Hollywood Won't Learn: It's a White Summer Again

Hollywood Won't Learn: It's a White Summer Again

“Fast Five” opened huge by appealing to Latinos and African-Americans, but the lesson was lost on the rest of tentpole season's slate

The lessons of “Fast Five” are apparently lost on a Hollywood that's about to embark on its biggest season, the summer.

The Universal sequel exploded onto theater screens last weekend, raking in $86.2 million with an ethnically diverse cast that attracted an equally diverse audience.

Latinos represented almost as many moviegoers as whites (33% versus 35%), while African-Americans also turned out in force, according to studio figures.

Also read: Hollywood's White-Hot Summer? (Slideshow)

The multi-racial cast starred Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, featured a Rio de Janeiro backdrop and was directed by Justin Lin, who scored the biggest-ever domestic debut for an Asian director.

“‘Fast Five’ is a great example of Hollywood getting it right,” Craig Detweiler, professor of film history at Pepperdine University, told TheWrap. “Its multi-racial cast matches the multi-racial audience. The Rock and Vin Diesel reflect the browning of America, that there is more blurring across races and cultures than ever before. The box office take reflects that.”

But after that auspicious start, the summer derails quicker than one of Diesel's sports cars. A quick scan of the major films hitting theaters over the next few months shows that Hollywood is about to flood the marketplace — again! — with four-quadrant fare almost exclusively by and starring the ever-shrinking white plurality.

Don’t look for anybody ethnic to save the world or make it safe for democracy in “The Green Lantern” or “Cowboys and Aliens.” For that matter, “X-Men: First Class” may preach inclusion, but its cast isn’t exactly a rainbow coalition.

“There’s a huge consumer market that’s very diverse that wants to see itself on TV and film, but I’m not sure why the studios aren’t looking at this market,” Rebecca Yee, SAG's national director of affirmative action and diversity, said. “Film has been slow … You watch TV, it’s much more diverse now.”

Once again, the major films hitting theaters over the next few months lean heavily on Anglo-action stars with only a sprinkle of Latinos and African-American actors thrown into the mix.

With the possible exception of “The Help,” an adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling Civil Rights era novel, no major release this summer centers on actors of color.

Lacking a Will Smith or Denzel Washington vehicle, actors of color have been consigned to supporting roles. Penelope Cruz (who is European Latina) will play lusty foil to Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Carribbean: On Stranger Tides;” Aziz Ansari will crack wise in “30 Minutes or Less”; and Idris Elba will go toe to toe with Chris Hemsworth in “Thor.”

But by and large, it’s looking like it'll be another monochromatic tentpole season.

“The question of whether there is a vast underrepresentation of African-Americans in film is always timely, because the answer unfortunately is yes,” L. Scott Caldwell, an African-American actress on programs such as “Lost,” told TheWrap. “While one only need look over our collective shoulder to see that we have come a long way, it is not nearly far enough.”

Veering away from the tried and white has led to big box office in the past.

Tyler Perry’s “Madea” films have made more than $500 million domestically, the massive global successes of “Hancock” and “Men in Black” have made Will Smith perhaps the biggest box-office star in the world, and Smith’s son Jaden and Jackie Chan propelled “The Karate Kid” to a $359 million worldwide gross last year.

“If we relied on the studios, we’d get one film a quarter. Black folks like to go to movies more than that. We’ve got dollars to spend,” Ava DuVernay, founder of the independent distributor the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement, told TheWrap.

The whiteout is not due to a lack of commerical muscle, industry insiders tell TheWrap, but is rather a reflection of the lack of diversity in studios’ boardrooms and executive suites.

“Part of the reason there are so few Latino actors and content about Latinos is that there is a lack of Latinos among the executive ranks.They don’t understand the audience and they don’t nurture the audience,” Moctesuma Esparza, co-chairman of Maya Entertainment, an independent studio geared at Latinos, told TheWrap. “It’s bad business, because when you look at the population under 30, the largest demographic is Latinos. We are the new mainstream.”

The dearth of films starring different ethnic actors is doubly puzzling considering that Hollywood has become fixated on the global marketplace.

One prominent Disney exectuive, for instance, told TheWrap that the studio is trying to broaden the appeal of films such as “Prom” and “Pirates 4,” by casting Asians or Latinas in prominent roles. But any improvement in terms of onscreen depictions of different ethnicities has largely taken place in the supporting realm not in the above the titles credits.

That’s an improvement from last summer, when films such as “The Last Airbender” and “Prince of Persia” were taken to task for assigning roles written as Asian or Middle Eastern and tailoring them to white actors. Whitewashing on that level is largely absent this summer. Indeed the only example of racial recasting involves Elba, who is taking the role of a Norse god portrayed in the Marvel comics as white.

Not that Elba’s casting wasn’t without controversy, with “Thor” fans loudly protesting the move.

“It's so ridiculous,” Elba said during an event Rutgers U. last winter. “We have a man [Thor] who has a flying hammer and wears horns on his head. And yet me being an actor of African descent playing a Norse god is unbelievable? I mean, Cleopatra was played by Elizabeth Taylor, and Gandhi was played by Ben Kingsley.”

Elba’s casting aside, that kind of absurdity is not yet reflected in Hollywood's casting department.

  • http://pumicecastle.blogspot.com/ Vadrosaul

    Elba's comments are idiotic. Does he not realize that the Norse God he's playing was not invented by the comics? So according to him having an all-white cast of Gods would be ridiculous, even though it would be entirely accurate, because they have ethnically bended casting in the past.

