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C'mon Hollywood: Race and gender-bending are not ruining movies

02.14.2017

Nick Fury. Starbuck. Deadshot. Nova Prime. These are all characters who were either race-bended, or gender-bended – terms meaning to change a fictional character (this will be important later) from one race or gender to another. While there is always a stink against this type of casting when initially announced (because the internet is awful), once the dust settles nobody gives a shit as long as the movie or actor is good in the role. Basically, no one’s really blaming Will Smith for the fact that SUICIDE SQUAD or WILD, WILD, WEST suck.

However, one of the big arguments against race or gender-bending is “why not just create new characters that are female or gay or a POC?” Which is a valid point. Here’s a few things though: 1) Hollywood is hesitant to fund new, original films, so it’s scouring old IPs (especially comics) that had predominantly white, male casts as a (mostly coincidental) consequence; 2) less innocuously, however, is even when Hollywood funds big, original films, they still usually cast white male leads for them (like the recent PASSENGERS); and 3) white-washing is also still a problem, case in point the recent (as in last year) GODS OF EGYPT and EXODUS: GODS AND KING. And you can’t even argue it’s okay because GODS OF EGYPT is just “mythology”, since assholes got up in arms that Hemdall was black in the THOR films.  

So, yes, we should be criticizing Hollywood’s strip-mining of recognizable IPs (not just limited to comic-books, but also long-dead franchises like ROBIN HOOD and TARZAN), and their lack of original films (diverse cast or not). That is indeed the biggest problem. However, the point still stands that if Hollywood’s going to keep doing this, race and gender-bending is a way to mitigate the lack of diversity in a lot of those stories (barring exceptions like CAPTAIN MARVEL or LUKE CAGE), meaning I don’t think having The Ancient One being played by a woman* or Little John being played by a black guy should be the end of the world.  

Also, at this point people will say “wait, there was a female GHOSTBUSTERS, what more do you want?!”, or “Roland is black in DARK TOWER, aren’t you people satisfied?” I mean, look, just because those films exist doesn’t mean diversity has “won”.  For instance, while we’ve indeed seen an increase in female-led blockbusters recently, still only 27%  of speaking roles were from women, and even less if you factor in leads or women of color. Sure there’s ROGUE ONE, HUNGER GAMES, and the upcoming WONDER WOMAN, but most of these movies barely even pass the Bechdel Test. 

Now, if you don’t know, to pass the Bechdel Test you have to have two female characters talk to each other and – here’s the catch – not talk about a man (hell, ROGUE ONE only passes because of a conference scene, since when Mon Mothma and Jyn Erso spoke, it was about Erso’s father). And before anyone says anything about the Bechdel Test being a joke from a comic – that’s both true and makes this fact even worse. Because it’s meant to be satirical and hyperbolic, but the fact that it’s actually a problem is what makes things truly Kafkaesque.

And, another important point: race-bending or gender-bending a character doesn't replace the original. Sure, more people recognize Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury** than his original incarnation at this point, but that doesn't mean Marvel burned all the old Marvel comics with a white Nick Fury in it. You can still buy and read those. And, guess what? You can also still watch the 1984 GHOSTBUSTERS with dudes crossing streams. Women didn't take that opportunity away from you, either. Now, I understand that there's a fear people won't recognize the "real" or "preferred" version of a character, but so what? They can still be your "real" and "preferred" version, because who's to say they're not? Your idea of a character doesn't become "invalid" because a new interpretion comes out. If that were the case, every new Batman would invalidate the previous one, and I'm sorry, I don't want to live in a world where I can't enjoy BATMAN RETURNS and THE DARK KNIGHT equally. 

See, what's great about stories and characters is that they are malleable - it's why legends and fairy tales change with the times and places from which they're told, but are still able to have the same basic themes (Red Riding Hood might not be tricked into eating her own grandma and later devoured by a wolf anymore, but the theme of being careful around strangers is still presient). So changing a character to a woman or a POC or even gay doesn't make a character less brave or witty or strong - because those traits go deeper than skin color, gender, or sexual orientation. I mean, whatever you felt about the GHOSTBUSTERS remake (and judging by the comments, there are strong feelings), but beyond maybe issues with pacing and quality of jokes, or the issue of "remakes" in general, I think we can all agree that there's nothing fundamentally "male" about being a GHOSTBUSTER, right? That having a penis doesn't make you better at fighting the undead?

And, look, I get it. When people see a comic-book movie (for example), a lot of them want to relive what it was like to see the comics on the page when they were younger. “It’s not about race”, they say “it’s that Deadshot is white in the original comics, goddammit!" But the danger is looking at the world as “straight white guys = default” and “anything else = political”. It should be obvious why that’s dangerous. It frames the conversation as "why does there have to be a woman?” or “why does there have to be a black person?”, thus a character has to prove why their race or gender is worthy of consideration. I’m not saying that’s a conscious thought people necessarily have, but everytime you ask a question like “why did that character have to be gay?” that sort of discrimination is implicit, if not necessarily malicious.  

You must also realize, this all affects real people, not just "SJWs" on the internet. Female and minority actors lose out on work, or are forced into stereotypical roles (blacks and Latinos as criminals, Asians as sexless nerds, women as girlfriends or nagging wives, etc) all the time. In fact, Aziz Ansari’s MASTER OF NONE reflects the struggles of an Indian actor being forced into “Store Clerk” roles and such. And a person shouldn’t be forced to take only certain roles (and denied the high-paid lead ones) because of the color of their skin or the shape of their genitalia.

Besides, let's be honest, can you really imagine anyone else playing Nick Fury at this point?

