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Old 07-13-2018, 05:26 PM
aldiboronti aldiboronti is offline
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Scarlett Johansson Drops Out Of Transgender Role In 'Rub And Tug'

Here's the story.

She'd been taking heat from the transgender community for the role. She clearly felt the game just wasn't worth the candle. I guess in future she'll have to play only straight females. OK, that's a reductio ad absurdum but there is a question of some importance here. Must actors confine themselves to roles of their own gender, sexuality, race, etc? Must Othello be played by a Moor, the hero of My Left Foot by a disabled person, and so on and so forth? The problem is that if we go down that road it'll be even harder for minorities. "Sorry, the character is a white heterosexual male. You're gay. Next, please!"
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Old 07-13-2018, 05:41 PM
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Yeah, I'm all for inclusion and representation in entertainment, it is a an area that needs a constant focus to do better.

Having said that, I also believe that one of the points of some acting is to inhabit the skin of the character who is different than you as a person. So, a young person plays an old person, a midwestern farm kid plays a king of england, a shy person plays an outgoing person, and yes, people should be allowed to act roles of characters that are not their race or gender or physical capabilities.

And due to the economics of movie making, getting a star to play the role offers a better chance at attracting funding and making money in the box office. If you want to make a big budget film, you need a star.

But, again, the powers that be can do better at expanding their viewpoint on casting and telling stories of underrepresented peoples.
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Old 07-13-2018, 05:45 PM
Just Asking Questions Just Asking Questions is offline
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On the one hand, that's ridiculous. It's called "Acting" for a reason. And what if the role is a one-eyed, one-armed gay Sherpa, and there just isn't one available for the role? (or one does exist, and he's a terrible actor!) Then what?

On the other hand, if you cast Tom Cruise as your gay Sherpa, and there really ARE several SAG one-eyed, one-armed Sherpa actors (gay or straight), how many other roles are out there for them? If you don't cast them where they actually fit, are you going to cast them in the next rom com? The next Disney flick?

I wish I knew the answers. But the real question is, when is Hollywood going to stop defaulting to straight white guys in roles that are not "something-something"? Why not cast the 1E1AGS as the bank teller in the next film, or the killer on L&O, or the wacky neighbor?
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Old 07-13-2018, 05:55 PM
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I'm sure the movie will be a hit starring some transgender actor that no one has ever heard of.
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:09 PM
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No cookie story link.

Scarlett Johanssen not up for another round of controversy overshadowing her work? I guess I'll also have to make a note to watch the box office on this one.
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by aldiboronti View Post
Must actors confine themselves to roles of their own gender, sexuality, race, etc? Must Othello be played by a Moor, the hero of My Left Foot by a disabled person, and so on and so forth? The problem is that if we go down that road it'll be even harder for minorities. "Sorry, the character is a white heterosexual male. You're gay. Next, please!"
I would take people upholding the principle of acting freedom a lot more seriously if I hadn't seen a lot of those same people complaining when the role of a white male character is recast and given to a minority or female actor.

"Oh no, Idris Elba can't play Heimdall. Heimdall's supposed to be white. Halle Berry can't play Catwoman. Catwoman's supposed to be white. Katee Sackhoff can't play Starbuck, Starbuck's supposed to be a man. Michael Clarke Duncan can't play Kingpin. Kingpin's supposed to be white. Michael Jordan can't play the Human Torch The Human Torch is supposed to be white. Morgan Freedman can't play Red. Red's supposed to be white. Judi Dench can't play M. M's supposed to be a man. Billy Dee Williams can't play Harvey Dent. Harvey Dent's supposed to be white. Women can't play the Ghostbusters. The Ghostbusters are supposed to be men. It's all a bunch of political correctness gone mad."

But take a minority character and cast a non-minority actor in the role?

"What's the matter? Haven't you ever heard of acting? You just want reverse discrimination."
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:21 PM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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And due to the economics of movie making, getting a star to play the role offers a better chance at attracting funding and making money in the box office. If you want to make a big budget film, you need a star.
Not just the star power, but can you find a person who's real life matches the character's that can be a lead role?

