When Movies Didn't Cast Actors Based On Race and They Were Still Great


Okay, so, this is a follow on MyTake from my one about Halle Bailey as Ariel, so let's get on with it.

Earlier on this year, the Aladdin movie came out. It was an amazing movie, I for one, loved it. One of my favourite parts of the movie was Jasmine. Naomi Scott played an amazing role as Jasmine, when she made that speech after the song "speechless", that was one of my most favourite parts of the movie and I swear I can't stop listening to "speechless" itself.

And one day I was reading an article about Naomi and I found out, she was actually half white, half Indian.

Now the last time I checked Jasmine was Arabian. And actually, in the cartoon for an Arabian girl, Jasmine was dark skinned.

When Movies Didn't Cast Actors Based On Race and They Were Still Great

Those of you who are complaining about how Ariel was a white redhead in the cartoon, and now Disney has cast a black girl, I didn't see you complaining about how Jasmine in the cartoon was a dark-skinned Arabian girl, but in the remake she's a light-skinned, mixed race, half white, half Indian girl.

Now, you might think I would complain if let's say "The Lion King" remake had a majority white cast. But here's the thing, the remake may have a lot of black actors, but the original iconic version we all know and love had a majority white cast. I didn't complain then, and neither did anyone else because the actors could act, they could sing they did great and that's all that matters, not their skin colour.

The film Alita Battle Angel, again a success. Now that film was originally a Japanese Manga, therefore, Alita and most or all of the characters would have been Japanese.

Alita was played a Latina actress, Rosa Salazar.

When Movies Didn't Cast Actors Based On Race and They Were Still Great

Hugo was played a Latino actor, Keean Johnson.

When Movies Didn't Cast Actors Based On Race and They Were Still Great

When Movies Didn't Cast Actors Based On Race and They Were Still Great

Those were the lead roles.

I don't recall there being a single Japanese actor or actress in that cast, even though the film was based off a Japanese manga.

Did that spoil the movie? Nope! Again, Alita Battle Angel was amazing, regardless of the ethnic background of the actors, actresses and the lead actress. The action scenes in that movie were on point, and I loved how Alita could be so adorable, yet so badass at the same time.

So, I really don't see anybody's problem with Ariel.

Many of you are accusing Disney of "Blackwashing".

But officially Halle Bailey as Ariel is only the second black Disney princess, third if you count Moana.

Then people make excuses "Captain America is black now", well the story was Steve Rogers was going to give the shield to either Bucky or Falcon and he gave the shield to Falcon fair and square.

And I hear this other argument, "Spider-Man is black now". One variation of Spider-Man... People are talking as if they've completely ditched Peter Parker, but they didn't. Peter still exists as a white guy, so what does it matter if they add Miles to the mix? It's not as if they've forgotten about Peter.

People need to grow up. There's more to people than their race.

When Movies Didn't Cast Actors Based On Race and They Were Still Great
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Most Helpful Guys

  • motownplayer2000
    You make some super great points!!! Also, let's not forget the whole Idris Elba cries for him to be the next 007. Which everyone seemed to be perfectly fine with... yet 007 is also a FICTIONAL character for the publics entertainment.. the double standards are astonishing.
    Is this still revelant?
    • Oh yes, I completely forgot about the whole Idris Elba James Bond thing. Idris Elba is again, a great actor, he's very deserving of the role. :)

    • Yes, he definitely does.. but the double standards from these people are ridiculous!!! So tired of it

    • Lord of the Rings is also entirely fictional and yet it has it's roots in Medieval European mythology, the same as the Witcher. Casting black actors in either would make no sense lore-wise.

      Much the same way it wouldn't have made sense for there to be white natives or Wakanda in Black Panther. And yet, many modern movies about Europe's past are guaranteed to have the token black person in them.

