What's with the hate?

Discussion in 'TV & Movies' started by CKVanquish, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. CKVanquish

    CKVanquish Newbie

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    I've been hearing news from all over the internet about how people keep hitting flak on Scarlett Johansson being casted as the MC for the hollywood live-action adaptation of 'Ghost in the Shell'.

    And I always keep hearing about the 'whitewashing' as the reasoning on why people keep bashing on her. As an Asian myself, I wouldn't have minded at all that she would be cast as the MC.

    Reason why I'm posting this in the first place is to hear you guys about what you think about the matter. I know it's not exactly of the highest importance, but it would be interesting to know about your response, as a community.

    -CK
     
  2. Mark CM

    Mark CM Veteran

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    Well, whitewashing is definitely a problem in Hollywood. I don't think it's so much a problem with the actors who are cast in these roles, more the fact that people of colour are not cast. It points to a systemic problem.
     
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  3. djfly

    djfly Smiter of Spam

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    When it comes to famous people, I care about them when:
    - I watch them in film
    - I listen to their music
    - I watch them compete

    Outside of the output of their lives, I really could care less about them.
    I especially don't care who is butthurt over what and when and why.

    i.e., Evander Kane got basically run out of Winnipeg by Jets fans. Though the team will forever argue that it was club decision, there is no doubt that he was extremely unpopular in this city. There were all kinds of accusations that Kane had bad behaviour in public, from being a womanizer, to acting entitled and skipping out on cheques. Most of these accusations were likely false and Kane responded by suggesting that Winnipeg was racist and disliked him for his skin colour. My point here is that I disliked him for not performing on the ice.

    So, I could give a shit who feels slighted over a role given to Miss Johansson. I'll judge her and the film (or show or whatever) based on what the film is or is not. I will not judge her and/or the film based on some perceived racism, slight, insult, feeling, or any other cockamamie bullshit.
     
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  4. djfly

    djfly Smiter of Spam

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    Society is overrun with political correctness. The bullshit is becoming pedantic.
    I honestly believe that filmmakers have stopped being creative due primarily to the backlash caused by the demand for political correctness. It has become politically correct to hate due to mistakes in political correctness. If a filmmaker makes a bad guy black, they're racist. If they make a good guy black, the character doesn't "do justice to the struggle". At this point, the safest thing to do is remake shitty old movies in bland new ways.

    (The fact that they made a "Rush Hour" TV show basically proves this point... or how the internet white knights scream when you don't include all the extra (new) letters at the end of LGBT... I mean, if you're going to include everyone "not straight", why not just say "not straight"? ... but, I'm now ranting)
     
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  5. CKVanquish

    CKVanquish Newbie

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    Although I can understand your view, Mark CM, I'm rather inclined to support djfly's opinion a bit more.

    What I'm rather confused about is, while the American interwebz is spilling vitriol over the political correctness and whitewashing of Hollywood by casting Scarlett - the Japanese seems to have somewhat the opposite reaction. Here is a link below about the Japanese reaction to Scarlett being casted as the MC:



    Of course, it doesn't mean that all Japanese people think like that, but you have to understand that such a different portrayal make a person think on whether the issue is truly important or not if the home country in question is actually okay.

    Take for example, the HUAC - the House Un American Activities. As we all know, the 50s was the time when the Soviet threat was rising - as well as McCarthyism. Hollywood was among the victims of HUAC due to its 'subversive' and 'supposition that they injected Communist propaganda into their films." This is exactly the sort of ridiculousness that I could compare to today's forums arguing on the whitewashing of films - ultimately pointless, insinuating and patronizing.

    Link for convenience:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_blacklist

    Ally-oop!

    -CK
     
  6. theviridiansea

    theviridiansea Guest

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    There's two things that really bother me about white actors playing characters that weren't written as white:
    1. There's plenty of POC actors that are very talented. They rarely get casted. And when they do get casted, they generally get to play a stereotype (a black actor playing a gang member from "the hood," a hispanic actor playing a drug dealer, etc.) A role that does not specify race is almost certainly going to be given to a white person, because white is seen as the default in Hollywood/Hollywood North. But for a role that is SPECIFICALLY supposed to be a POC to be given to a white person (and then the white person's appearance is altered through hair/makeup/VFX) is super heartbreaking.

      I know Hollywood is not the friendliest business, but when you have 500+ Hispanic actresses auditioning for a role that requires speaking in Spanish, it's horrible to see that a blonde, blue eyed actress is casted... and then in the film she speaks Spanish with a heavy American accent, even though the character is supposed to be fluent and from Puerto Rico. It just doesn't make sense.