    I'm awaiting the next Mandela movie where the lead is of white Euro descent.

    • Odera123

      smart person Mandela is a real Black person, Norse is a creation…dont anybody think anymore??? the whole point is we whites have been given the opportunity blacks and hispanics have generally lacked in every area of their career–when it comes to us we can have prince of persia change to a white male, or a white kid playing an avatar–but its scary to have a blackman play a comic book hero??? man whats wrong with you?

    • Herekitty

      Hi. Casting of whites in minority roles has been happening for decades (many examples are named in other comments). But it's easy to forget that when you don't have to worry about finding a hero who looks like you.

  • Odera123

    dude you are obviously–not too bright… the reason Will Smitt is considered the biggest actor in the world is because when you look at how many of his films have opened at #1 he has the most…Tom cruise and Tom Hanks follow–other than the “Pirate films” Jonny Depp has generally shyed away from block busters…do your HOME WORK man..

    and as a white male i dont find the article racist, so speak for yourself.

  • guest

    “Honkywood”….more perpetuated racism from non-whites. But that's okay. That's where most of it comes from today anyway. While most white people bow down to the P.C. police, non-whites are allowed to call us whatever they want. Maybe if blacks didn't make LOUSY films like ‘Madea yells at strangers” blacks and other minorities would be taken more seriously at the movies.

  • guest

    That's the thing, hollywood is reflecting with the times. No one is saying that having an all white cast within a movie is bad, but when you have literally almost all the major movies coming out having an all white cast, than something is definitely wrong, which shows a clear disconnect between hollywood and the actual demographic of this country.

    The problem lies clearly in white privilege. It's rather evident that these are factual issues, the problem lies in that by changing it, you are reducing the amount of all white cast that's possible in the movies, which would be upsetting for some.

  • Starcj70

    I'd like to know how do they come up with the ethnicity of people that go to see movies? I think they're full of crap. Do they send people everyday to each one of the over 3000 theaters the movie is playing in and have them count everyone who goes to each show. Last time I bought a movie ticket I don't think anyone was taking my ethnicity down. Any answers anybody?

  • Baron

    This article is racist.

  • Honkymutha

    The Pest was made by a Latino and while funny if baked is generally rubbish. SHould we have more of these films?

  • Yogopost

    I completely agree with the point you are trying to make, there is a definite lack of honest non-white leading performances in mainstream cinema. a fact that i'm bothered with to no end.
    However, i think it's a bit unfair to base your frustration on this years blockbusters. (i'm going off the movies in the slide show here). After all, most of these movies have previous origins to consider.

    “The Hangover” “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Harry Potter” are ( 1st, 3rd and 7th ) SEQUELS, which means they already have an established (white) cast!. yes, “pirates” could easily add more flavour than Penelope Cruz, but you can hardly blame “hangover” and “Potter” for their ‘white’ casts now.
    in fact expecting them to re-cast main roles in latter instalments to satisfy the seasonal palate would have been ridiculous.

    As for “Thor”,”Green Lantern” and “X-men” these too, have comic-origins to consider. and these origins are heavily/rabidly protected by comic fans. comic fans who don't care much about race, but care about accurate reflection of the comic character. The upset about Samuel L. Jackson and Idris Elba being cast as white characters was never about race, it was their lack of resemblance to the original comic character.
    I Think “X-men” could have pulled off a more racially diverse cast (there are plenty of mutant's to chose from) and this might have been due to some executive pull, however the core x-men universe was predominantly white, and the movie(s) reflect this. (not to mention the movie takes place in the 60's)

    The only movie that really lacks executive initiative to have a diverse cast is “Super 8”. An original story (no source material/fans to consider) can easily include some asian/black/middle east/latino people to it's cast.
    Now, I don't know much about the story (no-one does) but surely J.J Abrams could have believably put some non-whites with real performances in there. (this movie isn't out yet so maybe it has, but i'm not counting on it.)

    Sequels and movie adaptations will always consider their (previous) source material, and if that source lacks colour than the movie will be white-cast as is.
    I think it would be too forced to add more colour to these type of movies, if a characters background/origin etc. is based on a white person than i'm fine with a white actor playing the role.
    For me, too much ‘affirmative action’ in these movies would be uncomfortable, the reverse was definitively true.(“airbender” “dragonball”). just like foreigners speaking miraculously fluent english (pick any wartime movie)
    The point (to me) about adding more colour in films is to move them out of their respective stereo type, and make them real people.
    “the Hangover 2” is sure to have an abundance of asian people, however i'm expecting a cringe-worthy racist experience this summer.
    An all white-cast might be annoying, but inaccurately portrayed non-whites are just infuriating.

    Executives should green-lit movies with stories that leave room to portray the diverse society we are. let's hope they have so we won't have to go through another white-washed summer next year.

  • MrCleverName

    Hey Idris. Ben Kingsley is of Indian descent. Just sayin'.

    • Zak

      Only half Indian, but that's what I was going to say. In fact his birth name is: Krishna Pandit Bhanji.

      I think it's interesting when this is an issue every year. The MAIN problem is that everything is based on pre-existing properties. There have been talks of a Power Man and a Black Panther movie, so this could be moving into the right direction. There are two main problems:
      A. Hollywood isn't accepting enough original screenplays
      B. People write what they know. If you could show me a bunch of truly talented minority screenwriters and directors that aren't getting jobs you might have a point. But go to your average film school and see how underrepresented minorities are (or even just give me your stereotype of a struggling screenwriter/director). While there are plenty of black actors, there aren't as many black filmmakers.

