movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson
Fri Apr 08 2016, 03:41pm | 29 comments
Bwahahaha! Yes, clearly Star Wars is now pandering to SJW’s by blatantly casting someone who represents 51% of the population.
The MRAs must just be desperately waiting for the Han Solo movie. (The Han Solo solo movie?)
This is all it takes to make them break cover now? Man, nobody plays the long game any more.
How often have they really needed to?
I hate to sound like a stereotypical angry Ess Jay Double-Ewe, but don’t we already have a Star Wars film (soon to be trilogy) with a white British woman, a black man, and Latino man in the leads? Yay diversity, yes, but can’t we mix it up a bit more? Get a little diversity in our diversity? Or is the world just not ready to discover there are even more kinds of people? I mean, we’ve already wasted all of the physical presence and most of the acting talent of Lupita Nyong’o by hiding her in a mo-cap for her 5 minutes of screen time.
Ha. I linked to this on my own page, and a friend asked how prevalent this kind of response was—all he’s seen is his friends happily geeking out over the trailer.
I had no idea. My experience was similar to his because I’m not Facebook friends with any MRA types. What do you think?
I suspect that, like a lot of Things on the Internet, it’s a small but extremely noisy population, some fraction of which is probably just trolling in the first place.
That said, it is a population that exists.
I wasn’t aware that there was even a Latino man in the new Star Wars movie until you mentioned it. (No doubt because his ethnic background gets mentioned so often in this forum.)
And even if I were, I’m not sure how much influence it would have had over my decision to see the movie. After all, as much as I like the work of actor Jimmy Smits, I can’t really pretend that his appearance in the last film of the second trilogy really saved that movie from being a disappointment.
Then again, when it comes to many popular movies, I’ve gotten used to feeling like the Morales character in A Chorus Line. I try to reach right down to the bottom of my soul to feel how a particular type of movie fan felt — but I’m frequently unsuccessful.
I wasn’t aware that there was even a Latino man in the new Star Wars movie
Yep, Diego Luna. It was in all the casting announcements and he was in the previously publicized cast photo, which perhaps you hadn’t seen. Are you familiar with his previous work?
(No doubt because his ethnic background gets mentioned so often in this forum.)
No offense, Tonio, but sometimes it’s hard for me to tell when you’re just ribbing or when you’re seriously insinuating something about what we commenters should or shouldn’t have discussed. Should we frequently talk about Diego Luna’s ethnicity outside of the context of films he’s appearing in that MAJ writes about?
Oh, yes. We really do need more diversity in our diversity.
Well, the cast also includes Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, and Riz Ahmed, all featured in the cast photo. That’s two Chinese actors and one Pakistani-English actor more than The Force Awakens had in principal or even secondary roles. Is that a little better?
I don’t know how prevalent this is, but they do sure do make themselves heard.
This is a disturbing trend, but as long as I don’t have to treat Jyn’s experience as somehow representative of humanity as a whole AND she wears revealing, impractical clothing (preferably in a shower scene) then I guess I’m okay with it. Seriously, what kind of gay beta weirdo identifies with someone of the opposite gender instead of rating them on a ten point fuckability scale? Am I right ladies? Am I… Am I right?
Seriously, seriously I’m just fangirling over Donnie Yen’s appearance. Sure, he reinforces asian stereotypes, and sure it’s a shameless grab for a little more of that delicious east asian box office, but he’s just so. damn. awesome. Please, please, please Disney give his character some depth and don’t make him a boring Yoda clone. I know I already owe you for Zootopia, but just give me one fully-realized asian Star Wars character and I’ll never ask for anything again and we’ll all pretend that whole Nute Gunray fiasco never happened.
Sorry, back on topic, it is a pleasant surprise to see a woman at the center of the story again. All I can say is it took you long enough studios. It took you long enough. The money was sitting there literally for decades, and somehow you pretended it wasn’t there. Millions of women want to have adventures that don’t revolve solely around shagging, getting hitched, and spawning younglings!? Who knew!??? Everyone knew. Everyone. Like, a hundred years ago everyone knew.
I’ve heard of Diego Luna but apart from The Terminal and The Book of LIfe, I haven’t seen any movie he was actually in.
If I heard his name mentioned in regard to Star Wars, I must have blanked it out, which is just as well as since his two co-stars got more publicity anyway. At least on the sites that I have browsed.
Of course not.
For all I know, he was mentioned quite frequently on one of the threads on this forum that I did not read.