Extra Tidbit: *Just so I mention it before someone else does: The Ancient One was indeed white-washed, but was also making an effort to distance itself from offensive "Orientalism" stereotypes; however, I still stand by the fact that it was a good choice he was changed to a woman (though I would've preferred someone like Michelle Yeoh, even though Tilda Swinton did a great job regardless. I can have nuanced feelings about these things). **Also, I'm aware Samuel L. Jackson is based on the ULTIMATES run of Marvel comics before the films, but a) that was also controversial at the time (as it's still a case of race-bending, even if it didn't originate in the films), and b) despite some cribbing of ideas from the ULTIMATES line, the MCU is still primarily based on the 616-universe versions of these characters, so the point still stands.
Source: JoBlo.com

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10:17AM on 02/15/2017
The majority of movie goers could care less. It only starts to matter when their being sold the narrative that they should see this movie BECAUSE the roles were swapped. Thats when people start to say fuck off. It's safe to say by the comments that people dont like diversity shoved down their throats, and it is a highly ineffective strategy.
The majority of movie goers could care less. It only starts to matter when their being sold the narrative that they should see this movie BECAUSE the roles were swapped. Thats when people start to say fuck off. It's safe to say by the comments that people dont like diversity shoved down their throats, and it is a highly ineffective strategy.
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6:13AM on 02/15/2017
" The Ancient One was indeed white-washed, but was also making an effort to distance itself from offensive "Orientalism" stereotypes; however, I still stand by the fact that it was a good choice he was changed to a woman"

That was mere pandering to the Chinese market because there's still that on-going beef with Tibet which would have hurt Marvel's Box Office numbers if they went ahead with an Asian guy.
So are you implying Benedict Wong's character wasn't treated as an Orientalism
" The Ancient One was indeed white-washed, but was also making an effort to distance itself from offensive "Orientalism" stereotypes; however, I still stand by the fact that it was a good choice he was changed to a woman"

That was mere pandering to the Chinese market because there's still that on-going beef with Tibet which would have hurt Marvel's Box Office numbers if they went ahead with an Asian guy.
So are you implying Benedict Wong's character wasn't treated as an Orientalism Stereotype?
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7:14PM on 02/14/2017

Oversimplifying

You make good points, but you only are scratching the surface of a complex issue, and only barely scratching it, at that. It really depends on the role. The majority of roles have interchangeable race. However, there are a handful where the physical appearance of the character is so iconic in the popular culture that changing it is simply a bad adaptation. That does not just apply to white characters, but any race. Mary Jane's red hair is iconic, and could you imagine a white Shaft? In
You make good points, but you only are scratching the surface of a complex issue, and only barely scratching it, at that. It really depends on the role. The majority of roles have interchangeable race. However, there are a handful where the physical appearance of the character is so iconic in the popular culture that changing it is simply a bad adaptation. That does not just apply to white characters, but any race. Mary Jane's red hair is iconic, and could you imagine a white Shaft? In those instances, it is not about race, but merely delivering a correct adaptation. Again, this only applies to a select few roles. The majority are interchangeable. Less frequently interchangeable is sex. Men and women have certain biological differences, and we do not experience the world the same way. Because of this, gender is an integral part of one's identity, and is thus very important to the character in many cases. Hollywood seems to mostly understand this, which is why Ghostbusters didn't create the same characters, but new ones, thus it is not REALLY an example of gender swapping. Also note that, while many people were just being sexist about that movie. Many did not take issue until the studio and filmmakers accused ALL of the criticism as misogynist, when that wasn't true. Many even attacked James Rolfe in the media for a video that was not remotely sexist in any way. In other words, it was turned into a witch hunt. I could not support the film for that reason, and there were many women that were offended that the studio and the director assumed it was all about gender, which is its own form of sexism. Btw, that test will never be fully passed in the superhero genre because the love interest is such a genre trope. They will talk about men at some point, just as the men will talk about women at some point. I am not using the correct version of that test, mind you, but your ridiculously strict version where even Jane Erso barely counts (because how sexist of a woman to talk about her father in a movie!). That part of your argument just sounds like something you are regurgitating from one of your college professors.
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6:14PM on 02/14/2017
Gotta make up for all the years white people played non white people. People's heads are going to explode once Hamilton comes to theaters.
Gotta make up for all the years white people played non white people. People's heads are going to explode once Hamilton comes to theaters.
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7:31PM on 02/14/2017
Hahaha
Hahaha
8:50PM on 02/14/2017
Whites are a majority. It comes with the territory. By your guys' logic, nations like Japan, India, or Africa aren't equal opportunists for their minorities. OH, but I guess we white people "owe" the world. Ha, fuck off.
Whites are a majority. It comes with the territory. By your guys' logic, nations like Japan, India, or Africa aren't equal opportunists for their minorities. OH, but I guess we white people "owe" the world. Ha, fuck off.
11:41PM on 02/14/2017
Who has been offended by Hamilton? Seriosly!

I don't find it necessary to change the race for the history to retain it's importance but I'm also not going to ignore how much that has opened it up to new audiences, and that is a very very good thing.

Would be nice if the people involved had not made such asses out of themselfes though.
Who has been offended by Hamilton? Seriosly!

I don't find it necessary to change the race for the history to retain it's importance but I'm also not going to ignore how much that has opened it up to new audiences, and that is a very very good thing.

