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Fabrice Renault
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Posted: 24 February 2018 at 3:08am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I haven't seen the Black Panther movie yet, but I feel this whole hype and awesome reviews will certainly corner me into the "disappointed viewers" category.
I don't know if black people are underrepresented. I think the best answer should be "there aren't enough succesfull movies with a main black cast", which is why there is so much movies where black people are forcefully inserted (Kingpin, Johnny Storm, etc...) . Now, Black Panther is a succesfull movie (not the first one in history (remember "Shaft" ?) but an important one and maybe Hollywood will learn its lesson.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 24 February 2018 at 7:12am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

There was a PAUL BLART sequel?
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David Miller
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Posted: 24 February 2018 at 11:25am | IP Logged | 3 post reply


 QUOTE:
Because! *initiating smackdown*

1) HERE COMES THE BOOM
2) ZOOKEEPER
3) I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK & LARRY
4) GROWN UPS
5) PIXELS
6) GROWN UPS 2
7) PAUL BLART: MALL COP
11) PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2

Oh god, I've seen over half these movies. Whyyyyyyyyyyy?


You poor half-crazed genius, you've put me in my deserved place. Not even the top five indeed.

I guess I've only seen one of them? I feel like I may have seen GROWN UPS, but maybe I just saw so much advertising for it.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 24 February 2018 at 12:10pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I’ve seen none of them. And I’m ok with that. 
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 24 February 2018 at 1:16pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply


Matt, Paul & Michael have stated things better & clearer than I could have.  I'll leave it at that.





Edited by Shaun Barry on 24 February 2018 at 2:26pm
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 24 February 2018 at 9:10pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

In the end, it's sad that it's taken how many years for a mainstream Hollywood film budgeted at $200 mil to feature a mainly African-America cast, have an African-American director and have a soundtrack from an African-American.  That's never happened before.

--------------------------------------------------------
Just a credit-where-credit's-due note here, and not to detract from the meat of what you're saying: yes, Kendrick Lamar is given a prominent soundtrack credit, but most of the music you hear in the film is from Ludwig Goransson.

For me, the Lamar connection is a marketing swizzle. Every film has a pro pick the songs. It might be the director. It might be someone from the record dept. But you don't normally make a marketing blitz of their name, unless their name is commercial gold (for example, Prince and the Batman film, who had a bigger contribution to that film than Lamar to this).

As far as I know, beyond 'curating' the soundtrack, Lamar directly contributed three songs to the soundtrack. That seems a relatively slim involvement.
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David Miller
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Posted: 28 February 2018 at 12:07am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Almost as if in response to JB's query, UCLA's College of Social Science's has released their 2018 Hollywood Diversity Report.


 QUOTE:
Constituting nearly 40 percent of the U. S. population in 2016, minorities will become the majority within a few decades. Since the previous report, people of color have posted gains relative to their White counterparts in eight of the key industry employment arenas examined (i.e., film directors, film writers, broadcast scripted leads, cable scripted leads, broadcast reality and other leads, cable reality and other leads, digital scripted leads, and digital scripted show creators).

Minorities lost ground in only one of the 11 arenas (i.e., broadcast scripted show creators)and merely held their ground in the other two (i.e., film leads and cable scripted show creators). Despite quite a bit of progress for the group since the previous report, they remained underrepresented on every front in 2015-16:

• Nearly 3 to 1 among film leads (13.9 percent)
• 3 to 1 among film directors (12.6 percent)
• Nearly 5 to 1 among film writers (8.1 percent)
• 2 to 1 among broadcast scripted leads (18.7 percent)
• Nearly 2 to 1 among cable scripted leads (20.2 percent)
• Nearly 2 to 1 among broadcast reality and other leads (26.6 percent)
• Nearly 2 to 1 among leads for cable reality and other leads (20.9 percent)
• 3 to 1 among digital scripted leads (12.9 percent)
• Greater than 5 to 1 among the creators of broadcast scripted shows (7.1 percent)
• Greater than 5 to 1 among the creators of cable scripted shows (7.3 percent)
• Greater than 2 to 1 among the creators of digital scripted shows (15.7 percent)
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John Byrne
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Posted: 28 February 2018 at 9:21am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Hm. That listing seems to be taking "minorities" as a block, which does not seem fair to anyone.

I mean, does a Hispanic actor see the latest Will Smith movie and think "Ah! Good to see my people represented!"

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 28 February 2018 at 9:32am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I cannot stand "block" tokenism.

