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  #201  
Old 06-18-2019, 03:31 PM
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You guys realize this is make believe, right? You can literally make the story to be anything you want it to be?

If you can't envision a black superman without having to change the story at all then that is a failure of your imagination and a product of your personal hang ups.

You can sit there and say you want your superhero stories to make sense and not white wash history (think about that for second) but the only thing stopping it from making sense is your sense of what is right and wrong.
No, what matters is what your audience will accept. Fiction isn't written for the writer. That's just personal fantasy.

I guarantee you that, if you make Superman black without changing anything, it will be accused of white washing history. People don't change things without a reason, and the reason there would seem to be to say that Superman's story wouldn't change if he were black.

But, since it's set in something like the real world, it in fact would change. Worlds may be make-believe, but they are based on some sort of common reality.

It's not a limit of my imagination. I can imagine Superman being black without changing the story. I just know it won't actually work in front of an audience. I can imagine it working, but I know I'm imagining something that would not happen in real life.

Verisimilitude is important to fiction. You cannot break the suspension of disbelief. Storytelling depends on it.

Last edited by BigT; 06-18-2019 at 03:33 PM.
  #202  
Old 06-18-2019, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by BeagleJesus View Post
You guys realize this is make believe, right? You can literally make the story to be anything you want it to be?

If you can't envision a black superman without having to change the story at all then that is a failure of your imagination and a product of your personal hang ups.

You can sit there and say you want your superhero stories to make sense and not white wash history (think about that for second) but the only thing stopping it from making sense is your sense of what is right and wrong.
Not if you are writing for an audience. If you are writing for an audience, it has to make sense to them.

Maybe you have no problem casting Oprah Winfrey as the new Batman and Kaitlyn Jenner as Robin (guest starring Forrest Whitaker as Catwoman), but it might not work to blame the audience's lack of imagination if it doesn't do big box office.

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  #203  
Old 06-18-2019, 04:13 PM
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Here's my thing: comic book fans want to see their comics brought to life. When the characters on screen don't look like the characters on the page, that's a fail in the eyes of the fanboys (and -girls). Their ire isn't necessarily motivated by racism so much as a desire for (what they consider) "accuracy."

Example: the casting of Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch in the latest "Fantastic Four" abortion. The entire POINT of the Fantastic Four is that they're a family. Making Johnny Storm black was blatant tokenism that added needless layers of complication to ALL of their backstories, relationships, and dynamics.

At the risk of being called racist, I looked askance when Valkyrie (and to a lesser extent, Heimdall) was cast with a black actor. These are characters lifted directly from Norse mythology. Nothing gets any whiter than that. Despite what others have suggested upthread, I seriously doubt the ancient Norse were picturing their gods as black. More blatant pandering, tokenism, and "inclusion" for the sake of it.

I totally, TOTALLY get black people's desire to be more represented and included. As a gay man, I am thrilled and proud that Batwoman - the first lesbian superhero to headline in her own comic - is now getting her own TV show. Not so many years ago, that would have been unthinkable. But are black people really happy with film producers figuratively patting them on the head by arbitrarily making white characters black and then saying "There ya go, you're included"?

Furthermore, can this "any character can be any race" philosophy be applied universally? Can you imagine the backlash if the Falcon were played by a white actor? Although the comics character has been black since the 1960s, there's nothing inherently "black" about him. Military guy with mechanical wings. Why can't he be white? Yet somehow, I don't think that would have gone over very well.

Remember the backlash a few years ago when the "Gods of Egypt" were cast with white actors? There's always an outcry about "whitewashing" characters of color. Yet it seems these same SJW's (mostly white, unless I miss my guess) are hunky dory with making white characters black.

monstro - I always enjoy your posts, I respect you to the moon and back, and I consider you almost synonymous with the SDMB. I sincerely welcome any critique you might have (not that I think all black people think the same way).
  #204  
Old 06-18-2019, 04:35 PM
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Comic book fanboys whose dearest wish is to see their canon parroted on screen as a group donít have $2 billion worth of members worldwide. Popular movies are way way way beyond what that group wants.
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  #205  
Old 06-18-2019, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Any of the answers you come up with could be really interesting. Black Spiderman 100% worked, and it worked by setting the character in a society that has some racism, but not making that racism the focal point of the story. They could equally have set the movie in an alt-New York where racism had never existed (or where it functioned in a way that didn't impact multiracial kids), but that wasn't the choice they made.
I feel like maybe you didn't see that movie.

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Yes, obviously, you can choose to make a character be whatever you want.
They keep rebuilding that strawman as fast as we can tear it down.