    2. Have you ever seen an old film with bad CGI, and you are so distracted that it takes you out of the film and you completely forget the story? As a filmmaker, I find it VERY distracting when there is a white actor playing a non-white character. Scarlett Johansson playing a character named "Motoko Kusanagi" and Emma Stone playing a Chinese-Hawaiian character with the last name Ng? It's hilarious. If you need to paint Angelina Jolie's face three shades darker so she can appear to be Afro-Chinese-Cuban descent... it's not going to fool anyone. Even if you have a great team of makeup artists, the viewer will be distracted, and whatever story the director was trying to tell will be partially lost.
     
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  7. CKVanquish

    CKVanquish Newbie

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    Now, before I go on, I'd like to mention that I've never taken up filmmaking. I've only been acquainted with it for a while, so I apologize for any discrepancies and/or incorrect facts and/or 'just plain wrong things' that may come up. Yep, here it is:

    I can definitely understand that a lot of films tend to use white actors/actresses to have a 'larger' role and that the minority actors/actresses are often sidelined and/or fit into stereotypes.

    Yes, I can definitely believe that Emma Stone playing as a Chinese-Hawaiian character being a rather extreme example. However, I think it all boils down towards the material: is the material based in real life, set in real life? Or is it going to be set in a fictional world? If we were talking about an Asian character, it's obvious that we need someone that LOOKS Asian.

    I have been well-acquainted with this Japanese term 'mukokuseki' - literally meaning stateless person. In many Japanese-based entertainment medium - in particular comics and anime - culturally and ethnically-ambiguous characters can be used in order to spread higher appeal towards a wide-ranging audience, such as appeal abroad. The ethnically-ambiguous character in question may have Japanese cultural quirks, have a Japanese name, or something else - the main point being that the character is 'foreign' in some sense, and that it would appeal to a more international audience. For example, the 'mukokuseki' character in question may have rounder eyes, blonde/brunette/anything-other-than-black hair colour, taller, etc.

    I conclude that it is the reason why Scarlett could be cast and have the issue so split between 'supporting the choice' and 'blaming whitewashing'.

    Well, this is turning to be an exciting thread, in any case.

    -CK
     
  8. CKVanquish

    CKVanquish Newbie

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  9. Mark CM

    Mark CM Veteran

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    @theviridiansea hits it right on the head. Frankly, I think the discussion itself is good and I respect both sides of the argument (studios need to sell movies and I can't think of a Japanese actress who has worldwide recognition like Scarlett Johansen), but at the end of the day I think the perspective of minority actors is what needs to be appreciated.
     
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  10. CKVanquish

    CKVanquish Newbie

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  11. Cib3rNaut

    Cib3rNaut Guest

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    People don't really understand in the industry of film and media, all possible ideas are already stored and calculated in servers and gathered through information sessions to make known the variables of success. If you take the amount of people viewing each created works and know the demographic with projected outcome of sales and merch profits of all items of interest, That pretty much dictates what will and won't be done with the current world news and agendas set against the marketing of said film production. It's really about the bling effect of everything being marketed to start a trend or create an action to complete a fanbase that not only likes the film itself, more so follows their complete spending within the outlining rememberance of that experience that they had.

    I see it with each new film being created and distributed, everyone complains about how there are no new ideas or cool effects being used, although it's those same generalization of watchers that go out and buy all the associated products from each of these new trending current on screen adaptations.

    It's all really just a giant computation for maximum profit, over the highest number of people. Even the normal storylines of these past years all have very common threads of information that create social and economic control to sell a certain collection of the films sponsored goods or locations or push certain actors that are programmed for these parts just biased of their physical looks and film watchers reactions.
     
  12. djfly

    djfly Smiter of Spam

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    Exactly.
    What about what you just said?

    This is like blaming Honda for the fact that North Americans buy more Honda Civics than Chevrolet Cruzes.

    Sure, racism exists, but it doesn't mean that all cases are racism. I'm willing to bet that in 9 of 10 cases, it's because the white actor is better / more recognizable / more well known / etc.

    The same argument that is made to support the notion that more minorities should appear in film (minority viewers like to see "themselves" in films - why isn't the lead in Transforms, for example, Hispanic), can be transposed to explain why the opposite is true! It's simple. 75% of the target audience of Hollywood films is white. Hollywood is in the business of making money, and targeting the largest demographic is the easiest way of doing this.

    Movies that currently have broad appeal are expensive to make. This means the movie needs to sell a lot of tickets. This also means that it needs stars that appeal to the largest possible number of people (in order to pay for itself).