    • http://www.readableblog.com/ LQ

      Yeah, but uh…so what? Gandhi wasn't, and he didn't look half-white.

  • taylorsucks

    You moron.
    Jonathan Villalpando hasn't done a fucking thing. What are you, his cousin?
    And there are about SIX big-name WHITE people with lead and supporting roles in ROCK OF AGES. What is wrong with you? Or are you just dreaming and think they'll cast the (most likely) untalented Jonathan Villalpando? Dickhead.

  • Elaine

    This insistence on drawing attention to race makes it difficult to eliminate racism. Stop highlighting race and we will be able to look past it ourselves. Stop looking at characters superficially in terms of the color of their skin and saying that the color is inadequate, that is discrimination.

    • Michael

      In other words, simply ignore Hollywood's racist casting methods, in which almost all the time, only white actors are considered for roles? If Hollywood would stop being racist and whitewashing almost every single role, no one would have to complain. Simply ignoring it won't make it go away.

    • http://www.readableblog.com/ LQ

      Not how it works. Next!

      • john_robinson

        Yes, that IS how it works. If you want to live in a colorblind society; you have to have a colorblind society. The whole concept of race is completely last century and has very little relevance in today's world. The sad thing is you haven't realized that you CHOOSE to see the world as this warring of groups. So you live in the civil rights battles of the 60s, and the world to you is this mythological caricature where watts riots happen all the time, all white people are racists, Republicans are waiting to bring Jim Crow back, and only Jess Jackson and Al Sharpton can save you by shaking down a few corporations. Your delusions feed your disease… pretty soon, you really start to believe your own BS.

        • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/L5CV467HWMM6XDY3DT3P7DLDDQ Lawrence

          LQ is right. Studies have shown that so-called colorblindness leads to more racism. Children who are not taught about race will stick to their own, and exclude people of color. People who are not taught about race tend to side with people they identify with the most, whether consciously or subconsciously. Hiring practices, under the guise of “colorblindness” tends to favor whites regardless of performance. Case in point: The racist admission practices of top universities that excluded high-scoring Asian students. It is people like you who act as if minorities have a choice of whether they see themselves as different from the majority. The truth is this POV is imposed on them by others. And, I'm really getting sick of people trying to tell minorities to shut up about race, when there are legitimate reasons for discussing it. You really sound like a gluttonous, overfed pig telling a starving Ethiopian child to shut up about food.

        • Guest

          Hey, don't stereotype political parties, I'm a Republican and I agree with your argument.

  • Elaine

    This issue does not need to be discussed more, it only highlights racism. As a minority, I find that the best way to combat racism and discrimination is to stop factoring race into every issue that arises. We can't point at every movie with an all-white cast and cry “Racism!” because that would be any example of stereotyping. Basically, presenting the casts of summer blockbusters as proof of racism in Hollywood is racist in itself.

    • http://www.readableblog.com/ LQ


  • Blackstone454

    I am a black guy. And honestly, this article asks all the wrong questions.

    I would like to see more ethincally diverse actors in big action movies, but see, most of the movies mentionned are based on previous material. So, as a comic fan, for exemple, I wouldn't want a black guy playing HAL JORDAN GREEN LANTERN, because it doesn't respect the source material. And there is a Black GREEN LANTERN: Jon Stewart, who might show up in the sequels. The Casting of Elba annoyed me because of that. It goes against two levels of source material: mythology and comics. There are non-white characters in the comics, just adapt THOSE don't change characters to black for no reason.

    As a black kid, I wanna see more black heroes, sure. Just take them from the comics! LUKE CAGE, BLACK PANTHER, BRONZE TIGER, BLACK LIGHTENING…We had WAR MACHINE and BLADE before…Samuel L Jackson has been a JEDI, SHAFT and is (Ultimate) NICK FURY! Or, here's a novel idea, Hollywood: MAKE SOME STUFF UP!

    Why don't black movie makers make more genre movies? That's another question. Enough with the melodrama, I wanna see some butts kicked!

    How many big movies are NOT sequels/remakes/adaptations? THAT is yet another question!

    In my opinion, there is no big conspiracy to keep non-white people out of movies, because the only color Hollywood cares about is GREEN!

    And HONKYWOOD…Really? Wow. That's offensive beyond belief.

    • Guest

      I will only comment on one thing. You're right that some of the characters are cast by white actors because the original character is that ethnicity, but what about The Last Airbender? What about the Movie 21? What about Prince of Persia? All movies that should have had lead characters who are minorities and who is the lead actor? A white person.

    • http://www.readableblog.com/ LQ

      Black movie makers find it hard to get funding for non-”black” movies, just like they won't trust most female movie makers to make action or sf movies, or Asian movie makers to make romantic comedies, etc. Studios are pretty obnoxious that way. It's a vicious cycle.

      If you go to racialicious.com and read some of their past articles, you'll see that there's a lot more than just money involved. Studios are clearly ignoring the fact that they could be making more money. Why? Well, it's hard to say.

    • James


      There is a lot of information that you aren't aware of which as a black man (which you claim you are) this is dangerous.

      There is A LOT of white washing that has taken place in the past and continues to take place today. Movies like 21, The Last Airbender, etc… were non-white stories but the Hollywood versions placed white people in them. If you want to know why there aren't made non-white big movies being made there is your reason. Hollywood is racist and all the facts prove it.

      Also, changing a white character to a non-white character is not equal to changing a non-white character to a white character. A study showed that white actors get over 80% of the lead roles in Hollywood even though 40% of the ticket buyers are non-white. Non-whites are clearly underrepresented and are purposely overlooked. Therefore, changing a white character to a non-white character does not hurt whites while changing a non-white character to a white character does hurt non-whites.

