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Dazey

Debate on Social Agendas/Commentaries in Movies

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There is no harm and I agree with most what you just said. There is no harm at all, but the question is at times why doing it. There just were no black villagers in 1700th France. No where in the orginal story by Leprince de Beaumont (a woman btw) there are black people mentioned. So for the movie, the servants fine, that could have been the case, but the villagers no. So if you have already minority roles (servants), there just isn’t a need for black villagers. Ofcourse there is no harm, but it is just not needed as well. 

Also I am not talking about those series and movies you mentioned at all. We are talking about creating roles which don’t bring anything extra to a movie or serie for the only reason to put a minority in it. Or like in Star Wars making it way too obvious, what the meaning behind it is. Or like you said an hystorical character is suddenly black. That comes across as patronising. There is no harm in general, but it does harm the movie at times, making it patronising.

 

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16 minutes ago, MB. said:

There is no harm and I agree with most what you just said. There is no harm at all, but the question is at times why doing it. There just were no black villagers in 1700th France. No where in the orginal story by Leprince de Beaumont (a woman btw) there are black people mentioned. So for the movie, the servants fine, that could have been the case, but the villagers no. So if you have already minority roles (servants), there just isn’t a need for black villagers. Ofcourse there is no harm, but it is just not needed as well. 

So blacks are okay as long as they're playing the help? 

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13 minutes ago, Dazey said:

So blacks are okay as long as they're playing the help? 

Yeah, that’s what sprang to my mind as well. 

Again, we’re talking about a kids film. Does historical accuracy matter consider the target audience and the subject of the film?

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41 minutes ago, Dazey said:

So blacks are okay as long as they're playing the help? 

Lol, I didn’t even think anything bad about it. Guess that would have made people even more upset if you put it that way. 

Well if you go to historical accurancy the servents would have been (kids) slaves cause that was in fashion and a status symbol in those days, that would probably be a total no go in a kids movie. Nevermind than. Keep it like it is, I said nothing.

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20 hours ago, downzy said:

Fair enough.  I just don't see the point in getting too upset or rooting for a known franchise to fail because of a change in cast.  If they want to make an all-female Ghostbusters, what's the harm?  The injury comes if the movie proves to be substandard.  Too often the blame is directed towards the cast when really, the source material explains the failure. Similarly, if the producers of the latest Disney film decide to include a few black characters to either appeal to a wider audience or inject a little more diversity, how does this rise to the level of doing a disservice to the final product when we consider the intended audience?  

I'm not sure I understand your second point.  Are you saying that because minorities have always existed but have been ignored by Hollywood that to notice and represent them now in modern takes on old stories is akin to pandering?  Assuming I'm understanding you correctly, I don't agree and don't see any difference between appealing to a wider audience than your standard white movie goer in the same way that a movie like the Expendables was created solely to appeal to a male audience.  I'm not sure I agree that simply recognizing women and people of colour within existing franchises is akin to pandering to those people's base instincts.  Why isn't their inclusion considered respecting their presence in the community in general?

I thought USS Callister was still a better episode of television than 99 percent of the stuff out there, but just down a bit from Brooker's usual efforts.  (Side note - season three of Black Mirror is my favourite, with Shut Up and Dance being my favourite episode.  Coincidentally, San Junipero was my least favourite episode from season three).  The fact that it has a female lead is just incidental in my opinion.  Moreover, and my memory could be failing me on this one, it examines the potential dangers of merging fantasy, fandom, isolation, and technology in a way that hasn't been addressed by the series yet.  I agree that some of the elements such as conscious-digital transference has been covered before (particularly in San Junipero), but at least it fashions this theme with new elements I just mentioned.  It's also difficult to fairly evaluate new offerings from dependable franchises.  The more any creative force produces the more it will be compared to their previous work, which while likely fall short for those who revere past work.  Personally, I really enjoyed TFA but also understand people's criticisms.  In the end, they're just tv shows and movies and not worth the angst or consternation.

As for your last point, I think that might speak to society in general than Hollywood's inability to find new and original avenues for ethnically and gender diverse casts.  I think the only way Hollywood has been able to garner public acceptance of strong female or minority leads is if the source material is so great and executed upon that it distracts from any disruption of any heteronormative values.  This goes back to my example of The Expendables.  Do you honestly think they make a sequel, let a lone a third instalment, if the movie was an all black or female cast?  Are they making 10 instalments of the Fast and the Furious if characters played by Vin Diesel or the Rock were played by female actresses?  That said, I do think things are changing and audiences are becoming more receptive to different looking leads in traditional roles.  

 

I think you've interpreted my stance as being more hostile than it is, it's not that I'm rooting for anything to fail based on x, or think that minority characters shouldn't be introduced to franchises, but there is a way to introduce new generations/characters tastefully, and a way that comes off as patronizing - "here, accept all this diversity!" is not a good way to go. Several others have made good points in this thread, and to echo some- if you can't see why people want originality in these projects, instead of 'diversity just for the sake of it', which can actually be more damaging to the cause, then I'm not sure what else to tell you. (And I don't care about kids cartoons btw).