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Originally Posted by Licentious Ectomorph View Post
Furthermore, can this "any character can be any race" philosophy be applied universally? Can you imagine the backlash if the Falcon were played by a white actor? Although the comics character has been black since the 1960s, there's nothing inherently "black" about him. Military guy with mechanical wings. Why can't he be white? Yet somehow, I don't think that would have gone over very well.
Backlash? People would lose their fucking minds.
  #206  
Old 06-18-2019, 05:03 PM
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... because the racial issue in the entertainment industry is the systematic exclusion of non-white and non-male people from and the over-representation of white men in roles on screen and off screen.

Yes, white people and men taking any of the paltry number of non-white and non-male roles will draw criticism, because that’s exactly part of the problem in the first place. There’s no valid parallelism argument here. White men don’t have a fairness claim. They already have way more fairness than they are due.
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  #207  
Old 06-18-2019, 05:10 PM
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... because the racial issue in the entertainment industry is the systematic exclusion of non-white and non-male people from and the over-representation of white men in roles on screen and off screen.

Yes, white people and men taking any of the paltry number of non-white and non-male roles will draw criticism, because thatís exactly part of the problem in the first place. Thereís no valid parallelism argument here. White men donít have a fairness claim. They already have way more fairness than they are due.
But it's ART!
  #208  
Old 06-18-2019, 05:34 PM
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I feel like maybe you didn't see that movie.
Not sure why I'd give a shit about your feeling, but for what it's worth it's my favorite superhero movie ever.
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Originally Posted by BeagleJesus View Post
You guys realize this is make believe, right? You can literally make the story to be anything you want it to be?

If you can't envision a black superman without having to change the story at all then that is a failure of your imagination and a product of your personal hang ups.
How far do you take this idea? Could an author remake Blackkklansman or Sorry to Bother You with a white protagonist and change nothing else and have an effective movie? Could Schindler's List be remade with Schindler played by a Japanese woman and it'd be coherent?

I'm all about changing stories, but stories exist in societies, and the society-building aspect of stories is one of my favorite things about science fiction (see my username), and in period pieces I'm also really interested in social dynamics. Changes are great. Authors who don't think about the changes they make can be annoying.
  #209  
Old 06-18-2019, 06:01 PM
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Not sure why I'd give a shit about your feeling, but for what it's worth it's my favorite superhero movie ever.
My point is that that it's set in Earth 1610, which as far as racism goes, is just like Earth 616. They didn't change the source material at all here and they didn't make any choices at all in regards to racism.

It should be noted that the same SJWs who rant and rave about the overt racism in Hollywood (and being barfed all over this thread) started an idiotic backlash against the Miles Morales character because he was biracial as opposed to 100% black. This somehow was a major injustice. He didn't fit their definition of "woke" and those pesky Puerto Ricans were co-opting their pain and suffering.
  #210  
Old 06-18-2019, 06:05 PM
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My point is that that it's set in Earth 1610, which as far as racism goes, is just like Earth 616. They didn't change the source material at all here and they didn't make any choices at all in regards to racism.

It should be noted that the same SJWs who rant and rave about the overt racism in Hollywood (and being barfed all over this thread) started an idiotic backlash against the Miles Morales character because he was biracial as opposed to 100% black. This somehow was a major injustice. He didn't fit their definition of "woke" and those pesky Puerto Ricans were co-opting their pain and suffering.
Say what now? Your point about how you think I didn't see the movie is some next-level nerd shit about the number of the universe in which the comic book took place, and then some hypothetical and uncited frustration somebody somewhere had about differences between the comic book and the movie?

Okay dude. I've never set eyes on the comic book, so I don't know what the fuck you're getting at here. My comments are limited to the movie.
  #211  
Old 06-18-2019, 06:13 PM
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Wow, you didn't understand what I wrote at all. Oh well, certainly seems like you're in no state to have a discussion with on this topic.

The second statement I made wasn't even pointed at you. We're on the same side of this debate. :shrug:
  #212  
Old 06-18-2019, 06:13 PM
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...jesus... there's so real hot garbage takes in this thread.
I'm so tired of fake fanboys draping themselves in "but in the comics!" just to justify their own racism, misogyny and/or insecurity.


Yes, a black Superman that takes place in the 1930s has to address race if it's meant to take place in our world. A black Superman that takes place in 2010s doesn't...but probably should address race.. as is evidenced in this thread.

TheMarySue posted a short piece about how "fat" Thor in Endgame has been embraced by fanboys because of "now look who I can cosplay."...The point of the piece was 'NOW to you understand why representation matters?' It's nice to see something closer to yourself on screen and by extension on tv or in a comic.
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  #213  
Old 06-18-2019, 06:16 PM
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...jesus... there's so real hot garbage takes in this thread.
I'm so tired of fake fanboys draping themselves in "but in the comics!" just to justify their own racism, misogyny and/or insecurity.
Literally no one is doing that.
  #214  
Old 06-18-2019, 06:20 PM
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Wow, you didn't understand what I wrote at all.
That's for sure; it was incoherent, and it didn't address anything I'd written.

