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Old 20th March 2017, 07:58 AM   #121
Archie Gemmill Goal
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Is this a given? Historical drama, yet, but not clearly not all drama, even if we discount soaps and stick to the "serious" stuff. The Newton interview is on the coat-tails of her appearing in Line of Duty (for which she has my sympathy, what with Jed Mercurio being a dreary writing-by-numbers hack). There are plenty of roles for non-white actors outside of historical dramas, so her apparently focussing on historical dramas is a bit of a red herring.

As an aside, it's worth noting that Victoria does have some openings for significant real life non-white characters, who Newton perhaps was unaware of when she used that series an an example.
The point is about the high proportion of original drama content that and is either period or based on a romanticised version of Englishness. So yes while there are other roles available there isn't a hell of a lot of them.

Now I haven't run the numbers so it may be simply a perception issue but it certainly seems like it's the case.
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Old 20th March 2017, 08:00 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
The West Country peasants would have been quite heavily suntanned, from being outdoors all day, so why not cast an ethnic actor to play them?
Not only that, but there was a surprisingly large black population in the West country, especially around Bristol, with it's slave trade connections.
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Old 20th March 2017, 08:37 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
The point is about the high proportion of original drama content that and is either period or based on a romanticised version of Englishness. So yes while there are other roles available there isn't a hell of a lot of them.

Now I haven't run the numbers so it may be simply a perception issue but it certainly seems like it's the case.
It probably is a perception thing, because I can think of a lot of programmes that don't fit into either of those categories. Even that said, Ripper Street and Peaky Blinders may both be period, but it is neither romanticised (quite the opposite), nor short of non-white characters (the same seems to be true of Taboo, although I've not been watching that).

Both the BBC and to a lesser extent ITV do have a heavy London bias (C4 less so), that only recently seems to be giving way to the English provinces. It's worth noting that historically BBC Scotland, BBC Wales, and BBC NI have always produced drama that was only ever own in those regions as opt-out, rather than being networked. Even now BBC Scotland gets River City whilst the rest of the country watches Holby City (set Bristol-way).

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Old 20th March 2017, 08:44 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
It probably is a perception thing, because I can think of a lot of programmes that don't fit into either of those categories. Even that said, Ripper Street and Peaky Blinders may both be period, but it is neither romanticised (quite the opposite), nor short of non-white characters (the same seems to be true of Taboo, although I've not been watching that).
I don't watch any of those shows. Are there non-white lead/major roles in them?
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Old 20th March 2017, 08:59 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
I don't watch any of those shows. Are there non-white lead/major roles in them?
Peaky Blinders certainly amongst the regular gang members, Ripper Street more in terms of guest characters, although with some running across multiple episodes.
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Old 20th March 2017, 11:40 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Scenario 3. I write a fictional story about a UK naval vesse in 2017 with a multicultural crew which doesn't get picked up for tv because the commissioners are only interested in making yet another costume drama with an entirely white cast.
Congratulations. You have entirely missed the point, as usual.
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Old 20th March 2017, 12:53 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
You appear to have accidentally snipped the key part of my post where I point out that there were blacks in the West Country in all walks of life in the 19th century. Hence my point that, if you can find examples of white and/or hispanic slaves in the period covered by 12 years then you would have a point.
And you seem to have snipped my post omitting where I explained that you had utterly missed the point. Do feel free to carry on, though. Everyone else seems to have managed to have worked it out.
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Old 20th March 2017, 01:15 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
But wait, if you had a version of Christmas Carol in which Scrooge sends a black or Asian boy to the shop to buy a big turkey you will indeed get complaints. In Victorian Britain it would have been goose!

A turkey, indeed!
It is actually a Turkey in the original Dickens novel; Turkey was an expensive Gourmet item in Victorian England. Dickens was making a point by making it a Turkey instead of a Goose.
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Old 20th March 2017, 01:18 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Scenario 3. I write a fictional story about a UK naval vesse in 2017 with a multicultural crew which doesn't get picked up for tv because the commissioners are only interested in making yet another costume drama with an entirely white cast.
People want to watch the costume drama instead of the contemporary drams. Welcome to Show Business.
You seem to be indulging in a prejudice against historical drama.
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Old 20th March 2017, 01:22 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Damn straight. I don't watch inauthentic Sherlock Holmes.
It depends on which Modern Sherlock you are talking about.
"Elementary " sucks, but "Sherlock" is actually very well done.
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Old 20th March 2017, 01:23 PM   #131
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Quote:
It's also somewhat ironic given the propensity to parachute American actors into British films, which obviously includes Denzel Washington in For Queen and Country.