 

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The funny thing for me is that I HAVE voted Democrat in the last 4 elections. It's this new younger Millenial liberals that are giving them a BAD name. I don't by any means classify myself as conservative either, I just see the divide for what it is. The "powers that be" have divided the issues (and the country) to such a degree that if you like policy A, you vote Democrat, even if you don't really agree with everything they stand for. But you can't be a free thinker and talking about what you don't agree with, because then run the risk of getting labeled a conservative. Which all the same is true for republicans.

 

It's like bundling your tv package, you really only wanted a couple of channels, but you are forced to get a bunch of crap you don't want. 

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11 hours ago, Iron MikeyJ said:

Also, let me add that ANY lectures from Hollywood just feel very out of place and inappropriate. Talk about the most crooked and unethical "institution" outside of Wall street and Washington DC. It's sorta like getting health and diet advice from McDonald's. Then "they" wonder why (as a whole) their films are not doing as well as they used to, and most people feel that the quality isn't what it used to be. It's because things like story, plot and character develooment have taken a back seat to "agendas" and making cookie cutter films that follow a "formula". Also being unique and different has taken priority over telling a satisfying story. I'm looking at you Rian Johnson and Kathleen Kennedy.

Yea Hollywood will make you sick.

Some years back I saw on a MTV movie awards, Marky Mark and someone were giving the award for best villain. The other presenter was like and shall we introduce the nominees, and Marky Mark grabs the mic and is like, why don't we go ahead and give the award to Charlton Heston as president of the NRA yeah! And at the time I'm thinking, weren't your last few movies Four Brothers, The Corruptor, and The Big Hit? Three shallow ass movies that used violence as a slick and cool movie prop, and in all three movies he walked around either shooting a gun, pointing a gun, or looking super cool and bad ass while holding his gun. I'm sure he'd say I'm looking at it wrong but eh, sounds like b.s to me. As someone up thread said, taking advice from Hollywood is like taking diet advice from McDonald's :lol:

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3 hours ago, Gordon Comstock said:

I think you've interpreted my stance as being more hostile than it is, it's not that I'm rooting for anything to fail based on x, or think that minority characters shouldn't be introduced to franchises, but there is a way to introduce new generations/characters tastefully, and a way that comes off as patronizing - "here, accept all this diversity!" is not a good way to go. Several others have made good points in this thread, and to echo some- if you can't see why people want originality in these projects, instead of 'diversity just for the sake of it', which can actually be more damaging to the cause, then I'm not sure what else to tell you. (And I don't care about kids cartoons btw).

 

Apologies as some of my comments are meant more broadly and not necessarily aimed at your comments directly.

You say there's a way to introduced characters tastefully, but would you mind giving me examples of this that didn't involve white men losing their shit?  

And I again, please provide me with a list of original projects produced by Hollywood in the last 15 years regardless of efforts to insert diversity.  There have been countless reboots and reimagining of old classic franchises and entertainment properties in the last 15 years and very few of them include efforts to diversify the cast.  And most of those movies have been terrible to marginal.  I would be inclined to agree with this argument if on the one hand there was an abundance of original franchises and movie ideas that were mostly comprised of white or male actors and lead roles for minorities or women were relegated to subpar reboots.  But I don't see any evidence of that dynamic at play. 

And what is the problem with diversification for the sake of diversification?  Why does diversification need to be associated something other than itself.  I'm still failing to understand why retelling a story using a cast that looks dissimilar to the first cast is doing injustice to the entertainment property?   As I said, if the historical and geographic time locations are an essential part of the story, I understand the need to cast actors and actresses to fit both those of those criteria.  But if we're talking about fictional characters where time and place really don't matter, what does it really matter if the decision is made to cast a non-white actor or change the character's gender (again, assuming the gender doesn't really matter) so long as it doesn't interrupt the execution of the film and disrupt the overall story? 

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2 hours ago, Iron MikeyJ said:

The funny thing for me is that I HAVE voted Democrat in the last 4 elections. It's this new younger Millenial liberals that are giving them a BAD name. I don't by any means classify myself as conservative either, I just see the divide for what it is. The "powers that be" have divided the issues (and the country) to such a degree that if you like policy A, you vote Democrat, even if you don't really agree with everything they stand for. But you can't be a free thinker and talking about what you don't agree with, because then run the risk of getting labeled a conservative. Which all the same is true for republicans.

 

It's like bundling your tv package, you really only wanted a couple of channels, but you are forced to get a bunch of crap you don't want. 

What does any of your post have anything to do with the topic?  

If you want to talk about politics stick to the politics thread.  But let's please keep this thread on topic as it relates to films, social agendas, and how audiences respond to them.

