Why is it okay when none-whites plays white characters, but not the other way around?

In movies and TV-series? I think the most fair thing is letting people looking like the character play them and that means it would often make more sense the actors are the same race as the character.

Some people think it's okay that blacks, Asians, Spaniards etc. plays a white character, but if a white person plays a black, Asian or Spaniard character for instance, then it's seen as inappropriate. People with these opinions often calls it "black face", "yellow face" or too inaccurate. Isn't that double standard? I'm wondering why many are like that in the Western society. #DoubleStandard #Racism #FilmIndustry #Race
Why is it okay when none-whites plays white characters, but not the other way around?When the European looking Emma Stone played an Asian-Hawaiian woman and Robert D. Jr. played a black guy, many people reacted!
Why is it okay when none-whites plays white characters, but not the other way around?Why is it okay when none-whites plays white characters, but not the other way around?When these two actors played the white ginger Mary, Queen of Scots, then nobody reacted.
Why is it okay when none-whites plays white characters, but not the other way around?

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Most Helpful Girl

  • I understand why blackface is outright wrong, thats not even a question. but if the role was, let's say, previously played by a person of one race (theater only), it shouldn't be a problem for a person of a different race to play it unless the role depends on the race of the character (for example, if its a play about a historic figure like hamilton). I understand why people would want to give those of other races representation, but with hamilton as an example, i dont think its right to take a play that is almost entirely based off of real historic white people and say that white people can't audition. Its fine to specify a race for a specific character if thats what they have in mind for the part, but to just say "anyone can audition as long as you aren't (insert race)" is just descriminatory no matter what race it is. As far as tv, there is no reason for anyone to play a different race when you can just hire a person of that race to play the part, generally when you have a role that involves the actor dressing in blackface it is for the sole purpose of making a stereotypical, satirical character which is generally for racist purposes, if a character on tv is not based on a real person or shows the struggles of a particular group then there is no reason to specify their race other then to create diversity in the show. For example in my opinion, the movie "white chicks" is just as racist as it would be if the races where reversed. The whole purpose of the movie is to make fun of white women, the thing is though, is that white face isn't as common as black face, even today. The examples you had for the non-white people playing the role of a white person isn't clear to me though, at first glance both women look white.

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    • After reading another reply i reconsider the "(theater only)" part because i realize that there have been several instances in movies where different actors have played the same parts in different versions (like a super hero movie, where remakes are common) if the movie is a remake, the changing of a race of a character shouldn't be a problem.

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    • The thing is, there isn't another word to describe white people as a race. "Caucasians" (from what i heard) is a different race that isn't white.

    • I sometimes call people from Europe for North-Europeans, South-Europeans, West-Europeans, East-Europeans and South-East-Europeans. I also may use the term Mediterranean, Nordic etc. too.

Most Helpful Guy

  • Whenever it matters - especially when we're dealing with historical figures - I believe they should pick someone who fits the role (also in terms of ethnicity).
    However, there are also cases where it's not very important or where we simply don't know. For example some Biblical figures might have been black, brown or white. In these instances, I think it's fair to not focus too much on ethnicity.

    The reason why it's considered okay for minorities to play white people but not vice versa is quite simple: at least 80% of all successful actors and actresses are white, probably even more than that. In other words, white people in the movie business get more than enough chances to star in a film. For most minorities, receiving a role is much harder. Because of this inequality, it wouldn't be fair to take away the "colored roles" and also hand them over to white people.

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    • I agree with your last sentence, but I don't agree that people of color should get to play historically white roles. With that I mean people/characters that have traditionally been seen as white, such as superman, or someone like Ginny Weasley or Hermione Granger. There is no reason for them to be portrayed by a person of color other than a "look, we can do it just as well" kind of feel. I would not go watch it and I would not want my kids to watch it.

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    • My opinion:
      I think a character should be portrayed with the right appearance if they're a historical/real person, to be historical accurate, being realistic and if the author has described clearly how the character looks like. If the character lives in a multi-ethnic place, is fictional and the author hasn't described the appearance, then it's okay the director is deciding. Then it doesn't matter if the character is white, black, Asian, South-European or whatever.

