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A very thoughtful article about the casting choices in Star Trek Into Darkness

bunkey

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 686

Report this May. 30 2013, 4:37 pm

If by direct racial motivation you mean someone sat there and said "get rid of the darkies" then no, that's not what I believe happened.  What they did was ignore Khan's origins and cast a white man because that is the institution of Hollywood. They never stopped to think about casting a Desi man.  They looked at Latinos (still problematic) then a white guy.  White men get the privilege, preferential treatment and choice. They get the higher pay and starring roles. That is racism. It is ingrained in the Hollywood machine. Hollywood is a white man's business. 


Hollywood does care what advocacy groups say.  Should bloggers and websites be silent because of small numbers? Should people stop trying?  That's how the problem persists and thrives.


I stand by my belief that they kept Khan a secret to avoid public backlash against the casting. Khan's appearance had been leaked out months before but it was systematically denied.  The reponse to the rumors that I read varied from "oh no, they're not really serious?" to hoping he wasn't Khan because he was white. If they wanted to build curiosity, they would have built it up Joker-style. The secrecy was sloppy and suspicious.  They released the film on foreign markets first because they were attempting to make more in that market. Star Trek has consistently performed poorly overseas and this was an attempt to entice more people to see the film overseas.  Therer were press screeings and NDAs were signed to prevent "spoilers".  As soon as the film hit public audiences in Australia, the conversations online about whitewashinig began. Sorry, but if something stinks I'm not going to say it smells like roses. 


Greater awareness is one goal. A willingness to recognize the practice on a whole. Acceptance of what happened and conversations on how to prevent it in the future.  Is awareness of racial divides a bad thing? It that a waste of time to acknowledge that it happens and is happening right in front of us, every day, in real life and on the big screen?


I don't call fellow fans racist for enjoying the film.  I call them enablers and apologists for making excuses for the casting by grasping at canon straws.  I say they're ignoring the fact or making excuses for it and that makes the perpetrators or at the very least, complicit. It's harsh but it's reality.


Boycotting the movie is not disrepectful nor useless.  Had the revealed the characters identity prior to the release, then organized boycotts could have been established.  But they pretty much tricked fans into seeing the film.  I've read many blogs about fans walking out or suddenly being very upset at the movie because of the reveal, specifically because of the casting.  As I said, this is not an agree to disagree topic. 


Sending letters (emails information forthcoming) and tweets at the powers that be lets them know that fans are not happy.  If it's one fan, one hundred or one million, your voice should count.  The excuse "what good will a few letters do?" is just as bad as people who stay home on election day and say "what good will one vote do?".  They you wake up and wonder why things haven't changed. Because no one wants to speak up. It's a defeatist attitude for the weak.


People can make a difference.

ShirtlessKirk

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 61

Report this May. 30 2013, 7:35 pm

Sounds good:


J.J. Abrams, Director


c/o Bad Robot


1221 Olympic Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90404
USA


 


Jeffrey Chernov


Executive Producer


c/o The Gersh Agency


9465 Wilshire Blvd
6th Fl
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
USA


 


David Ellison, President


Skydance Productions


5555 Melrose Ave
Dean Martin Bldg
Hollywood, CA 90038
USA


Remember to keep it short, sweet, and civil. We all get more flies with honey than with vinegar.


"Brain and Brain! What is Brain?"

fireproof78

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 342

Report this May. 30 2013, 7:43 pm

Thank you for posting the contact information.


In addition, I feel I can have it both ways. I don't like the decision that lead to the whitewashing, but I like Cumberbatch and that doesn't diminish his performance.


I don't grasp at "canon straws" for the sake of defending the real world issue. I look at canon possibilities.


The topic is very much open to a level of interpretation than just "racist!"


I'm sorry, but it is not black and white.

OtakuJo

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 16362

Report this May. 30 2013, 10:24 pm

Quote: fireproof78 @ May. 30 2013, 7:43 pm

>

>Thank you for posting the contact information.

>In addition, I feel I can have it both ways. I don't like the decision that lead to the whitewashing, but I like Cumberbatch and that doesn't diminish his performance.

>I don't grasp at "canon straws" for the sake of defending the real world issue. I look at canon possibilities.

>The topic is very much open to a level of interpretation than just "racist!"

>I'm sorry, but it is not black and white.

>


Thank you for expressing what I have been thinking all along.


It's good to be aware of race issues in fiction.


However, I just can't make myself feel angry about it all.


I think that the actor's performance is more important than his or her race -- although of course racial identity does affect the character somewhat. And that goes both ways.