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11 hours ago, downzy said:

But how does one evaluate or judge merit?  By your two standards as I understand them, movies would then only get made if and when Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep are available for non-gender or race specific roles. 

It isn't just a question of blindly stacking your film with heavyweights as certain actors fit certain specific roles for a given filmmaker - that is why screen tests exists.

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36 minutes ago, downzy said:

And what is the problem with diversification for the sake of diversification?  Why does diversification need to be associated something other than itself.  I'm still failing to understand why retelling a story using a cast that looks dissimilar to the first cast is doing injustice to the entertainment property?   As I said, if the historical and geographic time locations are an essential part of the story, I understand the need to cast actors and actresses to fit both those of those criteria.  But if we're talking about fictional characters where time and place really don't matter, what does it really matter if the decision is made to cast a non-white actor or change the character's gender (again, assuming the gender doesn't really matter) so long as it doesn't interrupt the execution of the film and disrupt the overall story? 

Because Ghostbusters are male.

Ghostbusters are male; they are male and 'New York.' Doctor Who is male (yes I know, and I disagree with the decision). James Bond is male and white, of British-Swiss parentage. Sherlock Holmes is male and white. Indiana Jones is male and white. Conversely, Alex Cross is a black male. Shaft is a black male. Lara Croft is a white female. Wonder Woman is a white female - and should always be brunette. 

It is how it is. 

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38 minutes ago, DieselDaisy said:

It isn't just a question of blindly stacking your film with heavyweights as certain actors fit certain specific roles for a given filmmaker - that is why screen tests exists.

With respect to art, it's always an arbitrary decision that ultimately reflects the director/producer's vision.  You suggest that an actor must fit a certain role.  Why does a role with little to no connection to reality have to fit a heteronormative or white perspective? 

30 minutes ago, DieselDaisy said:

Because Ghostbusters are male.

Ghostbusters are male; they are male and 'New York.' Doctor Who is male (yes I know, and I disagree with the decision). James Bond is male and white, of British-Swiss parentage. Sherlock Holmes is male and white. Indiana Jones is male and white. Conversely, Alex Cross is a black male. Shaft is a black male. Lara Croft is a white female. Wonder Woman is a white female - and should always be brunette. 

It is how it is. 

So you're giving me the "just because" excuse.

James Bond was played by brunette males until Daniel Craig took on the role.  Is it no longer James Bond if the character is played by a blond guy?

The only rationale for your response seems to be, well, if it was something before it can never be anything reconsidered ever again.  Why?  What infallible laws or rules dictates stasis in fictional characters.  

Moreover, with the exception of Ghostbusters and Doctor who, you're simply enumerating characters with names that imply gender.  While I agree that a woman shouldn't play a character named James Bond (since the name implies he's a guy), where in the name Ghostbusters does it denote males?  It's not as though Bill Murray's character Peter VeMelissa is now being played by Melissa McCarthey.  She was given her own character.  Wouldn't using your own logic dictate that women should never have been allowed to enter into professions that were at one point limited to men?  If only men were allowed to be doctors for centuries, why would we allow women to suddenly become doctors as well?  

Sorry, but I have serious issue with this kind of logic.  Objectively it doesn't make any sense.

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A good example would be the last Fantastic Four movie. I'm not big into the comic book stuff, but the Human Torch was created as a white character, and he's been that way for 50 years. In the movie they made him black. Now, The Human Torch and the Invisible Woman are bother and sister, yet they left her white. Now stuff like that is a little too much or trying too hard I'd say.

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18 minutes ago, downzy said:

With respect to art, it's always an arbitrary decision that ultimately reflects the director/producer's vision.  You suggest that an actor must fit a certain role.  Why does a role with little to no connection to reality have to fit a heteronormative or white perspective? 

It shouldn't fit any perspective but the suitability of the role.

If there are two actors, A and B, the former white the latter black, and A is a better fit for the role, then the filmmaker should choose A. Conversely, if the reverse was true, that B was indeed the better actor for that role, then B should be chosen - assuming there is no historical-demographic impediment for casting a black person. 

18 minutes ago, downzy said:

So you're giving me the "just because" excuse.

James Bond was played by brunette males until Daniel Craig took on the role.  Is it no longer James Bond if the character is played by a blond guy?

The only rationale for your response seems to be, well, if it was something before it can never be anything reconsidered ever again.  Why?  What infallible laws or rules dictates stasis in fictional characters.  

Moreover, with the exception of Ghostbusters and Doctor who, you're simply enumerating characters with names that imply gender.  While I agree that a woman shouldn't play a character named James Bond (since the name implies he's a guy), where in the name Ghostbusters does it denote males?  It's not as though Bill Murray's character Peter VeMelissa is now being played by Melissa McCarthey.  She was given her own character.  Wouldn't using your own logic dictate that women should never have been allowed to enter into professions that were at one point limited to men?  If only men were allowed to be doctors for centuries, why would we allow women to suddenly become doctors as well?  