    • @curiousnorway:
      Yup, that's pretty much my opinion too.

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What Girls Said 12

  • Probably because ethnic minorities are underrepresented already.

    Besides the recently released “Black Panther”, can you think of any popular feature film that doesn’t consist of a 90% white cast?

    So when white actors are cast to play characters that were written as ethnic minorities, it unreasonably diminishes the minority representation further.

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    • Hotel Ruanda

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    • See, I agree that white people should not play characters of color. I like accuracy, and so I'd like someone to look the part they were originally designed as. What I find obnoxious is when people of color are cast as characters that were traditionally played by white people, such as Annie, Hermione Granger or Superman. I don't see this as anything other as trying to shove it into white people's faces that "we can do it too" / "we can do it better" and "we can do whatever we want but you can't" type behavior.

    • Friday, Boys In The Hood, Thicker Than Water, Belly, Hustle And Flow... That's just a few that I could think of.

  • people are just sensitive as hell and seem to take anything as racist.

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  • are you ok? did you not see the cast of Kings of Egypt? Or Princess of Sudan was going to be played by a white girl? A Mighty Heart? Elizabeth, Michael, and Marlon (a white guy played michael jackson)? The Last Airbender? The Lone Ranger? Cleopatra? And those are only off the top of my head.
    And now that a black person plays a white character it's an issue? And did you just coompare RDJ in black face to someone who can actually white-pass?

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  • White characters are already everywhere and people are tired of seeing them. It's boring. Nonwhites want to see themselves in things too. They want characters written for then but they settle for playing white characters because there are JUST THAT FREAKING MANY

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  • Sometimes the characters change over time recently there have been lots of new ethnic superheros personally I think its pretty cool cause im a minority bit id really like characters to look like what they looked like in the comics look at domino lets be real here in the comics she was ugly as fuck now she's hot im cool with that And there are lots of other characters too

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    • I'm not only talking about fictional characters. I'm also talking about historical people like Mary of Scots for instance.

    • Well shit I don't know maybe because the couldn't find a good acttress or something I don't know there's a lot that factors into that kind of stuff

  • That's because its called white washing a character that isn't meant to be white.. For the longest time superman has been a white guy, you and I both know if they said "well superman is fictional, anybody can play him so lets get a black guy to do it" there would be an uproar and many disappointed fan who not even bother to go watch the film. Most of the time blacks, Asians, etc don't even play a white character in Hollywood films, they usually get someone who is white to play the role. when minorities say hey that character is suppose to be black cause was described as black, Asian etc in the books/comics, the first thing that usually happens is white people telling them that it shouldn't matter. But when it's one of their favorite characters that is known to be white and isn't , they would most likely disapprove or become upset.

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    • Well said

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    • @grega239 well yeah i agree with you on that, i don't see the point of the remake either. I say make movie roles for women instead of just remaking every single movie in Hollywood. The best remake/reboot? I've seen in long time was it.

    • Its economically driven. People don't see movies without white people in them

  • I'm sure someone will come up here and argue that it's because the market is saturated with white characters/stories, etc, but I think that's bullshit. White people make up a majority of the North American continent as of now, and that's why the current field is dominated by white centered stories. It would be weird and disproportionate for a minority to do so. So much of today's industry, especially entertainment and fashion, is about crybabies who complain about representation, when the industry is largely founded and carried on top of minority achievements/inventions, and when you are numerically smaller, it is like the countries in the Olympics, you have a statistically smaller chance of producing regular greats on a consistent basis.

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  • Double standard.

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  • Liberals and their double standards and racism.

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  • Bloody good question

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  • I prefer blacks

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  • Because now a days it’s cool to be racist against whites

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    • Hmm how to take a concerned topic that should be addressed into a genarilization. Sick!

    • "Genarilization" isn't a word. And there is a lot of racism against white people, but the media decides not to cover it because it's taboo to talk about.

    • I agree with you but it's definitely uncool they are just making it seem like people think it's ok and it's never ok

What Guys Said 34

  • I don't get it. I thought you lived in Norway? How do you know the reaction to Tropic Thunder in America from your country? Every "Black" person I know thought Tropic Thunder was a masterpiece. Did you even watch the film? Robert Downey''s character wasn't a recast "Black" guy. He was actually a "White" male, playing an actor who prided him self in being a character actor. It was a satire of famous actors who get so involved in their roles and characters, they seem to forget who they are for real.