Would be nice if the people involved had not made such asses out of themselfes though.
4:59PM on 02/14/2017
I'm becoming convinced that the more this is discussed the longer it will take to change. I personally don't care who plays who? I just want good movies and politics to stay out of my entertainment.
I'm becoming convinced that the more this is discussed the longer it will take to change. I personally don't care who plays who? I just want good movies and politics to stay out of my entertainment.
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4:06PM on 02/14/2017
Awesome article man. I get the reality that white male lead characters sell tickets, it's a very unfortunate truth, but it is a truth nonetheless. Studios are in the business of making money so if ticket buyers buy more tickets when there's a white lead, then I fault the audiences more than the studios. That being said, it's about as simple of a truth as you can get that people of all backgrounds deserve quality roles, and the fact that "white male" = default and anything else = "exotic
Awesome article man. I get the reality that white male lead characters sell tickets, it's a very unfortunate truth, but it is a truth nonetheless. Studios are in the business of making money so if ticket buyers buy more tickets when there's a white lead, then I fault the audiences more than the studios. That being said, it's about as simple of a truth as you can get that people of all backgrounds deserve quality roles, and the fact that "white male" = default and anything else = "exotic otherness" is pretty disappointing int he 21st century (heck it should have been disappointing after 1965). Daredevil (2003) sucked but Michael Clarke Duncan was awesome as the Kingpin, Sam Jackson is awesome as Nick Fury and I'd have no problem with Idris Elba playing Bond because the dude just is the embodiment of the Bond vibe. If they were to change Bond to a French or German or American I'd take issue, the fact that Bond is an Englishman is vital to his character, the fact that he is white is not. He's already been played with so many different looks that there's no reason he shouldn't be able to be played as a Black Englishman, or a Latin one or a Middle Eastern one, etc. If Duncan, Jackson and Elba can nail the essence of their characters then the fact that they don't look exactly like I pictured the character in my mind is pretty minuscule. Just like in real life physical appearance does not define character, personality does.
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4:37PM on 02/14/2017
Wtf are you babbling about? I guess Will Smith and Denzel don't headline films anymore...oh wait. I guess Hidden Figures bombed because it's cast wasn't white...oh wait. I guess both new Star Wars films failed to have white male leads explaining them flopping...oh wait. I guess there aren't a plethora of hit shows on TV not starring white males...oh wait. And for the record, Idris Elba himself said he wasn't keen on playing Bond.
Wtf are you babbling about? I guess Will Smith and Denzel don't headline films anymore...oh wait. I guess Hidden Figures bombed because it's cast wasn't white...oh wait. I guess both new Star Wars films failed to have white male leads explaining them flopping...oh wait. I guess there aren't a plethora of hit shows on TV not starring white males...oh wait. And for the record, Idris Elba himself said he wasn't keen on playing Bond.
4:37PM on 02/14/2017
Wtf are you babbling about? I guess Will Smith and Denzel don't headline films anymore...oh wait. I guess Hidden Figures bombed because it's cast wasn't white...oh wait. I guess both new Star Wars films failed to have white male leads explaining them flopping...oh wait. I guess there aren't a plethora of hit shows on TV not starring white males...oh wait. And for the record, Idris Elba himself said he wasn't keen on playing Bond.
Wtf are you babbling about? I guess Will Smith and Denzel don't headline films anymore...oh wait. I guess Hidden Figures bombed because it's cast wasn't white...oh wait. I guess both new Star Wars films failed to have white male leads explaining them flopping...oh wait. I guess there aren't a plethora of hit shows on TV not starring white males...oh wait. And for the record, Idris Elba himself said he wasn't keen on playing Bond.
7:29PM on 02/14/2017
Yep because 50% of the population being female and 27% of speaking roles being female (not even leading roles, just speaking roles of any size, mind you) totally screams equality. Wtf am I babbling about indeed.
Yep because 50% of the population being female and 27% of speaking roles being female (not even leading roles, just speaking roles of any size, mind you) totally screams equality. Wtf am I babbling about indeed.
7:37PM on 02/14/2017
This is a moronic argument. There's a difference between equal opportunity and equal outcome. The former is what capitalism is all about; the latter, what you're clamoring for, is only done through force.

99% of cab drivers are men. By your logic, that's unfair, since women account for half the population. See how stupid that sounds?
This is a moronic argument. There's a difference between equal opportunity and equal outcome. The former is what capitalism is all about; the latter, what you're clamoring for, is only done through force.

99% of cab drivers are men. By your logic, that's unfair, since women account for half the population. See how stupid that sounds?
8:47PM on 02/14/2017
You'll have to excuse Luke, he's on his period.
You'll have to excuse Luke, he's on his period.
2:44PM on 02/15/2017
@HereIam. Ha. You made my day.
@HereIam. Ha. You made my day.
4:01PM on 02/14/2017

Have to disagree here

Anytime you have to alter the original version of an art form to fit society, it is false. Period. If you want to make a movie about Superman, make a movie about Superman. If you want to make a movie about a Black Superman, that's fine too; just don't call him Clark Kent. I think they already tried that with Will Smith. If you try to forcefeed the public due to some agenda you have, they will turn on you pretty quick. I don't believe in censorship and I've never supported altering the vision
Anytime you have to alter the original version of an art form to fit society, it is false. Period. If you want to make a movie about Superman, make a movie about Superman. If you want to make a movie about a Black Superman, that's fine too; just don't call him Clark Kent. I think they already tried that with Will Smith. If you try to forcefeed the public due to some agenda you have, they will turn on you pretty quick. I don't believe in censorship and I've never supported altering the vision of another artist to satisfy someone's insecurities.
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4:13PM on 02/14/2017
"Anytime you have to alter the original version of an art form to fit society" so by that logic, basically any movie that's ever been nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay is a false piece of art because they had to alter the original artist's vision in order to transition it to another medium. It's not a pure translation, so therefore it is false art.

Wow, I guess a lot of false art is really good.
"Anytime you have to alter the original version of an art form to fit society" so by that logic, basically any movie that's ever been nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay is a false piece of art because they had to alter the original artist's vision in order to transition it to another medium. It's not a pure translation, so therefore it is false art.