I've never seen anyone so completely fail to live up to a username.

If you'd like to try again and think it's important, maybe explain what error you think I made before that led to your contemptuous comment about how I hadn't seen the movie. But given that it was a wrong comment to begin with, maybe walk away.

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  #215  
Old 06-18-2019, 06:32 PM
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And come to think of it, I don't think Earth-2 is actually a thing anymore, either.
It is in the TV version of The Flash, Green Arrow, Supergirl, The Legends of Tomorrow,, etc.

It's where they park all the "Golden Age" superheros, like the Jay Garrick Flash.
  #216  
Old 06-18-2019, 06:36 PM
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I think one of the reasons that The Wild, Wild West movie fell flat with a resounding clank was the scene where Jim West cajoles the lynch mob out of hanging him. Not because Jim West has to be white, dammit, and not because Will Smith isn't a good actor, but because the notion of being the charming rogue and jollying an 1870s lynch mob out of a hanging stretches plausibility way beyond the breaking point whereas steam-powered metal robots does not.
Yes, that's exactly what broke that movie for me.
  #217  
Old 06-18-2019, 06:46 PM
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That sarcasm is visible. It has mass. You could cut it with a butter knife.
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  #218  
Old 06-18-2019, 06:47 PM
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Literally no one is doing that.

You're such a joy in this thread.
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  #219  
Old 06-18-2019, 07:12 PM
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At the risk of being called racist, I looked askance when Valkyrie (and to a lesser extent, Heimdall) was cast with a black actor. These are characters lifted directly from Norse mythology.
Um... "to lesser extent, Heimdall"? Seriously?

In the original sagas Heimdall was described as the whitest/fairest of the gods. Which, again, sort of illustrates that a lot of people who think they know the source material on some things don't actually really know the source material. Which, not being a fanboy, I'm personally OK with. On the other hand, the Valkyries aren't much described as individuals and could easily be presumed various in appearance. I enjoy the Norse myths for its own thing, and the Marvel mythos in the comic books as its own thing, and the Marvel movie mythos as its own thing. Yes, they're all clearly related but they are also all not quite the same thing. Somehow or other I became comfortable with different "takes" on the same legends/notions/stories/whatever. For that matter, I'm also OK with both the Patrick Stewart and the James MacAvoy versions of Professor Xavier in the X-men franchise. I enjoyed both the Dirk Benedict and Katee Sackhoff versions of Starbuck.

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Nothing gets any whiter than that. Despite what others have suggested upthread, I seriously doubt the ancient Norse were picturing their gods as black. More blatant pandering, tokenism, and "inclusion" for the sake of it.
Screw it - I have really enjoyed Marvel's non-traditional, inclusive casting in both the movies and the TV versions of their stories even if I am a white lady. I also thoroughly enjoyed Black Panther with its predominantly black cast. If you don't - well, your loss from my viewpoint. At the end of the day (or the movie, or the book, or the TV show...) what I care most about it whether or not it was a good story well told. The rest is details and props.

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But are black people really happy with film producers figuratively patting them on the head by arbitrarily making white characters black and then saying "There ya go, you're included"?
I'm going to risk going out on a limb here (and invited any black people to correct me if I'm in error), but
- yes, I'm sure they'd rather have a token black character or two than none at all, and
- if the characters race doesn't matter to the story line then who cares? Why shouldn't all actors be able to read for and have a chance at the part?

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Furthermore, can this "any character can be any race" philosophy be applied universally? Can you imagine the backlash if the Falcon were played by a white actor? Although the comics character has been black since the 1960s, there's nothing inherently "black" about him. Military guy with mechanical wings. Why can't he be white? Yet somehow, I don't think that would have gone over very well.
Unless, maybe, it was a white Falcon with a black Captain America...?

If black people defend Falcon-as-a-black-man then it might have something to do with the fact that for decades there were so few opportunities for black actors that they feel they have to hang onto every black role they can.

Look at the characters in Star Trek - I imagine there'd be a tremendous outcry if you cast Lt. Uhura as anything BUT a black human woman. Ditto Sulu as anything but Asian. With the latest reboot they cast an actual Scottsman as Scotty (both people who have played Chekhov were Russian/Russian descent). The only one who changed ethnicity was Spock - Leonard Nimoy was Ukrainian Jewish and Zachary Quinto is Irish/Italian. Well, maybe Captain Kirk - William Shatner is originally from Canada and Chris Pine from the US, although both are of Eastern European Jewish descent (Shatner Austria-Hungary, Ukraine, and Lithuania and Pine at least half Russian). Is that really necessary? Well, back in the 1960's in the Original Series it certainly was very important to have a diverse cast, Roddenberry wanted to make a point that in the distant future a lot of stuff we were hung about about would be unimportant. Is it critically important now?... anyone want to tackle that question?
  #220  
Old 06-18-2019, 07:25 PM
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...jesus... there's so real hot garbage takes in this thread.