    As for all the role reversal going on. I don't understand. The historical issue in Hollywood has been that actual people who were not "White" in historical documentaries, etc. are played by "White" actors in film portrayals.

    Let's pull some real examples;

    A mighty heart. Marianne Pearl is portrayed by Angelina Jolie. Marianne Pearl identifies as being Afro-Cuban/Dutch Jewish.

    Argo. Ben Affleck plays a CIA agent who in reality was half-Mexican.

    World Trade Center. In the disaster drama film based on the September 11 attacks, actor William Mapother plays Marine Sergeant Jason Thomas, who in real life is black.[

    Passion of the Christ. Jesus is played by Jim Caviezel.

    Stuck. In the thriller film based on a true story, actor Mena Suvari plays Brandi Boski, who is based on Chante Jawan Mallardin who is African American.

    “21,” 2008: The all-white cast was composed of Kevin Spacey, Jim Sturgess and Jacob Pitts, among others, but almost everyone involved in the real-life card-counting scheme that inspired the movie was of Asian descent.

    As for what happens in fction, well, that's why it is fiction. You can't compare "A Wrinkle in Time" or "Gunslinger" to actual real character portrayals like "A Mighty Heart". People actually get the impression that Marianne Pearl identified as being "White". And that is not true.

    Fiction is fiction. Fact is fact.

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  • Everyone who works in the film industry knows very well that the place is dominated by a leftist, anti-White agenda. You can't get a producer to make a film without ticking their boxes of diversity, dynamic independent feminists, feminised men in the worst case or just failures in the best case and many others. Take any hollywood film from the last 20 years and you will see all of this. That's the reason more and more filmmakers go independent or ask for crowd funding. You have no creative freedom. All you do is pushing their agenda.
    In a western world where the dominant narrative is how whites suck and are evil and have no culture, it should be no surprise that people get pissed when a movie is predominantly White and this in our own WHite countries. The same people who argue that they want diversity in their entertainment will never complain when film productions stop casting Whites completely. That is the purpose of diversity. Getting rid of White people. Unless of course the purpose is to portray Whites as the World's evil, like Black Panther for instance.

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  • Not sure I understand. Does that happen routinely? That non-whites play white roles, without it being inherently part of the comedy or whatever is happening?
    Would be nice to think we are all beyond this stuff... and that includes people see “white people” as 1 group, similar to “Asians,” or “BBC” its all super-dumb

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  • I didn't think anyone cared about Downey Jr playing black face? I can't think of many examples of any cross-race acting at all though I think you're looking for problems. The only one that springs to mind is hermione being black on stage but the author said she never said she was any race so who cares.

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    • No one cared because that was the joke, he is playing a white actor who got plastic surgery to play a black character , its purposefully ridicolous

    • Hermione was black on stage? Yeah, that bothers me...

  • Because hollywood and society hold white people responsible when a bad thing happens, whereas any other ethnicity does something, its seen as a sole person or an extremist and the whole group isn't to be held accountable. Just look at the whole metoo thing, blaming all men because they're all potential rapists is fine, the fact that they're white and thus all whites are blamed is fine, but to point out that a bunch of them are jewish too is just anti-semitic and hate speech for whatever reason

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  • I know it sounds unfair when you look at it objectively.

    But you have to keep in mind that representation is still very important to combat racism and empower all minorities. There's a lot of ground to cover towards equality.

    Once we're there, it would be fair to take your question from a more objective perspective.

    At least that is how I see it.

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    • Except the fact that equal opportunity already exists. And the reason demographics of minorities in movies are lower than whites is because whites are the majority in America. The only race that is underrepresented when you account for the population of the US are Hispanics. And that's simply because Hispanics in general are not interested in acting.

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    • @TheFlak38 I don't want to see the world burn, don't believe in utopias and most definitely am not a "deranged leftist". Just think moving towards a more equal society is a worthy goal.