Wow, I guess a lot of false art is really good.
3:43PM on 02/14/2017
Yes, they are. Why can't things just stand on their own? Why does there need to be multiple versions of something for everyone? I've never understood that. Ever. Even as a kid, I didn't NOT like something just because I couldn't relate to it. I was a fan of Batman even though there was absolutely no way I could ever come close to looking like him in any way, shape or form. I never once thought, "Gee, I wish there were more Asian superheroes so I have someone I can dress up as for Halloween and
Yes, they are. Why can't things just stand on their own? Why does there need to be multiple versions of something for everyone? I've never understood that. Ever. Even as a kid, I didn't NOT like something just because I couldn't relate to it. I was a fan of Batman even though there was absolutely no way I could ever come close to looking like him in any way, shape or form. I never once thought, "Gee, I wish there were more Asian superheroes so I have someone I can dress up as for Halloween and aspire to be when I grow up". I liked Batman because he's Batman. I wanted to be Batman because he's Batman. Not because he's a rich white guy. Having Batman be black or Asian or whatever isn't gonna make me relate to him more. And it shouldn't take the character being a different race or gender for people to want to be like him, anyways. It's never been important to me that there has to be someone who looks exactly like me in whatever I'm watching. I love Jackie Chan movies but I've never related to him because I'm not a good martial artist. Which is the exact same reason I can't relate to Batman. I'm not a good fighter. It has nothing to do with race. People keep saying they want equality but they don't. They want whatever classifications they belong to, to be on top and have their turn in the spotlight. Having multi-racial or multi-gender versions of already established popular characters does nothing to advance towards that. All it's saying is that nobody can come up with anything new that's half as good so they want to appropriate something that's already popular and make it more attuned to them while basically making money off of someone else's ideas. There aren't enough cool black superheroes? Make some. There aren't enough female superheroes? Make some. Be creative and come up with characters that people will still care about decades after you're dead. Don't just rely on everything being remade except with what amounts to a palette swap to give you the basis for whatever you're making. Same goes for prequels. I hate origin stories. Stop making younger versions of characters before they had all the skills that made me like them in the first place. I don't want to see badass characters struggling to become badass. Look at John Wick. He's a retired hitman who's already got the skills that made him a legend. But I bet they're already looking for someone to play a young John Wick who's still learning how to be a hitman. And I have absolutely no interest in that. Unfortunately, it all comes down to money. And there are way more stupid people in the world who are more than willing to waste their money on garbage. So, for those of us who can think, please don't assume that making popular characters different genders or races is a good thing. It's the death of creativity and originality. Maybe if you stop focusing on those aspects, you can just make things good above all else instead of trying to cater to everybody all the time.
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4:22PM on 02/14/2017
I think your point about it being unnecessary for a character to look like you is totally valid, but I don't think Damion's article was trying to argue that (he doesn't mention the word "relate" at all). I think his issue was that actors of all races and backgrounds should have the opportunity to play compelling, well-written roles and not just be relegated to stereotypical background roles based on a factor that they can't control.
I think your point about it being unnecessary for a character to look like you is totally valid, but I don't think Damion's article was trying to argue that (he doesn't mention the word "relate" at all). I think his issue was that actors of all races and backgrounds should have the opportunity to play compelling, well-written roles and not just be relegated to stereotypical background roles based on a factor that they can't control.
3:34PM on 02/14/2017
I applaud this article, and agree wholeheartedly. I am going to try to resist reading the sarcastic strike-backs, because I value m intellect. I might just drop this little factoid, SJW is not an insult to a lot of people.
I applaud this article, and agree wholeheartedly. I am going to try to resist reading the sarcastic strike-backs, because I value m intellect. I might just drop this little factoid, SJW is not an insult to a lot of people.
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4:42PM on 02/14/2017
So you'd rather ignore any opposition that challenges your opinion and dismiss it outright. Typical SJW.
So you'd rather ignore any opposition that challenges your opinion and dismiss it outright. Typical SJW.
5:30PM on 02/14/2017
Oopswhatso? You seem like someone that would be very open to opposing opinions.
Oopswhatso? You seem like someone that would be very open to opposing opinions.
7:41PM on 02/14/2017
OopsWhatSo?, I read your response, just so you know that it's not about ignoring other opinions.
OopsWhatSo?, I read your response, just so you know that it's not about ignoring other opinions.
9:41PM on 02/14/2017
Ignoring dissenting opinions isn't intellectual, it's a form of conformation bias.
Ignoring dissenting opinions isn't intellectual, it's a form of conformation bias.
3:18PM on 02/14/2017
I'm sorry but movies are products, and you're are goin to aim your product at the ppl who most likely to buy said product. I'm sorry to say but Ben Affleck as Batman is gonna sell more than Idris Elba (which would be amazing btw) or Lucy Lui as Batman.
I'm sorry but movies are products, and you're are goin to aim your product at the ppl who most likely to buy said product. I'm sorry to say but Ben Affleck as Batman is gonna sell more than Idris Elba (which would be amazing btw) or Lucy Lui as Batman.
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3:07PM on 02/14/2017

Captain America

Chris Evans has played that role long enough. Let Maggie Gyllenhaal take over for the Infinity War movies. It worked for The Dark Knight, it'll work for The Avengers movies.
Chris Evans has played that role long enough. Let Maggie Gyllenhaal take over for the Infinity War movies. It worked for The Dark Knight, it'll work for The Avengers movies.
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4:04PM on 02/14/2017
I think you made a your point, and I completely agree.
I think you made a your point, and I completely agree.
5:04PM on 02/14/2017
I don't think I did honestly. This debate won't stop anytime soon. Might as well troll it when it comes up.
I don't think I did honestly. This debate won't stop anytime soon. Might as well troll it when it comes up.
5:04PM on 02/14/2017
I don't think I did honestly. This debate won't stop anytime soon. Might as well troll it when it comes up.
I don't think I did honestly. This debate won't stop anytime soon. Might as well troll it when it comes up.
3:01PM on 02/14/2017

Tony Cox...

... playing the Michael Jordan character in the Space Jam reboot. He's a MUCH better actor than LeBron James. Just goes to show you how low Hollywood has sunk.
... playing the Michael Jordan character in the Space Jam reboot. He's a MUCH better actor than LeBron James. Just goes to show you how low Hollywood has sunk.
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5:34AM on 02/15/2017
I don't think so, the CGI budget would be astronomical, Just ask Peter Jackson when he did the opposite with the Hobbit movies instead of getting g actual dwarf actors.

Besides Space Jam doesn't have an audience anymore, does it?
I don't think so, the CGI budget would be astronomical, Just ask Peter Jackson when he did the opposite with the Hobbit movies instead of getting g actual dwarf actors.

Besides Space Jam doesn't have an audience anymore, does it?
9:11AM on 02/15/2017
Why would they need a CGI budget? They didn't need one for Michael Jordan.

You might need to check your privilege, buddy.
Why would they need a CGI budget? They didn't need one for Michael Jordan.