Sorry, but I have serious issue with this kind of logic.  Objectively it doesn't make any sense.

And the Craig casting produced fanboy rage!

The Ghostbusters are male. They were conceived as such. The physical requirements of the job description would tend to give preference to males. They are ingrained in our mind as being males, from the original film. The film bombed for multiple reasons, one of which was the deliberately forced gender swap. 

In the interests of fairness should we consider whites for the role of Shaft? 

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22 minutes ago, DieselDaisy said:

It shouldn't fit any perspective but the suitability of the role.

If there are two actors, A and B, the former white the latter black, and A is a better fit for the role, then the filmmaker should choose A. Conversely, if the reverse was true, that B was indeed the better actor for that role, then B should be chosen - assuming there is no historical-demographic impediment for casting a black person. 

I don't disagree.  But what if both A and B are both equally fit for the role but the cast is already looking a little too white and hence they decide to go with actor A who happens to be black.  Is there a problem then? 

Quote

And the Craig casting produced fanboy rage!

The Ghostbusters are male. They were conceived as such. The physical requirements of the job description would tend to give preference to males. They are ingrained in our mind as being males, from the original film. The film bombed for multiple reasons, one of which was the deliberately forced gender swap. 

In the interests of fairness should we consider whites for the role of Shaft? 

Ripley from the Aliens franchised was originally conceived as a male character.  But close to production Ridley Scott changed his mind and decided to cast a female lead instead.  Was this evidence of malfeasance by Scott or another of doing disservice to his original vision?  Or is okay for fictional characters to evolve to tell different stories or similar stories from a different perspective?

So you're honestly saying that female just aren't physically equipped to the rigours of catching ghosts?  Melissa McCarthy or Leslie Jones are simply too dainty to carry and use a proton pack when Rick Moranis's character showed no issues?  

Ingrained in our minds as male?  LOL.  Really?  You're sense of the world and cultural tropes is so delicate that it cannot withstand a female ghostbuster?  

As for Shaft, it's a character that is a product of his surroundings and place with the intent to telling a story from a black perspective.  Shaft's racial makeup is integral to his character in no similar to the racial or gender make up of a Ghostbuster.  I suppose a female version of Shaft could work.

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49 minutes ago, J Dog said:

A good example would be the last Fantastic Four movie. I'm not big into the comic book stuff, but the Human Torch was created as a white character, and he's been that way for 50 years. In the movie they made him black. Now, The Human Torch and the Invisible Woman are bother and sister, yet they left her white. Now stuff like that is a little too much or trying too hard I'd say.

I never saw it so I'm not sure how they explain the relationship consider the differences in race.  Perhaps one was adopted?  I've read that the only thing redeeming about that movie was Michael B. Jordan's performance as the Human Torch, that everything else sucked.  

Nick Fury, Samuel L. Jackson's character from the Marvel franchise, was originally white in the comic books.  

Did he not do a good job with it?  Did Nick Fury being played by a black man make the movies he's involved with less enjoyable?  Aren't the last two questions really the only two that matter? 

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30 minutes ago, downzy said:

I don't disagree.  But what if both A and B are both equally fit for the role but the cast is already looking a little too white and hence they decide to go with actor A who happens to be black.  Is there a problem then? 

An absolute equilibrium between the two is highly improbable. At a certain point a casting director would probably rely on ''gut instinct''.

30 minutes ago, downzy said:

Ripley from the Aliens franchised was originally conceived as a male character.  But close to production Ridley Scott changed his mind and decided to cast a female lead instead.  Was this evidence of malfeasance by Scott or another of doing disservice to his original vision?  Or is okay for fictional characters to evolve to tell different stories or similar stories from a different perspective?

Sigourney Weaver impressed the movie's producers with her screen audition. I do not believe the decision to cast her was by the dictates of pandering to demographics. As I recall Ridley wanted an ''unisex'' crew of astronauts. 

31 minutes ago, downzy said:

So you're honestly saying that female just aren't physically equipped to the rigours of catching ghosts?  Melissa McCarthy or Leslie Jones are simply too dainty to carry and use a proton pack when Rick Moranis's character showed no issues?  

Yes. And Moranis's character was a comic character who struggled with his ''Ghostbusting'' but (through chance luck as I recall) prevailed and became the ''unlikely hero''. It is no coincidence that Rick Moranis was not invited to be a bona fide Ghostbuster. I suggest an all female ensemble would struggle with the rigours of the job. Most countries after all still restrict women in the armed forces from front line military action. 

35 minutes ago, downzy said:

Ingrained in our minds as male?  LOL.  Really?  You're sense of the world and cultural tropes is so delicate that it cannot withstand a female ghostbuster?  

