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

fireproof78

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POSTS: 342

Report this May. 24 2013, 10:54 pm

Quote: bunkey @ May. 24 2013, 5:43 pm

>

>Whitewashing is a real world problem that cannot be erased by grasping at canon.  Fantasy does not erase reality. The fact that the Federation is not a currency based economy doesn't cancel out the recession. 

>If you want to be left out of conversations, don't post in a thread that's about a real world issue.  

>


Bunkey, what I can do help with the real world issue here? Canocity aside and with all seriousness to the situation you present, since it matters very much and bothers you so greatly.

fireproof78

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POSTS: 342

Report this May. 24 2013, 10:55 pm

Quote: darmokattanagra @ May. 24 2013, 6:46 pm

>

>Can everyone just agree to disagree that the whitewashing issue could have easily been avoided by going with an original villain? I mean, can anyone defend the re-hashing of Khan?

>


I really find it ridiculous that they felt the need to rehash it at all, casting issues or no casting issues.


Also, what sto-vo-kor and OtakuJo said.

bunkey

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POSTS: 686

Report this May. 25 2013, 6:55 am

Please don't confuse my Abrams hatred with my problem with whitewashing.  Not every fan that is pissed about the whitewashing disliked the movie.  As a matter of fact, I have read responses from some fans that actually enjoyed the film and Cumberbatch, up until Harrison was revealed to be Khan, then they inwardly groaned and their enjoyment of the movie stopped.  A couple even got up and left.  Even Garrett Wang has said he enjoyed the film but was not happy with the casting.


Quote:

Can everyone just agree to disagree that the whitewashing issue could have easily been avoided by going with an original villain? I mean, can anyone defend the re-hashing of Khan?


If they had just let the character remain John Harrison, then all this could have been avoided. Hm being Khan was shoehorned into the plot. It was so awkward that NuSpock had to call Spock Prime to explain who he is and how dangerous he is to the audience him.


They should have indeed left Khan out of it. Iconic status aside, if they had cast a brown man as a two dimensional terrorist (as this Khan is portrayed) that may have been problematic too.  If they were to have cast a brown man as Khan, then they should have allowed him to be as charismatic, flamboyant, charming and egotistical as the original Khan.  


Quote:

Bunkey, what I can do help with the real world issue here? Canocity aside and with all seriousness to the situation you present, since it matters very much and bothers you so greatly


I hope you're being serious with this statement.  


Honestly, my goal was to get people talking about this and acknowledging that it is a problem.  A dialogue is the first step.  Personally, I've emailed Paramount and Bad Robot about the situation.  I've also emailed George Takei asking him to speak out since he was so vocal about Akira being whitewashed and he is outspoken about social issues.  His silence up until now has disappointed me and a lot other fans. (Unlike John Cho, who I expect will become more direct with his disapproval as time goes in).  


I dropped an email to Racebending.com to ask if they're planning to follow up on this, so maybe you should too. The fact that it's after the fact takes a lot of wind out of advocates sails, and that's due to the secrecy Khan was shrouded in, which I still believe was to avoid backlash from fans before the release.  


To be honest, as a white person who's inexperienced with this kind of thing, I'm not entirely sure what to do to solve it.  Normally when I see things like this occuring, I sign whatever petition is posted and not pay to see the movie (like I will be doing with the Lone Ranger).  But with Star Trek, it hits too close to home, so to speak and I felt offended and angry that in 2013, this would be allowed to happen in a franchise that prides itself on cultural diversity.


Star Trek fans are on the whole, intelligent and socially aware as well as great in numbers.  Explaining the casting away with possible canon scenarios marginalizes the issue.  Not speaking about it allows it to continue.  And the reasoning of "well it's happened before/Montalban wasn't Indian" doesn't mean it's okay on 2013.


To quote Star Trek 2009: "I dare you to do better."

stovokor2000-A

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POSTS: 2001

Report this May. 25 2013, 4:07 pm

Quote: bunkey @ May. 25 2013, 6:55 am

>To be honest, as a white person who's inexperienced with this kind of thing, I'm not entirely sure what to do to solve it.  Normally when I see things like this occuring, I sign whatever petition is posted and not pay to see the movie (like I will be doing with the Lone Ranger). ."


I'm not sure its fair to compair the casting of Depp as Tonto with what was done to Khan.


Depp at least has some Cherokee in his family background.


Photobucket

Somniac

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POSTS: 462

Report this May. 26 2013, 2:37 am

[quote]


 


I wasnt trying to erase the real world problem of Whitewashing, I wasnt even addresing it in any way.


I have enough real world problem to deal with, which is why I endulge in the fantacy worlds of trek.


not sure why you even brought up the economy issue.