  • Royhobbs29

    So Thor is about a Norse god and The Hangover stars Zack Galifinakis who is of greek descent, yet that isn't ethnically diverse? All white people look alike? How offensive.

  • On_the_can

    Thor took heat for casting a black actor as a Norse god…now you're giving it heat for not being diverse enough…and I can only assume you haven't seen the Green Lantern trailer…considering more than half the cast isn't even human. If they were casting prestablished black or asian characters with white actors like they did in Air Bender I'd get behind you, but this is just looking for a fight that isn't there.

  • Common Sense

    what a piece of sh*t sensationalist article. The ‘writer’ of this sh*t should be fired, it reads like something a 15 year old kid wrote who thinks they are so damn better than everyone around them. Wake the f*ck up man. America is one of the most tolerant countries on the goddamn earth. While I could be killed in other countries for being white, here you can lose your job for one wrong politically incorrect comment. Do I support racism? of course not, truly bigoted people are f*cking morons. Are most people a wee bit racist? If you live in the real world, then yes. Every culture has stereotypes against others, and I for one am sick and f*cking tired of everybody b*tching about how white people don't have to worry about anything because we're so pampered and privileged. I work my goddamn ass off in order to get where I need to be, and the last thing I want is pity from anyone. I judge each person by their character, if you're a dick, then f*ck you. I don't walk around playing my sad violin telling the world how much better they got it than me. Everybody's got problems, man up and stop being such a p*ssy. As far as the ‘terribly important issue’ of whites being dominant in movies, who gives a f*ck. America is PREDOMINANTLY white. I don't watch a movie in China and say gee, sure isn't fair how all the lead actors are Chinese, what is this shit! Keep living in your naive little bubble of self righteousness, or grow the f*ck up.

    • http://www.readableblog.com/ LQ

      Not everyone lives in a white, segregated community like you do.

      Or swears like an uneducated, angry, jerk.

      Actually, I guess that's a good sign that we should be ignoring you. Oops!

    • http://profiles.google.com/jarronnelums Javan Nelums

      Ok Mighty Whitey…

    • James

      Common Sense,

      “I don't watch a movie in China and say gee, sure isn't fair how all the lead actors are Chinese, what is this shit!”

      That's because China has almost no significant population of non-Chinese in the country unlike America which does have a significant population of non-whites.

  • Super


  • Michael

    So, if that's the case, are you aware that Hollywood is constantly whitewashing characters and roles (even real-life people), turning minorities into whites? It's happened for decades now, and is still taking place. But I bet you don't have any problems with that, and will make all sorts of excuses to justify it.

    • guest

      I think he only brought up the xmen ,green lantern and thor references because they're referenced in the article. Source material is everything. You can't just be changing race's of character's around just to fit people in. And ya look at those movies like Last Airbender and Prince of Persia that got the roles given to whites, they didn't do to well (most of the people i know didn't see them just because how stupid it was having a white guy being the prince of persia). I'm all up for racial equality for all and everything but if it goes against source material, then that's where i have a slight problem.

    • selena1981

      but that's the whole point: you can't be angry at hollywood for whitewashing ‘the last airbender’ but then NOT deride them for ‘blackwashing’ Thor.
      deliberately inserting colored actors is as racist as deliberately leaving colored actors out.
      do you honestly not see how hypocrite you are with your double standards about race?

      • https://twitter.com/Obi_Live @Obi_Live

        Unfortunately, Idris Elba ended up the token minority. Heimdall, the white god…sheesh.

        It's a way for the mostly white studio execs to exclaim how diverse they can be and a defence on why they racebend films and re-cast with white male actors. I'll add: Bullet-proof monk and the ones about to be produced: The Weapon w/ David Henrie playing a Chinese-American superhero and Akira – the Japanese anime/manga.

  • Michael

    If that is what you got from the article, Postthomas, you need to go study and learn about America's history, about the history of racism in this country, and how it still benefits whites, still creates a system of white privilege. But I sense you'll just deny it all.

  • Guest

    Um, because they cast white actors in the roles of minority characters. Last Airbender, 21, and Prince of Persia–just to name a few, are all movies that cast white actors in roles of minorities.

  • Anonybody

    nice quote by Idris Elba there… somebody should inform him that Cleopatra was a Ptolemaic pharaoh (means she was Greek) and that Ben Kingsley is half Indian.

  • Arnfied

    insulting reverse racist crap. look at the enlightened views of the commenters (Blackstone454), some of these guys are better writers than you will ever be.

    • James

      You like comments like Blackstone454's simply because his comments don't threaten your white privilege.

  • http://www.readableblog.com/ LQ

    If you “just see humans as characters,” then why shouldn't the casts better reflect the actual makeup of America? Why should they be 99% white? Why is white the default?

    • john_robinson

      They do. Overall, blacks represent ~10% of the population nationwide. They have around that in movie roles, and they've exceeded that in television. They're not underrepresented at all – they're even overrepresented in some areas (their own network, BET, for example.) At the root of it all, LQ, you're a Leftist. A progressive, a statist, a socialist… am I close? I say this because, like many of the people on that side, you group-identify. You can't seem to grasp reality properly without some sort of group identification. You seek to elevate people and punish people solely based on their skin color… and you lecture us about racism?

      “A group cannot have any more rights than the individuals that comprise it; groups, as such, do not exist.” – Ayn Rand.