Perhaps but I'm certainly not the only one given the back clash, and the fact the film bombed.

36 minutes ago, downzy said:

As for Shaft, it's a character that is a product of his surroundings and place with the intent to telling a story from a black perspective.  Shaft's racial makeup is integral to his character in no similar to the racial or gender make up of a Ghostbuster.  I suppose a female version of Shaft could work.

I would suggest most of the examples I provided are also ''a product of their surroundings''. 

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PS

Was L. Jackson as Fury not simply cast because of his charisma and that he is heavyweight, and not that he fulfills some sort of racial quota or pandering exercise in political correctness. I do not believe anyone looks at Samuel L Jackson now and says, ''token black guy''. 

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30 minutes ago, downzy said:

I never saw it so I'm not sure how they explain the relationship consider the differences in race.  Perhaps one was adopted?  I've read that the only thing redeeming about that movie was Michael B. Jordan's performance as the Human Torch, that everything else sucked.  

Nick Fury, Samuel L. Jackson's character from the Marvel franchise, was originally white in the comic books.  

Did he not do a good job with it?  Did Nick Fury being played by a black man make the movies he's involved with less enjoyable?  Aren't the last two questions really the only two that matter? 

Yeah FF sucked. Now I don't like many comic book films so take this for what it's worth, but I've had to watch just about every single one and I'd rank it near the bottom. The actor who played Torch was ok, nothing special or memorable. The Torch from the first FF movies was better. I think that was the guy who played Captain America. The fact they didn't really try to explain it made it silly too. There was zero explanation, it was like like, here's the Invisible Woman, she's white, here's the Human Torch, he's black, they're brother and sister...that was it :lol: This is after 50 years of being white siblings.

I'd say Fury is a character where it's no big deal. He never had some rich, storied background or deep fan connection. For that matter he probably never had a true fan following, he's just a guy with an eyepatch who popped up from time to time. He's a pretty general character. Even in the comics his character is a very general, plain, hard nosed leader of an agency, anyone could slide into that role.

I can see a difference between these two situations.

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1 hour ago, DieselDaisy said:

An absolute equilibrium between the two is highly improbable. At a certain point a casting director would probably rely on ''gut instinct''.

Why wouldn't two actors be just as valid for the part?  Most roles are offered and passed on by a multitude of actors and actresses.  Why are you so certain that the best actor/actress for the job always gets the part?  

Again, if a casting director likes both actors for the role, but there aren't a lot of non-white faces, what's the problem with casting the black actor to help make the movie a little more representative of modern day society?  

Quote

Sigourney Weaver impressed the movie's producers with her screen audition. I do not believe the decision to cast her was by the dictates of pandering to demographics. As I recall Ridley wanted an ''unisex'' crew of astronauts. 

Here's Ridley Scott on why Ripley was changed from the original male role to one played by a female: "“I just had a thought. What would you think if Ripley was a woman? She would be the last one you would think would survive—she’s beautiful.”   Why would they be auditioning Weaver if they were still thinking the role should be a man?  Sorry, I don't think your info is correct on this one.

Quote

Yes. And Moranis's character was a comic character who struggled with his ''Ghostbusting'' but (through chance luck as I recall) prevailed and became the ''unlikely hero''. It is no coincidence that Rick Moranis was not invited to be a bona fide Ghostbuster. I suggest an all female ensemble would struggle with the rigours of the job. Most countries after all still restrict women in the armed forces from front line military action. 

Come on man, you can't be serious.  Women can somehow be nurses or firefighters in real life but wielding a proton torpedo pack would be just too cumbersome.  Most western and developed countries who don't hold retrograde views on women do allow women to fight on the front lines. 

Quote

Perhaps but I'm certainly not the only one given the back clash, and the fact the film bombed.

The backlash prior to the movie's release was predominantly from angry white males who feel like any change to the sex or gender makeup of movie characters is an affront and perceived as a threat to their value as white males.  The fact that the movie wasn't great probably had more to do with with why it didn't do well financially.  Even Dan Ackroyd placed the failure of the movie on Paul Feig, the film's director, and not on the decision to have an all female cast.  

Quote

I would suggest most of the examples I provided are also ''a product of their surroundings''. 

So a Ghostbuster is the product of their surroundings?  

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27 minutes ago, J Dog said:

Yeah FF sucked. Now I don't like many comic book films so take this for what it's worth, but I've had to watch just about every single one and I'd rank it near the bottom. The actor who played Torch was ok, nothing special or memorable. The Torch from the first FF movies was better. I think that was the guy who played Captain America. The fact they didn't really try to explain it made it silly too. There was zero explanation, it was like like, here's the Invisible Woman, she's white, here's the Human Torch, he's black, they're brother and sister...that was it :lol: This is after 50 years of being white siblings.

