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  1. #31
    Fantastic Member Biff Pow!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JediMindTrick View Post
    If your making a movie that centers around race and black issues, such as a movie about slavery or inner city life in Harlem then of course you need a lot of black actors. But if its a movie where race is utterly irrelevant to everything about the story then how you can not do better than Guardians did by matching up very closely with national demographics?
    It's not about percentages. A movie could have an all-minority cast except for one white guy, the problem is that guy will probably get the lead and most poster space. The Guardians of the Galaxy poster is one white guy and the rest are non-humans.

    Hollywood seems to be going backwards on this issue. Just last year, Johnny Depp played Tonto. I get that this is a marketability issue, these are corporations just interested in making a profit, but it becomes a catch-22- minority actors aren't given the shot to prove their marketability. If Independence Day were made today, I'm not sure Will Smith would be cast as a lead.

  2. #32
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    I think part of the groaning, at least this time is that GOTG is fairly diverse already(as JMT shows on page 2) so complaining that it wasn't diverse enough just comes across as complaining for the sake of complaining.

    We should save the complaining for the movies that actually lack diversity.

  3. #33
    Astonishing Member Overhazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spear of Bashenga View Post
    I just want to see a Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and Shang Chi movie already.

    I could care less about Thor 3 or Ant-Man.
    Yeah, me too, I wish they would just come out and say whether they're making the movies or not instead of stringing us along. Every few months, there are articles dropping hints and teasing just to keep us interested, they know what we want but they keep stringing us along among a myriad of excuses. "It's not the right time." "We're waiting for the right moment." "Big plans." Blahhhhh.

  4. #34
    A Fan Old and New Fred Nunez's Avatar
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    I for one can't help but take that "Diversity Pony" line as nothing but condescending and I didn't want to even comment on this article because this entire debate kind of gives me a stomach ache; Partly because I don't know if this debate can actually change anything unless people are truly honest about their feelings towards race and race in superhero comics. I also see that the issue has become a bit muddled I think particularly because of the way diversity in comics has been approached by the publishers. First let’s asked what we mean by wanting diversity in these stories, because I know for me it means wanting more Black, Women, Hispanic, and Asian characters. As well as LGBT characters all represented not as all the time wonderful darlings of the world but as characters. How do we want the companies to go about this? I know I how I don't want it to go any more, I don't want "Replacement" Heroes. I think that one way some fans have become alienated by this issue is that they see their favorite characters replaced time and time again by let’s call them "Minority" characters and this is usually preceded by a self congratulatory "We are bringing diversity to our universe" line of some sort by some official voice in the company. This to put it simply sucks. When Blue Beetle was replaced and it went from Ted Kord to Jaime Reyes I know the response wasn’t all positive. And it might have hurt Reyes' chances at success. The story lines presented with this character are kind of good but for some fans the idea that they had this “Minority” character shoved down their throats was more detrimental, to what DC was trying to achieve, than good. The replacement hero is nothing new to comics; Batman has been replaced by various people. Superman was replaced by four different characters at the same time. Every time we have seen a hero fall only to have his mantle picked up by a new hero, we have also seen the classic hero return to take back his name and his book and continue his adventures. Where this takes a particularly troubling turn for me is when that hero is replaced by a minority character. Often seen as a sign of progress I see it as a hindrance that has prevented the true advancement of Black, Asian, Hispanic and Female characters from truly taking off.
    I get why Guardians of the Galaxy has brought this kind of reaction out in people. And I honestly think it has nothing to do with Peter Quill. GotG was great! I watched it twice now LOVE the movie. But let’s be honest here, isn’t it a little sad that Marvel thought it could take a gamble on this movie before it could take one on any black superhero movie? Or a Female Superhero movie? Rocket Raccoon is a movie Star BEFORE Black Panther! That to me is a little bit of a red flag that something isn’t right. One of the sad facts is that if it wasn’t for Miller and Hitch’s Ultimates, there would probably not have been a single person of color staring in the Avengers. We would have to have hoped and waited for a sequel or a phase 3 movie for that. Just take a moment go back watch Avengers and think “If Hitch didn’t draw Nick Fury as Sam Jackson and he just drew Nick Fury…” yeah. I want Diversity in the Marvel Movies and Comics (other than Blade what was the last Superhero movie with a Black Lead? How many do you see coming out with a Hispanic Lead?) But I want it done better. Instead of replacing a white character with a minority why not push an original character who happened to be of a diverse color, race or creed or sexual orientation. And if you can take a gamble on a CG talking tree maybe you can take a gamble on a minority saving the day.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biff Pow! View Post
    It's not about percentages. A movie could have an all-minority cast except for one white guy, the problem is that guy will probably get the lead and most poster space. The Guardians of the Galaxy poster is one white guy and the rest are non-humans.

    Hollywood seems to be going backwards on this issue. Just last year, Johnny Depp played Tonto. I get that this is a marketability issue, these are corporations just interested in making a profit, but it becomes a catch-22- minority actors aren't given the shot to prove their marketability. If Independence Day were made today, I'm not sure Will Smith would be cast as a lead.
    Well said. I do think Will Smith is in that special category that Spike Lee talked about way back in Do the Right Thing: honorary white people. But you may be right.