    • Show All
  • JDavid25
    Great take.. I agree.. Although like I mentioned.. I don't think Jasmine is dark skinned.. Very Brown skinned.. I guess in Pakistani culture she would be considered dark skinned.. But good take.. And Alita was a good movie
    Is this still revelant?
    • In the cartoon, I think she was dark-skinned for an Arab girl. I mean I guess your perception depends on which culture you're from like you said. I'm about a shade or two darker than Jasmine in the cartoon and people usually consider me a dark-skinned girl. :)

    • JDavid25

      Yeah true.. I guess since Arabs usually don't get super dark they would consider that dark skinned.. In the "Black" community, some people would consider that light skinned.. 😂.. I'm about the same shade as Jasmine, maybe a little bit lighter, and people have called me light skinned.. Nobody ever called me dark skinned though..

    • I've been called dark-skinned all my life, lol.

    • Show All

Most Helpful Girls

  • Ellie-V
    I just made a take similar to this if you care to read:
    Oh yes, another #NOTMYARIEL rant 😄 ↗
    Is this still revelant?
    • Can't wait to read.

      It's funny how they always refer to people like you and me as "snowflakes", but in this instance, they're the ones who seem to be melting at the fact a black girl is getting to play ariel.

      Disney: Casts one black girl, who is the third black disney princess, second if you don't count Moana.

      Racist snowflakes: DiSnEy ArE bLaCkWaShInG eVerYtHiNg

    • Ellie-V

      Right as if YEARS of whitewashing was never a thing. It seems like they always coin our terms, movements, culture and such to flip it around and play the victim when karma gets in that ass

    • Too damn right.

      They're acting as if they're the target audience. No, the prime target audience is the kids. As long as it is suitable for them to watch, I'm cool with it.

    • Show All
  • fallen_15
    You made an excellent point
    Is this still revelant?

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • Britantic
    I guess your right, it was it was wrong to have someone from the Indian sub continent play Jasmine instead of an Arabian woman. You see this in Hollywood movies all the time where an Indian or Pakistani gets the role of an Arabian over actual Arabs. Hollywood's attitude is that If be charcter is non-white or non-black or non East Asian a hispanic, samonian, Indian, Pakistani or half black/white will do.
    A good example of this Arab cultural appropriation is pakistani actor Art Malik who has made a career out of racial and cultural appropriation usually as an Arab terrorist.
    I think people's problem with Ariel is that the charcter already exists with a clear long standing description of a Red haired white woman. It's unoriginal just to replace the character with someone of a different race rather than coming up with a new orginal charcter. Like imagine a white guy playing black panther.
    The falcon becoming captain America is stupid because he has no superpowers and it basically confirms that he was just captain America's black side kick all along rather than legitimate superhero in his own right. They could have just choosen a black kid to carry on caps mantle.
    The black Spider-Man thing is kinda stupid because they are basically saying tgat they couldn't come up with a new decent black superhero.
    Lion king was set in Africa, africa is not a race and lions aren't black. I'm pretty sure the African versions of the lion king have African voice overs.
    Imagine Prince Bariam and the Fairy Bride replaced by all white actors.
    If you look at Bollywood, Pakistani cinema, Nigerian cinema, Egyptian cinema and hong Kong cinema white people are clearly discriminated against.When Movies Didn't Cast Actors Based On Race and They Were Still GreatWhen Movies Didn't Cast Actors Based On Race and They Were Still Great
    • Nobody took anybody's job, they were simply the better fit.

      If you honestly cared about the accuracy of Ariel, you'd be triggered about the fact that they made Ariel a white redhead in the cartoon when in actual fact in the original little mermaid tale the movie was based on, Ariel had bluey or greeny skin.

    • Britantic

      Of course they were the "best fit".
      Your just mad that I called you on your BS.
      The little mermaid Disney live action movie is supposed to be based on the cartoon like the live action cinderella or beauty and the beast.
      FYI Alladin is a Chinese story not arabian so Jasemine's ethnicity and Aladdin's is wrong.

    • In the cartoon original Agraba was a fictional town in Arabia. Why do you think the opening title to Aladdin was called "Arabian Nights". Jasmine would have been Arabian. But for the live-action remake, they cast a half white half Indian girl because she was the best fit for the role.