Then there's the other side of the coin where some times the so called oppressed minority doesn't actually care and/or need other people to speak for them. Case in point, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. One of the characters is a Native American from the Lakota tribe. However, it's played by the blonde haired, blue eyed Jane Krakowski. They gave her a very brief backstory to explain why she looks like a white person instead of a Native American, but people weren't happy about it, saying that the character should have been played by an actual Native American. However, most of the articles I've read written by (or an interview with) a Native American sure makes it sound like they aren't taking up an issue with it. There's one article out there, that I can't find right now, from a higher up in tribe/area where the character is supposed to come from specifically saying they like it because it's bringing more attention to their tribe than they've had in a long time.
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:25 PM
Dallas Jones Dallas Jones is offline
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She has always reminded me of a man.
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:31 PM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is online now
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I would take people upholding the principle of acting freedom a lot more seriously if I hadn't seen a lot of those same people complaining when the role of a white male character is recast and given to a minority or female actor.

"Oh no, Idris Elba can't play Heimdall. Heimdall's supposed to be white. Halle Berry can't play Catwoman. Catwoman's supposed to be white. Katee Sackhoff can't play Starbuck, Starbuck's supposed to be a man. Michael Clarke Duncan can't play Kingpin. Kingpin's supposed to be white. Michael Jordan can't play the Human Torch The Human Torch is supposed to be white. Morgan Freedman can't play Red. Red's supposed to be white. Judi Dench can't play M. M's supposed to be a man. Billy Dee Williams can't play Harvey Dent. Harvey Dent's supposed to be white. Women can't play the Ghostbusters. The Ghostbusters are supposed to be men. It's all a bunch of political correctness gone mad."

But take a minority character and cast a non-minority actor in the role?

"What's the matter? Haven't you ever heard of acting? You just want reverse discrimination."

Huh. And do you, in turn, figure that a lot of the people who have a problem with Johansson taking this role had no problem with Elba et al doing as you’d said?
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:31 PM
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FYI, what Dante "Tex" Gill looked like:

http://old.post-gazette.com/obituari...0109gillp4.asp

I'm not sure what stake Johansson had in the movie other than having the lead role (was she a producer as well?), but I am OK with her dropping out. She had a tone deaf response to original concerns:

https://deadline.com/2018/07/scarlet...tq-1202421430/

And yes, she's an actor so broadening her abilities and taking on challenging roles is a part of that. On the other side of the coin, trans people have so very few opportunities in movies and on TV, having a cis-gendered woman "take" a part that they could play doesn't seem right.
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:54 PM
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Good. I don't share any of this ambivalence. I see no actual constructive reason why we need to have anyone being able to play things they are not. But there are so many reasons to want inclusion. Discrimination is harmful, and Hollywood currently discriminates. Sure, their reason my be because of money, but they are also the reason that there is a dearth of bankable minority stars. They don't get to just wash their hands of it.

Plus, as pointed out in this video, the guy had a girlfriend who was an extremely important part of his life. You need a bankable star? Hire her as the girlfriend. Pull in some cameos to play the masseuses. The bankable star doesn't have to be the lead!

And just maybe, if the movie can do well, then a trans man in the role might become a bankable star. And, even if not, doing this more and more would help create the potential to get bankable minority stars.
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by aldiboronti View Post
OK, that's a reductio ad absurdum but there is a question of some importance here. Must actors confine themselves to roles of their own gender, sexuality, race, etc? Must Othello be played by a Moor[…]
An odd choice of example, surely? There will obviously always be the exceptions - the recorded historical performances or the Patrick Stewart reverse casting example - but we must be at the point in history where the default casting for Othello isn't a white guy. Which isn't to say that there aren't plenty of white actors who could do the part. Just that it's so obviously the example where the matter has now come to be so settled otherwise that it's somewhat weird to appeal to in this context.

Yes, we ought to expect Othello to be played by a "Moor" these days.