You might need to check your privilege, buddy.
2:56PM on 02/14/2017
Thank you for writing this. I've become less and less of a fan of JoBlo lately, and this article made me realize it's the comment section I hate, not the writers. Keep up the good work.
Thank you for writing this. I've become less and less of a fan of JoBlo lately, and this article made me realize it's the comment section I hate, not the writers. Keep up the good work.
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3:41PM on 02/14/2017
When the commentors will use their dying breath to defend (insert genre friendly movie of the week) in spite of its atrocious writing and acting, but will flip out when any supporting character isn't a carbon copy of the comic/video game/previous film's official artwork.
When the commentors will use their dying breath to defend (insert genre friendly movie of the week) in spite of its atrocious writing and acting, but will flip out when any supporting character isn't a carbon copy of the comic/video game/previous film's official artwork.
5:23PM on 02/14/2017
I participate far less in the comment section than I have before. I still come because the writers are great but sparring with the angry internet people is pointless. I'm being honest when I say that I think a lot of these people don't interact with real people much.
I participate far less in the comment section than I have before. I still come because the writers are great but sparring with the angry internet people is pointless. I'm being honest when I say that I think a lot of these people don't interact with real people much.
9:36PM on 02/14/2017
I only come here for the tacos and cheap beer.
I only come here for the tacos and cheap beer.
2:53PM on 02/14/2017

Spawn

Why can't they make Spawn asexual? Does Spawn REALLY need to crawl out of Hell, simply chase a significant other? Maybe she (Spawn is female in this. Deal with it) just wants to live her life as herself without being tied down to another person.
Why can't they make Spawn asexual? Does Spawn REALLY need to crawl out of Hell, simply chase a significant other? Maybe she (Spawn is female in this. Deal with it) just wants to live her life as herself without being tied down to another person.
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5:26AM on 02/15/2017
Um... you do know that asexual and female aren't the same thing, right?
Um... you do know that asexual and female aren't the same thing, right?
9:17AM on 02/15/2017
Yes I do but the two are not mutually exclusive to one person.

Spawn identifies as both. Female gender, asexual in that she is without sexual feelings toward another person.
Yes I do but the two are not mutually exclusive to one person.

Spawn identifies as both. Female gender, asexual in that she is without sexual feelings toward another person.
2:46PM on 02/14/2017
Thank you for writing this. Sorry for all the (predictable) negative comments. Keep fighting the good fight!
Thank you for writing this. Sorry for all the (predictable) negative comments. Keep fighting the good fight!
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4:44PM on 02/14/2017
Yup. Ignore valid arguements just to validate your own. Typical.
Yup. Ignore valid arguements just to validate your own. Typical.
2:40PM on 02/14/2017

Supergirl is sexist.

Why do women only get to play Supergirl when they could pay Superman just as well?

Hollywood ALWAYS feels the need to cast a white guy as Superman? He's an alien. Maybe next time cast Kathy Bates or Mo'Nique as the Man of Steel. They're both great actors and I'm sure either of them could pull it off.
Why do women only get to play Supergirl when they could pay Superman just as well?

Hollywood ALWAYS feels the need to cast a white guy as Superman? He's an alien. Maybe next time cast Kathy Bates or Mo'Nique as the Man of Steel. They're both great actors and I'm sure either of them could pull it off.
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4:30AM on 02/15/2017
Excellent point but i must disagree, because if superman is an alien I think he/she would have to be a Tranny or Shemale (or whatever PC term is used nowadays). Y'know to reflect the best of both worlds
Excellent point but i must disagree, because if superman is an alien I think he/she would have to be a Tranny or Shemale (or whatever PC term is used nowadays). Y'know to reflect the best of both worlds
9:19AM on 02/15/2017
We don't know what aliens would look like. Superman might not even be humanoid. Therefore they could (and should) cast Air Bud if they wanted to.
We don't know what aliens would look like. Superman might not even be humanoid. Therefore they could (and should) cast Air Bud if they wanted to.
2:34PM on 02/14/2017

WWII Movies...

... never seem to cast a black guy as Hitler. Why not? I think the world is ready for a black Hitler.

Perhaps even a pre-op transgender Hitler. It's time we stop whitewashing Nazis in movies and get some more diverse casting in WWII movies.
... never seem to cast a black guy as Hitler. Why not? I think the world is ready for a black Hitler.

Perhaps even a pre-op transgender Hitler. It's time we stop whitewashing Nazis in movies and get some more diverse casting in WWII movies.
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4:40AM on 02/15/2017
Great observation, we also need more white actors playing slaves I mean, why do they always have to be black?? We need to see more white people being whipped (think of the ton of Oscars to be won) and sadly we don't have enough 50 Shades of whatever adaptions to fill the void
Great observation, we also need more white actors playing slaves I mean, why do they always have to be black?? We need to see more white people being whipped (think of the ton of Oscars to be won) and sadly we don't have enough 50 Shades of whatever adaptions to fill the void
9:22AM on 02/15/2017
We're already whitewashing Gods of Egypt, Doctor Strange, and every WWII movie with a NAZI in it. I don't think we need to start whitewashing movies about slavery in America too.
We're already whitewashing Gods of Egypt, Doctor Strange, and every WWII movie with a NAZI in it. I don't think we need to start whitewashing movies about slavery in America too.
2:27PM on 02/14/2017

Agreed on all points

Now Hollywood needs to prove how truly diverse they can be and cast an overweight 70 year-old asian woman as the lead in the next reboot of Shaft.
Now Hollywood needs to prove how truly diverse they can be and cast an overweight 70 year-old asian woman as the lead in the next reboot of Shaft.
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5:11AM on 02/15/2017
That wouldn't work because loading ONE character with all those traits/demographics will just confuse audiences. Its better if those traits/demographics are spread out.
That wouldn't work because loading ONE character with all those traits/demographics will just confuse audiences. Its better if those traits/demographics are spread out.
5:26AM on 02/15/2017
That wouldn't work because loading ONE character with all those traits/demographics will just confuse audiences. Its better if those traits/demographics are spread out.
That wouldn't work because loading ONE character with all those traits/demographics will just confuse audiences. Its better if those traits/demographics are spread out.
9:20AM on 02/15/2017
You might be right. We need to take baby steps.
You might be right. We need to take baby steps.
1:03PM on 02/14/2017

5/10 Great White Savior

This argument is wrong for a dozen reasons, but let's start with the most obvious: the column is called "C'Mon Hollywood," yet the author's intended audience is consumers. He's not telling Hollywood to change -- he's telling consumers to change their minds.

