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  #51  
Old 06-13-2019, 03:44 PM
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I'd have no prob with a female Bond either but with a few conditions:

1. Only call her Bond or 007 until the end of the film when we reveal her name is Tracy. ...little Easter Egg there.

2. I can only think of one actress off the top of my head (and the poor woman isn't getting younger) Charlize Theron. I'm sure you all can think of others but she can't be American so no "Zoe Saldana who trained for 6 months"
  #52  
Old 06-13-2019, 03:47 PM
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I'll talk about comic books since I know them pretty well. Almost any comic book character could be played by someone of a different race, without a problem. Two exceptions that come to mind right away are Captain America and Captain Nazi. Cap A's origin goes back to the American army during WWII. The army was not yet integrated, and there is NO way a non-white person would have been chosen to get the super soldier serum, and represent the USA. And, Captain Nazi, I think the character speaks for itself.
But...
SPOILER:
...they basically made Sam the new Captain America at the end of Endgame

(Overly cautious spoiler which is hard not to give context on without spoiling it)

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  #53  
Old 06-13-2019, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Omniscient View Post
But...

(Overly cautious spoiler which is hard not to give context on without spoiling it)
Pretty sure he meant "1940s Cap"

There are also tons of POC characters that shouldn't be made white....namely every single fucking Native superhero because they ALL have either stereotypical powers or are related to "The Rez"

2019 D.C. And Marvel and you still haven't even bothered to make amends.

Note: Forge would be perfect if it wernt for his backstory
  #54  
Old 06-13-2019, 03:53 PM
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I'd have no prob with a female Bond either but with a few conditions:

1. Only call her Bond or 007 until the end of the film when we reveal her name is Tracy. ...little Easter Egg there.

2. I can only think of one actress off the top of my head (and the poor woman isn't getting younger) Charlize Theron. I'm sure you all can think of others but she can't be American so no "Zoe Saldana who trained for 6 months"
This is pretty much the perfect example of a bad idea. Bond's womanizing/misogyny/masculinity is basically his defining characteristic. It's practically the only thing that's a constant over the decades to the point that it's been parodied even more often than his gadgets and cars. It would literally be one of the first words you used for a clue in $25,000 Pyramid.

You'd be able to make him American before you would make him a woman.
  #55  
Old 06-13-2019, 03:57 PM
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Pretty sure he meant "1940s Cap"
Sure, but that kind of illustrates my point. Comics have WAY to many loopholes that allow a creator to adapt a character in such a way that changing races isn't anachronistic or otherwise too jarring for the audience.
  #56  
Old 06-13-2019, 03:58 PM
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There were different ďracesĒ in Norse mythology, but the races were gods, men, dwarves, giants, and Iíve probably missed a couple. I donít think any were portrayed as dark-skinned.
The svartŠlfar are dark skinned.
  #57  
Old 06-13-2019, 03:59 PM
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This is pretty much the perfect example of a bad idea. Bond's womanizing/misogyny/masculinity is basically his defining characteristic. It's practically the only thing that's a constant over the decades to the point that it's been parodied even more often than his gadgets and cars. It would literally be one of the first words you used for a clue in $25,000 Pyramid.

You'd be able to make him American before you would make him a woman.
I question the premise whether any particular characteristic is indispensable, but taking that as given--

Why would it be impossible for a woman character to have that kind of trait? Look, Bond is essentially a sociopath, and he applies that to his sexual encounters. A Bond who was a woman could do the same thing--sex for pleasure, with no remorse, and willing to suffer the demise of sexual partners without remorse.
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  #58  
Old 06-13-2019, 04:01 PM
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You know whats REALLY done wrong? I commented a while back on the dearth of black villains and anti-heroes. How African-American audiences WANT a black character on a level of Dr. Doom or Magneto. An established comic-book writer told me that he agreed theres a modern day under-representation of black villains....but he would be damned if he would write one cause that would make him racist....somehow.
The problem is that this fits in too well with the white supremacist narrative of "All black people are criminals, idiots, or otherwise sub-human"