Asian is the one that really gets to me.


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Peter Martin
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Posted: 28 February 2018 at 9:47am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

This is a pie chart of how all roles broke down in 2016, according to the report:


The report states that 61.3% of the US population is white. 

The Census Bureau says 'white alone' is 76.9% and 61.3% 'white alone, not Hispanic or Latino'. LINK


Edited by Peter Martin on 28 February 2018 at 9:47am
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 28 February 2018 at 10:20am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Maybe I'm just too old, maybe I'm naive, maybe I'm confused (that dementia seems to encroach further every day), or maybe I'm just a jerk, but... I think I'm missing a point here.

It is unquestionable that minorities (you should please excuse the derogatory aspects of the phrase) have been under-represented in TV and movies. But is the resolution to that a compensation or revenge in future productions? Should a casting director ask, "Is there any reason this character can't be black? Hispanic? A woman? Disfigured? Handicapped?"

I will note here that I understand that some roles MUST be a certain gender, race, etc.* No one can reasonably expect Thomas Jefferson to be played by a Malaysian woman, or one of the Jets or Sharks to be portrayed by a black person... it breaks the story.

But I still maintain that 'most any role should be played by the best actor available as appropriate to the story. There are stories where a character should be black, young, heterosexual... but if it isn't a character requirement, what difference?

Of course, this may require a radical change in casting for movies and TV shows, but I just don't get why, if previous movies have been under representing black people, this movie has to have every role with a black person specific to that previous situation.

I think "Black Panther" points this out perfectly. It was indeed cast with the vast majority of roles as black actors... but it was set in an African nation. There is every reason for the casting restrictions in this.

However, for a standard romantic comedy, I can't see any reason to NOT cast the best actor for the role, period. I recall Denzel Washington's comment a few years ago about it being a great day when someone doesn't refer to him as a black actor, but just an actor.

*I'm not so certain about religion. Personally, I cannot look at a person in a shirt and pants and shoes and discern what religion they are, Obviously, there are religious accouterments... but ANYONE can wear a crucifix or yamulke or red dot. And as for sexual preference... with someone dressed as noted above, it's impossible to tell someone's sexual preference.
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 28 February 2018 at 11:17am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

"No one can reasonably expect Thomas Jefferson to be played by a Malaysian woman, or one of the Jets or Sharks to be portrayed by a black person... it breaks the story."

And yet, a Latino portrays a rapping Alexander Hamilton on Broadway and no can get tickets!

Edited by Brian Rhodes on 28 February 2018 at 11:21am
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 28 February 2018 at 12:35pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply


 QUOTE:
It is unquestionable that minorities (you should please excuse the derogatory aspects of the phrase) have been under-represented in TV and movies. But is the resolution to that a compensation or revenge in future productions?

The fact that underrepresentation is acknowledged and that fixing that is viewed as compensation or revenge is part of the problem.


 QUOTE:
There are stories where a character should be black, young, heterosexual... but if it isn't a character requirement, what difference?

This is the wrong question. If race doesn't matter, as some insist, if race isn't a requirement for a character, and if race doesn't make a difference, why are characters still overwhelmingly white? I went to high school in the 90s, and I'm only just now seeing shows and movies that reflect the diversity of what my school experiences looked like. I mean, I get that not all areas of the country are diverse, but when you continually see LA and NYC represented as a bunch of white people and one black guy, there's something off.

In the days before World of Warcraft, I used to play on a chat-based roleplaying game. People would have description of their characters in pop-up text boxes when you clicked on their name. What I noticed was that white characters had simple physical characteristics in their description (e.g., a man with black hair and brown eyes) while non-white characters had to indicate their race or ethnicity (e.g, a black man with black hair and brown eyes, an Asian man with black hair and brown eyes). Why? Because white is the default. Unless you stated explicitly that your character was non-white or had an obviously ethnic name, people would just naturally assume your character was white.

I can't count the number of times people have assumed I was white on the internet.  I mean, with an Anglo surname, it's a good assumption, but my name could just as well belong to a black person. (It does! I Googled!) Even on forums where people use handles, I still get told by people that they assumed I was white. Why? Because white is the default.

I'd love a world where race doesn't matter, but we're not living in it, and the solution to getting there is not covering our eyes and ears, pretending it doesn't matter. Inertia is not going to get us there. It involves representation, letting people see perspective that they might not otherwise experience so that they can conceive of views outside of their default experience.




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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 28 February 2018 at 3:30pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Brian R. - You are, of course, entirely correct. Times ARE changing.