      I'm not mad. I love the way you get mad because I don't look at actors/actresses for colour, I look at them for ability. Honey, don't get the crown from the toybox in a twist. ;)

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  • UnknownGagsUser
    At least Jasmine wasn't a white woman they casting but for Ariel it's completely different we all know and even kids know that Ariel is a white woman with red hair and blue eyes
    • Jasmine was half white, and India and Arabia are so different! But I don't have any complaints, Naomi killed it!☺

      Actually in the original tale of the little Mermaid she looked like this:

      So if people care so much about accuracy why didn't they make Ariel look like that?

    • An already existing deviation from the source material does not excuse further deviation. Yes, apparently Ariel was originally dark-haired but was made into a redhead in the cartoon. But the Ariel or the cartoon at least somewhat passes, unlike Halle.
      Going from a dark-haired white girl to a redhead white girl is like going from a regular bear to grizzly bear - it mostly passes, especially if there are uninformed people who wouldn't be able to tell one apart from the other anyway.
      Going from white to black is like going from a grizzly to a panda - you're not fooling anyone.

  • WarmSunflower
    I still don’t agree with it. The role of Jasmine should be given to an Arab actress. This coming from an Indian woman myself. I just think the actors should fit the role of the character that they’re playing. Ariel is white. You can’t deny that. She is pale skinned, blue eyes and red haired. We all watched her cartoon on TV. A white woman should play Ariel because she fits the role.
    • I personally disagree. You can not fault Naomi on how she played Jasmine.

  • joyjoy123
    I think one of the main sources of contempt is the change is so blatant to an iconic character people already love. Especially if people already have a concrete image in mind.

    Alita isn't well known in the west so people aren't going to get angry over it. Most haven't even heard of Alita manga. Compare it to Scarlet with Ghost in the Shell a lot of noise there from long standing fans even though Motoko is a robot. As for Aladdin people also complained too, I guess not as much because it's not like a 180 difference in facial features and skin tone. Even if you say Naomi is part white she still has features that don't really make her stand out as "white". What makes Aladdin so well loved and known is the music and Genie anyway. Sure a wide eyed sexy Jasmine with lush black hair as well and a charming Aladdin. And lo Naomi has lush black hair. Mena is charming. They can both sing. The only real negative is Jafar. He lost his menace and intimidating aura. Marwan's Jafar just felt like any other action villain.

    So for Little Mermaid regardless if the original source book the mermaid's pink or blue or green the one people know, love, and grew up with is the red haired, blue eye girl. It's not because of the race itself. It's because of that change in feature.

    As for the Lion King... they're animals. People don't see the actors. As a kid when I watched it I never even realized what ethnic background the people were behind the scenes. I didn't even realize Zazu was Mr. Bean. Unless they change it to like somebody with a very noticeable ethnic accent then that'll make it weird. Even now the noise with Lion King is how they portrayed Scar. Scar's voice especially lost its sassiness and menace. Scar is basically Jafar in a lion suit. They're generic.

    As for me I just want lush hair for Ariel. They better make it look soft af.
  • EmperorOfRussia
    Are you for diversity or not?

    When will we see a Black actor portraying Adolf Hitler?

    When Movies Didn't Cast Actors Based On Race and They Were Still Great
    • Hitler actually existed, so no.

      Ariel is fictional.

    • Well... Julius Caesar existed, King Arthur existed, Oenomaus existed, Spartacus exisyed...

      And your PC-SJW troupe already have portrayed them as "Blacks".

    • Medieval Europeans also existed and yet they're occasionally portrayed by black actors.

    • Show All
  • ObscuredBeyond
    Alita didn't make a big deal about Rosa's ethnicity. The marketing for Little Mermaid DID make a big deal about changing Ariel, as in, it's being "more woke" is supposed to be a selling point. THAT arrogance, is what audiences are upset about, more so than the race lift itself. As for Hugo: outside of hardcore manga readers, nobody knew who Hugo was originally anyway. Therefore, they couldn't be upset. I was more upset with how the actor was sexually objectified in his scenes.