TheMarySue posted ....
You know, I just would have believed you. You didn't need to prove it.
  #221  
Old 06-18-2019, 07:45 PM
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Um... "to lesser extent, Heimdall"? Seriously?



Screw it - I have really enjoyed Marvel's non-traditional, inclusive casting in both the movies and the TV versions of their stories even if I am a white lady. I also thoroughly enjoyed Black Panther with its predominantly black cast. If you don't - well, your loss from my viewpoint. At the end of the day (or the movie, or the book, or the TV show...) what I care most about it whether or not it was a good story well told. The rest is details and props.


I'm going to risk going out on a limb here (and invited any black people to correct me if I'm in error), but
- yes, I'm sure they'd rather have a token black character or two than none at all, and
- if the characters race doesn't matter to the story line then who cares? Why shouldn't all actors be able to read for and have a chance at the part?

Well....I haven't seen any out and out tokenism in the MCU yet.

Here's MY IMHO definition of tokenism. And I'm sure everyone will disagree.

One role
You gotta jump through hoops to get there
And it ends up not working

OR the director flat out admits to refusing to do an all-white period piece and throws out a couple of roles for 'inclusivity", (Im looking at you Mary Queen of Scots)

So is Heimdell token? NO!! He's not even Asgardian, and Idris Elba is great.
Is Valkyrie? No...theres no hoop-jumping and Tessa is a delight.
Various Spider-man roles? NOPE...it works because the focus is their age, its a lot more than one role, and who cares anyway??

Baron Mordo??? Who frigging cares!!!

I will tell you this, if Kaluu ends of being played by a non-Asian and the usual suspects lose their shit over it....Im out. Fucking Kaluu??? You get your knickers out of shape over Kaluu??

Human Torch? (I know...not MCU) Ennnnnnhhhhh...I haven't seen it. But it seems closer than the others.
  #222  
Old 06-18-2019, 07:47 PM
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A reminder not to personalize arguments, please. I don't want to have to shut down this thread.
  #223  
Old 06-18-2019, 07:48 PM
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Are white comic book fans upset over Storm's light-skinned portrayal in the X-Men franchise? Because quite a few black comic book fans have negative opinions about this choice and the politics behind it. I'm wondering if the posters who have been emphatic about "accuracy" sympathize with this viewpoint.

People keep mentioning box office "bombs". I've got a couple of other bombs to throw into the discussion. "Exodus: Gods and Kings" and "Gods of Egypt". Maybe one day Hollywood will create a movie about Egypt that will cast folks with melanin in the lead roles. That is, if Hollywood has any sense.
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:52 PM
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Personally, what I think tokenism is (or at least, where it gets problematic) is when you've got a character whose defining trait is being "the black one" (or "the female one", or whatever). Heimdall's defining trait wasn't that he was the black Asgardian. His defining trait was that he's a badass who sees to the furthest ends of the Universe (a role which, incidentally, Idris Elba filled very well). So even though he's the only black guy in the first two Thor films, he avoids being a token.
  #225  
Old 06-18-2019, 08:30 PM
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Um... "to lesser extent, Heimdall"? Seriously?
Well, in the films, Heimdall wasn't a main character or an action hero per se, and didn't get nearly as much screen time as Valkyrie. Basically he was a prop. In the comics, Valkyrie was a full-fledged and longstanding member of the Avengers, complete with long blonde braids. It makes no damn sense for her to be black.

Quote:
I'm going to risk going out on a limb here (and invited any black people to correct me if I'm in error), but
- yes, I'm sure they'd rather have a token black character or two than none at all, and
- if the characters race doesn't matter to the story line then who cares? Why shouldn't all actors be able to read for and have a chance at the part?


Unless, maybe, it was a white Falcon with a black Captain America...?

If black people defend Falcon-as-a-black-man then it might have something to do with the fact that for decades there were so few opportunities for black actors that they feel they have to hang onto every black role they can.
When "Will & Grace" first came out umpteen years ago, I remember certain factions decrying that a straight actor got a role that "should" have gone to a gay actor. All I did was roll my eyes and think, Right, 'cause it's so hard for gay people to get jobs in show business. To reiterate, I'm gay, and that wasn't something I felt the need to get butthurt about. The right actor for a job is the right actor for the job. But that doesn't mean ANY actor is right for ANY job.
  #226  
Old 06-18-2019, 08:34 PM
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Maybe it didn't make sense for Valkyrie to be black, but it made sense for her to be Tessa Thompson, because she was really good in the role.