      • Djjazzyjeff

        Actually. African Americans are roughly 8% of the population and make up roughly 25% of the entertainment industry. So anyone that thinks there's some racism can just fuck right off

        • James

          Djjazzyjeff, your numbers are a bunch of nonsense. All the facts prove that there is racism in Hollywood. Take for example the movie 21. It was an Asian American true story and yet the Hollywood version white washed it.

          john_robinson, blacks are “overrepresented” in movies and television? If you were trying to make a joke I'd say you hit a home run. How are they “overrepresented”? Because of one channel, BET? Which, unlike what you incorrectly claimed, is not even owned by blacks (Viacom owns BET).

          The fact that you even use the term “overrepresented” places you as a highly suspected racist. What's the matter? Are you tired of seeing blacks? Funny, since if anyone is “overrepresented” it's whites. The MPAA made a study and found that 40% of ticket buyers are non-white and yet over 80% of lead roles in movies go to white actors.

          Educate yourself instead of jumping the gun and sounding like some white supremacist.

          • Rob

            “Take for example the movie 21. It was an Asian American true story and yet the Hollywood version white washed it.”
            Yes, and the person portrayed by Denzel Washington in “Unstoppable” is white in real life. The character in “I Am Legend” was originally white. Who cares? Did that MPAA study tell you of those ticket buyers who is more likely to see a movie again and again or who buys more DVDs and in what percentage?

          • James

            Changing a white character to a non-white character is not equal to
            changing a non-white character to a white character. A study showed that
            white actors get over 80% of the lead roles in Hollywood even though
            40% of the ticket buyers are non-white. Non-whites are clearly
            underrepresented and are purposely overlooked. Therefore, changing a
            white character to a non-white character does not hurt whites while
            changing a non-white character to a white character does hurt non-whites.

            As far as the question you posed about the study, it's answered by the simple fact that 40% of ticket buyers are non-white. That isn't about only opening weekends which is the kind of area that your question implies. That's throughout the year.

            I don't have any information about DVD sales.

          • Rob

            That does not really answer my question. Does the study count the same people more than once? A person can see a film more than once on an opening weekend or throughout the year. Could you link to this study you keep citing?

            All that Hollywood cares about is money. If non-whites spent more $$$ on films, they would make more films geared to non-whites.

          • James

            I apologize for not being clear enough in my previous reply to you. The percentage of frequent movie goers (roughly 39.5%) is almost identical to the percentage of ticket-buyers. The statistic can be found here: http://www.mpaa.org/Resources/091af5d6-faf7-4f58-9a8e-405466c1c5e5.pdf

            Hollywood is not a supply and demand business. It's whoever is in charge that places themselves in the center regardless of what everyone else says. For example, Jews make up around 2% of the population in the U.S. yet there is a tremendous amount of Jewish representation in the media especially with stories that center around Jewish characters in television and movies.

            As far as the DVD question you had, the closest I have been able to find is that blacks use DVD players more than any other ethnicity on average.
            That also includes video games and TV. It can be found here:

          • Mel G.

            I agree. Hollywood is a bunch of racists. A bunch of liberal racists. Do not even get me started on the Jews.

          • Mgplumidesjr

            Whether a white man or black man played the lead is irrelevant, as I think it is for most people with the exception of certain genres. Hollywood is gravitating towards big comic, video game, and book franchises for summer fare. And until someone either starts writing books or comics based on African-American or Hispanic superheroes (which there are few) then it's a moot point. And you can't change Thor or Captain America to an African-American or hispanic. It just doesn't work.

            These characters were created thirty years ago plus. The fanboys would go nuts. They protested when Michael Clark Duncan played Kingpin, and you heard the grumblings when Paramount cast Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury. There again, I was pissed they cast Mark Wahlberg in the remake of Planet of the Apes, and I'm a white guy.

            If you want to be angry about something, then protest the irresponsible use of Computer Generated Imaging in filmmaking… like in “I am Legend”. I recently saw some of the make up tests. Some really fantastic work. Instead the studio went with CGI. I understand all of “Green Lantern” is CGI which is why I won't go.

          • James

            “ollywood is gravitating towards big comic, video game, and book
            franchises for summer fare. And until someone either starts writing
            books or comics based on African-American or Hispanic superheroes (which
            there are few) then it's a moot point. And you can't change Thor or
            Captain America to an African-American or hispanic. It just doesn't

            That doesn't stop Hollywood from white washing nonwhite comic book characters and heroes like those in Dragonball and possibly the upcoming Akira.

            This is an example of how Hollywood is racist. You are saying that changing a white hero to a nonwhite hero is not right but Hollywood has constantly changed nonwhite heroes to white heroes.

            “They protested when Michael Clark Duncan played Kingpin, and you heard
            the grumblings when Paramount cast Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury. ”

            The ones who protested against Jackson are ignorant of the comic books. Jackson is playing the Nick Fury from the Ultimate Marvel Comic line and in there Fury is black. Not only that, he is specifically based on Samuel L. Jackson.

            “If you want to be angry about something, then protest the irresponsible use of Computer Generated Imaging in filmmaking”

            The fact that you think CGI is more of a problem than racism is in Hollywood says a lot about how naive you are in regards to this topic.

  • http://www.readableblog.com/ LQ


  • http://www.readableblog.com/ LQ

    Wait wait! Which is it? Box office numbers are your proof of awesomeness, or box office numbers don't matter??? LOLLLLLLLL

  • Herekitty

    Films with few/no minorities are the majority of films today, so of course that's where the best sellers come from. There are also plenty of ones that bomb, but they can be overlooked because there are so many others.