To do it right, it would have to be an anti-hero, or a villain opposed to a hero who is also black. Either way, the character would need to be powerful through intelligence, not brawn.
  #59  
Old 06-13-2019, 04:08 PM
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Cap A's origin goes back to the American army during WWII. The army was not yet integrated, and there is NO way a non-white person would have been chosen to get the super soldier serum, and represent the USA.
You think the US wasn't above testing stuff on Blacks as human guinea pigs before giving it to White soldiers?
  #60  
Old 06-13-2019, 04:08 PM
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I question the premise whether any particular characteristic is indispensable, but taking that as given--

Why would it be impossible for a woman character to have that kind of trait? Look, Bond is essentially a sociopath, and he applies that to his sexual encounters. A Bond who was a woman could do the same thing--sex for pleasure, with no remorse, and willing to suffer the demise of sexual partners without remorse.
Exactly. Starbuck didnt suffer a bit by being gender-swapped.
  #61  
Old 06-13-2019, 04:14 PM
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The problem is that this fits in too well with the white supremacist narrative of "All black people are criminals, idiots, or otherwise sub-human"

To do it right, it would have to be an anti-hero, or a villain opposed to a hero who is also black. Either way, the character would need to be powerful through intelligence, not brawn.
I call bullshit on that. No one would call a supervillain, a Dr. Doom style megalomaniac with genius-level intellect, limitless money and a tortured past some personification of a racist stereotype.

Making him a run-of-the-mill mortal villain, say a Kingpin-style underworld boss or a Joker-esque psycho killer would be a easy target, but you just need to be slightly creative to make it work.
  #62  
Old 06-13-2019, 04:24 PM
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You think the US wasn't above testing stuff on Blacks as human guinea pigs before giving it to White soldiers?
"Steve Rogers discovers that Dr. Whatsisname was forced (Or lose all funding) to experiment on black soldiers before Steve got the Super-Soldier Serum. Most ended...'badly'...but with one soldier it was a success. Of course the govt. wouldn't let him serve and tried to keep him behind lines. But this soldier would have none of it, went rogue and was never heard from again after rescuing an entire batallion. The US covered it up."

I like this pitch.
  #63  
Old 06-13-2019, 04:29 PM
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I call bullshit on that. No one would call a supervillain, a Dr. Doom style megalomaniac with genius-level intellect, limitless money and a tortured past some personification of a racist stereotype.

Making him a run-of-the-mill mortal villain, say a Kingpin-style underworld boss or a Joker-esque psycho killer would be a easy target, but you just need to be slightly creative to make it work.
I've always been conflicted on Black Manta.

Pros: He's a scientist!! Not a pimp or former felon. He's Aquamans villain! How wonderfully random.

Cons:...errr....

(Manta takes his mask off)

Aquaman: "It can't be!! You...you're..."

Manta: "Why do you think I call myself BLACK Manta!!??"
  #64  
Old 06-13-2019, 04:51 PM
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Exactly. Starbuck didnt suffer a bit by being gender-swapped.
And that's not even going into whether a female Bond might be a womanizer, a man-izer, or an equal-opportunity-izer.
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  #65  
Old 06-13-2019, 04:54 PM
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"Steve Rogers discovers that Dr. Whatsisname was forced (Or lose all funding) to experiment on black soldiers before Steve got the Super-Soldier Serum. Most ended...'badly'...but with one soldier it was a success. Of course the govt. wouldn't let him serve and tried to keep him behind lines. But this soldier would have none of it, went rogue and was never heard from again after rescuing an entire batallion. The US covered it up."

I like this pitch.
That explains why the Army was so determined to catch the A-Team.
  #66  
Old 06-13-2019, 05:07 PM
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Fictional characters are enormously malleable. Look at the way characters have been repeatedly rewritten over the centuries and millennia -- Herakles, Beowulf, Merlin -- I'd say that you could boil each one down to something very basic, and even then twist them.

What's Bond, at base? A spy and an assassin who works for a major power, who uses cool gadgets, has many sexual encounters, and is terrible at concealing es identity. Everything else can be easily changed. And even these few elements can be played with to recreate Bond.
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  #67  
Old 06-13-2019, 07:51 PM
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Have a look at Cloud Atlas, then. I thought the makeup was well done, not an insulting stereotype. I suspect it bothered people a bit to see James d'Arcy and Hugo Weaving with epicanthic folds, because they were familiar with the actors (who, after all, appear as other character in the film). But I'll bet that, like me, most people didn't realize that Halle Berry also played an Asian character until they saw the scene credited to her in the closing credits.
I'll have to watch it again. I thought it was a great movie, but I'm not an actor stalker and probably didn't realize that anyone was playing someone out of their race, simply because I don't know who they are in real life.
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:54 PM
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For the record, Marvel already did the storyline of the US military experimenting with the super-soldier serum on unwitting black test subjects. And yes, he did, for a time, take on the title of "Captain America".