Last edited by bonzer; 07-13-2018 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:17 PM
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She had a tone deaf response to original concerns:

https://deadline.com/2018/07/scarlet...tq-1202421430/
She does seem to be held to a different standard than Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman. Can April Reign's statement that Ghost In The Shell tanked also be challenged?

It will be interesting to see how the transgendered Irish man who is eventually cast deals with the alcoholic stereotype.
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:01 PM
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And yes, she's an actor so broadening her abilities and taking on challenging roles is a part of that. On the other side of the coin, trans people have so very few opportunities in movies and on TV, having a cis-gendered woman "take" a part that they could play doesn't seem right.
Trans people have a right to be treated with as much respect as are non-trans people.

But no one has a "right" to be a movie star.

...those planning this movie, no doubt, wanted to bring attention to the issues faced by the real-life person being depicted, so they wanted a star in the lead role. A star, in all likelihood, would not have been interested in playing a smaller role such as 'the girlfriend'--notoriously unchallenging fare.

Note that multiple movies on the same topic are made all the time: two movies about Truman Capote came out the same year; two movies about volcanoes came out the same year; two movies about United Flight 93 came out the same year, etc. etc. etc.

Nothing would stop filmmakers from making their own movie, staring a trans performer, or even starring an entire cast of trans people, if they wanted to do that.

But no one has a right to be cast in any one particular film. That's not a "human right" in any conceivable system of fairness or justice.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:43 PM
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Here's the story.

She'd been taking heat from the transgender community for the role. She clearly felt the game just wasn't worth the candle. I guess in future she'll have to play only straight females. OK, that's a reductio ad absurdum but there is a question of some importance here. Must actors confine themselves to roles of their own gender, sexuality, race, etc? Must Othello be played by a Moor, the hero of My Left Foot by a disabled person, and so on and so forth? The problem is that if we go down that road it'll be even harder for minorities. "Sorry, the character is a white heterosexual male. You're gay. Next, please!"
I expect that given a week or so, the movie will be shelved.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:52 PM
HMS Irruncible HMS Irruncible is offline
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I have no dog in the whole trans-people fight, but if we're fighting that fight, it seems a little early in the game to have a groundbreaking trans-people film with the lead trans-person played by a not-trans-person. Maybe after we've had 50 or 100 of these then it's OK. Just my intuition, I can't give any reasons for it.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:52 PM
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I think things like this need to be taken on a case-by-case basis. Yes, the original depiction of the character Kingpin was white, but there's nothing that makes his whiteness inherent to the character. So there, there was no reason why a black actor shouldn't play him, if he matches well in other ways (and it was inherent to the character that he's big and physically intimidating, and Duncan did a good job with that).

On the other hand, there's nothing about Johnny Storm that makes it inherent that he must be white... but it is inherent to his character that he's Sue's brother. Yes, it's possible that one of them was adopted, but that's an unnecessary complication. So in that case, I think that the casting didn't work... but it could have worked if both siblings were black.

Similarly, it's inherent to the character of Othello that he's visibly not the same race as all of the other Venetians. Usually this means that he's black, but that can be inverted, as with the Patrick Stewart production.

And of course, to use the usual example, you couldn't make a movie about the life of Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela with a white actor cast in the lead.

In the current case, from what I gather, it is important that the character is biologically female, but presents as male, and is able, at least approximately, to pass. I'm not convinced that Johansson is able to pull that off, and a lot of her appeal as a star is based on her (very feminine) appearance, and so is diminished if she's masking that. And yes, there are transgendered folk out there with bodies which appear very strongly to be their physical sex, and who nonetheless identify as the opposite, and I'm sure that's a significant source of stress for those folks, but that's a different story from that of someone who can largely mask their physical sex. So she's probably not the best choice for this role.
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:07 PM
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No dog in this fight myself either, but an argument I heard from a trans person on a podcast is that if a trans actor were not cast they would rather have seen a male actor cast rather than one of the most famous/attractive/sexy/etc. quintessentially female actresses - their point being a trans man is a man, not a woman.

