Edward Hancock II
The Imperfect Blog
|Posted by EHancock2 on July 8, 2019 at 5:50 PM|
For all the people who don't seem to get it why people are up in arms over the Ariel race debate, it's complicated, but I'll simplify it for you, in 2 ways. First as a fan.... a few years ago, a bunch of racist non-whites got together and protested the Oscars being "so white". Rather than improve their talent, minorities wanted Oscars to be the movie equivalent of participation trophies. Nevermind the fact the Alma awards are "so brown" and BET awards are "so black." Whites have to now shrink. Be less. Do less. Ignore our potential because SOME lazy actors of color don't want to be Sidney Poitier and put in a performance so perfect that even our country's most heated racists couldnt deny him his award. And what performances do they want awarded??? JAMIE FOXX usurping the white role of Daddy Warbucks from the comic and other audiovisual depictions of little orphan Annie. Now we are supposed to give out awards because of LACK of originality. Same thing they'll be screaming about if this new Ariel movie isn't nominated. You don't get it. The award is supposed to be about originality and the strength of that performance. Not about "well we've given the award to white people 3 times now so let's find a minority to give it to this time. Yes i know this one is better but we have to be fair to people who refuse to act as well as their white counterparts."
Now i will say this.... 2015s Straight Outta Compton deserved more recognition than it got.... particularly Corey Hawkins, who played Dr. Dre so expertly i literally had to remind myself it wasn't him at times. Hawkins is an alum of Juilliard and knows what he's doing. And it shows. Hawkins was not even nominated. It was the year that DiCaprio won for the Revenant and, while I'm happy Leo got his long-overdue recognition, a case could have been made for Hawkins. But, going back to Jamie Foxx, duplicating what white guy number one already did is lazy. And not award-worthy by itself. Period. You gotta give me a stand out performance. And Foxx just didnt. Not to pick on Foxx. He's put in great performances in movies like Ray. Even Denzel has had some stinker performances, but he BECAME Malcolm X in spike Lee's 1992 hit movie about the slain activist. Al Pacino won that year for his performance in Scent of a woman. While i agree he did great in that movie, the award should have gone to Denzel. I'll wholeheartedly say the academy got it wrong. (Keep in mind Rami Malek recently won for his stellar portrayal of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. Washington should have, in his own right, won for portraying this larger than life figure so expertly.) I'm sure other examples could be cited. I just wanted to point you to the difference between making a role yours vs phoning it in on a role that's meant for a white man. One is award-worthy. The other is not.
My second point won't take as long. I'm an author. I created the characters in my world. I created Alex Mendez and his wife Lisa, their kids, families, work associates and friends. Alex should not be portrayed by Jackie Chan. Alex is described as having Hispanic skin and features because, well, hes got Hispanic genes in his makeup. I don't want him portrayed by a blind irishman named Lou. Likewise, Lisa is caucasian. She should never be played by an actress of any other race. Period. I created her caucasian. If she's not portrayed by a caucasian actress, i will not approve. Kellan is a black man. I often picture the actor/rapper Common when he's in the story, but a suggestion by a friend has also made me picture someone like a Morris Chestnut. Chief Steelman is a white man i picture as a mixture as looking like the love child of James Woods and Eugene Levy. While there's wiggle room on the actor that might play Steelman, hes a white guy. These races should not be changed. They're deliberate. In one of the books, Kellan tells a young, angry, black teen he does understand him because he WAS him. He faced a vital choice in his youth (something we've yet to learn much about) and chose the path that would make him a police officer. A simple twist of fate that had him on one side of the bars instead of the other. If you change Kellan's race in that scene, just that one change ruins the entire subplot and sequence. His role and importance is diminished by removing his race.
Now, should Ariel be white? The original disney cartoon -- geared at children -- made her a white redhead. By that standard -- a Disney remake of a Disney movie -- yes, she should be white.
HOWEVER.....DISNEY itself changed the source material. In the original tale, published in the 1830s, Ariel's skin has a greenish tone to it and, as part of the deal, she gets legs but her feet experience horrible pain and bleed constantly. It's not quite the cutesy Disney Tome some of us (myself included) have been defending. Original Ariel was not a redheaded white girl. While I'm dismayed that everything is an effort to see who can pander to blacks, gays and women the hardest, Ariel was never meant to be a redheaded white girl. So let's Gamora that gal and tell the story the author intended. That'll shut everybody up.... for a minute.