Could they have found an equally-good actress who was white? Probably. But the good actress they got happened to be black.
  #227  
Old 06-18-2019, 08:34 PM
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Are white comic book fans upset over Storm's light-skinned portrayal in the X-Men franchise? Because quite a few black comic book fans have negative opinions about this choice and the politics behind it. I'm wondering if the posters who have been emphatic about "accuracy" sympathize with this viewpoint.

People keep mentioning box office "bombs". I've got a couple of other bombs to throw into the discussion. "Exodus: Gods and Kings" and "Gods of Egypt". Maybe one day Hollywood will create a movie about Egypt that will cast folks with melanin in the lead roles. That is, if Hollywood has any sense.
Think thats bad??? Maisie Williams isnt Scottish. Blu Hunt isnt Cheyenne, Anya Taylor-Joy isnt Russian, Henry Zaga is about 200 shades whiter than Sunspot and Charlie Heaton is fucking English!! Playing a guy from Kentucky??
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:34 PM
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Maybe it didn't make sense for Valkyrie to be black, but it made sense for her to be Tessa Thompson, because she was really good in the role.

Could they have found an equally-good actress who was white? Probably. But the good actress they got happened to be black.
  #229  
Old 06-18-2019, 08:39 PM
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Superman being black? That definitely changes things. Even if we keep him being found by farmers in Kansas, one of two things will happen: he'll be found by black parents, and then face the racism of a small town, or he'll be found by white parents, and have the unique experience there.
None of these are insurmountable hurdles for a storyteller who knows what they are doing. A movie with a black Superman wouldn’t even have to show his Kansas backstory. There are creative ways to cover a character’s history without going into unnecessary depth.

Also, there’s no requirement that racism has to be shown even when circumstances suggest it exists. I mean, look at sexism and Lois Lane. Her character was conceived at a time when female reporters were rarities and women were discounted at every turn. Does her depiction ring false simply because you don’t see her being discriminated against? Somehow, even our grandparent’s generation could ignore what looks like exceptionality in our world and accept that in this fictional universe, the paradigm is different. In Metropolis, it’s not a big deal for women to be ambitious, highly regarded journalists for major metropolitan newspapers, even if set in the 1950’s, 80’s, or 2000’s. If sexism exists there, it happens off screen, just like most things that are not central to the story.

I’m not saying it would be a good idea to make a black Superman. I’m just saying it could be done convincingly well without distorting anything critical. If our current trend of rehashing and revamping the same stories continues into the far future, there will be new Superman movies a hundred years from now. To think it’s going to always be Anglo looking white guys playing him is just unrealistic.

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  #230  
Old 06-18-2019, 08:40 PM
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nvm

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  #231  
Old 06-18-2019, 09:07 PM
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Maybe it didn't make sense for Valkyrie to be black, but it made sense for her to be Tessa Thompson, because she was really good in the role.

Could they have found an equally-good actress who was white? Probably. But the good actress they got happened to be black.
No, it STILL doesn't make sense. Would you say the same thing if Taron Egerton played Black Panther?
  #232  
Old 06-18-2019, 09:10 PM
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Iím not saying it would be a good idea to make a black Superman. Iím just saying it could be done convincingly well without distorting anything critical. If our current trend of rehashing and revamping the same stories continues into the far future, there will be new Superman movies a hundred years from now. To think itís going to always be Anglo looking white guys playing him is just unrealistic.
That's actually a very good point. In my O.P. I used Superman as an example of an icon. We all KNOW what he looks like. Now. We know what he looks like now. Athletic white guy about six foot four, 225 pounds or so (forgive me I can't do the Kyptonian to Imperical conversions), dark hair, preferably with the little lock that forms an "s" on his forehead... gotta have a cape etc.. etc..

He's a fucking ICON!


But, well, icons can change given enough time.


For some damn reason I am reminded of the depiction of Satan in art. It probably took more than a thousand years for that particular iconic bastard to grow his horns and goat legs.
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  #233  
Old 06-18-2019, 09:14 PM
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None of these are insurmountable hurdles for a storyteller who knows what they are doing. A movie with a black Superman wouldnít even have to show his Kansas backstory. There are creative ways to cover a characterís history without going into unnecessary depth.
But at that point, it's a completely different character so why bother? If you're a filmmaker and you're "not interested" in filming white characters, then make your own damn characters and your own damn movie. You don't get to co-opt other people's work, line your pockets, and call it your "artistic vision."
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:22 PM
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I was thinking about asking about a black Batman...then i remembered recent cries of "Its time for a black Alfred".....which immediatly made me think "Will he be played like Robert Guillaime played Benson?"....that would be awesome.

"Alfred, I'll need my dinner at 2am today."