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Old 07-13-2018, 10:09 PM
HMS Irruncible HMS Irruncible is offline
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I mean at least we could start with Jennifer Garner, once we've reached that point.
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:14 PM
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FYI, what Dante "Tex" Gill looked like:

http://old.post-gazette.com/obituari...0109gillp4.asp
Frankly I'd be a lot more willing to defend SJ if I thought there was a chance in hell she could ever be made up to look like actual person. Otherwise, it's just as much of a stunt as SJ playing Roseanne Barr.
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:48 PM
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She does seem to be held to a different standard than Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman. Can April Reign's statement that Ghost In The Shell tanked also be challenged?

It will be interesting to see how the transgendered Irish man who is eventually cast deals with the alcoholic stereotype.
I don't think she is, though. Those films are all in the past. What she's being held to is just the standards of today. From what I gather from this, if any of them tried to do this today, they'd likely be treated the same way.

This largely seems to be an issue an issue of trans people standing up and saying they won't take this anymore. They're tired of Hollywood making money off of their stories without even involving them. They're tired of talented trans actors being ignored even in the very roles they are perfect for.

This isn't unheard of. Simply including a black character in Gone With the Wind was seen as progressive for the time, but now the stereotypical portrayal really bothers people. The main difference is the pace: we moved faster on the gay and trans things than we did on the race and gender stuff.

It very much seems to me that the standards of today is that you hire a minority to play the minority subject of any biographical film. That, while those other films are accepted for their time, they're now considered relics of the past.
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:43 AM
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Trans people have a right to be treated with as much respect as are non-trans people.

But no one has a "right" to be a movie star.

...those planning this movie, no doubt, wanted to bring attention to the issues faced by the real-life person being depicted, so they wanted a star in the lead role. A star, in all likelihood, would not have been interested in playing a smaller role such as 'the girlfriend'--notoriously unchallenging fare.

Note that multiple movies on the same topic are made all the time: two movies about Truman Capote came out the same year; two movies about volcanoes came out the same year; two movies about United Flight 93 came out the same year, etc. etc. etc.

Nothing would stop filmmakers from making their own movie, staring a trans performer, or even starring an entire cast of trans people, if they wanted to do that.

But no one has a right to be cast in any one particular film. That's not a "human right" in any conceivable system of fairness or justice.
No one person does, sure. But trans people do have a right to demand that they play themselves. They have a right to say that their stories belong to them. They have made this known, and they won--at least, for this battle.

One of the more frustrating things I find about social justice debates these days is how often an argument that has not been raised is brought up and debunked. No one said that any trans person had the right to be a movie star. What they do have the right to do is say that they do not want cisgender people exploiting a trans person and their story for the sake of making a movie without involving them.

No, that doesn't mean they have a right to control what they do. That's why I specifically brought up what they say. Their job is to convince people with their speech. And they seem to have convinced the right people. They convinced Johansson that accepting this role would do more harm than good. Or possibly backers said that they wouldn't fund the movie with her in it due to the backlash, and this is a graceful way to handle that. Or maybe the director had cold feet after the backlash.

The point is, they spoke, people heard them, and chose to do what they wanted. I cannot see how that's unfair.
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:06 AM
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Good. I don't share any of this ambivalence. I see no actual constructive reason why we need to have anyone being able to play things they are not. But there are so many reasons to want inclusion. Discrimination is harmful, and Hollywood currently discriminates. Sure, their reason my be because of money, but they are also the reason that there is a dearth of bankable minority stars. They don't get to just wash their hands of it.
I'm all for inclusiveness and would love more trans actors to be able to get more roles, but your logic utterly baffles me. If people "shouldn't play things they're not" then trans actors should only get to play trans roles. Which of course is not what they want.

I do agree with zombywoof and Chronos that, apart from casting an actual FtM actor, it probably would've made a lot more sense to cast a cis male instead of the very feminine Johansson. Especially after seeing that pic of the real-life Gill.