This is exactly what Sony and the SJWs got wrong with Ghostbusters, and what they'll continue to get wrong with articles like the above: you can't force people to like something. If the fans say they don't like Ocean's Eight for ANY
This argument is wrong for a dozen reasons, but let's start with the most obvious: the column is called "C'Mon Hollywood," yet the author's intended audience is consumers. He's not telling Hollywood to change -- he's telling consumers to change their minds.

This is exactly what Sony and the SJWs got wrong with Ghostbusters, and what they'll continue to get wrong with articles like the above: you can't force people to like something. If the fans say they don't like Ocean's Eight for ANY reason, whether gender, a bad trailer, or just a lack of ideas, nothing the elites say will convince the fans to put on a happy face. That's social engineering.

Consumers demand white male superheros; not a Black Widow movie, not chick Thor, not black Spider-Man. Anything short of that screams "AGENDA." Consumers can tell the difference between something forced and something natural, and they vote with their wallets.
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1:05PM on 02/14/2017
Woah! Mic drop! --- Well said!
Woah! Mic drop! --- Well said!
7:30PM on 02/14/2017
Gotta agree with this. Sadly, this is the new trend with C'mon Hollywood... I agree with the sentiment, but if you're gonna be all C'mon Hollywood, then rage against Hollywood!
Gotta agree with this. Sadly, this is the new trend with C'mon Hollywood... I agree with the sentiment, but if you're gonna be all C'mon Hollywood, then rage against Hollywood!
12:50PM on 02/14/2017
When I first read Ultimate Spider-man a good decade ago and saw a very Samuel L Jackson looking Nick Fury, I was even MORE thrilled when he ACTUALLY took on the role as Fury. When it comes to race changes, it's really when it's a main character that it may bother me. Take Bruce Wayne or Clark Kent. I mean, i'm fine with Miles Morales as a Spider-man, just not a non-white Peter Parker. I'm all for a more Amazonian looking Wonder Woman and I think they did well with Gal Gadot, but I never really
When I first read Ultimate Spider-man a good decade ago and saw a very Samuel L Jackson looking Nick Fury, I was even MORE thrilled when he ACTUALLY took on the role as Fury. When it comes to race changes, it's really when it's a main character that it may bother me. Take Bruce Wayne or Clark Kent. I mean, i'm fine with Miles Morales as a Spider-man, just not a non-white Peter Parker. I'm all for a more Amazonian looking Wonder Woman and I think they did well with Gal Gadot, but I never really thought of WW as a typical Lynda Carter kind of woman either.
As for Johnny Storm being black. It didn't bother me. Maybe i'm not as invested in F4 as other characters so it doesn't bother me.
The problem comes when people do it for the wrong reasons. An all female Oceans 11, if the same characters in reverse gender roles, then why? To what point? Let them have their own identity. Let them shine on their own as a group just as good as the men, or better. There is no need to redo a 10yr old film with women. Let them have their own unique film.
As someone who hasnt watch SNL in decades, I know of Wiig and McCarthy. Wiig I don't mind but McCarthy I don't find funny and turns out they both were kinda horrible in GB remake. I actually liked McKinnon and Jones more. At the same time, why did they make Hemsworth THAT stupid? Every male in GB remake was either an asshole or just stupid enough to function off looks but really not function at all. That's not promoting equality nor women power. My issue has never been about an all female cast. I just wanted to see a story continue, one that I have invested 30yrs of, one which the ground work is already set and franchises can be built on. For example, having the originals as mentors, even as very brief cameos knowing they started it all would have been better than dick Murray, cabbie Akroyd and at least Hudson was decent. It seemed like a huge lost opportunity. Problem is, the moment you say something negative, it's "you're sexist" and that's it.
So yes, I am all for changes when it makes sense. I mean, I wouldn't make T'Challa white. He's the Black Panther, he should be his heritage. I'd be upset if they suddenly took that part of him away, why would that be different for other main white characters? Some changes work, some seem forced, some don't need to happen at all. If you are gonna make a change, do it for a real reason and not just because you want to be more inclusive. The new female Thor, is Jane. It's not the Thor we know but the human female who has taken on the mantle for being worthy of Moijnor. I'm very much ok with that.
I don't disagree that we need more diversity but do it properly or all you are gonna do is create more problems.
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12:44PM on 02/14/2017

The Bechtel Test!? Are you kidding me?

Hollywood is so self righteous. So sick of actors complaining about this or making a stand about that. -- If you need Hollywood to teach you what is right or wrong than you my friend, are a dumbass. Hollywood is the most shiftless, morally bankrupt, superficial, greedy industry there is, run by people who live lifestyles so out of touch with reality. --- Whats the cause we're bitching about now; diversity? Whatever. I don't feel sorry for actors; trust me, they don't care about you.
Hollywood is so self righteous. So sick of actors complaining about this or making a stand about that. -- If you need Hollywood to teach you what is right or wrong than you my friend, are a dumbass. Hollywood is the most shiftless, morally bankrupt, superficial, greedy industry there is, run by people who live lifestyles so out of touch with reality. --- Whats the cause we're bitching about now; diversity? Whatever. I don't feel sorry for actors; trust me, they don't care about you.
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1:11PM on 02/14/2017
Back acha, man -- well said. There's no industry more divorced from reality than Hollywood. They play pretend for a living, for crying out loud.
Back acha, man -- well said. There's no industry more divorced from reality than Hollywood. They play pretend for a living, for crying out loud.
7:24PM on 02/14/2017
Yeah, you want to talk about the industry with the biggest pay discrepancy between men and women!
Yeah, you want to talk about the industry with the biggest pay discrepancy between men and women!
12:18PM on 02/14/2017
I think positive change is happening organically, and instead of recognizing the already large strides made by women and people of color in the film industry, it gets overshadowed by P.R stunts to gender swap or change the race of a character just to do it. Studios want to make money like any other business, so this Capitalism masquerading as a reform for white dominated film/tv is just bullshit.
I think positive change is happening organically, and instead of recognizing the already large strides made by women and people of color in the film industry, it gets overshadowed by P.R stunts to gender swap or change the race of a character just to do it. Studios want to make money like any other business, so this Capitalism masquerading as a reform for white dominated film/tv is just bullshit.
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7:22PM on 02/14/2017
Exploiting gender as a marketing tool should be something the progressives are adamantly opposed to, honestly.
Exploiting gender as a marketing tool should be something the progressives are adamantly opposed to, honestly.
10:05AM on 02/15/2017
Progressives dont realize how illogical their beliefs are
Progressives dont realize how illogical their beliefs are
12:12PM on 02/14/2017
And I just saw the defense of the Ancient One in the Extra Tidbit? Seriously? The "the original character was racist" excuse? Have you read any female comic book character that predates more than a decade or so? Should we gender-swap Catwoman because the original character was sexist? Like way more sexist than The Ancient One was racist?