I'd say Fury is a character where it's no big deal. He never had some rich, storied background or deep fan connection. For that matter he probably never had a true fan following, he's just a guy with an eyepatch who popped up from time to time. He's a pretty general character. Even in the comics his character is a very general, plain, hard nosed leader of an agency, anyone could slide into that role.

I can see a difference between these two situations.

Yeah, sounds like a crap movie all around.  Again, if they can make the storyline work and give proper context to why one character is black while his sister is white, I can understand why casting a black actor was a poor choice.  

As for Fury not having some rich background, I'm not sure I'd agree with you.  The character has been around since the early 1960s and played an integral part in the S.H.I.E.L.D. comic book storyline and series.  IGN ranked the character in the top 50 comic book characters.  I just looked up his biography on wikipedia and it seems like he has a fully fleshed out back story.  Other than not having any real super powers besides not aging, I don't really see why a the character being played a black guy isn't a big deal when people take issue with other actors playing characters with different races as they were originally conceived.  

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Samuel L Jackson and Denzel Washington are two African American actors that transcend race (for the most part). They add such a presence to a film, that changing (Nick Fury's race for example) only benefits the film because of what Smauel L Jackson brings to the screen. Now if they changed Nick Fury's race, but had some no name play him, than I DO think that would have been pandering, or change just for the sake of change. But great actors or actresses transcend race (for the most part), so it's not really an apples and apples debate. Now should Denzel Washington play Abraham Lincoln? No, even he couldn't pull that role off. 

Downzy just feels that change for the sake of change is progressive and a good thing. Where I feel (and the majority of posters in this thread) feel there should be a clear and artistic justification for the change (Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury, etc). I would argue making a change just for the sake of a change isn't progressive, but is instead regressive. Why? Because it is STILL making race an issue. The new FF is a good example of this. If they made a point to say "you are my adopted brother" or some other simple dialogue, than I could accept it more. But when the issue is just ignored, but yet we have a white sister and black brother it doesn't make sense. I've yet to see ANY humans that popped out a white woman and a black son. It's impossible, therefore IS pandering to an agenda. I know Downzy will quickly jump on the argument "it's a super hero movie, and people don't have super powers either, so why does it matter?" It matters because it takes you (the viewer) out of the story, even for a moment. When a film does that, even briefly, it's lost something storywise imo. That was my initial complaint with beauty and the beast, even for that moment it took me out of the story. 

Now Marvel is about to release Black Panther. I literally don't know much about that movie, I've only seen the trailer, but I'm willing to bet all the major hero's are black. Which I personally feel that's great, and long over due. But if they decided that 1/3 of the hero's (living in Africa) were white and not black, how do you think people would respond to that? Not good I'm willing to bet. So it's ok to have a film about black hero's set in Africa, but a film that takes place in France NEEDS to have black people properly represented? You don't see the double standard there? Which that's MY POINT. Double standards only accomplish MORE divides, they don't fix them. I understand that historically women and minorities were not given their fare shake in films, I honestly sympathise with that. But these problems were not created by most of white America today, or at least by those 40 and under. I have a young son (2 years old), and I FEEL its rediculous for society to make him feel bad about being a white male. He had NOTHING to do with these issues, yet liberal society is going to try and make him feel bad for being a white male. He's been so privileged, yadda, yadda, yadda. Get out of here with that crap!!! It's 2018 correct? Why should ANY race be made to feel guilty about what they had no part in? Again, it's this double standard that the liberals are pushing that I have a problem with. If you are female, a minority, gay, transsexual, etc you are to be glorified. If you are a white male, you are the enemy. Kylo Ren and General Hux are perfect examples of this in modern DISNEY film making. 

Make more movies like Black Panther or the Hunger Games, that's great. They are Taylor made for minorities and females to be given their proper time to shine. It's the shoe horning them in when it's not needed that I have a problem with. 

Edited by Iron MikeyJ
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5 hours ago, Iron MikeyJ said:

Samuel L Jackson and Denzel Washington are two African American actors that transcend race (for the most part). They add such a presence to a film, that changing (Nick Fury's race for example) only benefits the film because of what Smauel L Jackson brings to the screen. Now if they changed Nick Fury's race, but had some no name play him, than I DO think that would have been pandering, or change just for the sake of change. But great actors or actresses transcend race (for the most part), so it's not really an apples and apples debate. Now should Denzel Washington play Abraham Lincoln? No, even he couldn't pull that role off. 

How do Samuel L and Denzel transcend race?  That's a bit of a cop out, don't you think?  By your logic, the race of characters can be changed only if played by someone you approve of.  Sorry, but that's nuts.  The female Ghostbusters was cast with three of the most popular and funny women in comedy (Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, and Kate McKinnon).  These aren't exactly no named actresses.  

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Downzy just feels that change for the sake of change is progressive and a good thing. Where I feel (and the majority of posters in this thread) feel there should be a clear and artistic justification for the change (Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury, etc).