I was just being a little more snarkier than usual, and considering that this is hardly the only site on my blogroll that would have mentioned the new Star Wars movie, I had no cause to be.
Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.
Is that a little better?
Since my final remark about diversity was meant to be an echo — if not an agreement — of your remarks on the same subject, I trust that this question was meant to be rhetorical.
an echo of… your own remarks on the same subject
That wasn’t me. But I don’t disagree.
I’d like to apologize for the tone of my previous comment. I was in a bad mood, and unnecessarily snide. Sorry.
He did a very good job with a small (and important) role in Milk. That movie and Before Night Falls/Antes Que Anochezca, in which he had another supporting role are both well worth spending the time watching.
That wasn’t me.
I mean, sorry. I usually don’t make mistakes like that. I should have said “an echo of Dr. Rocketscience’s comments” but I didn’t. My observational skills obviously weren’t working at full capacity when I wrote that.
No worries. I kinda had it coming.
All too often I aim for Abed Nadir on this forum but I more often come across as Sheldon Cooper. But hopefully I will not come across as such so much in the future.
Thank you for the info.
My pleasure. I liked both those movies.
just give me one fully-realized asian Star Wars character and I’ll never ask for anything again
Nope. Not enough. We need lots of fully realized Asian characters. Don’t give Hollywood an out!
Diego Luna is awesome (and super cute). I don’t think I’ve mentioned him all that much here, though…
I don’t think you have, either. He is a good actor and easy on the eyes, too, which never hurts. Seems to get regular work, mostly not with starring roles, though.
How about fully realized characters in general? Diversity shouldn’t be something surprising or special.
Yes, but THIS conversation is about Asian characters.
If we’re talking about how hungry kids need more food, it’s not useful or enlightening to say “well, all living things need food.”
White characters get to be British, Irish, American, Australian, South African, etc. Why do “Asian” people just get to be Asian.
Is this your point more or less?
The point of the discussion is that we need to see more Asian actors onscreen, and they should be playing psychologically complex and interesting people, not just one-note stereotypes. Asians are just as varied in personality and skill as everyone else. If the only thing writers can do with Asian characters is make them shy nerds or martial arts experts, then they’re not doing it right.
You’re talking about a different issue: which kinds of actors can play which kinds of roles. The answer is that, ideally, anyone should be able to play any character. But in the real world, this has historically resulted in white people being cast to play everyone else, while black/brown people don’t get the same opportunities to play outside their “categories.” So we need to keep that historical imbalance in mind when considering who gets what role. That’s why it’s okay when actors of color get traditionally “white” roles — because increasing diversity is great, and white actors are never going to run out of roles to play — but it’s NOT okay for white actors to get “minority” roles, because there’s already a long history of white actors taking scarce minority jobs and visually erasing minorities from the screen.
Before we go any further let’s define our terms, what is “race.” What is it that qualifies an individual to be classified as belonging to a particular race.
Dude, don’t do this. You’re all set to argue about “race” just being a social construct and so on, but the point is that we ACT as if there are different races, we DO put people in different racial boxes, and we DO treat them differently because of it. It doesn’t matter what you think the biological definition of “Asian” or “white” is. The fact is that we see someone as Asian or as white or as another “race,” and as a result they have different obstacles and opportunities, and we’re talking about how to change that.
Asian characters should be fully human characters. And just as white actors get to play characters who are sometimes defined by their ethnicity (such as in a historical drama) and sometimes are not, Asian actors should have the same opportunity. We should see more Asian actors in race-blind roles but also more Asian actors in roles that should only be played by Asian actors, such as characters from Asian history or, say, from Asian mythology.
Oh okay, I totally misinterpreted this whole… thing. We need more diverse actors, while characterization is dependent on a myriad of factors not usually relevant to an actor’s bone structure unless that character is a Samurai in a period piece. Got ya!
I just really really hate when people call Glee progressive when all it does is corral characters into rancid stereotypes that insult the viewer. Characters are supposed to be people, people are different in more than one marketable way!
I read this blog after I get back from working nights so kindly forgive my poor insular cortex as it’s frontal lobe functions require some down time.
In other words, I agree.
Cool, cool cool cool. Actually I think Abed Nadir is almost a perfect “mascot” for this whole discussion. Actually Community vs. The Big Bang Theory basically IS this discussion…
…Okay it isn’t, but it certainly illustrates some of the issues discussed in above threads…
…or maybe I just like mentioning Community.
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