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

Somniac

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Report this May. 23 2013, 5:48 am

Quote: bunkey @ May. 22 2013, 9:49 am


Very interesting article.


Especially risking making the Eugenic idea of superiority overt or even offensive by having a white man play him.


BTW, anyone with the name Singh is going to be a Sikh.


Actually one thing in it that I hadn't seen as a weakness in STID but is glaringly obvious to me having read it:


Chris Pine's lack of gravitas. Shatner had huge personality power. Also a maturity that Pine lacks.


He seems like a boy by comparison. But of course that fits with the whole demographic target.


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

bunkey

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Report this May. 23 2013, 5:53 am

I will get "defensive" because you harp on "facts" like it's court and I'm getting paid by you to provide information.  It's tiring.


You can keep beating your canon drum all you want. Khan was widely acknowledged for 47 years as Sikh.   The along comes JJ and makes Khan white and everyone is scrambling to justify it rather than just admit to the whitewashing.


Eye color =|= to ethnicity.  Give me a break. And height? You're really grasping at straws now.


I would have loved to see fan reaction if the roles were reversed and they gave us a POC as Kirk. Oh the fanboy screams that would be heard throughout the universe. It's happening as I type in regard to Michael B Jordan as Johnny Storm.

bunkey

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Report this May. 23 2013, 6:02 am

Quote: Somniac @ May. 23 2013, 5:48 am

>Very interesting article.

>Especially risking making the Eugenic idea of superiority overt or even offensive by having a white man play him.

>BTW, anyone with the name Singh is going to be a Sikh.

>Actually one thing in it that I hadn't seen as a weakness in STID but is glaringly obvious to me having read it:

>Chris Pine's lack of gravitas. Shatner had huge personality power. Also a maturity that Pine lacks.

>He seems like a boy by comparison. But of course that fits with the whole demographic target.


And the thing that gave TWOK weight was that it was based of a 15 year history. I always thought that what caused Kirk the most pain was that the entire situation could have been avoided.  He basically f'ed up in leaving Khan on Ceti Alpha IV and never following up on him.  It's about a lifetime of regrets.


And another defense for a white Khan was that a brown terrorist would bring up too much ick, which I have two problems with, 1-Khan was never a terrorist.  Cumberbatch was indeed menacing in his own, weird British way, but he lacked the charm, charisma and sex appeal that Khan had. Khan was not a terrorist, he was far more complex and layered.  2-If an audience can't tell the difference between a Sikh and a radical Islamist then the audience is stupid, ignorant and needs to go back to school.


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

stovokor2000-A

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POSTS: 2001

Report this May. 23 2013, 9:45 am

Quote: Somniac @ May. 23 2013, 5:48 am

>

>BTW, anyone with the name Singh is going to be a Sikh.

>


and if we could be sure that was his "REAL" name you might have a point.


Khan was a lab experament, we dont know what his real name waa.


 


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stovokor2000-A

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Report this May. 23 2013, 10:04 am

Quote: bunkey @ May. 23 2013, 5:53 am

>

>I will get "defensive" because you harp on "facts" like it's court and I'm getting paid by you to provide information.  It's tiring.

>You can keep beating your canon drum all you want. Khan was widely acknowledged for 47 years as Sikh.   The along comes JJ and makes Khan white and everyone is scrambling to justify it rather than just admit to the whitewashing.

>Eye color =|= to ethnicity.  Give me a break. And height? You're really grasping at straws now.

>I would have loved to see fan reaction if the roles were reversed and they gave us a POC as Kirk. Oh the fanboy screams that would be heard throughout the universe. It's happening as I type in regard to Michael B Jordan as Johnny Storm.

>
I asked you about the "facts"  because you claimed it was a FACT.If you cant be bothered to back up your claims then maybe you should reavaluate the way you post things here.


And I sight canon because that was the bases for your original complaint on the issuue


It was widely acknowledged for over 30 years that earth hips did not have the ability for ship to ship comunications in Archers era, but we leaened differently didnt we?


And we did see a black Harvy Dent, a Black Kingpin, a obvious mix asian Superman.........i dont recall much up roar.


we are now getting a Black Perry White......I uess we wait and see.


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bunkey

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Report this May. 23 2013, 10:53 am

What do you expect me to do? Post links to every frakking profile I read? Get over it.


There is plenty of backlash about black Spiderman and Johnny Storm. You just need to read comic forums.


Harvey Dent is irrelevant because there was no internet gauge the level of backlash in 1989.  Remember when they cast a black Nick Fury? Or a black Heimdall? 


How do we know Spock's name is Spock? Or Uhura's is Uhura.  What are you now, one of those Obama birthers? Do you want Khan's fricking birth certificate?


You can try to deny it all you want, but they whitewashed Khan. And every argument you make supporting it supports future whitewashing racism and institutionalized racism in Hollywod. Mazel Tov.


You're reasons for denial are ridiculous, but if they help you live with the fact that you're unwilling to speak out against whitewashing, then so be it. I'm done replying to you specifically about this nonsense because obviously you've convinced yourself it's okay.