"You know where the fridge is, right?"
  #235  
Old 06-18-2019, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
With the latest reboot they cast an actual Scottsman as Scotty
Simon Pegg is English, not Scottish. And he has joked that heís carrying on the tradition of playing Scotty with a terrible Scottish accent.

But I donít think that Scots have any particular complaint about being systematically excluded from the American entertainment industry. The same with Russians, Italians, Irish, etc.
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  #236  
Old 06-18-2019, 11:21 PM
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Consider Judge Leonard White from Bonfire of the Vanities. Everything he says and does in the book is seen through the filter of his likely racist attitudes and his attempt to grow past them. But in the movie, they undercut this whole theme by making him Morgan Freeman. It really hurt the movie.
  #237  
Old 06-19-2019, 05:13 AM
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But at that point, it's a completely different character so why bother? If you're a filmmaker and you're "not interested" in filming white characters, then make your own damn characters and your own damn movie. You don't get to co-opt other people's work, line your pockets, and call it your "artistic vision."
It isn’t a completely different character. I actually believe a black Superman’s story of origin could easily be told, Kansas and all. My point, though, is that is that it’s very silly to get hung up on this part of it, when a move could very well flow like the latest comic book installment, with little attention on backstory.

Who is the “you” that you’re referring to? I hope you’re not implying that these movies could only be made by minority filmmakers. Or perhaps you’re implying that “co-opting other people’s work” only occurs when you change a character’s race. Did Brian Singer “co-opt” Superman when he made his sequel to Superman II?

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  #238  
Old 06-19-2019, 05:34 AM
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For some damn reason I am reminded of the depiction of Satan in art. It probably took more than a thousand years for that particular iconic bastard to grow his horns and goat legs.
And Jesus used to be always be portrayed as a white blue-eyed guy with long blondish hair.
  #239  
Old 06-19-2019, 06:04 AM
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But at that point, it's a completely different character so why bother? If you're a filmmaker and you're "not interested" in filming white characters, then make your own damn characters and your own damn movie. You don't get to co-opt other people's work, line your pockets, and call it your "artistic vision."
I think what one gets to do with "other people's work" is entirely up to those other people and who they choose to give the filming rights to, not the cadre of angry basement dwelling misanthropes who consider themselves the "real fans" of the work.

So, a Kal-El story told where he has dark skin instead of light skin can't be Superman? That's ridiculous.

Does it change the narrative? Of course it does. Superhero movies adjust the narrative to serve the needs of the story they're trying to tell ALL THE TIME.

Many of these characters were created at time when white men were in charge of everything and racism/sexism were enshrined in law. It's high time to free ourselves of the racism of our past, and realize that Superman isn't white because he's "supposed" to be white. He's white because that's what he was expected to be in 1938.
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Old 06-19-2019, 06:49 AM
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Simon Pegg is English, not Scottish. And he has joked that heís carrying on the tradition of playing Scotty with a terrible Scottish accent.
Ah, my bad then.

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But I donít think that Scots have any particular complaint about being systematically excluded from the American entertainment industry. The same with Russians, Italians, Irish, etc.
You're missing the point. It's not about the Russians, Italians, Irish, etc. (although the USSR DID say something about the lack of Russians on board the Enterprise back when the Original Series was broadcast, that's how we got Chekhov).

The point is that the crew of the Enterprise was not only multi-racial but multi-gender and multi-species. This is not such a big deal to us today but back in 1966 it was a big, huge, major deal. It was part of what made Star Trek... Star Trek A mixed crew like that was seen as science fiction because it sure as hell was not the norm in 1960's America. By the next generation even the aliens were getting mixed races/ethnicities/sub-species/whatever - Vulcans, Klingons, Trill, Andorians (as of Star Trek: Enterprise), the Xindi, Borg... Wait, back up - the aliens in "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" in the old series came in different flavors, too.

Can you imagine an all white crew on the Enterprise? Can you imagine any major star ship in that universe, at least on the Federation side, as all one ethnicity? It would be weird, and it would be commented on and probably protested. Integration is an inherent characteristic of Star Trek. It always has been. That's why the casting of all sorts of people in various positions of command gets very little protest (you will always get some protest because bigots and assholes exist).

When diversity becomes the norm it becomes unremarkable.

Marvel making diverse casting choices is also becoming the norm. People are freaking out less and less over it.

Which is not to say it never matters - Black Panther, given its setting, really did need to have a majority African/African descent cast. So did Luke Cage. Wonder Woman had to be played by a woman because being a woman is very much inherent to the character. In a period piece like Captain American: The First Avenger Cap had to be white... but his successor can be anything (and the shield was passed to a black man). But a bunch of characters in Daredevil didn't have to be played by non-white actors, but were. Kingpin is a major character that can be - and has been - played by both white and black actors. His ethnicity matters less than a lot of other traits. Nick Fury was a white man for most of his run in the comic books (only Ultimate Nick Fury is black) but he is black in both TV and movies because he's played by Samuel L. Jackson. There is actually no reason Fury couldn't be played by an actor of a different skin color other than tradition at this point.