(and what does it say about me that I actually remembered the name to Google?)
  #69  
Old 06-13-2019, 08:35 PM
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I don't think there's anything you can do that won't piss someone off. There were some Asians who were pissed off about Crazy Rich Asians because one of the actors was half-Asian. I heard one woman on television remark about how disappointed she was because she wasn't watching Crazy Rich Half-Asians. The Ancient One was played by a white woman in Dr. Strange to avoid not only Asian stereotypes here in the US but avoid any problems with China given their relationship with Tibet.

People are complicated. I wasn't bothered in the list about Alexander Hamilton having a largely black cast. But when I saw they cast a black actor to play Johnny Storm I figured the producers weren't going to give a damn about making sure the latest Fantastic Four movie would be a good adaptation of the comic. I imagine having a little more diversity in Hollywood would help.
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:08 PM
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One thing that should be mentioned in the casting of Swinton as "The Ancient One" is that having a Tibetan in the role would have caused problems marketing the film in China. Personally, on the larger topic, I have no problem with race-changing on minor characters, but when you're dealing with the "majors" it could be another matter. Although we should note that had some of these iconic characters date back so far that making them black initially would have been impossible. I would certainly have no problem with making Ferro Lad black, since that was the creator's initial intent.
  #71  
Old 06-13-2019, 09:23 PM
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  #72  
Old 06-13-2019, 09:26 PM
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I question the premise whether any particular characteristic is indispensable, but taking that as given--

Why would it be impossible for a woman character to have that kind of trait? Look, Bond is essentially a sociopath, and he applies that to his sexual encounters. A Bond who was a woman could do the same thing--sex for pleasure, with no remorse, and willing to suffer the demise of sexual partners without remorse.
May I recommend Killing Eve?

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I don't know about that. Casting Denzel Washington as Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing was a brilliant move. His race was completely ignored and he just played the role straight.
"Completely ignored" by you gringos. In Spain the groans shook the ceiling; I know people who specifically didn't go to see it because they felt insulted in their national pride. "All those non-Anglos are the same, amirite?" And this includes people who had previously seen any Denzel Washington or any Emma Thompson they could lay hands on.
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  #73  
Old 06-14-2019, 03:56 AM
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The Viking era ended in the 11th century. By the 14th Scandinavia had been pretty much exclusively Christian for at least 200 years, with the exception being Sami traditional religion rather than pockets of Norse paganism. Which of course isn't relevant to you point.
Thanks for pointing out the incorrect timeline. I'll let the props department know they need to change the dates in the background calendars.
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Old 06-14-2019, 04:42 AM
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Or what?

What is the consequence?
Critics give the production bad reviews stating that the choice of actor added traits to the character that didn't fit the story line and diminished the plot. Negative reviews lead to a diminished audience and fewer future opportunities for the director and actors.

I havenít seen any episodes of the recent TV series Vikings. Were there any non-white Vikings in that production? Would non-white actors have fit in, or would they have caused a suspension of belief that took away from the plot?
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Old 06-14-2019, 06:13 AM
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For the record, Marvel already did the storyline of the US military experimenting with the super-soldier serum on unwitting black test subjects. And yes, he did, for a time, take on the title of "Captain America".

(and what does it say about me that I actually remembered the name to Google?)
I *thought* the pitch was too good....even though I guess it sounds like the A-Team...to have not been done before.
  #76  
Old 06-14-2019, 08:11 AM
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Critics give the production bad reviews stating that the choice of actor added traits to the character that didn't fit the story line and diminished the plot. Negative reviews lead to a diminished audience and fewer future opportunities for the director and actors.
Even were all this true, what you’re talking about again is cultural and social prejudices, not anything that goes to whether these choices violate some important standard of validity or art.

And these concerns come very close to the currently embattled claim from commercial producers that “we can’t cast X type person in Y type role because Z type audiences wouldn’t buy it.”