My post was a reply to something Somniac posted, the part of the conversation I replid to had NOTHING TO DO about a real world issue....it was about the characters name........AND THATS A CANON ISSUE.


so you need to learn how to follow a conversation.


[/quote]


 


OK. So his name is Khan and Singh.


Why do you think (logically) that whoever engineered him would choose those particular names?


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

Somniac

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POSTS: 462

Report this May. 26 2013, 2:42 am

Quote: fireproof78 @ May. 24 2013, 10:54 pm

>

>

>Bunkey, what I can do help with the real world issue here? Canocity aside and with all seriousness to the situation you present, since it matters very much and bothers you so greatly.

>


Sorry to butt in here, but it seems to me that owning up to it as a problem in the media generally and in Nutrek in particular would be a start.


i don't think either than we can agree to disagree.


This issue is vital in the debate about the perversion (or not) of GR's concept.


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

stovokor2000-A

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 2001

Report this May. 26 2013, 6:21 am

Quote: Somniac @ May. 26 2013, 2:37 am

>OK. So his name is Khan and Singh.

>Why do you think (logically) that whoever engineered him would choose those particular names?

>


actully if you look back at my post I suggested that he gave himself the name, not that it was given to him.


as to why he would choose those names........


Khan: admaration for the Historacal Khan........could have been the name of one of his creators, I read somewhere that Khan is the 80th most common surname in the United Kingdom and far more common world wide, so maybe it was his way of hiding in public.


Singh: maybe Singh was the name of the facility he was created, the scientist that was in charge of him, the school he attened, the streat he lived on......and heres a nice twist, Singh was the name of the kind old janitor that was in charge of cleaning the area he lived/grew up in....or his archaeology teacher.


the possibilities are endless


BTW, Khan has also been used as a Title like Cesar


Photobucket

DS9_FOREVER!

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Report this May. 26 2013, 7:13 am

Quote: Treknoir @ May. 14 2013, 7:15 am

Quote: Utopia Planetia @ May. 13 2013, 3:37 pm

>

>

>Well said, Treknoir.

>

Thanks. I think fans should continue to raise a stink about such matters. And not just for ST. I was ticked at the whitewashing for Avatar the Last Airbender too.


 


Whitewashing? Really?


JJ & crew tried to cast about 6 others before Cumby. All in an attempt to mirror Khan's "ethnicity" (that was screwed up in TOS as well BTW)


I for one think Cumby did a fantastic job and "whitewashing" never came to mind.


This guy can act!!


I just found this great Star Trek MB!!  photo ac1685424929087bf1b7e7e0d734f861.jpg

Somniac

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POSTS: 462

Report this May. 26 2013, 9:31 am

[quote]


[quote]OK. So his name is Khan and Singh.


Why do you think (logically) that whoever engineered him would choose those particular names?


[/quote]


actully if you look back at my post I suggested that he gave himself the name, not that it was given to him.


as to why he would choose those names........


Khan: admaration for the Historacal Khan........could have been the name of one of his creators, I read somewhere that Khan is the 80th most common surname in the United Kingdom and far more common world wide, so maybe it was his way of hiding in public.


Singh: maybe Singh was the name of the facility he was created, the scientist that was in charge of him, the school he attened, the streat he lived on......and heres a nice twist, Singh was the name of the kind old janitor that was in charge of cleaning the area he lived/grew up in....or his archaeology teacher.


the possibilities are endless


BTW, Khan has also been used as a Title like Cesar


[/quote]


 


OK. It's your take on it. If it helps you get by what to me is an obvious sidestep of the issue (in the film I mean) then fine.


 



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

Somniac

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POSTS: 462

Report this May. 26 2013, 9:42 am

[quote]


Whitewashing? Really?


JJ & crew tried to cast about 6 others before Cumby. All in an attempt to mirror Khan's "ethnicity"


[/quote]


So you're saying no one of the right ethnicity fitted the bill?


They couldn't have looked all that far then.


Nothing to do, you think, with the Hollywood popular tradition of Brits as villains?


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

DS9_FOREVER!

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POSTS: 201

Report this May. 26 2013, 11:05 am

Quote: Somniac @ May. 26 2013, 9:42 am

Quote: /view_profile/ @

>

>

>Whitewashing? Really?

>JJ & crew tried to cast about 6 others before Cumby. All in an attempt to mirror Khan's "ethnicity"

>

So you're saying no one of the right ethnicity fitted the bill?

They couldn't have looked all that far then.

Nothing to do, you think, with the Hollywood popular tradition of Brits as villains?


Well, I read they turned the part down. Unless you think that was just a front to get a white brit in there.


I don't think it's a hollywood "brit" thing, the ausie accent is very popular as well


But I don't see any whitewashing here.