Yes, there are times when ethnicity or gender matters a great deal... but not as often as many think. Put a great actor in a role with a great script and often people don't care about details not vital to the character in the story's context. There have been instances where a character was conceived as one thing but the actor cast was another (Ripley in Alien being a prime example) and it worked great. Sigourney Weaver worked as Ripley not because Ripley HAD to be a woman but because it was a good story well told. Really - there is not one thing Ripley says or does that couldn't have been done by a man in that movie. In that sense Ripley's gender is not important to the story. Neither is Ripley's race. Reboot the franchise Ripley can be any adult human being.

A big problem is that for decades in Hollywood and TV the ONLY parts a non-white actor could get were those parts that HAD to be played by a non-white actor, everyone else was white. Now we're finally getting to a point where we have non-white actors getting roles that could be anything - white, black, Asian, multi-racial. And some bigots are getting their panties in a twist over it, claiming it's pandering or quotas or some bullshit. No, it's not - it's long overdue is what it is.
  #241  
Old 06-19-2019, 07:02 AM
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Are white comic book fans upset over Storm's light-skinned portrayal in the X-Men franchise? Because quite a few black comic book fans have negative opinions about this choice and the politics behind it. I'm wondering if the posters who have been emphatic about "accuracy" sympathize with this viewpoint.
I put that in the same category as comic book fans who were upset that Hugh Jackmack is around 6 feet tall while Wolverine is supposed to be a little dude around 5 foot nothing. And, yes, I've certainly met some who were that picky about casting choices.
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  #242  
Old 06-19-2019, 07:47 AM
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Also, thereís no requirement that racism has to be shown even when circumstances suggest it exists.
This is absolutely right, and I feel pretty dumb for needing to be told it. In Spiderverse, it's not like Morales is off fighting the Klan while a bunch of MAGA goons are calling ICE on him or anything. You can switch the race and have a story exist in a world with implied discrimination, and if discrimination fights aren't at the forefront of the story you're telling, that's fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Licentious Ectomorph View Post
But at that point, it's a completely different character so why bother? If you're a filmmaker and you're "not interested" in filming white characters, then make your own damn characters and your own damn movie. You don't get to co-opt other people's work, line your pockets, and call it your "artistic vision."
Of course you get to do that. That's what literally every Marvel superhero director has done. Why would you carve out an exception to that process for when the director hires someone who's not white to play the part of a character traditionally depicted as white? That's ridiculous.

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Originally Posted by Horatio Hellpop View Post
Consider Judge Leonard White from Bonfire of the Vanities. Everything he says and does in the book is seen through the filter of his likely racist attitudes and his attempt to grow past them. But in the movie, they undercut this whole theme by making him Morgan Freeman. It really hurt the movie.
I've never read the book nor seen the movie, but in general I want a movie or a book to work on its own merits. The question for me isn't, is the book different from the movie, but, does the Judge character work within the movie's own story?

If not, that's bad; and if his struggles with his own racism are the main thing that makes the character work in the book, then it's a lost opportunity, in the same way that the final Harry Potter movie fucks up by ignoring the lovely showdown-at-high-noon climax of the book in favor of a CGI 3D mess of a final fight.
  #243  
Old 06-19-2019, 08:04 AM
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I put that in the same category as comic book fans who were upset that Hugh Jackmack is around 6 feet tall while Wolverine is supposed to be a little dude around 5 foot nothing. And, yes, I've certainly met some who were that picky about casting choices.
I don't consider either of those to be "picky". I think it is totally understandable for black people to be tired of light-skinned biracial women being the choice for a dark-skinned super heroine, especially given the lack of representation of dark skinned women in the media. And I don't at all blame short guys who wish to see a short guy super hero given the absence of short guys in the media.

It would be nice for the folks who insist that a black Superman is nonsensical to concede the nonsensicalness of a light-skinned Storm and a tall Wolverine. If the X-Men franchise can be successful despite its decrepancies, why not other superhero flicks?

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  #244  
Old 06-19-2019, 08:12 AM
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Bah everybody going on about Asgardians having to be played by white actors is missing the fact that they are all short, grey, and bald in reality.

Last edited by yendis; 06-19-2019 at 08:13 AM.
  #245  
Old 06-19-2019, 08:45 AM
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Re Black Panther.

Wakanda was very unrealistic. We are supposed to believe Wakandans were both closed off from the rest of the world and ridiculously culturally heterogenous? Umpossible! Yet 99% of movie goers were able to go along for the ride. The animated set-up in the beginning of the movie provided just enough information for the audience to understand Wakanda and why it exists in its current form. And that set-up was only a couple of minutes long.