  • Guest

    The author of this article projecting his Hollywood racism on America will not alleviate the fact that Hollywood movies across the board horridly stink like the sewer from where the movies were produced.

  • john_robinson

    I can appreciate that experience, but let me give you a slightly different way to look at it. I love comedy, I listen to lots of comedians and comedy stand-up webcasts. What I don't like is black/female/gay/latino comics who use their group identity as the act. I found that I love good stories told by great people, and the more they inject their group into it, the more I hated it. Bill Cosby is black, but he doesn't have a “black act”. Ellen DeGeneres is gay and female, but she doesn't have a “gay” or “female” show.

    So while I understand that its not right that your script was labeled as a “black show”… you gotta get that there are a large number of “black shows” out there with agendas and material to push. And a lot of people get sick of that after a while.

    • mariannaalda

      The point is that the show was painted with an “it's a black show” brush even though it had no “black agenda.” Assumptions were made purely based on the ethnicity of the writer-performers. If you look at the audience testimonials in the promo, however, you'll see the show's appeal is to men as well as women…of all ethnicities and age groups. In fact, we were approached by producers who wanted to buy the show and recast it with white actresses…insinuating that having black actresses in those roles made it less commercially viable. That's demeaning and disheartening…and a lot of people get sick of THAT after awhile.

  • Guest

    NBC-Law and Order SVU

    A friend (23 years old)was called to audition for the part of a teenage crack whore living Harlem, NBC casting told her her skin color was not “dark enough” to play teenage Harlem crack whore living in Harlem

    So NBC casting sent her over to audition for another role for Law and Order-SVU. The role called for an affluent 35 year old mother of two whose husband is implicated in a murder of a gay man whom her affluent husband was having a closet affair.

    My 23 year old friend landed the role of the affluent 35 year of mother two whose husand was haveing a closeted gay affair.

    You may have seen the episode; do tell was NBC casting racially on target to satisying your racism?


  • http://profiles.google.com/jarronnelums Javan Nelums

    You know if that this country is made up of Illegal people, In fact it was White Europeans that came to this country illegally and it was call conquest. So do you homework.

  • relyt50

    i don't see why it would matter. sure a black William Wallace would be historically incorrect, but a black wolverine or white shaft(teehee) wouldn't change the movie. It is simply racist. or better yet. its the studio heads bowing down to your racism. see right now some of you are thinking about a geeky white boy playing shaft. when i didn't say “geeky” or “boy”. if a white actor portrayed shaft with the same swagger and identical lines, why would this make an ounce of difference. but its a double edged sword. when a black couple is portrayed in film we wonder why they didn't make them a bi-racial couple and when a bi-racial couple are portrayed we wonder if this is just staged to make the film more diverse.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/L5CV467HWMM6XDY3DT3P7DLDDQ Lawrence

    “Also, they did try to re-create a franchise with a black actor in “xXx” with Ice Cube & guess what? It bombed in every level.”

    They also cast a half-Italian/half-black actor in the first xXx. His name is Vin Diesel.

    You ignoramus.

  • Bubadoo

    I sort of agree, but when a movie or show is too diverse I sort of get anoyed because you can really tell the producers got those actors spcificaly because of their skin color.
    Example: Heimdall in Thor, why is he black? in mythology he is described as the whitest of the gods…
    Also Glee, I can't stand that show but what I hate the most is the characters, seriously is it so necesary to have a person from every culture in one class.

  • Fmackle

    Now if you could fix the racism in your article…

  • Filmgoer

    This article seems pointless to me. Some of the highest grossing films don't have a “diverse” cast. As a Hispanic, I can say that many of my favorite films are not diverse, such as There Will Be Blood and Titanic. We don't need studios to cast Hispanics and African americans simply to bring in more money, I want the better actor to take the role, we don't need more Madea drivel or some other type of film with colored actors simply to rake in money.

  • Matt

    Let's blame the studios for not learning a “lesson” from Fast Five… you have got to be kidding me!

    The fact is all of these summer releases are already complete just awaiting their release date. The studios are not going to do costly reshoots and recasting just to please the racially sensitive segment of America that seem to bring up race with almost every single release.

    The sad thing is, if I don't like Obama's policies; that has automatically made me a racist in their eyes. If I say I don't like certain actor or character who is gay; I am labeled a homophobe. No matter what happens, someone is going to be blamed.

    BTW: Nick Fury was a white man in the comics, yet is played by Samuel L. Jackson in the movies. I don't see anyone getting upset at that… because there is a double standard that exists. You can criticize the white man all you want but if you criticize a minority, female, or gay character, then you end up being labeled a bigot and racist/misogynistic/homophobe.

  • T.I.P.

    Right, I am sure THOR, GREEN LANTERN, HARRY POTTER are going to be REAL flops World-Wide because of their lack of alleged diversity. You must be really insecure.

  • Brankoburcksen

    We may not have such drastic white-washing this year, but the planned live-action adaptation of the cult classic anime “Akira” short-listed a cast of possible actors for the two lead roles. All of them were white. And the two protagonists, though animated, were clearly recognized as Japanese. You would think they would have learned from “The Last Airbender,” but if Hollywood continues to dig into anime for new sources, they are going to keep running into this problem.

  • Guyana Gyal

    I use to love movies with black people with them, but now they all seem to have the same reoccurring theme: complaining, money, getting laid, partying, getting shot, violence, interracial relationships, etc and it gets old. I'm not bashing, it’s just my view/opinion and I will say that I will watch one if it seems worth it, on DVD though. Otherwise, instead of looking at black people in movies now, I look forward to seeing actors of Caribbean descent. Both of my parents are from Guyana so when actors like CCH Pounder or Sean Patrick Thomas show up in movies, I am ecstatic. Another semi example is Nicki Minaj who is from Trinidad, but I assume (which is bad) that everyone just thinks she is another African-American rapper/singer. Hollywood should try sticking more Caribbean actors in movies in general and see what happens.

