say, as far as I can tell, Heathcliffs background isn't clear. Here I found a good post speculating about it, it might be completely wrong, I'll leave that to you to discuss.
https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-possible-ethnic-background-of-Heathcliff-in-Wuthering-Heights

This was the conclusion however:
 

 

Really? You see a guy who looks like this - brown complexion, flat nose, thick black curly hair, mild epicanthal folds - - and your reaction is "yep, that looks like a white dude"?

https://sm.ign.com/t/ign_ap/feature/t/the-100-bo/the-100-bob-morley-on-bellamys-enforcer-role-in-se_jvfa.h720.jpg

https://biographyline.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/bob2.jpg

LMAO whatever. You must be one of those people who are like "if you aren't black or have a monolid, you're white. If you're Filipino, why don't you look Korean? You must be white!"

Sure Jan, Ralph Fiennes with a fake tan is totally accurate casting. Let's just cast white actors you like and put brownface on them, they look more "accurate" than actual POCs.

Remind me to never enter into a discussion about race and casting ever again.

Edited by Annara Snow

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Yeah he looks like one of my good mates, who is in fact white ( possibly some Spanish heritage). Morley could easily be just a White guy. It’s not obvious.

The rest of what you said is just offensive to honest, and not worth repeating.

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Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, Ran said:

Also, since we're mentioning Fiennes repeatedly, I adore his performance. There's a savagery to some of the scenes, and he delivers just the right smoldering. Less mannered a performance than Olivier's, but that's simply different eras. The casting I always had a problem with was Juliette Binoche, who's a marvelous actress, but they never explain why this Frenchwoman is a member of the family from the moors of Yorkshire. Couldn't quite get around her accent slipping through almost constantly. (They're terrific together when they reunite in The English Patient though. Love that film.)

 

I didn't care for either of their performances (Fiennes' Heathcliff looked dangerous, he got that right, but he lacked the passion) or the movie in general (the one 'casting' they did right was that for the house itself, Wuthering Heights - they found a good location). And it made zero sense to cast the same actress as both Cathy I and Cathy II.

I didn't like James Hewson's performance either. He, on the other hand, had vulnerability but didn't have the danger and intensity. That movie was generally one that had an interesting look and atmosphere, but again cut half of the story.

The only Heathcliff performance i  liked was Tom Hardy. But of course, he also looks absolutely nothing like Heathcliff is supposed to. And the movie was generally awful. But he was the only one with that mix of intensity, passion and danger.

And adaptations never get Cathy right. Maybe not the actresses' fault, since they rewrite so much of her dialogue and rarely focus on her as a character rather than the girl Hethcliff loved and lost.

Edited by Annara Snow

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

Yeah he looks like one of my good mates, who is in fact white ( possibly some Spanish heritage). Morley could easily be just a White guy. It’s not obvious.

The rest of what you said is just offensive to honest, and not worth repeating.

Funny, I found pretty much everything you said so far to be offensive. 

"Why make all this fuss about race for a character who's explicitly not white a target of racism? Let's just cast a white person in brownface! Because it would be so inaccurate if we cast someone who is not part white, we can only cast white people or mixed race people, and we just CAN'T find any mixed race actors around! OMG, where do we find them?"

"Here's a mixed race actor who fits the description"

"Nope, that POC is not good enough of a POC because he totally looks white to me personally. A white actor in brownfrace is much more accurate!"

And It's pretty obvious to me. Just like it was obvious when I first met my best friend who's half Indonesian, but there are people who don't have a clue (especially when she dyed her hair blonde), while others didn't know what she was (especially since they have no clue what Southeast Asians look like) but knew she wasn't white and were immediately racist to her. She got called a "Gypsy', too.

Yep, not gonna talk to you about this anymore.

Then again, this thread has been hot garbage from the start, going back to the OP.

 

Edited by Annara Snow

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30 minutes ago, Annara Snow said:

"Why make all this fuss about race for a character who's explicitly not white a target of racism? Let's just cast a white person in brownface! Because it would be so inaccurate if we cast someone who is not part white, we can only cast white people or mixed race people, and we just CAN'T find any mixed race actors around! OMG, where do we find them?"

"Here's a mixed race actor who fits the description"

"Nope, that POC is not good enough of a POC because he totally looks white to me personally. A white actor in brownfrace is much more accurate!

 

What a fantastic misrepresentation of my position. I congratulate you on it. 

All you've done by using Morley as your ideal is prove my point that actually it doesn't really matter all that much who you are casting. It's not in any way clear what the character looked like anyway, and by suggesting someone who might well be considered white for all intents and purposes by a lot of people you've just highlighted how open to interpretation the perception of the character is. If Morley had to 'darken down' to play the role would that then also be a problem? Him 'fitting the description' is very much up for interpretation it seems. 