All it takes is one instance of non-traditional decision-making that seems not to hurt a film financially and there goes another so-called natural barrier.

So my point is that the consequence isn’t necessarily that this choice automatically makes this a bad movie, or an unsuccessful one. And it may even be the likely that future audiences, who grow up with this film, will no longer be burdened by an unnecessary bias like “Thor can’t be portrayed by a non-white actor.”
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  #77  
Old 06-14-2019, 08:14 AM
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I think the problem with Fantastic 4 (well, that particular problem, at least: The movie had plenty of others) wasn't so much that Johnny was black, but that Johnny was black while Sue was white. They're siblings. And yes, it's possible that one or both of them were adopted, but adoption is something of a Chekov's Gun: You don't introduce that a character is adopted unless it's going to somehow become relevant.

Now, they could have made both of the Storm siblings black. But that would make Reed and Sue an interracial couple, and Hollywood still has taboos about that. Apparently, they consider interracial siblings more reasonable than interracial marriages.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:21 AM
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but adoption is something of a Chekov's Gun: You don't introduce that a character is adopted unless it's going to somehow become relevant.
Says who?

This is just another cultural bias, that the mere fact of possible adoptions in the background or blended families have to become a critical factor in the plot resolution.

I can only imagine how that the fact that this notion is being peddled as a law of fiction would make someone from such a family feel.
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:10 AM
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Apparently, they consider interracial siblings more reasonable than interracial marriages.
Or, they really liked Michael B Jordan as Johnny and Kate Mara as Sue.

Adoption is a change to the backstory that is logical and does not inherently damage other parts of the narrative.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:29 AM
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Even were all this true, what youíre talking about again is cultural and social prejudices, not anything that goes to whether these choices violate some important standard of validity or art.
Youíre ignoring context. Or rather youíre placing it aside as unimportant, whereas I think itís often critical for a movie. Many, if not most, movies depend on the setting. The characters need to fit into that setting. If the setting is supernatural, the races of the characters donít really matter. However, if the setting is meant to be in a time and place, the characters need to fit into that time in place. If someoneís doing a samurai movie in 13th century Japan, having some blond white guy playing one of the characters isnít going to fit in with the setting, even if the white guy is portraying some Japanese god.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:36 AM
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Conversations like these always highlight exactly how important skin color is to so many people.

If you can't imagine a fictional character (especially a comic book character) with different color skin then perhaps you need to stop and ask yourself why someone like Superman can't be black/Asian/anything but white? Why is Superman's skin color indelible to his character? Is Superman the color of his skin or the content of his character?

From my perspective, it's pretty obvious that to a lot of people Superman is the color of his skin and his skin color is the vehicle they use to display the content of his character. To these people, if you change his skin color then it is impossible for him to be the same character because different color skin means different innate characteristics.

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Old 06-14-2019, 10:49 AM
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I find the idea that a culture that we know had trade links from Afghanistan to Africa and practiced slavery would somehow keep itself pure as the driven snow to be a failure of imagination. And of real-world knowledge of how much people got around in the past - there were Arabs in Kievan Rus, there were Black samurai in Sengoku-period Edo, Mexico had katana-wielding Japanese in its colonial militia before the US was founded...
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:03 AM
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Youíre ignoring context. Or rather youíre placing it aside as unimportant, whereas I think itís often critical for a movie. Many, if not most, movies depend on the setting. The characters need to fit into that setting.
The idea that an actor's skin color is so fundamentally critical to the setting represents some kind of cultural fixation or bias, or a failure of imagination.

Again, the real issue with respect to race and casting is the historically systematic exclusion of non-white actors from a large proportion of roles and the over-representation of white men in film. That's what makes Tom Cruise playing a starring role as a Japanese samurai problematic, not that there couldn't have been any white men trained as samurai in Japan during that time.