That's another problem with the bending fad: the rules are decided on a case-by-case basis and some aberrations are bound to happen.
And I just saw the defense of the Ancient One in the Extra Tidbit? Seriously? The "the original character was racist" excuse? Have you read any female comic book character that predates more than a decade or so? Should we gender-swap Catwoman because the original character was sexist? Like way more sexist than The Ancient One was racist?

That's another problem with the bending fad: the rules are decided on a case-by-case basis and some aberrations are bound to happen.
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12:52PM on 02/14/2017
Just because the original may have seemed racist doesn't mean Marvel MCU couldn't have done it tastefully. I don't mind the swap either, but I also don't think they really needed to do it.
Just because the original may have seemed racist doesn't mean Marvel MCU couldn't have done it tastefully. I don't mind the swap either, but I also don't think they really needed to do it.
12:53PM on 02/14/2017
good points!
good points!
3:53PM on 02/14/2017
@GodMagnus

Honestly, I haven't read every single issue of Dr. Strange but calling the character a racist stereotype has always seemed exaggerated to me. Is it a stereotype? Definitely. But racist? The old wise man trope that for some reason waits for you on top of an inaccessible mountain is a also very present in Asian cinema (I would be absolutely shocked if I learned they weren't the ones who invented it) and there's not much insulting in being called wise.

Besides, Tarantino and Nolan
@GodMagnus

Honestly, I haven't read every single issue of Dr. Strange but calling the character a racist stereotype has always seemed exaggerated to me. Is it a stereotype? Definitely. But racist? The old wise man trope that for some reason waits for you on top of an inaccessible mountain is a also very present in Asian cinema (I would be absolutely shocked if I learned they weren't the ones who invented it) and there's not much insulting in being called wise.

Besides, Tarantino and Nolan have also used that trope before and nobody, including Asians, cried racism.
7:19PM on 02/14/2017
Don't worry, this guy is new, and probably very young. He is probably just repeating what his college professors told him.
Don't worry, this guy is new, and probably very young. He is probably just repeating what his college professors told him.
12:11PM on 02/14/2017
Face it, all of the PC bending is a shallow fade by Hollywood Execs to appeal the snowflake demographic.
People can tell when they're being talked down to and when something is genuine. And not being pleased when you're talked down to does not make one a bigot.
Face it, all of the PC bending is a shallow fade by Hollywood Execs to appeal the snowflake demographic.
People can tell when they're being talked down to and when something is genuine. And not being pleased when you're talked down to does not make one a bigot.
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12:10PM on 02/14/2017

Tough Issue

You run a risk of swaying to heavily on one side or the other. Inclusion is extremely important and necessary but at what point does it become pandering and irrational. Take for example Idris Elba as Roland Deschain in the Dark Tower. It's not that Elba is black and Roland is white in the books that bothers me. It's that in the second novel a key dynamic between Roland and Susahanna (a black, wheelchair bound female) is a racially charged. She sees Roland (at least one half of her
You run a risk of swaying to heavily on one side or the other. Inclusion is extremely important and necessary but at what point does it become pandering and irrational. Take for example Idris Elba as Roland Deschain in the Dark Tower. It's not that Elba is black and Roland is white in the books that bothers me. It's that in the second novel a key dynamic between Roland and Susahanna (a black, wheelchair bound female) is a racially charged. She sees Roland (at least one half of her personality does) as an oppressive white devil. Notice the word "white." The race aspect is a key aspect of the relationship and a major part of the second novel. It also sets the tone to a lesser extent for the rest of the series. Assuming the movie is successful, how the fuck are they going to solve this problem in the second movie? Remove Suze altogether? Make her white? Both ideas seem monumentally ridiculous. Now you're sacrificing story at the altar of race equality and in my mind that hurts the artistic integrity of the source material and more importantly the film itself.
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12:43PM on 02/14/2017
Perhaps. But I think casting Idris Elba as the Man in Black would have been a little too on the nose. And I mean, c'mon, if you have the chance to have Idris Elba in your movie, you're not going to NOT cast him as something.
Perhaps. But I think casting Idris Elba as the Man in Black would have been a little too on the nose. And I mean, c'mon, if you have the chance to have Idris Elba in your movie, you're not going to NOT cast him as something.
11:58AM on 02/14/2017
This is obviously a very complex issue because there are bad people on both sides. In fact, if I'm being honest, the worse people are usually on the "against" side and they're particularly awful so it pains me to side with them on that issue.

Still, I hate this fad of "bending" characters. I hate because it obviously IS a fad. Because, very often, the controversies aren't a by-product of a brave social move but the objective of a very cynical marketing campaign. One guy - because it's
This is obviously a very complex issue because there are bad people on both sides. In fact, if I'm being honest, the worse people are usually on the "against" side and they're particularly awful so it pains me to side with them on that issue.