Nope, you're creating a straw man argument.  I argued that when the racial makeup of a character doesn't matter - like secondary characters in a Disney movie intended for kids - criticizing such diversity is dumb and ignores the potential benefits of having a more inclusive cast.  No where did I say that it should ignore artistic justification as it relates to serving the effectiveness of the story or performances.  I've also argued that by considering a more inclusive cast and altering a characters racial or gender makeup that it allows for well-trodden stories to be told in a new light.  I noted how Ripley was originally created as male character, only later being changed to a female to provide a different direction to the overall story.  Where I think the difference lies is this notion that once a character's physical trait is settled in its original form it should never be altered.  But even there you don't seem to be consistent, since you agree that in some cases, like Nick Fury, it's fine because it's a change you personally agree with on the sole basis of liking the actor.   There are many people who hold actors like Melissa McCarthy in high regard so why should she not be allowed to play Ghostbuster.  As best as I can surmise, the issue here isn't principle.  You're not principally opposed to it, but such changes must fit within an arbitrary paradigm that only you find acceptable.  Hence your complaint about shoe horning agendas into films is never consistent.  Objectively, there isn't really any difference between someone like Samuel L. playing a historically white character as there is Melissa McCarthy playing a Ghostbuster.  With one you believe there is artistic merit, with the other it's Hollywood servicing the overbearing liberal agenda.   

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I would argue making a change just for the sake of a change isn't progressive, but is instead regressive. Why? Because it is STILL making race an issue.

The only one making race an issue is you.  Children aren't going to take issue with adding a few black people into a children's movie.  I really don't understand why trying to make more inclusive films where the race of the characters doesn't really matter to overall story or interactions amongst characters is making race an issue.  It's only an issue if you don't really accept and support racial diversity.  Like I said, I completely agree if a black actor is asked to play someone like Abraham Lincoln or Winston Churchill - historical figures where changing their race would do a disservice to the overall film.  But we're talking about fictional characters where either race doesn't matter or race is made an issue to tell a different story.  

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The new FF is a good example of this. If they made a point to say "you are my adopted brother" or some other simple dialogue, than I could accept it more. But when the issue is just ignored, but yet we have a white sister and black brother it doesn't make sense. I've yet to see ANY humans that popped out a white woman and a black son. It's impossible, therefore IS pandering to an agenda. I know Downzy will quickly jump on the argument "it's a super hero movie, and people don't have super powers either, so why does it matter?" It matters because it takes you (the viewer) out of the story, even for a moment. When a film does that, even briefly, it's lost something storywise imo. That was my initial complaint with beauty and the beast, even for that moment it took me out of the story. 

I do agree that Fantastic Four did a poor job, but from my understanding the director made it clear that the final film wasn't his vision and that the studio made him cut a lot of the movie.  Perhaps there was the intention to explain the racial differences but due to poor execution and friction amongst the studio and the film's director the necessary changes never got made.  Or maybe it was just a sloppy job and the decision to cast a black actor who has a white sister was a dumb call.  But you might want to ask why black actors in comic book or kids movies takes you out of the movie?  I'm not calling you a bigot, but why does the race of a character break your connection with a film?  Most of these films require a certain amount of disbelief to enjoy them, but for some reason, the race of the actor is asking too much when the same film is asking you accept laser swords and flying super heroes that break the laws of physics.  Is there any chance that the issue is with you since such a casting decision doesn't seem to affect the enjoyment of a movie for many others?

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Now Marvel is about to release Black Panther. I literally don't know much about that movie, I've only seen the trailer, but I'm willing to bet all the major hero's are black. Which I personally feel that's great, and long over due. But if they decided that 1/3 of the hero's (living in Africa) were white and not black, how do you think people would respond to that? Not good I'm willing to bet. So it's ok to have a film about black hero's set in Africa, but a film that takes place in France NEEDS to have black people properly represented? You don't see the double standard there?

The problem is your confusing the intent and target audience for the two films.  Black Panther is meant for an older audience set in modern day Africa.  Beauty in the Beast is a kids film where the setting really doesn't matter.  If they moved the story to England or the U.S. or New Zealand, would it affect the story?  I don't think so. 

Moreover, the character is called Black Panther set in Africa.  Last time I checked the Disney film isn't called White Chick and the Beast.  It's kind of implied in the name that the location and race play a factor in Black Panther.  Does the Disney film do that?

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Which that's MY POINT. Double standards only accomplish MORE divides, they don't fix them. I understand that historically women and minorities were not given their fare shake in films, I honestly sympathise with that. But these problems were not created by most of white America today, or at least by those 40 and under.