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I expect that given a week or so, the movie will be shelved.
Maybe not quite that quick, but yeah, I foresee "development hell" followed by never being made.

Last edited by magnusblitz; 07-14-2018 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:24 AM
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I don't think she is, though. Those films are all in the past.
One is not a film at all, but a television show that Tambor was fired from 5 months ago. If Johanssen is not being specifically targeted, her timing is epically unlucky. Again, like for Ghost In The Shell, if I were advising on strategy, I'd call the battle ill-chosen.
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:28 AM
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...it probably would've made a lot more sense to cast a cis male instead of the very feminine Johansson. Especially after seeing that pic of the real-life Gill.
I believe Charlize Theron has successfully refuted this method of casting.
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Old 07-14-2018, 03:10 AM
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I have read opinions from trans people that (if forced to choose between only the two most common categories) it would be better for such a character to be played by a man than by a woman.

I think unfortunately that would serve to obscure the story, not tell it; I think it's important to admit that, in the short to medium term, stories with main characters who are trans are going to be stories primarily about being trans, and where the rest of the plot is in the background to some extent.

Novelty may sound like a flippant word, but I'm not using it that way: The novelty of noticeably-trans characters in movies will certainly take time to wear off. Any novelty does the same thing - if I made a great and respectful and riveting film about Muhammad Ali, and in my film Ali was brilliantly and convincingly played by Keira Knightley, ... well, you know that the talk the next morning would NOT be mostly about the new details of Ali's life that I had been able to discover.
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Old 07-14-2018, 03:19 AM
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I'm sure that she thinks the current climate makes such a part not worth her while.

i think the backlash is stupid and unproductive in the long run. The logic of this position is that there are a certain set of traits, outside of which a person cannot step. A set of roles which must be taken by a certain type of person. Presumably this must extend to all areas of art and music (I have a depressing feeling that it probably already has) and that is idiotic.

It would be wrong to say that a transgender person cannot take a certain role, it is just as wrong to say that a transgender person must take a certain role. Those that argue for the latter think they are being progressive and inclusive and yet to me is feels like just as discriminatory as the former.

She is an actor for christ's sake. The whole point is that she pretends to be the person and brings her own artistic interpretation to it and her biological make-up is pretty much irrelevant. It is demeaning to all actors to suggest that they cannot step outside of their skin to play an "other" type.

I have it on very good authority that Sir. Ian Mckellen is not even a real wizard.
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Old 07-14-2018, 04:16 AM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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I'm sure that she thinks the current climate makes such a part not worth her while.

i think the backlash is stupid and unproductive in the long run. The logic of this position is that there are a certain set of traits, outside of which a person cannot step. A set of roles which must be taken by a certain type of person. Presumably this must extend to all areas of art and music (I have a depressing feeling that it probably already has) and that is idiotic.

It would be wrong to say that a transgender person cannot take a certain role, it is just as wrong to say that a transgender person must take a certain role. Those that argue for the latter think they are being progressive and inclusive and yet to me is feels like just as discriminatory as the former.

She is an actor for christ's sake. The whole point is that she pretends to be the person and brings her own artistic interpretation to it and her biological make-up is pretty much irrelevant. It is demeaning to all actors to suggest that they cannot step outside of their skin to play an "other" type.

I have it on very good authority that Sir. Ian Mckellen is not even a real wizard.
Yep, and sometimes a cigar isn't a dildo. Plus actors and actresses are actually, you know, FREE to choose the roles they play (or back out of). Who gives a shit?
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Old 07-14-2018, 04:37 AM
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It's strange that both lead actors in the recent gay romance Call Me by Your Name are straight, yet nobody is making a fuss that gay actors should have been used. On the contrary, the film won a number of awards.
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:25 AM
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Gay versus straight is a different issue, because people don't look gay or straight. A gay person can play a straight person, or vice-versa, and pull it off just fine. Similarly, it doesn't matter that Ian McKellan isn't a wizard, because he looks like a wizard (especially with the right costuming, makeup, and props, but even at the base, he's still got the right look). But a transgendered actor can either take steps to look like their gender identity, which usually isn't completely successful (i.e., they look transgendered), or they can maintain the appearance of their physical sex and play people of that sex, which is probably very difficult in their personal life.