And I am sick and tired of Brits stealing iconic American Comic Book hero roles away from Americans. What kind of world are we living in when Superman and Spiderman as played by Brits?
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Old 20th March 2017, 01:30 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Certainly you couldn't have James Bond be Scottish. Or Irish, or Australian. That would be crazy.
Irony is that in the original Fleming novels, Bond is half Scottish.
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Old 20th March 2017, 01:40 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
People want to watch the costume drama instead of the contemporary drams. Welcome to Show Business.
You seem to be indulging in a prejudice against historical drama.
It's impossible to know if people would watch things that are not made but yes i didn't ever deny that there was a market for this stuff.
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Old 20th March 2017, 01:41 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Congratulations. You have entirely missed the point, as usual.
It's you who has missed the point because you were too busy putting the uppity black woman back in her place.
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Old 20th March 2017, 01:46 PM   #135
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Now that we have that midget chick on US TV (MacGyver) playing a regular person's role, I'm thinking there ought to be more midgets on UK TV too.

(I mean in normal roles, not jokey midget stuff.)
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Old 20th March 2017, 05:32 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Now that we have that midget chick on US TV (MacGyver) playing a regular person's role, I'm thinking there ought to be more midgets on UK TV too.

(I mean in normal roles, not jokey midget stuff.)
I'd welcome more of Warwick Davies. Although I believe he's a dwarf, not a midget. I think the PC term is 'little person' for both flavours, although to me that always sounds patronising. Perhaps best not to mention the height thing at all.
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Old 20th March 2017, 06:19 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
We fund the BBC to be a public service and go beyond what the market demands. Its currently being driven by a desire to feed an overseas demand a for twee British stereotypes Seriously this makes no more sense than a retailer saying they don't want to hire black people because they frighten their customers.
In which case remove "Downton Abbey" from the discussion, because it was an ITV production,and ITV is a privately owned network that receives no direct Government funding.
For the record, I did not care that much for Downton Abbey;struck me,despite it's great success,as being a Upstairs, Downstairs wannabe,and not nearly as good.
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Old 21st March 2017, 01:11 AM   #138
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A couple of days ago I watched a BBC drama, To Walk Invisible, about the Brontë family in which every major character was played by a white person. Was this yet another example of BBC insensitivity towards BAME performers ? Should casting be colour and gender blind so that Anne Brontë could have been played by a black actor, a male actor or perhaps even an animated character ?

It's difficult for me to check my white privilege but if I see what appears to be a performer deliberately cast into a role for "diversity" reasons then it jars somewhat. Then again maybe it is just my latent racism and misogyny which would find seeing Henry VIII being played by a black woman in a period drama or dramatic reconstruction a little distracting.
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Old 21st March 2017, 01:27 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
I'd welcome more of Warwick Davies. Although I believe he's a dwarf, not a midget. I think the PC term is 'little person' for both flavours, although to me that always sounds patronising. Perhaps best not to mention the height thing at all.
It's a little awkward sometimes because of the camera angles - when you want the shortie and the taller actors' headshots to share the screen. Probably the same with child actors and I never noticed.

Warwick Davies is pretty good. I've seen him in that Karl Pilkington vehicle.
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Old 21st March 2017, 01:56 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
A couple of days ago I watched a BBC drama, To Walk Invisible, about the Brontë family in which every major character was played by a white person. Was this yet another example of BBC insensitivity towards BAME performers ? Should casting be colour and gender blind so that Anne Brontë could have been played by a black actor, a male actor or perhaps even an animated character ?

It's difficult for me to check my white privilege but if I see what appears to be a performer deliberately cast into a role for "diversity" reasons then it jars somewhat. Then again maybe it is just my latent racism and misogyny which would find seeing Henry VIII being played by a black woman in a period drama or dramatic reconstruction a little distracting.
The Brontes were real people. They were white. Whiteness had nothing to do with their lives, but was a mere fact. For people who know or care about the history (which, to be fair would be the only reason to watch such a drama), it's quite easy to see why having them played by a Chinese amputee and black m/f transgender and a Vulcan could've struck a discordant note.