    And as for the percentages issue: Using the head-counting argument is NOT what I'm suggesting (and I know it wasn't you who said it, Biff Pow!), and misses the point. First, the percentage of white/blacks/Hispanics/Asians in the U.S. isn't the issue, as the film takes place on other planets. Second, when you cast black actors but conceal their blackness, it's not exactly the same effect on the audience as seeing black (or other) faces. [Man, you should have heard the black women behind me react in the second Abrams ST flick when the black woman with a larger figure took over at navigation. They were thrilled to see her.] Jackson had Maori actors, but he slathered them with oil. The message there was that non-whites couldn't be allowed to portray humans. Third, that guy's point about the lead actors misses the larger feel of the film. What's the larger world in which the film seems to be operating? People did have a lot of different looks, but John C. O'Reilly rushing home to his red family wasn't the same as seeing him rush home to his human black or Asian or Hispanic family. They just looked like white people who'd spent too long under the sun lamps.

    I'm not complaining about the film; nor is the reviewer. I loved the movie. People are just trying to have an honest discussion. I'm pretty impressed with what most people have posted on this board.

  6. #36
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    The article says that this is still progress....progress toward what? A movie with a non-white super hero main? Is that the goal? Are the stories in the Marvel universe supposed to be bent on making sure that not every hero is white? Black Widow is Russian, would be racist to make her non-white. Thor is Norse. Tony Stark maybe you could say shouldn't have been white...but again, why? Because the idea of a white person with money is oppressive? take that up with systematic inequality...not the comics telling a story. Banner and Cap are white...but at the same time at the times those heroes were created, Caucasian males dominated those fields. This article should basically be titled, "Guardians was good, but I want a Black Panther Movie"...and I think we all do....but making a white character black is not the way to get diversity..but maybe the new FF will prove me wrong.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleepwalker42 View Post
    Making a white character black is not the way to get diversity..but maybe the new FF will prove me wrong.
    I don't think the new FF movie will prove anyone wrong about what we all expect from it, but not because a black actor was cast as Johnny...

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkBeast View Post
    I'm all for diversity, but it's just ironic that so many writers here are super sensitive and nice to so many people, but then just totally don't get how rude it is to talk the way they do about "white guys".
    Yep, this sums it up perfectly.

    The fact is that the author of this article can't come up with a reason why Peter Quill should be black or Asian or Latino. What he's arguing is that Peter Quill shouldn't be white and his reasons are "just because!"

    If the only reason why you think a character in an adaption should have a different skin colour is "just because", then you're not being progressive or supporting diversity. It's just arguing for tokenism. "Chris Pratt shouldn't play Star-Lord because he has the 'wrong' skin colour" is not what I would describe as "progressive".

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleepwalker42 View Post
    Black Widow is Russian, would be racist to make her non-white. Thor is Norse. Tony Stark maybe you could say shouldn't have been white...but again, why? Because the idea of a white person with money is oppressive? take that up with systematic inequality...not the comics telling a story. Banner and Cap are white...but at the same time at the times those heroes were created, Caucasian males dominated those fields.
    All Russians aren't "white." The nation contains nearly 200 ethnic groups. Thor isn't "Norse." He's a god of the Norse people. Cap was created when the armed forces were segregated; as long as he's a result of WWII, his whiteness makes perfect sense. (Marvel dropped the ball by pretending the armed forces for integrated during WWII; they wanted diversity, but at the expense of both reality and of the chance to comment on that reality.) Banner was created when white males were on the receiving end of post-Sputnik money to get them into the sciences. A Banner in the 21st century? Have you looked at the ethnic breakdown of graduate physics students in American universities?

  10. #40
    Chad Jar Jar Pinsir's Avatar
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    Banner was created when white males were on the receiving end of post-Sputnik money to get them into the sciences. A Banner in the 21st century? Have you looked at the ethnic breakdown of graduate physics students in American universities?
    Most people working at Universities nowadays are not even American...
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  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinsir View Post
    Dude the MCU is at its whole a white male power fantasy

    > all women are love interests, even though in the comics most of these couples are not together
    > all minorities are black and are your best friends (whom interestingly all happen to have military connections)
    > all the heroes who really matter are white males, usually douches
    "All women"? Maria Hill. Black Widow. Sif. Darcy from Thor. Scarlet Witch. Several henchwomen in Iron Man 3. Maya Hansen in Iron Man 3. Most of these women have the opportunity to kick arse, as do the love interests (Peggy Carter, Sharon Carter, Pepper Potts, Jane Foster to a lesser extent).

    "All minorities are black and are your best friends (whom interestingly all happen to have military connections)"? Well, James Rhodes is best friends with Tony Stark, who had military connections. Sam Wilson is best friends with Steve Rogers, who had military connections. Heimdall is, I guess, best friends with Thor ... who is a warrior in Asgard, which I guess counts as "military connections". Hogun isn't black. Nick Fury is nobody's best friend. The Howling Commandos featured an Asian and a black man. Jasper Sitwell is nobody's best friend. All of these characters only have as many military connections as the heroes they relate to.