Stories are stories, whether set in an ostensibly historical setting or not. It's not beyond the human imagination to accept actors of any skin color in any particular role.
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:04 AM
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I find the idea that a culture that we know had trade links from Afghanistan to Africa and practiced slavery would somehow keep itself pure as the driven snow to be a failure of imagination.
Exactly. And that's part of what my questions above were aiming at --

Quote:
1. There were never any dark-skinned people in Norse culture?
2. Norse people could not conceive of a mythological character who is dark-skinned?
3. That all of humanity for all of time should be constrained by what ancient Norsemen might or might not have been able to imaging in terms of skin color?
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:49 AM
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There were Black samurai in Sengoku-period Edo,
Huh. Learn something new every day. Thanks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasuke
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:51 AM
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Star Trek Discovery. Ok, you've cast a lot of female roles. Thats cool....ANNNND 90% of them have the emotional stability of five year old girls. That's very empowering. I too can be a woman in charge who starts wailing at the drop of a hat.
Wait, what?

Even if I accept your (implied) premise that Tilly and Burnham are emotionally unstable, I don't think that description reasonably applies to literally any other character in Discovery.

L'Rell? Admiral Cornwell? Amanda? Gabrielle Burnham? Detmer? Owo? Airiam? Hell, Philippa Georgiou -- either one!

"Wailing at the drop of a hat" indeed.


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  #87  
Old 06-14-2019, 11:54 AM
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Why would it be impossible for a woman character to have that kind of trait? Look, Bond is essentially a sociopath, and he applies that to his sexual encounters. A Bond who was a woman could do the same thing--sex for pleasure, with no remorse, and willing to suffer the demise of sexual partners without remorse.
It's not impossible, but a woman with that trait is subversive. A man with that trait is just part of the patriarchy. That changes the cultural context of the character.


Powers &8^]
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:56 AM
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Huh. Learn something new every day. Thanks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasuke
This would have made a MUCH more interesting movie than Tom Cruise's The Last Samurai
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Old 06-14-2019, 12:01 PM
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Let's look a bit more closely at the Superman question. Could he have green skin? On one level, the answer is "yes": He's not human, he's an alien, and what's to say that green isn't a normal color for Kryptonian skin? But at another level, it wouldn't work, at least not as Superman has traditionally worked: Part of what defines the character is the fact that, when he's not wearing the cape and tights, he can blend in with human society, and that really wouldn't be possible if he had green skin. How other characters perceive and interact with him is part of what defines the character.

Now, then, could he be black (by which I mean the dark brown typical of humans from some parts of Earth)? Again, he could be, but it would change how others around him interact with him. If we're setting his origin story in the recent past, that might not be a very significant change: Modern-day Metropolitans probably don't have any problem with a black man working as a reporter, and even recent-times Smallvillains might not have a problem with their neighbors adopting a black kid. On the other hand, if we're having him arrive on Earth in the early 20th century, then even in Metropolis, the interactions of other characters with him would be completely different.
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Old 06-14-2019, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
there were Black samurai in Sengoku-period Edo
Apparently there are some in modern times as well, if this work of history is accurate.
  #91  
Old 06-14-2019, 12:13 PM
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On the other hand, if we're having him arrive on Earth in the early 20th century, then even in Metropolis, the interactions of other characters with him would be completely different.
I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say here. If it's that "a dark-skinned Superman's interactions with people in a contemporary setting might be different than a light-skinned Superman's interactions with people in a contemporary setting," then, yes, those kinds of considerations might simply just be part of the process when you're drafting a new story.

The more "realistic" your story is, the more you maybe have to consider it. The more fantastic your story is, the less, perhaps not at all.

That seems self-evident. What I'm not getting is what you think the implication is--this somehow means that Superman can't be black? That one new Superman story in which Superman is black must someone be reconciled with all the Superman stories written as far back as the 1930s?
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Last edited by Acsenray; 06-14-2019 at 12:16 PM.
  #92  
Old 06-14-2019, 12:14 PM
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I find the idea that a culture that we know had trade links from Afghanistan to Africa and practiced slavery would somehow keep itself pure as the driven snow to be a failure of imagination. And of real-world knowledge of how much people got around in the past - there were Arabs in Kievan Rus, there were Black samurai in Sengoku-period Edo, Mexico had katana-wielding Japanese in its colonial militia before the US was founded...
As you know Bob, race didn't have the same meaning in different times and different places. Our current American understanding of race is a particular product of the colonization of the Americas and the Transatlantic slave trade which lead to to the racial caste system. Other places and times didn't have the same ideas about what "race" meant.