There is no good reason to assume that a black Superman movie or a movie with multiracial elves couldn't do the same thing.




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Last edited by monstro; 06-19-2019 at 08:45 AM.
  #246  
Old 06-19-2019, 08:48 AM
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How far do you take this idea? Could an author remake Blackkklansman or Sorry to Bother You with a white protagonist and change nothing else and have an effective movie? Could Schindler's List be remade with Schindler played by a Japanese woman and it'd be coherent?

I'm all about changing stories, but stories exist in societies, and the society-building aspect of stories is one of my favorite things about science fiction (see my username), and in period pieces I'm also really interested in social dynamics. Changes are great. Authors who don't think about the changes they make can be annoying.
I'm mostly containing my opinion to what I consider extreme cases of fiction, like comic books. When it comes to these extreme cases of fiction (where you can pull any and everything out of your ass just because you feel like it) I honestly don't see why a story about an alien from another planet who gets dropped on earth and basically has the power of a god has to change just because you use a different color crayon. And yes, this does extend to the non-white comic book characters as well. Spawn doesn't stop being Spawn just because he is now white/Asian/Latino/first nation/whatever.

People in this thread are losing their shit because in their minds using a different color crayon requires the story to change so that they can continue to suspend their disbelief all while ignoring the simple fact that 95% of the shit in the story is an egregious violation of reality.

God like aliens and all that make believe bullshit is cool so long as we keep thing racially accurate? Sorry, but in my mind that says A LOT about the audience
  #247  
Old 06-19-2019, 09:08 AM
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I don't consider either of those to be "picky". I think it is totally understandable for black people to be tired of light-skinned biracial women being the choice for a dark-skinned super heroine, especially given the lack of representation of dark skinned women in the media. And I don't at all blame short guys who wish to see a short guy super hero given the absence of short guys in the media.
Let's not forget the tendency of Hollywood to use make-up that makes dark skinned actors lighter skinned than they would otherwise be, and having shorter leading men standing on boxes while next to their leading ladies (Tom Cruise being just one example).

If we could have had a five foot tall Hugh Jackman play Wolverine I would have been thrilled. Well, Jackman went and grew to six feet and there's no fixing that now and I have to admit he did an excellent job with the character despite the liability of his excess height. But if you don't give good roles to short male actors you're never going to have a short leading man.

I would have been thrilled with a darker-skinned Halle Berry playing Storm. Unfortunately, the real weakness in the character wasn't the actress, it was the wretched writing for the character. But if you don't give good role to dark skinned actors you'll never have a dark skinned leading lady.

It becomes a vicious cycle: "We can't have a short leading man because there are no short male actors up to the job." Yes, because they've never been given the opportunity. "We can't have a dark skinned leading lading because there are no dark skinned female actors up to the job." Yes, because they've never been given the opportunity. They don't get those opportunities because no one with [trait] has been that opportunity. At some point someone has to take a chance. Usually several chances by several people before it all works out.
  #248  
Old 06-19-2019, 09:21 AM
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Well, in the films, Heimdall wasn't a main character or an action hero per se, and didn't get nearly as much screen time as Valkyrie. Basically he was a prop. In the comics, Valkyrie was a full-fledged and longstanding member of the Avengers, complete with long blonde braids. It makes no damn sense for her to be black.
It doesn't make sense to you, it made perfect sense to millions of others. You can present arguments for why you feel that way, but they are irrelevant to the experience of others.

As I said before, I personally, as a Norseman, find the link between Asgardians and Norse mythology annoying, but the casting of black actors I was completely fine with. The Asgardians are already so distant from their Norse Mythology inspirations the race of the actors make no difference.

I'm much more upset about scenes set in Norway using locations in other countries with geography that doesn't exist _anywhere_ in Norway. The place where Hela meets Loki and Thor? Absolutely not Norway. The Asgardian refuge in "Norway"? Very obviously a Scottish fishing village and nothing like the real TÝnsberg
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:33 AM
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Project Almanac is set in Atlanta but black people are hardly seen in the whole movie. It is jarring if you are a black person from Atlanta. But it is a movie about a conventionally attractive, socially put-together teenager with a hawt girlfriend and multiple friends who invents a time travel machine all by himself. Realism is obviously not the point of the movie.

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Old 06-19-2019, 10:18 AM
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I was curious so I took a look through some of the threads on Captain Marvel and the twist with the Skrulls, which as far as I know is a complete inversion of their portrayal in the comics, was received well or neutrally. No one seemed to consider it problematic or a betrayal of the comics, even though, to me, it seems like a much greater change to the world of the Marvel Universe than someone's skin color.
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