So your argument here is that because minorities and women have been historically left out and disenfranchised in previous films they should continue to feel disenfranchised because of, what?  Consistency?  Not wanting to offend the sensibilities of the white males club who like their films a certain way?  That the only way forward for women and minorities in Hollywood is if, somehow, Hollywood starts creating completely new and original stories specific for them?  As I said before, originality and creativity dried up a long time ago in Hollywood, with most of the energy, focus and movie directed towards reboots of old entertainment properties.  Your response seems to be, well, sorry, since you weren't around for the first go around when Hollywood was supporting original endeavours you have no place the second time around.  Never mind the possibility that including women and minorities might actually make a rebooted franchise more interesting or be told from a different angle so as not regurgitate the same movie.  Granted, it doesn't always work - say in the case of Ghostbusters.   

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I have a young son (2 years old), and I FEEL its rediculous for society to make him feel bad about being a white male. He had NOTHING to do with these issues, yet liberal society is going to try and make him feel bad for being a white male. He's been so privileged, yadda, yadda, yadda. Get out of here with that crap!!! It's 2018 correct? Why should ANY race be made to feel guilty about what they had no part in? Again, it's this double standard that the liberals are pushing that I have a problem with. If you are female, a minority, gay, transsexual, etc you are to be glorified. If you are a white male, you are the enemy. Kylo Ren and General Hux are perfect examples of this in modern DISNEY film making. 

So let me get this straight - any time a movie involves a white bad guy and a female hero it's evidence of an agenda to males feel bad?  Does it work the other way around?  Should women view Cate Blanchett's villain in Thor: Ragnarok (a Disney movie) as a slight against their gender?  How about Lena Headey's portrayal of Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones?  There are countless examples of female villains that lose at the hands of the white male hero.  Do I really need to run down a list of evil female characters to make you realize that this "agenda" you seem so certain of doesn't actually exist?  That in certain films, the producer and director wanted to include a male villain and a female lead because they didn't want to tell the same tired story?  And correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't having the villains in Star Wars male consistent with all other films in Star Wars?  The only thing different this time around is they added one female lead protagonist.  Wow, what liberal monsters.  

And see, this is why when you say you're all for diversity or inclusion I don't really believe you.  Nobody is trying to make white people feel bad or guilty.  I'm a middle-aged white guy and I don't walk around feeling bad about whatever my white ancestors did to keep women and black people down.  I acknowledge what they did was not right but I don't let it question my own self worth.  Secondly, if you and the rest of the white majority can't accept the reality of white privilege, that white people - particularly in America - benefit in certain ways that others do not, there's no real hope for bridging the divide and solving the problem of racial divide.  

There was a nearly hundred years of cinema where white guys win out in the end.  Hollywood decides to give other categories of people a chance to be the hero and all of sudden this is viewed as oppression of white people.  

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Make more movies like Black Panther or the Hunger Games, that's great. They are Taylor made for minorities and females to be given their proper time to shine. It's the shoe horning them in when it's not needed that I have a problem with. 

Hey, that's your opinion, but as I've tried to explain, there's not much rhyme or reason and consistency supporting it.  

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15 hours ago, downzy said:

Apologies as some of my comments are meant more broadly and not necessarily aimed at your comments directly.

You say there's a way to introduced characters tastefully, but would you mind giving me examples of this that didn't involve white men losing their shit?  

And I again, please provide me with a list of original projects produced by Hollywood in the last 15 years regardless of efforts to insert diversity.  There have been countless reboots and reimagining of old classic franchises and entertainment properties in the last 15 years and very few of them include efforts to diversify the cast.  And most of those movies have been terrible to marginal.  I would be inclined to agree with this argument if on the one hand there was an abundance of original franchises and movie ideas that were mostly comprised of white or male actors and lead roles for minorities or women were relegated to subpar reboots.  But I don't see any evidence of that dynamic at play. 

And what is the problem with diversification for the sake of diversification?  Why does diversification need to be associated something other than itself.  I'm still failing to understand why retelling a story using a cast that looks dissimilar to the first cast is doing injustice to the entertainment property?   As I said, if the historical and geographic time locations are an essential part of the story, I understand the need to cast actors and actresses to fit both those of those criteria.  But if we're talking about fictional characters where time and place really don't matter, what does it really matter if the decision is made to cast a non-white actor or change the character's gender (again, assuming the gender doesn't really matter) so long as it doesn't interrupt the execution of the film and disrupt the overall story? 

 

I don't keep up with tons of shows or movies so I can't give you the comprehensive list you seem to be looking for, but it's not as though creativity and diversity need to be at odds. The Hunger Games is a successful franchise, Get Out was widely acclaimed, Black Panther is doing well, and I haven't cared for Marvel for some time but I don't recall Luke Cage and Jessica Jones being as prominent in that universe 15 years ago. :shrugs:

Diversification for the sake of diversification, especially in the current 'hollywood climate' comes across as lazy; they've drained the creative well and instead of branching to other franchises or characters like I've mentioned, you get projects like Ghostbusters or The Force Awakens which try so hard to be socially progressive that they instead have the reverse effect (and I don't think I'm alone in that opinion).

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