    Aladdin's ethnicity was originally supposed to be Chinese, so nothing in the Disney version has any accuracy to begin with. Also, Naomi Scott's being part-Persian was downplayed, rather than paraded as a central selling point and virtue signal brownie point session. That's a huge difference!

    They're taking pains to keep the cast of Mulan as Chinese as possible. But the tale is SUPPOSED TO BE homogeneously Chinese and Mongolian / Hun; so nobody cares.

    For the record, I thought the whitewashing of the cast of The Last Airbender was pretty stupid too. Although, let's be fair... that was the least of that movie's many problems.
    • As for Spider-Man: Marvel has made no secret for quite some time that they intended for there to be more than one. Anyone complaining was simply not paying attention, or is stuck on nostalgia mode.

      Miles can be done right. So can Gwen. And while I dread to think it, Cindy and Jessica can be done right too, in the hands of sufficiently qualified writers. It's just that they're usually handed off to bad writers; and readers are expected to like them anyway "or else" be labeled "racist." In other words, bad writers are hiding behind racial identity politics like cowards so that they don't have to accept responsibility for bad writing. Which... kind of defeats the entire point of the Spider-Man ethos.

      I'd rather be told an early draft sucks, then go back to the drawing board and learn to write a thing better, than try to blackmail everyone into "you must like it or else you're an [insert accusation label here], all other evidence to the contrary be damned."

      Childish blackmail only gets you so far.

  • John_Doesnt
    I think Scarlett Johansson did a great job in Ghost in the Shell.
    When Movies Didn't Cast Actors Based On Race and They Were Still Great
    • I haven't seen it, but she's a great actress so I'm sure she did :)

    • Anime character usually don't look Japanese that's why she was perfect for it because she look like character

  • Sevenpointfive
    i'm sorry, but to me it's like making a movie about michael jordan (basketball star) and casting him as white, or Asian, or hispanic...

    it doesn't make sense. everyone knows he was black. he was an amazing athlete and it would be disrespectful to change his race just because hollywood can't make things interesting anymore.
  • spunkygiraffe
    Agreed! I feel like if the story includes a lot of cultures that are specific to a certain race or whatever, movies should try sticking with that, but something like The Little Mermaid is like, not very cultural, XD, mermaids, and stuff.
  • Kurαȷ
    Except that people absolutely DID complain when Disney cast a half-white to play Jasmine.
    In fact, a number of reputable news sources straight up accused Disney of whitewashing and colorism for it.

    But now that the people are complaining about a new adaptation of Ariel choosing not to respect the source material in a much more blatant manner, those same news articles that cried white washing are now deriding the criticism as "racist trolling".

    And THAT is the issue, the issue that you are staunchly choosing to completely ignore because of your personal bias.
    This is not about representation, actors or authenticity, this is about the toxic hypocrisy of liberal politics.
  • AuroraRoseat
    Completely agree. It shouldn’t matter at all. If the race isn’t an important factor to the story, then it shouldn’t matter. What I find interesting is her most of the people against it fail to understand that the media was (and is still) white dominated and that minorities were at times barred from entertainment (which is why whites played such roles).
  • AngelLily
    Princess Jasmine is not even close to dark skinned at all she's practically got the same color as the human actor are you looking at the same pic I'm looking at? also the reason those other movies did good playing the character and people didn't complain is because the people playing said characters actually looked like the caricature unlike Ariel.
  • Anonqueryer
    I get what you’re saying but I so wish the Jasmine actress would have been a darker skinned, more Arabian looking character... for a couple of reasons: Representation for darker skinned, Arabian looking girls and to keep the good story and characters the same!
  • Stoner710
    Someplace acts to require for people to be of certain race like Othello Othello has to be black and the rest has to be white or Othello has to be white and the rest of the cast black because Iago is a racist bastard and the fact that Othello is a different race then the rest of them he has to be of a different race then the rest of the cast. But that’s rare when it needs to be that specific
  • ChocolateBrowny
    I didn't watch Aladdin because the actress that plays jasmine looks nothing like the cartoon character. she's ugly!
    • oh and you didn't do a mytake on Aladdin before :D
      Jasmine is an indian princess because the palace looks exactly like the Taj Mahal in Agra, India... Agra... Agrabhar...

