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Old 06-18-2019, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Like, I don't know what Jim Lovell's real hair color was, off the top of my head. But it doesn't matter. NASA, at the time, would have treated a brown-haired astronaut the same as they treated a blond-haired astronaut. So you can cast an actor with any hair color in the role, and not worry about it being authentic.

But NASA, at the time, would have treated a black astronaut very differently than they treated the white astronauts. So that is relevant, and so it's much more difficult to work around casting an actor of a different skin color. And it's not my assumption; it's historical truth.
If you knew Jim Lovell personally, Tom Hanks' portrayal may have pulled you out of the movie due to hair color, mannerisms, or accent. But 99.9% of the public doesn't know the real astronauts so it isn't a problem.

I would argue that some large percentage of the movie going public today has no real idea of how black astronauts would have been treated at NASA in the 1960's (or don't really care about a movie's portrayal) and so a black actor portraying Lovell wouldn't bother them. The story isn't fundamentally changed by this one historically inaccurate element.

The Sgt Rock comic book had an African-American soldier introduced in 1961, 13 years after Truman fully integrated the military. While there were some black soldiers serving along side white soldiers in WWII at times (which is when the comic was set) it wasn't as depicted in the comic. I'm sure it brought some people out of the moment, but to most young comic readers of the day I don't think they cared that it was historically inaccurate. The writers didn't ignore race, but neither did they let the past dictate how they told their story.