Still, I hate this fad of "bending" characters. I hate because it obviously IS a fad. Because, very often, the controversies aren't a by-product of a brave social move but the objective of a very cynical marketing campaign. One guy - because it's usually a guy and he's usually white - changes one iconic white character to a black one and says that diversity is important and the whole world is set on fire with people defending/attacking the move. Make a original franchise called Fast and Furious, it spawns a bunch sequels and it makes billions of dollars and no matter how successful it is, it never receive an once of credit for having the most diverse cast out there. Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, like Will Smith and Denzel Washington before them, became huge action stars without playing pre-existing characters. It's still possible but you have to demand it from Hollywood. You can't just accept these controversy-baiting they're doing.

I realize how bad some people can be. The Ghostbusters controversy was maddening because no actual gender-bending was even involved. It was only a reboot with female characters and people got super mean. Even now, a single photo of the new Ocean movie was released and even though it's a proper sequel with different characters, some people just don't accept a movie with a female cast. These people have to be defeated, there's no question about it. But you have to pick your battles. You can't just provoke them to show the world what a fucking amazing person you are.
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12:55PM on 02/14/2017
I personally don't give a fuck about race or gender bending a character. It's never affected my enjoyment of a movie. But I agree with you to a point, I think the overall solution to diversity in Hollywood is to create more original projects. Like you said in your comment, Denzel Washington is one of the most diverse actors in Hollywood, and he did it by acting and creating original characters on screen. This whole issue over race/gender bending has only come up with the increasing
I personally don't give a fuck about race or gender bending a character. It's never affected my enjoyment of a movie. But I agree with you to a point, I think the overall solution to diversity in Hollywood is to create more original projects. Like you said in your comment, Denzel Washington is one of the most diverse actors in Hollywood, and he did it by acting and creating original characters on screen. This whole issue over race/gender bending has only come up with the increasing onslaught of Hollywood reboots and adaptations. If we pushed Hollywood to create more original movies, then casting the lead characters can be done with a race or gender free lense. But it's also on us to support those original movies so Hollywood keeps making them.
11:56AM on 02/14/2017

Pffft.

Are you really using the Bechdel Test as some kind of legitimate point?
Are you really using the Bechdel Test as some kind of legitimate point?
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11:46AM on 02/14/2017
This is a delicate discussion, because I think we had decades of white-washing on some characters, and that is as wrong as casting minorities in popular white character roles.
This is a delicate discussion, because I think we had decades of white-washing on some characters, and that is as wrong as casting minorities in popular white character roles.
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12:04PM on 02/14/2017
Really good point!
Really good point!
+2
11:40AM on 02/14/2017
How would you feel if Batman was middle eastern, Or James Bond played by a short Chinese gentleman?
How would you feel if Batman was middle eastern, Or James Bond played by a short Chinese gentleman?
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12:56PM on 02/14/2017
I would check out both of those movies. I always enjoy a comedy...
I would check out both of those movies. I always enjoy a comedy...
11:32AM on 02/14/2017

Of course they are

There are two schools of thought on objecting to this. One comes from the stupid people who actually are sexist and or racist. the other comes from those who recognize how intellectually lazy it is to just swap out a popular charecters race or gender. Studios are not dumb, they know that people are shallow enough to let politics override quality. Thus when you have a film like Ghostbusters, (which I objected to purley on the grounds that the original was such a classic it should never have
There are two schools of thought on objecting to this. One comes from the stupid people who actually are sexist and or racist. the other comes from those who recognize how intellectually lazy it is to just swap out a popular charecters race or gender. Studios are not dumb, they know that people are shallow enough to let politics override quality. Thus when you have a film like Ghostbusters, (which I objected to purley on the grounds that the original was such a classic it should never have been touched, much less by a hack like Paul Feig) you can negate the legitimate criticism by pulling a gender swap. As a result and criticsm can be labled as sexist and stupid people will defend purley on those grounds.

Bottom line you want a black charecter or a woman to be big they need to stand on thier own. You wan't a black Captain America, don't change Steve Rogers, do what the comics did and let Sam Wilson assume to mantle (Just get someone besides Nick Spencer to write it). You want a black Spiderman, don't change Peter Parker, use Miles Morales. A charecter who has actaully stood the test of time and fandom.

In short equlity doesnt need to be forced, or rammed domn audiences throates, it needs to be earned. that goes for minority writers and filmakers as well. If you have an issue with the type of roles someone of a specific race get steriotyped into, write a batter one.
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11:25AM on 02/14/2017
I don't mind it except for historical films (but then again they literally whitewashed the mass majority of westerns)

Also as much as I like Idris Ebla I'm getting fed up with fans suggesting him every time they think a black guy should play a iconic character. No I don't think he would make a great Doctor Who and it's not like he's the only black male actor out there!
I don't mind it except for historical films (but then again they literally whitewashed the mass majority of westerns)

Also as much as I like Idris Ebla I'm getting fed up with fans suggesting him every time they think a black guy should play a iconic character. No I don't think he would make a great Doctor Who and it's not like he's the only black male actor out there!
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12:04PM on 02/14/2017
11:05AM on 02/14/2017
I don't mind a gender or race swap for certain minor characters in films, it's just that I get annoyed when it comes to more vital characters.
I don't mind a gender or race swap for certain minor characters in films, it's just that I get annoyed when it comes to more vital characters.
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11:28AM on 02/14/2017
Exactly. I consider Johnny Storm a prime, vital main character who's race shouldn't have been changed.

But I don't mind a switch like Laurence Fishburne in the role of Perry White in the Man of Steel films or Tilda Swindon as the Ancient One in Doctor Strange.
Exactly. I consider Johnny Storm a prime, vital main character who's race shouldn't have been changed.

But I don't mind a switch like Laurence Fishburne in the role of Perry White in the Man of Steel films or Tilda Swindon as the Ancient One in Doctor Strange.
11:38AM on 02/14/2017
I should mention I completley agree. If it's a minor charecter who cares. Plus Lawrence Fishburn was awesome as Perry White.
I should mention I completley agree. If it's a minor charecter who cares. Plus Lawrence Fishburn was awesome as Perry White.
11:43AM on 02/14/2017
I'm a black dude who hated the fact that Johnny storm was changed to be black.
I'm a black dude who hated the fact that Johnny storm was changed to be black.
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