    • Jasmine wasn't ugly, and she actually played the role really well, you're missing out. :P

      I didn't write a MyTake about Aladdin because it came out during Ramadan and I watched it after then.

    • lol then you shouldn't have written "I didn't see you complaining about how Jasmine in the cartoon was a dark-skinned Arabian girl, but in the remake she's a light-skinned"

      No she looks like a dude. I won't be watching it ever :)

    • Show All
  • Kovazein
    That is one heavy subject considering how much attention it's getting. I will say that if the race of a character is important to the story or the setting, it should be as the source material. The new Disney remake age in general is for me just a lazy cash grab. Now Aladdin actually made Jasmine a character and sorry if that is arrogant, racist etc. But when watching the movie the only actor I disliked in the cast was the "hot Jaffar" as he became a less intimidating villain. With Jasmine I had to look up what was Naomi's background. It did not move me as her performance was great in the movie. With Little Mermaid I do not really care who plays her, and the only reason for not liking the fact she is black that I can accept is how the mermaids got black skin under water (it would be cool if they made her like a fish monster who wanted to look human). The general thing with Disney films is people nostalgia and their image of childhood. Now that Disney changes certain things, people who grew up with them feel like their own childhood and memories are attacked and replaced. Now I personally only liked Aladdin from these movies. I already have a lot of dislike for the Lion King, but not for the fact that they changed the actors. Heck the African theme of the movie and possibility of new theme inspired music is exciting. What I do not like is cutting out parts that made people uncomfortable despite these scenes were supposed to do that and again recycling the same thing for profit.
  • Iamagoodguy
    I think it’s not because they did have a black actors are because sometimes it’s not based on skill but how many people of colour are there which isn’t what you should do you go who is the best actor then there are the racists who do just care there black and the new Aladdin doesn’t look right.
  • RationalMale
    The same people going "only racists are upset about Ariel!" are the same people who clamor for more non whites in all movies possible, and who loved that Black Panther was indeed a very very racial movie.
  • Vesta
    Casting a white woman to play Pocahontas, defeats the purpose of the story

    • Pocahontas was a historical figure.

      Ariel is a fictional character.

    • Vesta

      Portrayed as a white girl, it should be played by a white girl, not a black one

      Pocahontas, fictional or not, is a native, it should be played by a native

  • ForbesMagazine
    The actor for the 2019 Jasmine has a very similar skin tone to the cartoon! They're both tan!

    Besides, Arabs are pretty diverse in their skin color. Even then, the original Aladdin was set in Uyghurstan, not in Arabia or the Levant.
  • TheAmazingDoggo
    Not trying to be rude or anything, but if they made a live action Princess and the Frog and casted Tiana as a white girl, I think that there would be bigger back last than this whole Ariel thing is getting
    • True even though orignal story is inspired from European story

  • shephardjhon
    Spider-Man handles this perfectly. They didn't pretend Peter Parker didn't exist, they didn't say he became useless/evil like Thor, no they made a NEW character who still likes Peter Parker.
  • Muhammad1999
    I think Halle bailey is very attractive and she deserves to be the little mermaid.
  • MackToday
    Cultural Marxism again. Attempting to redistribute social power, it's what they tried in the Soviet Union with money , housing etc. It was a disaster, it will be again if we don't stop it.
  • border_lines
    Those three look similar to the animated version, though, which is all I care for.
  • AllThatSweetJazz
    You seem to gloss over that all your examples actually manage to look like the character. Iss bailey going to be in white-face?
  • Yesplease23
    In Alita Battle Angel they don't look Japanese anima character usually don't look Japanese so i am seeing resemblance with character sadly new Ariel don't look like how she should.
  • brennanhuff
    People did complain how the new version of jasmin was "white washed". Plus she's lighter, but she's still racially aligned. Aladdin is not completely arabian, it combines arab and indian culture. So jasmin makes just as much sense to be indian as arab. Look at the palace in Aladdin for the cartoon. It sure looks a lot like the Taj Mahal, does it not? And aladdin had arranged marriages, which is not just arab, but often known for a thing in Indian culture and suggests the caste system with aladdin being born of peasant worth compared to the elite princes and cast. That's also Indian culture.
  • themomo84
    I agree. The topic of cultural appropriation is tedious and endless.
  • TonyBologna25
    People did complain about jasmine being half white/indian. A lot of disney shareholders dropped out and sold. Disney stocks went down because of this.
    • I'm not saying nobody complained, what I'm saying is the people I see on G@G complaining about a black Ariel, did not complain about a half white half Indian.