It's really easy to come up with a plausible back story for a black Viking. Constantinople at the time was the most cosmopolitan city in the world. Norse worked there as Varangian guards, then retired back home once they'd made their fortune. Bringing home a sub-saharan African companion could easily have happened. This could turn out to be the mother of a mixed-race kid, or maybe a child who was later adopted and assimilated.

I'm not saying there were black Vikings on every streetcorner in Trondheim, but there could have been one guy, and that one guy can be in your story. And if he's part of a Viking group, they aren't going to constantly be bringing up his different appearance, they're already used to it. Maybe the Anglo-Saxons they're pillaging are going to be surprised when they see a strange looking Viking, but so what?

And so, we have this conversation about "Thor". Yes, of course when a 9th Century Scandinavian imagined Thor, they imagined a person who looked like what they'd expect. Not blonde though, because one of Thor's kennings is "Red-Beard". So we've already blown canon by casting a blonde guy with no beard as Thor. But of course, if Thor really were real, he wouldn't be a Scandinavian, but a mythological being. He wouldn't be human, he'd be something else. He wouldn't literally resemble a burly Norwegian with a red beard, even though it would be understandable for Scandinavians to imagine him that way, the same way they would later imagine a northern European Jesus.

So if Elves or Dwarves or Goblins or Klingons really existed, they wouldn't resemble any modern ethnicities except by coincidence. Sure, when JRR Tolkein imagined Elves, he probably imagined them as white people. But even if they were "fair", meaning pale skinned, that wouldn't mean they should look like northern Europeans, any more than dark skinned people from South Asia always look like dark skinned people from Africa. It's a failure of imagination. Just like Japanese people imagine mythological beings and aliens that look Japanese, Indians imagine Indians, and white Americans tend to imagine white people. But we all recognize that's a failure of imagination, right?

The comic book version of Thor is literally an alien from another world. He's not a deified Scandinavian, in the comic book version causality ran the other way, the Norse imitated the Asgardians rather than the other way around. And so since comic book Thor isn't actually Scandinavian, why must he look Scandinavian? Since he's an alien, isn't it more likely that he'd look like Beta Ray Bill than Chris Hemsworth?

It's OK when people imagine fictional characters that look like themselves. But don't get upset when other people imagine the same fictional characters looking different. That's just silly.
  #93  
Old 06-14-2019, 12:23 PM
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The idea that an actor's skin color is so fundamentally critical to the setting represents some kind of cultural fixation or bias, or a failure of imagination.
It represents a distraction and creates disbelief. If you put a white or black (thanks again MrDibble) samurai into a 13th-16th century Japan setting, then it needs to be explained. If a director wants to set the movie in 1780ís Japan and point out that there really was a black samurai then, great. Itís an interesting fact, and if the director works the fact into the movie well, it could enhance the movie. But simply having a black man in a 13th-16th century Japanese samurai movie without explanation creates the question of why is he there. And if the movie makes strong use of Japanese imagery and setting, the black character creates dissonance rather than enhancing the movie. On the other hand, put a black samurai in a 2080 Japan movie Ė hey why not.
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Old 06-14-2019, 12:24 PM
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Thanks, Mr Dibble, and Lemur, these are exactly some of the lines of reasoning I was hoping that folks would start opening their minds to.

Maybe no actual black person ever appeared in a Norse village pre-Christianity (how can we be certain anyway?). Maybe no actual Norseman who believed in the divinity of Thor imagined Thor as a black man. So what? Why should that constrain us now today? It's certainly not some natural limitation of the human mind that would prevent such a story from being accepted by an audience.
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Old 06-14-2019, 12:27 PM
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Let's look a bit more closely at the Superman question. Could he have green skin? On one level, the answer is "yes": He's not human, he's an alien, and what's to say that green isn't a normal color for Kryptonian skin? But at another level, it wouldn't work, at least not as Superman has traditionally worked: Part of what defines the character is the fact that, when he's not wearing the cape and tights, he can blend in with human society, and that really wouldn't be possible if he had green skin. How other characters perceive and interact with him is part of what defines the character.