It's only further proof that Indian people are viewed as disposable and invisible by audiences.


You've given me triple bingo


 


A handy reference guide from azora_mysta on Livejournal.


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

stovokor2000-A

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POSTS: 2001

Report this May. 23 2013, 11:23 am

All I'm saying is that if you claim something is a "FACT"  you need to expect someones going to question it.


 


I  never understood the backlash about black Spiderman.............its not like he was Peter Parcker, and I dont recall that much isswue with the 2099 Spideerman that was also lqtino.


 


I'll wqit to see if they actully give us a black Johnny Storm. to comment,. 


 


Harvey Dent is relevant , the internet is not the only way to mesure such things, I dont recall much backlash over the black Nick Fury..........some for black Heimdall althou some made a bit of sense to me when you consider who they were gods too.


 


as far as we know Spock and Uhura were the product of regular births/families structures.Theres no logical reason to question their names as there is with Khans.The man we know as Khan was the product of selective breeding and gentic engernering, he was a test tube baby.


 


Maybe his creators named him Khan............maybe they named him subject G-27......maybe they named him Bob, fact is we just dont know, and because we dont know we cant use his first or last name as proof of his ethnic background,.


 


And I havent denied the whitewashing, nor have I supported it in any way.I've done my best to stay off the real world issues in this case.I dont like online conversations about race issuews, it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.


 


My only point in this was to show that canon leaves room for such a change.,


 


 


 


 

Catholic.Fan

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Report this May. 23 2013, 1:09 pm

Reposting my response to bunkey from another thread where the racebending and io9 articles were mentioned:


[quote]


Several things to reply to here.  First off, using blogs as your backup (which both io9 and racebending are) is a really bad idea, simply because anyone can write anything on a blog.  Neither of those entries quote any relevant sources that suggest the producers of the films did not consider non-white actors for the role.  If you can find me the actual casting-calls that describe the requirements for the auditions, I'd be happy to concede the point.  


 


Secondly, Montalban was ethnically Latino while being racially white.  Given that, the choice of actor was not a case of whitewashing.  The racebending entry calls him Montalban a "brown skinned man", and that's simply not correct.  One only needs to see pictures of him outside of the role to understand that he had a tan for the role, but he is racially white.  So the choice of actor is not a case of whitewashing.  


 


Now, if we're speaking strictly of the character of Khan, I have no disagreement with you that the character has been whitewashed, except that I see it as starting from the beginning.  Picking a white man with a Latino heritage and accent, which certainly was an admirable step for the period in which the original was filmed, is still not true to the character as written.  If you wanted to suggest that the role has been further whitewashed by the storytelling obscurity of his background in the new film, I could agree with that to some extent.  However, there would still be no evidence that such a thing was done for racist reasons outside of conjecture.  The specific inclusion or removal of race-related content suggests nothing in and of itself about the intent of the authors.  Given that one of the writers of STID is of Jewish heritage and the other of Latino heritage, I think you'd have a hard time making that argument.


 


However, it still all comes down to one thing: none of us know what the criteria was for the casting of the role.  If only white people were considered, then it's racist, regardless of the final choice.  If people of all color were considered, and Cumberbatch was chosen because he had the best performance, it's not racist.  People forget that racism is present whenever race is a deciding factor in the decision-making process; if it's absent (which the outcome neither confirms nor denies), then there is no racism present.


 


I have not seen anything that suggests racism was present in the casting decision for Khan, nor in the obfuscation of his cultural heritage in the writing.  I think, like many aspects of these new Trek films, the character was simplified and removed from its "Trekkie" past to make him more accessable to newer fans who have no prior knowledge of Khan walking into the theater.  


 


Is it a missed opportunity to enlighten younger viewers to the cultural diversity present in the world?  Yes.


 


Is it overt (or subversive) racism?  Highly unlikely.


[/quote]

bunkey

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Report this May. 23 2013, 2:30 pm

The blogs are to illustrate my point because I am sick of explaining the same thing to different people and were not research citations or so called "back up"


Montalban was not white. By no means was he considered white by anyone in Hollywood.  You're splitting hairs to form a weak, racist defense. And you're basing race on skin color as in saying he wasn't brown enough to be Latino. That is some sorry bullshit and offensive.  I know Columbians and Domincans that are gingers and they're not "white". They're Latinos and proud of it.  I know Puerto Ricans with light skin and green eyes. They are not white. On that argument we could say Zoe Saladana wasn't black enough to be Uhura because she's mixed.


As far as casting, you know they called Cumberbatch to fill the role because Abrams liked Sherlock, right? There was no casting call.  It's not like they auditioned every single Indian actor in Hollywood and they all sucked.  He was called to fill in for Benecio Del Toro (another problematic casting choice) when he dropped out. They chose Cumberbatch. End of story.  Whitewashing.


So one writer is Jewish and the other Latino? And....? Does that make them automatically exempt from whitewashing? Like being Jewish or Latino exempts you from racism or whitewashing?  And the writers have little say in casting. They write. Directors and producers cast.