I just found this great Star Trek MB!!  photo ac1685424929087bf1b7e7e0d734f861.jpg

stovokor2000-A

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POSTS: 2001

Report this May. 26 2013, 1:04 pm

Quote: Somniac @ May. 26 2013, 9:31 am

>OK. It's your take on it. If it helps you get by what to me is an obvious sidestep of the issue (in the film I mean) then fine.


I was hoping it would help me get throu it, but it didnt.


I just saw the film..............and to be honest I feel that this guy just didnt capoture the character very well.


if he was a new villian it wouldnt have been so bad.


Photobucket

Somniac

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Report this May. 26 2013, 2:22 pm

Quote: DS9_FOREVER! @ May. 26 2013, 11:05 am

Quote: Somniac @ May. 26 2013, 9:42 am

Quote: /view_profile/ @

>

>

>

>Whitewashing? Really?

>JJ & crew tried to cast about 6 others before Cumby. All in an attempt to mirror Khan's "ethnicity"

>

So you're saying no one of the right ethnicity fitted the bill?

They couldn't have looked all that far then.

Nothing to do, you think, with the Hollywood popular tradition of Brits as villains?

Well, I read they turned the part down. Unless you think that was just a front to get a white brit in there.

I don't think it's a hollywood "brit" thing, the ausie accent is very popular as well

But I don't see any whitewashing here.


 


Benicio del Toro, Edgar Ramirez, Jordi Molla turned it down or were not considered suitable to my knowledge.


So....three......


Is that the sum total of Latino/Asian (by Asian I mean Indian subcontinent) talent in Hollywood do you think?


Aussies are not habitually cast as villains. Brits are and have been for decades.


I won't stir it by getting into why.


If you don't see any whitewashing?


OK.


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

starfan97

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Report this May. 26 2013, 2:46 pm

I think that Chris Pine was a great choice for Kirk.He had just the right attitude and swagger


I am not a fan of Zachary Quinto as Spock. He may be an OK actor, but I don't think he portrays Spock that well. I aslo don't like the way they made Spock in these movies. Spock was way to free disagreeing with the captain publically. the real Spock would have confronted Kirk in more private settings.


I think Bruce Greenwood portrayed a great Captain Pike, although he usually does not act as a good guy. 


But I truly think that Benedict Cumberbatch was certainly a great villian. I was not crazy about him being in Star trek at first, but I think he did a great job.

OtakuJo

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Report this May. 26 2013, 3:17 pm

Quote: Somniac @ May. 26 2013, 2:22 pm

>

>Aussies are not habitually cast as villains. Brits are and have been for decades.

>I won't stir it by getting into why.

>


I will.


Aussies tend to be supporting actors a lot. Much of this I'm doing from memory so I may get a few minor details out of place.


When I was growing up, there were actually very few Australian actors succeeding in Hollywood (and most of those -- Mel Gibson, Olivia Newton John, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman) were not in fact born in Australia. (Crowe is kiwi but moved to Aussie later, while the others were born overseas but raised Aussie.) Then of course The Matrix happened, and also Dark City. Fox had set up a special FX studio in Sydney, which gave more Australian actors like Hugo Weaving who I think had already starred in Priscilla a chance to appear in big budget Hollywood flicks, without actually having to "start over" in Hollywood.


Before then, Anthony LaPaglia (Aussie) was already mildly successful in America, but had to pretend at auditions that he came from New York. Also there were some directors like Peter Weir who were making it in America. LaPaglia "came out" as Aussie for the movie Looking for Alibrandi. At about the same time or shortly after, films like the aforementioned Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Shine, Muriel's Wedding, Chopper, &c. were popular overseas and served as a platform for Australian actors to become celebs. I still remember what a big deal it was when Geoffrey Rush won an Oscar because it was almost unheard of for an Australian actor in an Australian film to be that successful.


There are a few instances of Australians playing villains, but they are more likely these days to end up in supporting roles, or with fake accents. British actors on the other hand were, historically speaking, more likely to have classical training than Hollywood actors in decades past, which allows them to develop the nuanced performance necessary for a memorable villain. Also, the British "stage accent", if you like, involves very precise diction and careful delivery, which works well if you want to represent some of the more calculating villains. These do often tend to be more demanding roles than "the hero", who can generally get away with blustering around and looking heroic.


Ok -- not really that easy to be a hero, but nine times out of ten the more demanding and complex role ends up being that of the villain. And of course, over the years, audiences came to associate villainy in movies with a certain level of intellect, calculation, complexity, and arrogance -- which they came to associate with (generally middle/upper class) British. Cockneys &c. tend to be associated more with lackeys and minions in film, which could itself be fodder for an entirely new debate.


Off topic, I know. But most Australians playing villains tend to be faking a different accent.


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

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