  • RKO401

    The point of the article is inclusion, regardless of race: if you grow up in a community that is strictly one race, there is not much that can really be done about that. However, one has to realize that there is diversity in this world and different points of view: different ethnicities and multi-racial, different sexual orientations, different religions, different family structures that need to be seen. I'll make a generic example: let's say a person's color is green (so no one gets offended,) they are married, have two kids, and practice Halo (so one gets offended) as a religion. Now, image 90% of what you see on television is a show full of people of green ethnicity, that are all married, have two kids and practice Halo. Although there is nothing wrong with that, it is not representative of a nation or diversity and gets boring. Yes, we all need to look past appearance, but there are times when you want to be able to relate to a character and see some resemblance of yourself. Put yourself in the perspective of another person that is not being represented and think of it that way. The problem is not with the actors. It is an executive thing, because they are the ones that are calling the shots and should know better. It is a diverse world. Show that diversity and the good that comes with it.

  • Whitey

    Maybe all the “white” movies are just the result of “black” movies sucking so hard. This affirmative action crap has to stop. Negroes are good athletes (except swimming and tennis), and whitey is just better at most everything else. Since i can't convey tone in a typed post, I'm using a little sarcasm here. That said, black comedies are just bad. They don't make sense to most white people. Madea is NOT funny. Death at a Funeral was horrific compared to the original. Honestly, there isn't one predominantly black movie that I would watch. Now, a lot of white people are going to get angry with me, as they pretend to get black humor, but they are just acting. I guess we whites are just naturally good actors. And anyway, you people get a whole month and a bunch of other stuff you don't deserve. If you are so mad about my ancestors enslaving your ancestors, why don't run back to Africa? Is it because, in the long run, we did your race a favor? Instead of throwing spears at wild boar, you have handguns to shoot each other with. Your welcome.

    • Whitey

      and Honkywood? How about Niggerwood? I bet I can't say that, but you can say “honky” and “cracker”. Double standard much?


      You need to seek help and prayer.

  • guest

    Niggerwood. Don't be afraid to say it. They throw around the term “honky” and “racist” enough. We created the term, therefore, we can use it, too.

  • liseylovely

    This article is bullshit and racist. Movies are made because the filmmaker knows someone who knows someone higher up who can help them out. Same goes for actors. It has nothing to do with race, it's all about who you know and/or money. If they're going to have someone write an article about how the Hollywood system “works” they should get someone who knows what they're talking about.

    • Herekitty

      Who you know and/or money has a lot to do with race in this country…

  • Bob

    ” Penelope Cruz (who is European Latina)”…

    In other words, she's white.

  • James

    The thought that people “are more likely to spend $ when they can better relate to the person on screen” is nothing but nonsense. How is Will Smith the box office champ then? How did Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon make over 100 million in the US when it was released in theaters only in Chinese with subtitles? And why do most flops in Hollywood star white people?

    It's nothing but pure nonsense. Hollywood is run by white supremacists.

    • http://profiles.google.com/sharicehenry Sharice Henry

      Actually, it's not nonsense. I'm an African American woman who DOES support and LOOK for films that I can relate too. In my culture, that's one of the BIGGEST topics! The reason other races probably don't see our issue with it, is because it's always been a Caucasian dominated business. The only way we can see more lead roles with AA actors/actresses is to create them ourselves. I wish that wasn't always the case though. I'm a big fan of movies and enjoy great ones like the next person but I do want to see ALL races represented equally too. Real talk!

      • James

        Sharice Henry,

        You are misunderstanding my comment. The comment that
        Moor was making was implying that people stick to their own. Do you only watch black movies? Do you have a problem watching non-black movies? What you are talking about is for more diversity and opportunities for nonwhite talent in Hollywood. While I agree with this and in fact is the reason I am even commenting on here, that was a different point than what Moor was getting at.What I was saying, and this was backed up by the rhetorical questions I followed up with, is that audiences in general are not racist and are willing to watch nonwhite talent in Hollywood lead roles. Hollywood does not care however because it is run by white supremacists.

  • James

    A correction of this article.

    There is no such thing as “European Latina”.

    “Latino” and “Latina” are geographical terms that refer to people or things that come from Latin America. Cruz is from Spain.

    If anything, Cruz would be “European Hispanic”.

    Otherwise, thank you for making this article because this issue needs to be addressed more and more.

    And to add to this article, the Thor casting with Elba is not “racist” as some claim. While I am not advocating changing every white character to non-white
    changing a white character to a non-white character is not equal to
    changing a non-white character to a white character. A study showed that
    white actors get over 80% of the lead roles in Hollywood even though
    40% of the ticket buyers are non-white. Non-whites are clearly
    underrepresented and are purposely overlooked. Therefore, changing a
    white character to a non-white character does not hurt whites while
    changing a non-white character to a white character does hurt


      Oh but you are wrong my friend. Latina refers to someone who speaks one of the languages derived from Latin. My mother is from Barcelona,and she considers herself to be Latina. I don't know who told you there are no European Latinas when the very word is European. It's called Latin America because it was conquered by The Spanish,and Spanish is a language derived from Latin! The Italian women are also considered to be Latina. Latin was the language of Rome, not Central or South America.