I realise this is stage, so a little different. But Jonothan Pryce (sorry if I mispelt) played The Engineer, a Vietnamese pimp, in Miss Saigon. Years later, Lea Salonga (Kim from the same production) went on to play Eponine in Les Miserables. Both were portraying someone from a different race to their own, and both did a very good job of it.


I wouldn't consider this to be a racist point of view.


 


I wouldn't necessarily say that boycotting is useless (although once this is said, I'm not going to say any more on the issue outside of the "boycott" thread). Personal choice, and anyone is free to make it. I do however feel that it wouldn't make a lot of difference in the end. I would not have been inclined to boycott the film myself, because I wanted to see it.


Have you ever danced with a Tribble in the pale moonlight?

Somniac

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 462

Report this Jun. 01 2013, 10:53 am

[quote]


  To come to a star trek community, the flagship community as it were, and have people tell them they must be morons for liking trek (or lately racists) is unacceptable.  If they responded in kind it wouldn't be surprising 


[/quote]


Hang on a cotton pickin minute. i don't recall anyone being accused of being rascist for liking Trek.


The issue is the racism inherent in the latest films.


Jeez. Talk about stretching a point.


What other people think of you is none of your business.

Catholic.Fan

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 76

Report this Jun. 01 2013, 8:00 pm

Actually, it's been put forth several times in this thread that those who do not see the premise put forth are either ignorant, stubborn, or blind (paraphrasing here).  It's also been suggested that everyone should, to some extent, be upset about said racism, and therefore like the film just that much less (if they enjoyed it to begin with).  Some members have even gone so far as to say one is complicit in racism if one attempts to deny or obfuscate the (alleged) truth of the racism in the film.  Ergo, if you liked the film completely as-is, weren't bothered by the recasting of Khan, or don't really care enough to get upset at any of this, you're some sort of racist.  


Frankly, even with all the stuff I've said about the racism (both for and against), I think that's a crock.  While it's important that some people acknowledge and advocate for issues such as these, there's something to be said for the fact that this is merely entertainment.  Given, there is clearly discrimination occurring in a workplace (the movie studio), but at the end of the day, that's as far as this really goes.  We attach a certain fervor to Hollywood discrimination because there's so much attention given to it, but it's really just people working (though some for outrageous money).  You should be bothered this no more or no less than work-place discrimination anywhere else in the country, and if you're truly going to become an advocate, worry less about artists fighting for big-time Hollywood roles and maybe a bit more about discrimination in your local neighborhoods where you can actually do something about this.  If anyone reading this thread wants to know where they should put their internet angst into action, it's not reading some blog article, it's not signing a petition, and it's not even boycotting a movie.  That's all pretty useless stuff.  If you're going to boycott the movie, take that $10 you were going to spend (more if you're a concession addict like myself), and go give the money to a local food shelter.  Better yet, take the two hours you were going to sit parked in a dark theater staring at a screen and go volunteer at a soup kitchen for a while.  


The internet is a great thing, but if people put all the energy they spend getting worked up on message board arguments into real world action, things like work-place discrimination would likely be much less of a problem in the world today.  I'm not saying people should love the movie (or hate it), but if you're going to get all up in virtual arms, put your money and time where your virtual mouth is, and go out and do some actual good for the world.

wissa

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 4023

Report this Jun. 02 2013, 7:30 am

Thank you for putting that so much more eloquently than I could


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bunkey

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 686

Report this Jun. 02 2013, 8:04 am

Quote:

If anyone reading this thread wants to know where they should put their internet angst into action, it's not reading some blog article, it's not signing a petition, and it's not even boycotting a movie.  That's all pretty useless stuff.  If you're going to boycott the movie, take that $10 you were going to spend (more if you're a concession addict like myself), and go give the money to a local food shelter.  Better yet, take the two hours you were going to sit parked in a dark theater staring at a screen and go volunteer at a soup kitchen for a while.  


Boycotting and petitions are not useless.  They have been valid political tools for decades.  


As for the rest, what makes you think that one cannot do both? Or doesn't already? You're framing it as if a person must chose to do one or the other.   And what about those who may be too poor to donate a single dollar? Or may not be physically or emotionally able to volunteer? Are you saying  their voices are useless?  What about those who have only their voice?


If someone chooses to participate in online campaigning, their contribution should not be trivialized by those who are lucky enough to have extra money to donate or are blessed with the ability to "get out there".


Nor does someone's off line activities make their online voice more important than someone who speaks out online.


I used to clean dog cages at a shelter.  Not glamorous work, back breaking to be honest.  But it does not make a signature  of someone who does not volunteer on an online petition to a senator or congressmen, for example, end BSL, less valid.  