Imagine, though, that you don't know who the Brontes are and that you don't make the "alternate" performers quite so hyperbolic. "Oh, yeah? How about getting a goldfish to play Churchill. How'd that feel?"

What we're talking about is people playing fictional characters. As I said, is there any reason, since it's fiction, that Oliver Twist couldn't be played by a black kid? I mean, Fagan had to be a Jew but other than that, all the characters could've been black or south Asian or Cambodian... any minority in a big city would fit. It's when you think "OMG! It's the holy of holies - Dickensian London - of course they have to be caucasian (except for that Jew; I mean are they even white).

Thing is, if we re-examine the complaints, how many of the people who have trouble with this sort of against-type casting would also be first in line to make fun of Africans complaining that Cleopatra is always played by a white woman or that Shakespeare never cast any Italians in or actual Jews in The Merchant of Venice? Isn't this just a flip side of the "Ha Ha Political Correctness" put-down?
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Old 21st March 2017, 02:13 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
In which case remove "Downton Abbey" from the discussion, because it was an ITV production,and ITV is a privately owned network that receives no direct Government funding.
For the record, I did not care that much for Downton Abbey;struck me,despite it's great success,as being a Upstairs, Downstairs wannabe,and not nearly as good.
I was just using it as an example of the kind of thing we are talking about. For the record I have no problem with period dramas being made, I have a bit of an issue with so many being made at the expense of other content.

In an ideal world we would just have a lot more drama being made period but budgets being what they are then only limited amounts get greenlighted and it seems the UK has found a niche in producing these kinds of shows. I don't think that's a good thing for a healthy industry in the UK and I think, in particular, the BBC has a responsibility to be more diverse in its programming and less driven by what they can sell overseas.
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Old 21st March 2017, 03:30 AM   #142
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We always complain about Western cinema, which in terms of diversity is way ahead of the rest of the world. I watch a lot of Korean, Japanese, Chinese cinema and the cast seems to be predominantly Korean, Japanese and Chinese. If it were not, I wouldn't watch it. I don't want to watch Japanese cinema to see the trials and tribulations of a white English family, or a Pakistani family, unless the plot specifically calls for it.

More practically, UK TV channels ship the likes of Downton Abbey to over 200 countries and the reason for this high demand is that these series satisfy the requirement of foreigners to enjoy a very 'British' experience. Dilute that too much and your revenue plummets.
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Old 21st March 2017, 04:41 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Let's cut to the real discrimination in Hollywood: the disproportionate number of villains with an English accent!

We can thank Christopher Lee for that.

It's actually a back-handed compliment we English do this so well. (cf The film, Jungle Book 2016: - do see it, the big bad black cat with Christopher Lee vowels sounds brilliantly EVIL - should have got an Oscar for it.)
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Old 21st March 2017, 04:49 AM   #144
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That was Ben Kingsley, Christopher Lee might even have been dead when this movie was made (depending on when the dialogue was recorded, Lee died in 2015, while the Jungle Book was in production)
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Old 21st March 2017, 05:28 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post

Thing is, if we re-examine the complaints, how many of the people who have trouble with this sort of against-type casting would also be first in line to make fun of Africans complaining that Cleopatra is always played by a white woman
Bad example. People make fun of that because of the complainers historical illiteracy (Cleo was of Macedonian descent, that she was born in Africa makes her about as black as a South African Boer)
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Old 21st March 2017, 05:57 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
The Brontes were real people. They were white. Whiteness had nothing to do with their lives, but was a mere fact. For people who know or care about the history (which, to be fair would be the only reason to watch such a drama), it's quite easy to see why having them played by a Chinese amputee and black m/f transgender and a Vulcan could've struck a discordant note.

Imagine, though, that you don't know who the Brontes are and that you don't make the "alternate" performers quite so hyperbolic. "Oh, yeah? How about getting a goldfish to play Churchill. How'd that feel?"

What we're talking about is people playing fictional characters. As I said, is there any reason, since it's fiction, that Oliver Twist couldn't be played by a black kid? I mean, Fagan had to be a Jew but other than that, all the characters could've been black or south Asian or Cambodian... any minority in a big city would fit. It's when you think "OMG! It's the holy of holies - Dickensian London - of course they have to be caucasian (except for that Jew; I mean are they even white).