    "All the heroes who really matter are white males, usually douches"? I disagree that they're all the heroes who "really matter", since War Machine, Black Widow, Maria Hill, Nick Fury, and the Falcon all helped out at various times. As for "usually douches", that's true. Blame American humour. Or blame Iron Man's success. Or Joss Whedon's one-linermania.

  12. #42
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    Great article. I agree with Albert, it's not some racist outrage to suggest that after 10 movies maybe one could pretty please have a lead that's not a white male. That's not a harsh criticism or controversy-courting, just a suggestion. That his review would even upset people baffles me.

  13. #43
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    You know what the real issue is? These movies are designed to make money, not to be some reflection of society. Same with comics. So when a studio head takes the list for highest grossing films:

    1. Avatar: Main character white. Most human characters white. The most prominent none white actor plays a blue alien.
    2. Titanic. 2 white leads, almost exclusively white cast.
    3. Avengers. Nearly every Avenger is white. The one prominent black character is Sam Jackson who plays a background role and is really the Charlie to the Avenger's Angels.
    4. Harry Potter 7 part 2. Three white leads, generally mostly white class in all the major roles.
    5. Frozen. Cartoon, but the main characters are portrayed as white. As is the majority of the cast.
    6. Iron Man 3. White lead, white villain, white love interest. The one prominent black character is War Machine, who took a lesser role compared to the last film.
    7. Transformers 3. The most important human characters are white. The most prominent minority character is the general.
    8. Return of the King. All white leads, very little diversity in the cast.
    9. Skyfall. Again, almost all white leads. Granted the main villain is a character of unknown Hispanic origin (who died his hair blonde, and many people complained looked white) played by a Spanish actor.
    10. The Dark Knight Rises. Batman is white, Gordon is white, Catwoman is white, Alfred is white, Bane is white, Talia is played by a white actress, Blake is white. Most prominent black role is Lucius Fox
    11. Pirates of the Caribbean 2. Primary actors are white.
    12. Toy Story 3. Toys, but the lead toys are distinctly white and played by white actors.
    13. Pirates of the Caribbean 3. See the last one.
    ...

    Look you'd have to go all the way down to number 30 (which is Shrek 2) to find the a lead actor who is black. And that's Eddie Murphy playing an animated Donkey. And even then he's not the primary or titular character, he's a sidekick. To get a legitimate leading role with a live non white actor with no make up is Vin Diesel at #47 in Fast and the Furious 6. And in the top 50, that's the only one where the main protagonist isn't white, and to that point he is a co lead with a white Paul Walker.

    Point is, it's a very white washed list. And studio heads aren't going to have a sense of urgency in making it a point to be diverse. As nice as it would be.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rook47 View Post
    There's something about questions like "Why can't Star-Lord or Peter Parker be black (or any other ethnicity)?" Which just irks me no end. I feel that changing a character's ethnicity for the sake of diversity is so disingenuous to the very people whose cause others are trying to forward. (The same can be applied to switching genders with the same perils.)
    This so broadly misses the point, but rather than dive right into debate, I'll give my own example.

    I am white and in a relationship with someone of a different race than mine. We have a mixed-race child. I am a vocal advocate for diversity in several areas of my life. Yet, in writing my first novel a few years ago, all but one major character was white. I kept telling myself, "Well, that's just who those characters are. They're based on people I know. I already wrote their whole back-stories."

    That was BS. I am the writer - I can write any story about them I want!

    The truth is, it was just a little bit harder for me to conceive of the story for a non-white character. I had to go back through every character and try to decide if their race really had anything to do with their story and, if it didn't, if there was another race that could serve them better. I argued with my wife about it. She called me out for making one character Asian "just because." Another character's swap to being Indian bettered the story.

    The point is: white males have dominated both the creation of and the characters within our comics for 75 years. Now we're embarking on a new, more widely-seen realm of comic-based art in the movies. Do we really want to establish and perpetuate a white-washed, male-dominated world of heroics in another medium when a few minor changes let more of the audience - more children - see themselves in the media they consume?

    What does it matter if Peter Parker is Black or Peter Quill is Asian? What part of either of their origins depend on their whiteness and European descent? It's one thing to change the race of Captain America or Black Panther, both of whose race play into their stories strongly, but when it matters little the writing and casting ought to be raceblind. Does race make any difference at all? Would a different race actually add some new depths to a character.

    If you're irked, try being irked instead by the fact that there is not one single hero or heroine that I've seen in a comic movie who my daughter will see herself in.

    Let's fix that.
    Last edited by krisis; 08-09-2014 at 08:38 PM.
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  15. #45
    All-New Member Xi'an Chi Xan's Avatar
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    I, for one, look forward to the day when we can (once again) judge a hero by the content of his character, not by the color of his skin.

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