No contribution to any cause, be it financial, intellectual or physical, should be marginalized. A lot of people who use the internet, both Trekkies and non Trekkies alike, are disabled in some way and the internet is their only means of expression to the outside world.  


For you to disregard online activities as useless and state that only offline activities are valid and effective is both discriminatory and insensitive. It's also arrogantly presumptive of you to assume everyone is capable of such things.  


I haven't time to reply to the rest....yet.


Sarcasm is my native language.
JJ Abrams is not of the body.

Catholic.Fan

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 76

Report this Jun. 02 2013, 9:39 am

I think you're just being inflammatory at this point.  Either that, or you're grossly misreading what I wrote.  My entire post is full of if-then statements.  If you're going to boycott the movie (i.e. you have the money to go see it in the first place), then instead of simply hampering the box-office numbers of a piece of science-fiction film, give that money to a worthwhile cause.  If you're going to boycott the movie (i.e. you have the ability to go sit in a theater), then instead of simply leaving a chair open in a theater, go give two hours to a place that can use it.  If you're going to complain on the internet about workplace injustice in the entertainment industry, then find a way to get involved with local injustice where you can see the real results of your efforts affect people in your own neighborhood.


Honestly, I have to question where you get your information.  Many of the volunteer activities I've been involved with are full of people who have disabilities of their own, both mental and physical.  They love to give of their energy and time in any way they can, limited though it might possibly be in some cases.  The internet, in and of itself, produces no actionable change in the world; it is simply a means of communication.  It still requires people to do (or not do) something in the actual world.  That's my whole point, and if saying that people need to actually do more than complain on the internet to get things done is arrogantly presumptive, then I'll take that badge.  


It's both hilarious and ironic that you're saying I'm being discriminatory and insensitive by saying the internet is useless.  If someone can use the internet (i.e. they're capable of interacting with a computer), then they can also write a real letter, make a phone call, or help organize a real life protest to injustice.  If you (or anyone reading this) care so much about those that have severe limitations to their ability to produce actionable changes to the world, then volunteer to go help them do what it is they cannot accomplish on their own.  If you're already doing these things, then a sincere bravo, but waste less time arguing why a mere film is discriminatory, and go get involved in educating people on how to get more involved locally with issues that have a more immediate effect on your community.  I'm here suggesting that there are more and better outlets for people's energy than just the internet, and you're suggesting this is all the more capable some people are.  You, sir, are displaying an enormous lack of creativity about what individuals with strong will are capable of accomplishing, despite physical and mental limitations.


The internet never has been and never will be good enough.  As was quoted several pages back, "I dare you to do better."  


I think I'll take my own advice to some extent here, and bid adieu to further replies in this thread.  There isn't much more to be said one way or the other, and I really can use the time better.  I hope you see the essence of what I'm saying, and that there is a lot of good that can be done right around you without ever having to sit down at a computer.


Cheers! 

rocketscientist

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 10054

Report this Jun. 02 2013, 12:05 pm

Quote: Catholic.Fan @ Jun. 02 2013, 9:39 am

>

>I think you're just being inflammatory at this point.  Either that, or you're grossly misreading what I wrote.  My entire post is full of if-then statements.  If you're going to boycott the movie (i.e. you have the money to go see it in the first place), then instead of simply hampering the box-office numbers of a piece of science-fiction film, give that money to a worthwhile cause.  If you're going to boycott the movie (i.e. you have the ability to go sit in a theater), then instead of simply leaving a chair open in a theater, go give two hours to a place that can use it.  If you're going to complain on the internet about workplace injustice in the entertainment industry, then find a way to get involved with local injustice where you can see the real results of your efforts affect people in your own neighborhood.

>Honestly, I have to question where you get your information.  Many of the volunteer activities I've been involved with are full of people who have disabilities of their own, both mental and physical.  They love to give of their energy and time in any way they can, limited though it might possibly be in some cases.  The internet, in and of itself, produces no actionable change in the world; it is simply a means of communication.  It still requires people to do (or not do) something in the actual world.  That's my whole point, and if saying that people need to actually do more than complain on the internet to get things done is arrogantly presumptive, then I'll take that badge.  

>It's both hilarious and ironic that you're saying I'm being discriminatory and insensitive by saying the internet is useless.  If someone can use the internet (i.e. they're capable of interacting with a computer), then they can also write a real letter, make a phone call, or help organize a real life protest to injustice.  If you (or anyone reading this) care so much about those that have severe limitations to their ability to produce actionable changes to the world, then volunteer to go help them do what it is they cannot accomplish on their own.  If you're already doing these things, then a sincere bravo, but waste less time arguing why a mere film is discriminatory, and go get involved in educating people on how to get more involved locally with issues that have a more immediate effect on your community.  I'm here suggesting that there are more and better outlets for people's energy than just the internet, and you're suggesting this is all the more capable some people are.  You, sir, are displaying an enormous lack of creativity about what individuals with strong will are capable of accomplishing, despite physical and mental limitations.