Thing is, if we re-examine the complaints, how many of the people who have trouble with this sort of against-type casting would also be first in line to make fun of Africans complaining that Cleopatra is always played by a white woman or that Shakespeare never cast any Italians in or actual Jews in The Merchant of Venice? Isn't this just a flip side of the "Ha Ha Political Correctness" put-down?
So at what point do we take casting decisions away from the people making the art then?
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Old 21st March 2017, 06:21 AM   #147
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
It depends on which Modern Sherlock you are talking about.
"Elementary " sucks, but "Sherlock" is actually very well done.
Good reviews, great cast, but I don't want a Sherlock reboot. I may be missing good, even very good, TV as a result of my stubbornness, but I prefer to think of it as purity of soul.
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Old 21st March 2017, 06:38 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
A couple of days ago I watched a BBC drama, To Walk Invisible, about the Brontë family in which every major character was played by a white person. Was this yet another example of BBC insensitivity towards BAME performers ? Should casting be colour and gender blind so that Anne Brontë could have been played by a black actor, a male actor or perhaps even an animated character ?
Well, there was certainly a bit of a grumble a few years back when that new version of Wuthering Heights had Heathcliff as black (even though the book describes him as both gypsy and lascar)....

Quote:
It's difficult for me to check my white privilege but if I see what appears to be a performer deliberately cast into a role for "diversity" reasons then it jars somewhat. Then again maybe it is just my latent racism and misogyny which would find seeing Henry VIII being played by a black woman in a period drama or dramatic reconstruction a little distracting.
This is, though, something that the theatre has been doing for many years, with various Shakespeare works being transposed into settings. Tamsin Greig, for example, is currently playing Malvolio.
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Old 21st March 2017, 06:40 AM   #149
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
What we're talking about is people playing fictional characters. As I said, is there any reason, since it's fiction, that Oliver Twist couldn't be played by a black kid? I mean, Fagan had to be a Jew but other than that, all the characters could've been black or south Asian or Cambodian... any minority in a big city would fit. It's when you think "OMG! It's the holy of holies - Dickensian London - of course they have to be caucasian (except for that Jew; I mean are they even white).
Not Oliver, but in Dickensian Dodger was played by a black actor, although sadly not a very good one.
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Old 21st March 2017, 07:37 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by sadhatter View Post
So at what point do we take casting decisions away from the people making the art then?
Strawman. No one is talking about forcing these choices on them; merely pointing out that there could be other ways to produce their products other than with 100% historically accurate skin color.
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Old 21st March 2017, 02:35 PM   #151
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
That was Ben Kingsley, Christopher Lee might even have been dead when this movie was made (depending on when the dialogue was recorded, Lee died in 2015, while the Jungle Book was in production)
That of course, should have read, 'Christopher Lee-type vowels'. Obviously.
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Old 21st March 2017, 06:06 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Strawman. No one is talking about forcing these choices on them; merely pointing out that there could be other ways to produce their products other than with 100% historically accurate skin color.
So is there something wrong with their choice or not?

If so them it should be corrected, if not why are we trying to shame them?
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Old 21st March 2017, 06:28 PM   #153
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Right back at you!

Originally Posted by Noztradamus View Post
Xactly. And are they really going to cast a black actress as Margaret of Anjou?
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Old 21st March 2017, 06:32 PM   #154
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
No. But it's part of the outcome.
The outcome resulted from the writer concentrating so much on celebrating the multicultural diversity of the crew that they produced a crappy story.
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Old 21st March 2017, 08:05 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by sadhatter View Post
So is there something wrong with their choice or not?

If so them it should be corrected, if not why are we trying to shame them?
Who's trying to shame them? This is yet another straw man. We are having a discussion on a discussion board. Albeit with some difficulty as you keep erecting an "argument that you'd like to have" as opposed to the "conversation we are actually having".

See, this is how it goes.... I say that I would have no problem with casting townsfolk, neighbors, second leads or even leads in period pieces with no attention paid to their skin color or ethnic background. That might give you a black Hamlet (which we've had and the world is still turning, I believe) or a South Asian (Indian Subcontinent) Oliver Twist. So what? It wouldn't effect me. And in this respect, I'm just talking about random casting. Anyone who lives in current England is accustomed to all their soaps and sitcoms with blacks and Asians playing "the neighbor", or "the new girlfriend". They are rarely "the black neighbor with all his black characteristics" or the "funny-speaking yet very attractive exotic girl". They play characters.