 

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Overlooked is the primary clue -- Heathcliff is found in Liverpool, the city that got filthy rich from the African slave trade, in every aspect of it, from writing the insurance policies, building the ships, banks financing and investing in expeditions to even go out and purchase people, instead of waiting for factors to bring them to the ship captain traders and slave castles, forging the chains and manacles for the horrific holds where the people were imprisoned -- every fracking aspect that made the African slave trade operate, was centered for Britain in Liverpool, followed closely by London, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and quite further down, Birmingham.

FYI -- many of the references in early Beatle songs like Penny Lane are real places in Liverpool -- this one was filled with insurance brokerages underwriting and insuring ships going the route to Africa to the colonies for sale, bringing the enormous profits back to Britain.

The Brontë sisters and their father were well aware of all this.  And it was troublesome, as see: Jane Eyre and Rochester's wife, and that she is finally set free by a legacy from an uncle who was a prosperous wine merchant to the slave plantation owners in the Antilles.

Liverpool's museum of the slave trade is one of the best facilities of this nature I've had the privilege of visiting.

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On 3/21/2020 at 6:08 PM, Zorral said:

Overlooked is the primary clue -- Heathcliff is found in Liverpool, the city that got filthy rich from the African slave trade, in every aspect of it, from writing the insurance policies, building the ships, banks financing and investing in expeditions to even go out and purchase people, instead of waiting for factors to bring them to the ship captain traders and slave castles, forging the chains and manacles for the horrific holds where the people were imprisoned -- every fracking aspect that made the African slave trade operate, was centered for Britain in Liverpool, followed closely by London, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and quite further down, Birmingham.

FYI -- many of the references in early Beatle songs like Penny Lane are real places in Liverpool -- this one was filled with insurance brokerages underwriting and insuring ships going the route to Africa to the colonies for sale, bringing the enormous profits back to Britain.

The Brontë sisters and their father were well aware of all this.  And it was troublesome, as see: Jane Eyre and Rochester's wife, and that she is finally set free by a legacy from an uncle who was a prosperous wine merchant to the slave plantation owners in the Antilles.

Liverpool's museum of the slave trade is one of the best facilities of this nature I've had the privilege of visiting.

I just found a new show on Netflix last night and I was wondering about where to post my thoughts about it. Considering the discussion about Blacks not being represented fully in movies and TV shows. The show is called Queen Sono and I find it utterly fascinating. It is filmed in South Africa with almost an entirely Black cast. I am 3 episodes in and just love it. Good acting, great scenery and interesting storylines that really reflect the politics in Africa. Please watch this as this is one major reason I really like Netflix. There are hidden gems from parts of the world that never see the light here in North America.

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2 hours ago, maarsen said:

I just found a new show on Netflix last night and I was wondering about where to post my thoughts about it. Considering the discussion about Blacks not being represented fully in movies and TV shows. The show is called Queen Sono and I find it utterly fascinating. It is filmed in South Africa with almost an entirely Black cast. I am 3 episodes in and just love it. Good acting, great scenery and interesting storylines that really reflect the politics in Africa. Please watch this as this is one major reason I really like Netflix. There are hidden gems from parts of the world that never see the light here in North America.

Hooray -- someone else found Queen Sono!  She works so well for the situation we are in, all right.  I wrote some thoughts about it on the Watching thread a couple weeks ago maybe? 

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On 3/21/2020 at 11:08 PM, Zorral said:

Overlooked is the primary clue -- Heathcliff is found in Liverpool, the city that got filthy rich from the African slave trade, in every aspect of it, from writing the insurance policies, building the ships, banks financing and investing in expeditions to even go out and purchase people, instead of waiting for factors to bring them to the ship captain traders and slave castles, forging the chains and manacles for the horrific holds where the people were imprisoned -- every fracking aspect that made the African slave trade operate, was centered for Britain in Liverpool, followed closely by London, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and quite further down, Birmingham.

FYI -- many of the references in early Beatle songs like Penny Lane are real places in Liverpool -- this one was filled with insurance brokerages underwriting and insuring ships going the route to Africa to the colonies for sale, bringing the enormous profits back to Britain.

The Brontë sisters and their father were well aware of all this.  And it was troublesome, as see: Jane Eyre and Rochester's wife, and that she is finally set free by a legacy from an uncle who was a prosperous wine merchant to the slave plantation owners in the Antilles.

Liverpool's museum of the slave trade is one of the best facilities of this nature I've had the privilege of visiting.

I think that what many people in this thread are missing is that Emily Bronte left Heathcliff's ethnicity and origins deliberately vague and ambiguous (which was easy to justify narratively, because the novel is from the POV of Unreliable Narrators, and all other characters are insular white British people, most of whom spent all their lives in a remote Yorkshire village, and who aren't all that informed) - but unambiguously racially the "Other", not white - because he isn't supposed to stand for any specific ethnicity or nationality. He represents the legacy of racism and colonialism and exploitation of and fear of the 'Other'.