    If you want some kind of introspective, lifestyle or culture movie, go watch films at Cannes or
    Toronto or other film festival. If you want to see expensive explosions, car chases, and the famous actors that are currently popular in our (North American / European) culture, go watch a Hollywood blockbuster, and accept it for what it is and quit your incessant bitching about what it is not.

    You can build all kinds of cars, but Honda Civics sell better.

    I have my preferences. Many are white, many are not. I also have my preferences of film. Most are primarily white, though some are not. Knowing Matt Damon is in a film might cause me to give it a chance, even if it doesn't pique my interest. Simply put, I know he's good. (I could make the same comment about Denzel Washington or Danny Trejo if you'd like to include a Black and a Hispanic)

    BUT.

    Knowing that an actor was cast due to having a personal connection (cultural, racial, social, economical, etc) with the subject matter will not push me to watch the film. If an actor in Gomorrah was the wrong "colour" to be "period correct" or "as the original book was written", I could care less.

    This doesn't make racism. This makes indifference. Racism and bigotry require intent.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
  13. Mark CM

    Mark CM Veteran

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    We're talking about systemic racism, which does not require intent.
     
  14. Mark CM

    Mark CM Veteran

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  15. djfly

    djfly Smiter of Spam

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    It is my opinion that "systemic racism" is a concept applied to every sob story by the Internet White Knights.

    The argument that the system [Hollywood] is racist by definition is false. In order for that to be true, the system would need to *actively* prevent equality. In actuality, the system simply doesn't *actively* push equality. The system is passive.

    Historical racism in the United States left unbalances behind, and those unbalances will require time to even out. It may be true that minorities have historically had less opportunities than whites and that lack of opportunity brought about a long lasting unbalance in certain areas in society. It may be true that minorities still lack some of the opportunities afforded to whites. This is especially demonstrated by the cycle of poverty that exists (especially) in the United States.

    I firmly believe that anyone can succeed, even in the United States, given the same early chances. When you put all this together, you have the effective result of fewer minorities in high ranking areas in all aspects of business. This does not however mean that any given candidate was chosen or not chosen due to a bias.

    There exists a SYSTEMIC problem within the justice system in the United States that leads to more broken minority families that leads to a cycle of poverty. There are others [systemic problems] in the United States [and the rest of world].

    I don't however believe that "white" companies are definitely racist. They may have simply hired the best candidate who applied. Same goes for movies and Hollywood. If there aren't enough "minority" stories, figure out a way of encouraging more minorities to become film makers, quit picking on the ones who happened to be white who happened to make cookie cutter movies for the majority.

    Oh, they're shit movies anyway. Seriously, why is everyone complaining?

    Oh, and don't forget that racism and affirmative action are both antonyms and synonyms, it's all a matter of perspective.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2016
  16. CKVanquish

    CKVanquish Newbie

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    Actually, I would be inclined to believe the following:

    1. That there is indeed a whitewashing issue in at a minimum one form or another within Hollywood.
    2. That racism does indeed pervade throughout nearly all industries.
    3. That this issue, in the end, probably isn't going to matter to the higher-ups within the film industry.

    And look, I did not start this thread so people could discuss about the inherent racism about society - it's about a MOVIE. And therefore, I certainly do not like the see the issue of the MC's ethnicity gravitate towards society in general. That sort of topic would be placed in a more generalised section, not in 'TV and Movies'. This is my second point.

    And also, we weren't complaining. I did not start this thread with the intent to quash or demean the Anti-Scarlett people or whatever they want to call themselves. I'm merely bringing this issue to light so as to see if whether bringing Scarlett Johansson in is a good idea or not to fellow Nexopians.

    And indeed, as it said in my first point - whitewashing is indeed an issue within Hollywood. There's no denying that there are certainly films where the producers and/or directors has placed white leads for a character that's not white.

    But let us be real here.

    At the end of the day (or fiscal year), all companies want to reach the bottom line and beyond. That includes Hollywood. And Hollywood needs to consistently make money as much as their latest blockbuster so they can continue to make even more blockbusters. There are inherent risks when making a high-production film, and that includes many things, including bad actors.

    That brings to my third point at the start: that the higher-ups likely just won't care.

    Scarlett Johansson already has a track record for playing badass and sexy female characters. It's quite clear that this film's MC is a badass and sexy female character. Add to the fact that Scarlett is a name that has international recognition, her choice was (to me) obvious from the get go.