      And as I said, she did great as Jasmine so those people are missing out hugely.

  • polymuter
    How is Naomi Scott a miscast for Jasmine? She could easily pass as North Indian or Pakistani. Not everyone in those regions have thick eyebrows and dark brown skin.
    • North Indian or Pakistani isn't Arabian.

      And I never said she was miscast.

    • polymuter

      You implied she was the incorrect race for the role because she wasn't dark enough. Naomi's complexion isn't uncommon in the Middle East either.

    • "Earlier on this year, the Aladdin movie came out. It was an amazing movie, I for one, loved it. One of my favourite parts of the movie was Jasmine. Naomi Scott played an amazing role as Jasmine, when she made that speech after the song "speechless", that was one of my most favourite parts of the movie and I swear I can't stop listening to "speechless" itself. "

      Did you read that part?

      I was saying her skin tone didn't match Jasmine's in the cartoon because it didn't. But what does that matter? Naomi did a brilliant job. :)

  • armleg
    Because its not about race what dont you get? Those characters, no matter what race they are, are faithful adaptations.
  • LtJackass
    They did cast by race. They just weren't changing the races of white characters.
  • Lilypad1223
    My problem with it isn’t so much that she’s black it’s more that their are a lot of red heads that could have played the role. I love looking at red headed girls lol. I think it would have been cool if they’d gotten an actual danish girl to play the role, or better yet, in one of the animated movies Ariel had a friend that was black, they could have made a whole new movie about her life and casted the girl they cast to play Ariel. Honestly I wouldn’t have seen it anyway, I’m worn out with these remakes and every time a new one is announced it sends me into a pit of despair.
  • Smegskull
    I always thought Jasmine was mixed race (hence why she went so long unmarried) Indian Vs Arabian lines get blurry going back in time.

    That was the one problem I did have with Alita. I thought after ghost in the shell they'd have learned their lesson but nope, America still hates Asians. (Also please stop refering to South Americans as "Latin" they are of half Spanish decent which is Carthaginian not Roman)

    The one that bugs me the most is Egyptian based films. I think it's because Hollywood is scared of backlash if they depict people of colour as slave owners rather than victims but damn it's distracting when you see the palest Pharaoh imaginable not 90% sunburned.
  • Billybob643
    The only way race plays into a role in my opinion is when there is a specific geographical region as the setting or a character trait deeply engrained to the character. James Bond should always be a man and British. That is integral to the character and would be ridiculous to cast anyone else in that role. Ariel however is a mermaid, and mermaids could literally be anything. So having a black actress is not really controversial. There are specific characters like Peter Parker (Spider Man), who is supposed to be a dorky white guy or Black Panther, where I think the race is integral to the character. It would be odd to see a Chinese person play one of those roles.
  • leahzrc
    Will Smith sucked ass, let's be honest.
    • No, I don't think so, and neither do many other people considering this was his second highest grossing movie ;)

    • leahzrc

      It's disney, it's obviouly gonna make a lot of money. a ton of people agree with me, and i dont think children care, which is what disney is targeted towards mainly

  • Puppylover_129
    Do plays count. Basically everyone in Hamilton lol
  • esotericstory
    Death to Hollywood period.
  • MySunnyLife
    I like Mulan 👍