Of course, racial and class issues are very interlinked in the story. Note the difference between  the attitude of Hindley or the Lintons when they meet Heathcliff as a child Mr Lockwood's attitude when he meets Heathcliff as a ruffled foundling child, and Mr Lockwood when he meets Heathcliff as a rich landowner who is about to rent him a house.  Lockwood notes that Heathcliff seems at odds with his surroundings and that his complexion is that of a "dark-skinned Gypsy" but his clothes and manners that of a gentleman. So instead of assuming he is a Romani or a foreign person of color brought from overseas, as the Earnshaws and Lintons did, he is confused and just says he kind of looks like a Gypsy, but not that he is one, because that just doesn't fit with Heathcliff's role as a rich landowner who is dressed and acts like a gentleman, read: a white guy. 

Which, amusingly, is very similar to the attitudes of all the people who read the novel and imagined Heathcliff as a white guy with a tan, because he's the main character, one half of the novel's main romance (with a beautiful white woman) and is a dangerous but powerful and intelligent figure. 

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37 minutes ago, Annara Snow said:

I think that what many people in this thread are missing is that Emily Bronte left Heathcliff's ethnicity and origins deliberately vague and ambiguous (which was easy to justify narratively, because the novel is from the POV of Unreliable Narrators, and all other characters are insular white British people, most of whom spent all their lives in a remote Yorkshire village, and who aren't all that informed) - but unambiguously racially the "Other", not white - because he isn't supposed to stand for any specific ethnicity or nationality. He represents the legacy of racism and colonialism and exploitation of and fear of the 'Other'.

Of course, racial and class issues are very interlinked in the story. Note the difference between  the attitude of Hindley or the Lintons when they meet Heathcliff as a child Mr Lockwood's attitude when he meets Heathcliff as a ruffled foundling child, and Mr Lockwood when he meets Heathcliff as a rich landowner who is about to rent him a house.  Lockwood notes that Heathcliff seems at odds with his surroundings and that his complexion is that of a "dark-skinned Gypsy" but his clothes and manners that of a gentleman. So instead of assuming he is a Romani or a foreign person of color brought from overseas, as the Earnshaws and Lintons did, he is confused and just says he kind of looks like a Gypsy, but not that he is one, because that just doesn't fit with Heathcliff's role as a rich landowner who is dressed and acts like a gentleman, read: a white guy. 

Which, amusingly, is very similar to the attitudes of all the people who read the novel and imagined Heathcliff as a white guy with a tan, because he's the main character, one half of the novel's main romance (with a beautiful white woman) and is a dangerous but powerful and intelligent figure. 

This is all true. We can fill in the ambiguity with quite a few different visuals, all which apply in a community with a minority Other, from any place and time.  Which is why this is writing about which we can talk creatively and productively still.

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On 3/17/2020 at 5:51 PM, mormont said:

ps enabling under-represented audiences to see themselves in a story undoubtedly adds value to that story. Maybe not anything you value, but something other people do.

Sure, for shit-ass writers...

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Mwm said:

Sure, for shit-ass writers...

I think writing critiques should wait until you understand the art well enough to write a topic title that's not a whole-ass 20+ word sentence.

Edited by mormont

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Posted (edited)

I'm really sorry for bringing back this thread with its long and annoying title. But I just had to mention, because of that hand-wringing earlier about how "OMG, there are no half-South Asian British actors who could play Heathcliff, so we MUST cast the whitest dudes possible!" (which doesn't even make sense, since we don't even know Heathcliff's ethnicity, just that he's a not a white guy) - Shazad Latif is a 31 year old half-Pakistani British actor. So there. (I  watched him in Penny Dreadful, where he played a character who is full of rage over the racism he has suffered in England as a half-Indian son of a British noble. and wants to become a powerful landowner.)

Edited by Annara Snow

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46 minutes ago, Annara Snow said:

I'm really sorry for bringing back this thread with its long and annoying title. But I just had to mention, because of that hand-wringing earlier about how "OMG, there are no half-South Asian British actors who could play Heathcliff, so we MUST cast the whitest dudes possible!" (which doesn't even make sense, since we don't even know Heathcliff's ethnicity, just that he's a not a white guy) - Shazad Latif is a 31 year old half-Indian British actor. So there. (I  watched him in Penny Dreadful, where he played a character who is full of rage over the racism he has suffered in England as a half-Indian son of a British noble. and wants to become a powerful landowner.)

Yeah that wasn’t the point that was ever made. But thanks for bringing it up.

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1 hour ago, Annara Snow said:

Shazad Latif is a 31 year old half-Indian British actor. So there. (I  watched him in Penny Dreadful, where he played a character who is full of rage over the racism he has suffered in England as a half-Indian son of a British noble. and wants to become a powerful landowner.)

And that was a travesty!  Someone with Indian ethnicity playing Dr. Jekyll?  Harrumph!

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