    Now, how many non-white actresses can you name that will likely fit as well as Scarlett? Boyega is certainly not going to fit, nor does...no, I couldn't think of another non-white actress that fit the bill as same as Scarlett. Of course, that may mean that I'm not knowledgable enough in picking actresses for that particular role, and that would be a flaw. But that could be a common flaw among many people as well.

    And of course, the people in Hollywood already has her to play an - and I will mention it again - an ethnically-ambiguous role.

    Now, dj, I didn't have time to deconstruct your every sentence, so forgive me if I missed anything out. And also for the rest of you, I skimmed over your response as well, so I would like to apologize for that.

    -CK
     
  17. CKVanquish

    CKVanquish Newbie

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    And also, for the love of God, please don't turn this thread into another war. I started this thread as an interesting bit of information to share, not to spark an entire worldwide debate...
     
  18. djfly

    djfly Smiter of Spam

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    1. 2. 3. Emotional response, but I won't bite because you go on to say you don't even want to have this discussion...

    Unfortunately, you'll get eaten alive on the Internet if you can't handle when people bite down on a topic they find interesting

    No, you weren't personally. I was replying to @Mark CM and the concept at hand was "people complaining about [perceived or real] injustices". My question was intended to be an open ended one to complete the ironic joke. I suppose the grammatical nuance was overlooked.

    Arguing against yourself - this is exactly the definition of "whitewashing" and "systemic". You went from saying "it happens and it's bad" to "except it's fine this time" .

    Non-white actresses that *can* play the "kickass and badass chick"?
    Here's six, in my order of preference (for the type of part):

    * Sarah Shahi (Person of Interest)
    * Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife)
    * Zoe Saldana (Colombiana)
    * Lucy Liu (Kill Bill)
    * Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
    * Karina Arroyave (Crash)

    If you've seen Kill Bill, and can name Uma Thurman but not Lucy Liu (especially considering the number of times Lucy Liu has been a kickass, badass chick in film, Charlies Angels, etc)... well, it doesn't take much to see where this is headed...

    Edit 1: I had to add Shahi and Panjabi because they're SO good, even if few people know them.
    Edit 2: And, what the shit-**** does "ethnically ambiguous" mean? Do you know the definition of "ethnicity"? If you are attempting to link their skin colour to their ethnicity, you are part of the problem.
    Edit 3: Clarified "complaining"
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2016
  19. CKVanquish

    CKVanquish Newbie

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    Thank you for your courteous and straightforward response. Here are my responses:

    First of all: I probably wouldn't need to tell you the uproar that would happen if a Chinese person were to play a Japanese role (ever heard of WW2 and the Japanese ultra-nationalists?), so that would cancel out Lucy Liu. The rest of the names most people hadn't hear about (Yeoh I've heard about personally), and so they wouldn't sell merely by name alone. And remember, Hollywood needs to sell a movie with a brand name. Also - do you have any idea how much it is to make a movie by Hollywood? They need to break even and earn even more, original adaptations are highly risky.

    Second of all: The definition of ethnicity is 'the fact or state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition'. I have never had any sort of explicit mention of skin colour in association to ethnicity. Also, I was wondering if you could clarify your point on what you mean by that I have a problem by linking skin colour to ethnicity? Because those two are mutually exclusive, let me tell you that, my good friend. And as I said; I have never had any sort of explicit mention of skin colour in association to ethnicity. I was wondering if you could clarify a point where I was implicit when mentioning the link between skin colour and ethnicity.

    Third of all: I honestly do not understand why you had linked the point of me attempting to tell this community about this issue and saying that I went to having 'it is bad' to 'it is good'. My point from the very start was to tell the community about what they thought, and my own opinions about it at the time. However, from gleaning off of information from people from both sides of the argument, I now have a different opinion on the matter. I change my opinions whenever the facts change and whenever it is convenient for me (hypocrisy, the moral guardians shout!) - what would you do?

    To be honest, I had a fourth point where I wanted to say for you to tone down your language. But **** it, this is the Internet, and I know that you aren't going to stop using strong adjectives even if I tried to make a point.

    And please, for the love of God, don't ever try to act 'intelligent' on the Internet with nuance. Every single point should be expressed to the fullest, with the most straightforward and simplest language as possible. You can tell by my above response that I could have a strong opinion and not being nuanced.

    And once again, thanks for your response. I honestly like this thread a bit too much.

    -CK
     
  20. CKVanquish

    CKVanquish Newbie

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    And so, I know that I bolded the 'explicit' and 'implicit' - I try to be as straightforward and honest about a topic as possible. Nuance would act in great interest in that particular case - in order to show words which might be glossed over by a reader.
     

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