      • James

        “Latina refers to someone who speaks one of the languages derived from Latin.”

        No, it does not. In this context, “Latino” and “Latina” is not referring to the the Latin language. It refers to the grouping of countries known as “Latin America”.

        Latin America is no Europe.

        “My mother is from Barcelona,and she considers herself to be Latina.”

        I have never met a person who is from Spain and refers to themselves as “Latin”. Every Spanish person I have met has made that distinction and knows the difference between “Latino” and “Hispanic” because they are not synonyms.

        “I don't know who told you there are no European Latinas when the very word is European. ”

        That's a bad statement considering that all the words we are using to communicate are European as this is English, a European language.

        “Latina” in this context refers to the region of the world known as “Latin America”. Therefore saying “European Latina” is a contradiction.

        “It's called Latin America because it was conquered by The Spanish,and Spanish is a language derived from Latin! ”

        Well, this is the problem then. You have no idea what you are talking about. That is not why it is called Latin America and Spain did not conquer all of Latin America. Brazil is part of Latin America and that was not Spanish territory, which is why they don't speak Spanish over there, thus not making it a Hispanic country.

        I repeat once more:

        There is no such thing as “European Latina”.

        “Latino” and “Latina” are geographical terms that refer to people or things that come from Latin America. Cruz is from Spain.

        • NURREDIN

          I don't know how many relatives you have that live in Spain, but mine call themselves “Latina”. Anyone who traces their heritage to the Iberian peninsula is Hispanic,even if they speak Portuguese.
          Both Spanish and Portuguese are considered Hispanic languages.
          Portuguese is a Latin derivative, as is French,Spanish and Italian.Did you know there are Latinas in the Osaka prefecture of Japan who trace their roots to Portuguese merchants? They don't live in “Latin America”. You can be a Latina from ANYWHERE if you can trace your roots to the Iberian peninsula.Maybe because you live in America you think that Latinas are only in North ,South or Central America, but they're all over the world.

          • James

            “I don't know how many relatives you have that live in Spain, but mine call themselves “Latina”.”

            Really? So everyone of your relatives are female? That would be the only reason they would call themselves “Latina”.

            Once more, you are failing to understand the difference here. “Latino” and “Latina” or just plain “Latin” in this context is not referring to the Latin language. It is referring to the region of the world known as “Latin America”.

            If you understand that there is a region of the world known as “Latin America” then what do you think those people are called? “Latin”, “Latino” or “Latina”. That is what is this context is.

            Again, I have never met a Spanish person who refers to themselves as
            “Latin”. They call themselves “European” because that is what they are

            “Both Spanish and Portuguese are considered Hispanic languages.”

            No, they are not. You clearly don't know what you are talking about.

            “Hispanic” refers to anyone or anything of Spanish speaking culture only.

            The Portuguese equivalent of “Hispanic” is “Lusophone”.

          • moionfire

            The women above is correct. People from Spain, Portugal, Italy, and southern France are called “Latins” So too are people from Latin America. The term is not exclusive. However in the USA, everyone uses the term Latina/o only for Latin Americans.

          • James

            No. People from
            Spain, Portugal, Italy, and southern France are not called “Latins”. People from “Latin America” are called “Latins”. “Latino” and “Latina” and “Latin” are referring to the people and thing from “Latin America” not languages derived from Latin. And no, this term is not limited to the USA. You don't know what you are talking about.I have already explained this thoroughly before. The fact you still replied with the comment you made means you are not reading well enough.

  • Herekitty

    Did you not listen to the part where Lawrence said “studies have shown”? Just because you want to believe that colorblindness works doesn't mean that it actually does, no matter how many examples you make up.

    “Despite good intentions to promote egalitarianism through colorblindness, our findings show that doing so sometimes elicits the exact opposite outcome, permitting even explicit forms of racial discrimination to go undetected and unaddressed,”

    “I wanted to see whether color-blind racial attitudes played a role in condoning images,” she said. “What we found is that the color-blind ideal commonly socialized and valued among whites may actually be detrimental to race relations on college campuses.”

    Do your research before jumping to conclusions.

  • Herekitty

    Maybe if there were equal opportunities for black filmmakers, maybe if studios would give the go-ahead to scripts with non-stereotyped characters of color, maybe if non-white actors were cast in more fairly, then we would see more people of color.

  • Rush

    I agree. Hollywood is a bunch of racists. A bunch of racist liberals.

  • Deloisjacobs

    Stop making RACE matter at all. It is a false designation/criteria that has outlived its negative and divisive purposes. We are all so much better than that.

    • moionfire

      So talking about racism, means someone is supporting the idea of “race” ??? So if someone house is burnt down because they are black, we should ignore it because it is “making race matter?”

  • i'm an actor

    it's relucting to see a new show come out with the same white rhetoric. and any show involving blacks and latinos has to be stereotypical. all i have seen in theaters are blatant white films. I for one don't want to see a Tyler Perry movie all the time. a man playing a woman is not cool.

  • i'm an actor

    will there ever be an ethnic superhero, how about a black superman, or an asian captain america, a latino spiderman. why does every superhero has to be some white savior type. hollywood won't learn its lesson until we as film watchers stop supporting these type of films where whites are the only capable beings of landing lead roles

  • James

    “It is racist and stereotypical to claim that all white people are privileged.”

    That is incorrect. You think this way because you are not aware of the problem of white privilege.

    You really need to research racism and white privilege to see how far it reaches and why white people are not at the short end of the stick but nonwhites are. I'd suggesting starting with someone like Tim Wise and his material to get you on the road to understanding this.