      But that's all right, man. No hard feelings. The beauty of democracy is that we can express ourselves freely.

    • What you claim to be is of little importance when your words are referring to marxist filth like Marcuse or Adorno. I can say that Im a dog if I want. Doesn't mean that I am.

  • You haven't heard? White people are evil and demonic beings who should be obliterated. Down with whiteys!

    I honestly think this is just a social justice agenda which should be dropped. Don't force a white character to be a different race because you want to be included. There are thousands of ethnicities in the world not every can be represented. This is a huge issue in the west where every fucking person is a baby. Its a movie eat your popcorn and shut the duck up.

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  • "Robert D. Jr. played a black guy, many people reacted!"
    Actually he played a white guy, who decides to get plastic surgery to play a black guy, not a lot of freakouts occurred, because the absolute audacity of the situation makes it funny

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  • South Africa is one country and look at it now. They want to kill all the whites and they have a terrible economy. Johannesburg is the rape capital of the world now. They were not thriving before Europeans came don’t kid yourself. AIDS and starvation epidemic is the result of their own doing not us.

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  • What about when that black girl played Annie, and tons of people freaked, I'm sure there's more examples in both directions of people being upset about an actor that doesn't match the character. This conversation is dumb, look up some facts first before asking dumb questions.

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  • Because liberal Hollywood is against White people. They only want to cast them if they also support liberal agendas.
    And the liberal idiots are very racist, including many of the fans. They don't like White men particularly being portrayed positively or accurately.
    Hollywood especially would hate to portray a straight White man as strong, loyal, intelligent, working family man that is good with his kids, which is how many of them really are in real life, but liberals hate that fact.

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  • Because people who are sensitive think that they are trying to white wash the cast, even though it could be that the white person could have been a better actor/actress or portrayed that specific part better than any other ethnicity that auditioned

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  • Still waiting for the movie when Hitler is played by a black dude who kills all the mexicans and is stopped by the chinese invading normandy.

    Oh that can't happen and is not historically accurate?

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    • They did a movie with a black guy as Hitler already lol

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    • I'll try to find it, it was a British comedy done by a black comedian awhile ago. I just found out about it a couple days ago myself actually XD

    • I can't find it XD Google just floods me with regular Hitler movies and links about the Count Dankula case.
      I watched a clip of it that someone sampled for a YouTube video the other day though so I know it's out there

  • Because society these days (in particular liberal nut jobs) wants to eradicate white people, they believe whites should have no rights and we should be down to other races. Thus they unknowingly are starting a race war that whites will undoubtedly win.

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  • There's a major difference between an actor playing a role like Emma Stone did & actual blackface which is what Robert Downey jr did. though he was funny & it was a well written part, the act itself is offensive just because of the history of Blackface & racism Hollywood. I think that history has a lot to do with why people were mad at Emma Stone. It has more to do with taking a job from an actor of color than accuracy. It's not a double standard. The accuracy argument works both ways. What constitutes a white character or one of color anyway? Are you talking about a character that's been portrayed as white as long as we remember or a historic figure? Either way it doesn't matter. It's not offensive for anyone to play any character. The act of Blackface is certainly in poor taste even if it's not always offensive.

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  • Because people believe white people already dominate the movie industry already so it's not right if they play a minority's role.

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  • I don't think there's anything wrong with blackface

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  • Diversity is good because it shows a full spectrum. If you go out of your way to remove diversity that's wrong and if you promote diversity it's one.

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  • Because people will always pretend to be victims for attention and money.

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  • Because the entire history of film has mostly been dominated by white actors, white actresses, and white filmmakers. That doesn't mean the films they've made are in any way poor, or sub-standard for lack of diversity, but diversity is also an important thing for people to see and feel. Inclusion matters, and representation matters. It's easy as someone who is white to say "it shouldn't matter what someone's color is in media, in a film," when almost all of the major players are white. The majority of America is white, at least we're the largest racial group, but that's still leaving out a huge, huge portion of the population if they're often not represented. The point is, white actors don't need to play people of color in order to get interesting roles, but there are so few big roles that are naturally FOR people of color that when a white one plays it, it just seems unfair to many people. That's all.

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