Apparently Black Actors Are Allowed To Dress Up As White People So Long As White People Don’t Do The Same.
Posted by Casey on March 7, 2008
Here’s your manufactured outrage story of the day.
There is a new comedy that will be released soon whose cast consists of Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey Jr. It is intended to be an over the top comedy about over the top actors. One of these “over the top” themes is that Downey will play a black guy … apparently convincingly so. This should be no big deal as Hollywood has put out several movies with black actors playing white people, and no one even raised an eyebrow. Those movies were seen for what they were … comedy.
Actor Robert Downey Jr has in the past been applauded for his edgy roles.
But his latest may be a step too far – as the actor dons make-up to play a rather convincing looking black man in a new Hollywood film starring comic actor Ben Stiller.
With his afro hair and brown skin, he is virtually unrecognisable as the 42-year-old star of stage and screen.
Downey Jr plays a worthy Oscar-winning actor taking on a role originally written for a black actor, and rather than re-write the part, he goes method.
Clearing anticipating a backlash, Downey Jr told a US magazine: “If it’s done right, it could be the type of role you called Peter Sellers to do 35 years ago. If you don’t do it right, we’re going to hell.”
There have been several movies in which a black actor played a white part for comedic effect. I won’t bore you with a huge list, but the most recent such case would be “White Chicks.” I don’t recall there being “outrage” at that film. There have also been countless TV and movie remakes in which a white character has been replaced by a black actor playing the role. Again, no controversy. Nor should there have been.
However, anytime there is a white actor in black face there is some “outrage” over the whole thing. Recently Saturday Night Live caught flak for casting a white person to play Barack Obama, and Angelina Jolie was criticized for her role in “A Mighty Heart”, because she is a white woman playing the part of a woman of color.
It is seriously going way to far with political correctness when we are so quick to be angered over a very literal non issue. The problem is exsaserbated when we are overly willing to apply a hypocritical double standard such as we have done so here. This movie’s part is specifically written to be a white actor playing a black role. It is not written for a black actor. Some of the comments on the forums online have clearly not read the article, and are posting their emotional reaction to the picture alone. They are claiming that the movie is making a statement that there are no good black actors in Hollywood. In fact, the movie cast the part exactly how it was written. I guess this means we have to now redirect our anger towards writers for even considering writing a part that has a white guy playing a black guy. While at the same time completely ignoring the writers who write parts for the exact opposite. Way to illustrate how stupid you really are … dumbasses.
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