And then you respond with how you'd feel about that. Don't hide behind Super Skeptic. What would you think of it? You state your opinion. We discuss.

I haven't seen anyone propose actual quotas, merely mentioning the population percentages as a reference point. More important, though, is that I'm not the person who made those references. I haven't said a thing about forcing controls on the industry, yet you keep circling back to it.
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Old 22nd March 2017, 12:03 PM   #156
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
What we're talking about is people playing fictional characters. As I said, is there any reason, since it's fiction, that Oliver Twist couldn't be played by a black kid? I mean, Fagan had to be a Jew but other than that, all the characters could've been black or south Asian or Cambodian... any minority in a big city would fit. It's when you think "OMG! It's the holy of holies - Dickensian London - of course they have to be caucasian (except for that Jew; I mean are they even white).
Its nothing to do with whether they are fictional characters/drama or that Dickensian London is some kind of "holy of holies". Its a historical drama, in a historical setting and above all I want historical accuracy; I value this in a drama above all else...it means Oliver Twist cannot be played by a black/Asian child actor because there were no black/Asian children in London orphanages in the early 19th century. If you are hell-bent on having Oliver Twist played by a black child, then retell the story in a modern setting (like "10 Things I Hate About You" was a retelling of Shakespeare's "The Taming if the Shrew")

Its why I said earlier that I would be happy for Denzel Washington to play a US Navy captain in a modern setting because that is a possible reality, but not a WW2 US Navy captain because that would be historically impossible.

Historical setting should be a primary factor in the casting of actors. In a modern set British drama, anyone can be anything, Black Police Commissioner, Woman Prime Minister, Asian Headmaster, Pakistani Social Worker, Indian Captain of the England Cricket team.... But this is NOT the case in the past, and the further back you go, the less likely you are to find racial and gender diversity. This is not racism or sexism, its simply truth and reality.
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Old 22nd March 2017, 12:11 PM   #157
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Bad example. People make fun of that because of the complainers historical illiteracy (Cleo was of Macedonian descent, that she was born in Africa makes her about as black as a South African Boer)
Ironically enough, the restored version of the 1963 Liz Taylor version of Cleo references that;in one scene Caesar says "Cleopatra is a Macedonian, probably does not have a drop of Egyptian blood in her".
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Old 22nd March 2017, 12:13 PM   #158
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IMHO the best screen version of "Macbeth" is Kurosawa's "THrone of Blood", in which the story is transplanted to 16th Century Japan.
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Old 22nd March 2017, 12:56 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Its nothing to do with whether they are fictional characters/drama or that Dickensian London is some kind of "holy of holies". Its a historical drama, in a historical setting and above all I want historical accuracy; I value this in a drama above all else...it means Oliver Twist cannot be played by a black/Asian child actor because there were no black/Asian children in London orphanages in the early 19th century. If you are hell-bent on having Oliver Twist played by a black child, then retell the story in a modern setting (like "10 Things I Hate About You" was a retelling of Shakespeare's "The Taming if the Shrew")

Its why I said earlier that I would be happy for Denzel Washington to play a US Navy captain in a modern setting because that is a possible reality, but not a WW2 US Navy captain because that would be historically impossible.

Historical setting should be a primary factor in the casting of actors. In a modern set British drama, anyone can be anything, Black Police Commissioner, Woman Prime Minister, Asian Headmaster, Pakistani Social Worker, Indian Captain of the England Cricket team.... But this is NOT the case in the past, and the further back you go, the less likely you are to find racial and gender diversity. This is not racism or sexism, its simply truth and reality.
Ok, that means I only get a handful of Shakespearean roles set in or around that period so... No.

Also, should women adhere to your historical accuracy & not appear in any Shakespearean plays/shows set before a certain time?
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Old 22nd March 2017, 01:03 PM   #160
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Originally Posted by 332nd View Post
Ok, that means I only get a handful of Shakespearean roles set in or around that period so... No.
If British film maker remade Zulu, should 75% of the Zulu Impis be white?

Originally Posted by 332nd View Post

Also, should women adhere to your historical accuracy & not appear in any Shakespearean plays/shows set before a certain time?
If trying for some degree of verisimilitude, they could try the Shakespeare in Love route (girl dresses as boy in order to land role as girl)
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