It was institutionalized racism that has been in practice for decades and your nitpicky arguments to attempt to justify it is part of the reason why it continues. 


It's yet another example of how Desi people are cast aside and undervalued in real life and Hollywood.  

bunkey

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Report this May. 23 2013, 2:32 pm

Quote:

And I havent denied the whitewashing, nor have I supported it in any way.I've done my best to stay off the real world issues in this case.I dont like online conversations about race issuews, it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.


Then maybe you shouldn't get involved in a topic that is specifically about real world racism.


stovokor2000-A

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Report this May. 23 2013, 3:09 pm

Quote: bunkey @ May. 23 2013, 2:30 pm

>Montalban was not white. By no means was he considered white by anyone in Hollywood.  You're splitting hairs to form a weak, racist defense. And you're basing race on skin color as in saying he wasn't brown enough to be Latino. That is some sorry bullshit and offensive.  I know Columbians and Domincans that are gingers and they're not "white". They're Latinos and proud of it.  I know Puerto Ricans with light skin and green eyes. They are not white.


ok let me set 1 thing straight.


althou its common to see the terms Latino/Hispanic used to describe race, its not exactly correct to do so..Lainos/Hispanics are the product of a mixing of different races


any latino/hispanic you know thats a real "ginger can be called white.....or to be more precise, mostly white regaruless of what they call themselfs.


As far as Montaiban not being considered white by anyone in hollywood, your right, but thats irrelevent in knowing what he was or wasnt


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stovokor2000-A

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Report this May. 23 2013, 3:12 pm

Quote: bunkey @ May. 23 2013, 2:32 pm

Quote: /view_profile/ @

>

> style="color: #6a6a6a; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 16px;">And I havent denied the whitewashing, nor have I supported it in any way.I've done my best to stay off the real world issues in this case.I dont like online conversations about race issuews, it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Then maybe you shouldn't get involved in a topic that is specifically about real world racism.

you might be right rabbit.


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chator56

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Report this May. 23 2013, 5:36 pm

On the topic of Indian actors of Montalban or Cumberpatch's caliber, you don't really need to cast an actor of either's caliber. But as far as popular Indian actors based in Hollywood, I can think of two that could have played Khan. Lost's Naveen Andrews, whom Abrams should know, and Heroes' Sendhil Ramamurthy, who buffed up pretty well for Heroes' second season. I would add, Star Trek is a franchise known for multi-racial casting and characters, Abrams doesn't seem too sensitive to that with his decision to cast Cumberpatch as Khan.

OtakuJo

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Report this May. 23 2013, 6:42 pm

Of course an easier way out of this would have been to cast Cumberbatch as an original villain.


I do not know about Heroes and have only seen maybe two episode of Lost before I made a conscious decision to give up on it. However, I do think that Naveen Andrews would have been good.


I respectfully disagree about the point of not having to cast an actor of the calibre of Montalban or Cumberbatch as Khan -- as the role itself does seem to be particularly demanding. Whatever their ethnicity, I don't think fans would have been satisfied with someone like Mark Ruffalo (earlier example) who is fairly decent but has not really shown himself to be up to the task.


You really do need a pretty sound actor for that role. A box-standard Hollywood action-hero type would have come across as tacky.


Speaking personally, I'm happy with the casting, but think it would have been better had Abrams et al. been daring enough to introduce an entirely new character.


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

fireproof78

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Report this May. 23 2013, 8:46 pm

Quote: bunkey @ May. 23 2013, 6:02 am

Quote: Somniac @ May. 23 2013, 5:48 am

>

>Very interesting article.

>Especially risking making the Eugenic idea of superiority overt or even offensive by having a white man play him.

>BTW, anyone with the name Singh is going to be a Sikh.

>Actually one thing in it that I hadn't seen as a weakness in STID but is glaringly obvious to me having read it:

>Chris Pine's lack of gravitas. Shatner had huge personality power. Also a maturity that Pine lacks.

>He seems like a boy by comparison. But of course that fits with the whole demographic target.

And the thing that gave TWOK weight was that it was based of a 15 year history. I always thought that what caused Kirk the most pain was that the entire situation could have been avoided.  He basically f'ed up in leaving Khan on Ceti Alpha IV and never following up on him.  It's about a lifetime of regrets.

And another defense for a white Khan was that a brown terrorist would bring up too much ick, which I have two problems with, 1-Khan was never a terrorist.  Cumberbatch was indeed menacing in his own, weird British way, but he lacked the charm, charisma and sex appeal that Khan had. Khan was not a terrorist, he was far more complex and layered.  2-If an audience can't tell the difference between a Sikh and a radical Islamist then the audience is stupid, ignorant and needs to go back to school.


Or, the writers would be called insensitive, blind and ignorant as well.


A person of color, regardless of ethnic background, being portrayed as a terrorist, would be considered, in our wonderful world of political correctness, to be alienating, whether that is accurate or not. The fact of the matter is, people worried about "The Two Towers" being too touchy of name, Starbucks had to pull an add due to it looking like a 9/11 reference.


I really wouldn't underestimate people's ability to blow up any little perceived slight.

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