Now, then, could he be black (by which I mean the dark brown typical of humans from some parts of Earth)? Again, he could be, but it would change how others around him interact with him. If we're setting his origin story in the recent past, that might not be a very significant change: Modern-day Metropolitans probably don't have any problem with a black man working as a reporter, and even recent-times Smallvillains might not have a problem with their neighbors adopting a black kid. On the other hand, if we're having him arrive on Earth in the early 20th century, then even in Metropolis, the interactions of other characters with him would be completely different.
I will agree that in any sort of realistic setting, changing the color of Superman's skin would change how different people interacted with him but that is a failing of the society in which he lives.
My question is this: Would changing the color of Superman's skin change his innate characteristics (honest, forthright, high in moral fiber, etc.)?
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Old 06-14-2019, 12:33 PM
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It represents a distraction and creates disbelief.
You state this like it's a universal truth. It's not.

Maybe a black Thor is a distraction to you and creates disbelief to you, or to some set of viewers. That doesn't mean it does to everyone. And the second time everyone views it, the distraction and disbelief goes away. Eventually, you have a generation of viewers for whom this is nothing unusual.

Quote:
If you put a white or black (thanks again MrDibble) samurai into a 13th-16th century Japan setting, then it needs to be explained.
It needs to be explained? Maybe to Wrenching Spanners of 20 minutes ago it needed to be explained. Now that Wrenching Spanners has read Mr. Dibble and Little Nemo's posts does the Wrenching Spanners of now need it to be explained? And what about all the other people who might never have needed an explanation?

The human mind is perfectly capable of understanding and accepting stories that have unexplained elements that might seem strange or incongruous. You just note it and move on.

For example, in Kindergarten Cop, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a Los Angeles police detective named John Kimble. Schwarzenegger has a heavy Austrian accent. So far as I can recall, there is never any explanation given why John Kimble, an L.A. cop, would have an Austrian accent. Sure, they could have explained it. But really an explanation wouldn't have fundamentally changed anything about the story. Okay, an L.A. cop with a strong Austrian accent. Maybe it could happen. Ultimately, it doesn't matter to the story.
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Last edited by Acsenray; 06-14-2019 at 12:35 PM.
  #97  
Old 06-14-2019, 12:43 PM
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My point was that a character is more than just what's inside that one person, but all of their interactions with the rest of the world. And skin color might or might not change that, depending on the setting. You could write about a green-skinned Superman in any setting, but he would definitely end up being a very different character than the one we have. You could write about a dark brown-skinned Superman in any setting, but in some settings he would end up being a very different character (though in other settings, he might only be a slightly different character).

And no, you don't have to make your version of Superman consistent with the versions of Superman who have come before. But it's certainly an option. And if you choose that option, then that constrains how the character can look.

Or, of course, you could write a story about a completely different character who flies and is bulletproof, but who looks like an Earthling human from Africa. Or you could write a story about a flying, bulletproof green alien.
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Old 06-14-2019, 12:50 PM
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Wait, what?

Even if I accept your (implied) premise that Tilly and Burnham are emotionally unstable, I don't think that description reasonably applies to literally any other character in Discovery.

L'Rell? Admiral Cornwell? Amanda? Gabrielle Burnham? Detmer? Owo? Airiam? Hell, Philippa Georgiou -- either one!
And that's leaving aside how the men are not exactly models of emotional stability...well, besides Sarek...
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Old 06-14-2019, 01:44 PM
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Wait, what?

Even if I accept your (implied) premise that Tilly and Burnham are emotionally unstable, I don't think that description reasonably applies to literally any other character in Discovery.

L'Rell? Admiral Cornwell? Amanda? Gabrielle Burnham? Detmer? Owo? Airiam? Hell, Philippa Georgiou -- either one!

"Wailing at the drop of a hat" indeed.


Powers &8^]
Wernt Owo and 'whoever has the prosthetic over her eye' (not Airiam) ALSO crying a lot during the series?....

Besides...Burnham makes up for everyone
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Old 06-14-2019, 01:47 PM
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I think the problem with Fantastic 4 (well, that particular problem, at least: The movie had plenty of others) wasn't so much that Johnny was black, but that Johnny was black while Sue was white. They're siblings. And yes, it's possible that one or both of them were adopted, but adoption is something of a Chekov's Gun: You don't introduce that a character is adopted unless it's going to somehow become relevant.

Now, they could have made both of the Storm siblings black. But that would make Reed and Sue an interracial couple, and Hollywood still has taboos about that. Apparently, they consider interracial siblings more reasonable than interracial marriages.
Someone should just have cloned Will Smith.
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