Probably as time goes on, we'll get better at altering peoples' sexual appearance. This would be a boon for transgendered people who want to fit in more fully in their gender identity, and also a boon for transgendered actors to play roles of their gender identity. Eventually, an actor's birth sex might be just as irrelevant to what roles they can play as sexual orientation is now. But we're not there yet.
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:43 AM
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If trans people want to be seen and treated as the sex of their self-identity, then saying that a non-trans person can't play a trans person sets them apart from their fellow men or women, as the case may be. But I think Chronos nailed it in his first post. Sometimes you needs an actor of a certain type and sometimes not. It all depends.
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:32 AM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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I have no dog in the whole trans-people fight, but if we're fighting that fight, it seems a little early in the game to have a groundbreaking trans-people film with the lead trans-person played by a not-trans-person. Maybe after we've had 50 or 100 of these then it's OK. Just my intuition, I can't give any reasons for it.

There already was one years ago--Boys Don't Cry starring The Next Karate Kid.
  #33  
Old 07-14-2018, 09:55 AM
Sam Lowry Sam Lowry is offline
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If trans people want to be seen and treated as the sex of their self-identity, then saying that a non-trans person can't play a trans person sets them apart from their fellow men or women, as the case may be. But I think Chronos nailed it in his first post. Sometimes you needs an actor of a certain type and sometimes not. It all depends.
I'm a cisgender woman so I can't speak for trans people, but I would imagine that if in the future trans actors are able to get roles that aren't specifically for trans people, and there are trans people playing the action hero, or romantic interest, or funny neighbor, or any number or other roles not specifically for trans people, then I would guess many trans people would be okay with cisgender people playing trans roles. If there was a movie being made with a trans actor playing JFK or some other cisgender male role, it might be more palatable for Johansson to play Gill. But we are not yet at that point.
  #34  
Old 07-14-2018, 10:07 AM
Sam Lowry Sam Lowry is offline
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I'm a cisgender woman so I can't speak for trans people, but I would imagine that if in the future trans actors are able to get roles that aren't specifically for trans people, and there are trans people playing the action hero, or romantic interest, or funny neighbor, or any number or other roles not specifically for trans people, then I would guess many trans people would be okay with cisgender people playing trans roles. If there was a movie being made with a trans actor playing JFK or some other cisgender male role, it might be more palatable for Johansson to play Gill. But we are not yet at that point.
Also, think about how annoying it is to be misrepresented in film. There are many threads here about movies things they get wrong about certain jobs or subcultures. What people see in movies does affect how they think about things in real life. If movies misrepresent what it's like to be a lawyer or anime fan or any number of other things it can be really annoying I'm sure, but the stakes for trans people is higher, because trans people are discriminated against and killed at a higher rate than other people.

I'm not saying that Rub and Tug would have gotten things wrong or been offensive or anything but I can definitely understand the concerns of trans people. When there was the initial uproar, Johansson could have said something about working with trans writers and consultants and people who knew Gill to get the story right and wanting to bring the story to life in the right way, but instead her statement was about previous actors who got awards, making it clear that her main concern was getting an Oscar. That certainly didn't help things.
  #35  
Old 07-14-2018, 10:38 AM
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It doesn't matter how great an actor he is you wouldn't cast Morgan Freeman to play Justin Bieber, it would be fucking ridiculous to even consider it. That is the equivalent of casting Scarlet Johansson to play Dante Tex Gill.
  #36  
Old 07-14-2018, 10:43 AM
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And of course, to use the usual example, you couldn't make a movie about the life of [...] Nelson Mandela with a white actor cast in the lead.
I'm personally not OK with the fact that they keep casting African-Americans and Brits to play him rather than South Africans, quite frankly.
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Old 07-14-2018, 10:54 AM
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Actually I think I'd pay good money to see Morgan Freeman play Justin Bieber, that would be hilarious!
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  #38  
Old 07-14-2018, 11:05 AM
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I'm personally not OK with the fact that they keep casting African-Americans and Brits to play him rather than South Africans, quite frankly.
Nationality seems utterly irrelevant.