>The internet never has been and never will be good enough.  As was quoted several pages back, "I dare you to do better."  

>I think I'll take my own advice to some extent here, and bid adieu to further replies in this thread.  There isn't much more to be said one way or the other, and I really can use the time better.  I hope you see the essence of what I'm saying, and that there is a lot of good that can be done right around you without ever having to sit down at a computer.

>Cheers! 

>


 


Good answer Catholic.Fan.  I'm certainly inspired to get right out there and do some volunteer work.  The hardest thing is that I've got 2 year old twins now and it's hard for my wife and I to find the time.  Anyway, hope you have a great Sunday!


 


RS (another Catholic Fan)


KHAAAAAAANNNNNN!!!!!

june7

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 18

Report this Jun. 02 2013, 4:52 pm

I am of Asian ancestry and I hate whitewashing (remember "Brokeback Mountain" with Heath Ledger and Randy Quaid playing Hispanic characters) but I don't mind Khan being played by a non-Hispanic actor. Why? Because Khan and his 72 "family" members are genetically-engineered; perhaps they were created with a little bit of this and a little bit of that - a little Genghis Khan DNA blended with Einstein for intelligence and an athlete's DNA for the body. Perhaps he is named "Khan" because of his gggg-grandfather, but the rest of him is another race. In the 23rd century, there will likely be fewer "purebloods" left.

stovokor2000-A

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 2001

Report this Jun. 02 2013, 7:14 pm

Quote: june7 @ Jun. 02 2013, 4:52 pm

>

>I am of Asian ancestry and I hate whitewashing (remember "Brokeback Mountain" with Heath Ledger and Randy Quaid playing Hispanic characters)


ughhhhhhhhh


How are Ennis del Mar from Sage, near the Utah and Jack Twist from Montana border, hispanic characters??


granted, Ennis's last name is "del Mar" which is spanish for "of the sea" but that means nothing.He could be French,Spanarid or Italian.


Do you know something widely unknown about these characters?


 


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darmokattanagra

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 386

Report this Jun. 02 2013, 9:24 pm

CatholicFan: It's both hilarious and ironic that you're saying I'm being discriminatory and insensitive by saying the internet is useless.

Rocketscientist: Good answer Catholic.Fan.  I'm certainly inspired to get right out there and do some volunteer work.

Now THAT is hilarious and ironic.

rocketscientist

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 10054

Report this Jun. 03 2013, 9:18 am

Quote: darmokattanagra @ Jun. 02 2013, 9:24 pm

>

>CatholicFan: It's both hilarious and ironic that you're saying I'm being discriminatory and insensitive by saying the internet is useless.

Rocketscientist: Good answer Catholic.Fan.  I'm certainly inspired to get right out there and do some volunteer work.

Now THAT is hilarious and ironic.

>


Yeah, I gotta say it is! 


I actually was being sincere.  Catholic.Fan seems like a great guy and I just admire folks with a positive outlook who get out there to help others.  I just don't think I'm doing enough now in that regard.  It's hard having a job, with over an hour commute, and having to wrangle two year old twins.  I'm actually taking naps on the weekend since these kids showed up.  And I really wish I could donate more $ to charities.  Things are so tight right now. 


KHAAAAAAANNNNNN!!!!!

willowtree

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 1137

Report this Jun. 03 2013, 10:26 am

Quote: rocketscientist @ Jun. 03 2013, 9:18 am

Quote: darmokattanagra @ Jun. 02 2013, 9:24 pm

>

>

>CatholicFan: It's both hilarious and ironic that you're saying I'm being discriminatory and insensitive by saying the internet is useless.

Rocketscientist: Good answer Catholic.Fan.  I'm certainly inspired to get right out there and do some volunteer work.

Now THAT is hilarious and ironic.

>

Yeah, I gotta say it is! 

I actually was being sincere.  Catholic.Fan seems like a great guy and I just admire folks with a positive outlook who get out there to help others.  I just don't think I'm doing enough now in that regard.  It's hard having a job, with over an hour commute, and having to wrangle two year old twins.  I'm actually taking naps on the weekend since these kids showed up.  And I really wish I could donate more $ to charities.  Things are so tight right now. 


I agree with you there, it's hard to find time to do everything you want. For now I do what I can and donate to my local animal shelter and secretly deposit money into my grandmother's checking account every week so they can buy their medication.

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