Film is a visual medium, I think the likeness to a person only needs to be approximated in order for the images not to jar (unless the jarring nature of the casting was the point in the first place) and so I can't see a reason for mandating a transgender character must be played by a transgender actor.

Away from the visual, if there was a radio play in which Winston Churchill was voiced by Idris Elba I couldn't care less, nor if Mandela was done by a white actor.
  #39  
Old 07-14-2018, 11:49 AM
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Not just the star power, but can you find a person who's real life matches the character's that can be a lead role?

Then there's the other side of the coin where some times the so called oppressed minority doesn't actually care and/or need other people to speak for them. Case in point, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. One of the characters is a Native American from the Lakota tribe. However, it's played by the blonde haired, blue eyed Jane Krakowski. They gave her a very brief backstory to explain why she looks like a white person instead of a Native American, but people weren't happy about it, saying that the character should have been played by an actual Native American. However, most of the articles I've read written by (or an interview with) a Native American sure makes it sound like they aren't taking up an issue with it. There's one article out there, that I can't find right now, from a higher up in tribe/area where the character is supposed to come from specifically saying they like it because it's bringing more attention to their tribe than they've had in a long time.
Wow. I had no idea that was controversial. They must not have watch the actual show. The whole point of the character’s background is how ridiculous her views on her native background are. And I love the actors who play her parents.

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  #40  
Old 07-14-2018, 12:09 PM
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I'm sure that she thinks the current climate makes such a part not worth her while.

i think the backlash is stupid and unproductive in the long run. The logic of this position is that there are a certain set of traits, outside of which a person cannot step. A set of roles which must be taken by a certain type of person. Presumably this must extend to all areas of art and music (I have a depressing feeling that it probably already has) and that is idiotic.
I think there's a certain amount of straw-man going on there. Carrying this to its logical conclusion is not necessarily right.
  #41  
Old 07-14-2018, 12:17 PM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is offline
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I think there's a certain amount of straw-man going on there. Carrying this to its logical conclusion is not necessarily right.
I think it is a nonsensical position in the first place so I guess any "logical" conclusion would be equally so.

There is a question here though, is there a certain type of role that must be taken by an equivalent type of actor? if so, which type and why?
  #42  
Old 07-14-2018, 12:32 PM
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There are some roles that must be taken by an equivalent type of actor, certainly. For instance, a role for a person of a particular race, for whom the race of the character is important to who and what he is, must be played by an actor of that race.

This does not mean that all roles are race-locked, because not all characters have a definite race (if, for instance, they originated from a book that didn't describe the characters in that level of detail, such as Ford Prefect), and in many cases, even if the character does have a particular race, their race is unimportant (such as the mom in A Wrinkle in Time). But some roles are race-locked, because the character's race is important, like historical figures involved in the Civil Rights struggle.
  #43  
Old 07-14-2018, 12:46 PM
actualliberalnotoneofthose actualliberalnotoneofthose is offline
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Plus, as pointed out in this video, the guy had a girlfriend who was an extremely important part of his life. You need a bankable star? Hire her as the girlfriend. Pull in some cameos to play the masseuses. The bankable star doesn't have to be the lead!
You can't do that because then: Actresses only get hired to play "the girlfriend." You have sexism and age discrimination as clearly now that she is over 30, Scarlett is not being offered any leading roles. "Bankable" actresses in cameos? More sexism and signs of the age discrimination. What do you propose - that 27 year-old Jennifer Lawrence after 1 flop is now reduced to playing a masseuse cameo in a niche picture? Maybe they can get Meryl Streep, too. Jeez, even Meryl can't get a real role? Maybe Viola Davis can play a maid.
  #44  
Old 07-14-2018, 12:49 PM
actualliberalnotoneofthose actualliberalnotoneofthose is offline
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FYI, what Dante "Tex" Gill looked like:

http://old.post-gazette.com/obituari...0109gillp4.asp
Maybe Melissa McCarthy turned it down?
  #45  
Old 07-14-2018, 12:57 PM
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Maybe Melissa McCarthy turned it down?
I was thinking Oliver Platt.
  #46  
Old 07-14-2018, 01:28 PM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is offline
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There are some roles that must be taken by an equivalent type of actor, certainly. For instance, a role for a person of a particular race, for whom the race of the character is important to who and what he is, must be played by an actor of that race.
I think that's fair, it has to be "near enough" to allow that willing suspension of disbelief.
Though of course even that can be fraught with issues. Zoe Saldana, a black woman, was subject to complaints that she wasn't "black enough" to play Nina Simone.
  #47  
Old 07-14-2018, 02:18 PM
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Case in point, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. One of the characters is a Native American from the Lakota tribe. However, it's played by the blonde haired, blue eyed Jane Krakowski. They gave her a very brief backstory to explain why she looks like a white person instead of a Native American, but people weren't happy about it, saying that the character should have been played by an actual Native American. However, most of the articles I've read written by (or an interview with) a Native American sure makes it sound like they aren't taking up an issue with it. There's one article out there, that I can't find right now, from a higher up in tribe/area where the character is supposed to come from specifically saying they like it because it's bringing more attention to their tribe than they've had in a long time.
Being a Native American isn't about how you look, it's about tribal affiliation. There are enrolled members of tribal bands who look fully "white" or "black" but the looks aren't what make them a member of the tribe. Being a member of the tribe is what makes them a member of the tribe. Most Americans don't really know shit about the Native Americans or indiginous Canadians anyway, and many of them make up fake stories about their great grandmother being "a full-blooded Cherokee." They only ever say that about Cherokees and Apaches because it's a famous name that has all kinds of shit named after it like helicopters and jeeps. Nobody ever says "my great grandmother was Lenape."
  #48  
Old 07-14-2018, 02:33 PM
DavidwithanR DavidwithanR is offline
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Gay versus straight is a different issue, because people don't look gay or straight.
I have gay friends who don't "look gay", and I also have gay friends who absolutely do "look gay". There is no possible question that SOME people really do look a certain way.

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A gay person can play a straight person, or vice-versa, and pull it off just fine.
Still true despite my other point, at least most of the time.
  #49  
Old 07-14-2018, 02:51 PM
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Quoth Lamoral:

Nobody ever says "my great grandmother was Lenape."
I have a great4-grandmother who was Shawnee. If I were inclined, I could dig out the full family tree to her (and to all of my other ancestors to that depth).

As for why it's most common for people to claim Cherokee ancestry, it's mostly because Cherokee ancestry is fairly common. They're a fairly large tribe, they've had a disproportionate amount of pressure to mix with outsiders, and they're relatively permissive for how much ancestry is necessary to be counted in the tribal rolls.
  #50  
Old 07-14-2018, 04:12 PM
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Being a Native American isn't about how you look, it's about tribal affiliation. There are enrolled members of tribal bands who look fully "white" or "black" but the looks aren't what make them a member of the tribe. Being a member of the tribe is what makes them a member of the tribe. Most Americans don't really know shit about the Native Americans or indiginous Canadians anyway, and many of them make up fake stories about their great grandmother being "a full-blooded Cherokee." They only ever say that about Cherokees and Apaches because it's a famous name that has all kinds of shit named after it like helicopters and jeeps. Nobody ever says "my great grandmother was Lenape."
None of that matters because the whole premise/joke about that character was that she had lightened her skin, died her hair and wore color contacts to erase her background. If anyone had really complained about it, they'd have been stupid. Having a white, blond actress playing the part was the back story joke.

Last edited by CarnalK; 07-14-2018 at 04:16 PM.
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