Michael R. - Let's be sure, I am saying that I see the reverse reaction being, perhaps, a type of compensation or revenge. I don't say that anyone feels that way (although I will admit that I'd be shocked were I the only one to feel that way.)

"Why are characters still overwhelmingly white?" I agree; things are off kilter. But the situation IS changing, albeit slowly. I'll cite "Black Panther" again (although it is fair that it is in genre) and "A Wrinkle in Time", which has Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling as two of the ladies, and a young lady of color playing Meg. Granted, it IS Disney, who seems in some ways to try to be changing things (ref: "The Princess and the Frog") - but as long as the actors aren't Jewish... :)

Regarding Warcraft... I understand that people identify according to their skin. I'm saying that I want a day when they won't, because it won't matter. But it won't change until we change it. Truly, does it matter the color of the player in WoW? I used to play a troll... GREEN POWER, BABY!

I don't know your skin color, and I don't care. To that end, I have no least idea of skin color of the other members on this board; I have no idea of their ages unless they've posted (I know I'm pretty old, but not the oldest); I only know that there are some other Jews because that questions regarding Judaism have come up occasionally, and Jews are likely the best suited to answer Jewish question.

Would you see more black people, Oriental people, Hispanic people on this board? Why? For a better representation? There is no difference.

Same with the entertainment industry. Yes, in the past it occurred; and we're not entirely free of that situation quite yet. You say that the solution to getting there is not covering our eyes and ears, pretending it doesn't matter. I say that is exactly the solution, save that it needs to be implemented by the filmmakers, of course. After all, I believe this, but I'm on the cart, and not the horse... what I say and do likely won't make a change.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 28 February 2018 at 4:17pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply


 QUOTE:
II understand that people identify according to their skin.

You have this inverted.


 QUOTE:
I don't know your skin color, and I don't care.

I've always loved this quote from Ursula K. Leguin in the context of the skin color of her characters: “I think it is possible that some readers never even notice what color the people in the story are. Don’t notice, don’t care. Whites of course have the privilege of not caring, of being “colorblind.” Nobody else does.”


 QUOTE:
Would you see more black people, Oriental people, Hispanic people on this board? Why? For a better representation? There is no difference.

What I'd like to see is board members who are not white not to have to hold their tongues in discussions like these, because they are fully aware that their perspectives will make white folk uncomfortable or be explained away by them or be dismissed altogether because it doesn't fit their worldview. I notice this happening. Do you? The path to empathy, the path to understanding each other, without having to filter everything through a white perspective, is representation.

Have you ever been in a discussion with a black person about DWB (driving while black)? Watch all the black people have a personal story about their encounters, then watch all the white people fall all over themselves trying to explain it away or insist that it happens to them too or accuse them of hating the cops. Happens every time. And it's going to keep on happening as long as we keep viewing things through one perspective.


 QUOTE:
You say that the solution to getting there is not covering our eyes and ears, pretending it doesn't matter. I say that is exactly the solution, save that it needs to be implemented by the filmmakers, of course

For decades, Asians have been held up as the Model Minority. Work hard, assimilate, don't make noise. Blah blah blah. What has come of that? They are still mostly invisible, although that is only now starting to change (mostly through Hollywood's efforts at representation.) They still have to deal the with the stereotypes of the Perpetual Foreigner. They still are severely under-represented in the management and executive level, despite having the highest educational attainment. That's what pretending it doesn't matter gets you. I'll take representation.



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Doug Centers
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Posted: 28 February 2018 at 6:12pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

re: the pie chart above. I'm assuming "Asian" includes the Indian subcontinent.

And what is the criteria for "mix". Does that mean a 50/50 split in race or is there some kind of percentage threshold to meet.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 28 February 2018 at 7:01pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

And what is the criteria for "mix". Does that mean a 50/50 split in race or is there some kind of percentage threshold to meet.

----

I don't see UCLA's methodology, but "mixed" tends to be self-identified, as some multiracial people will identify with just one race.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 28 February 2018 at 8:19pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Yeah, your probably right Michael.  
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 01 March 2018 at 8:01am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Michael, I will preface my comments here by saying that I AM white, so I don't know anything about being persecuted due to skin color. Probably not a lot of Jews know much about it.

So... no, I have NOT noticed anyone having to hold their tongues in these discussions (NOT ARGUMENTS). First, I would hope that anyone would feel free to make comment no matter what; I get the sense here that, for the most part, no one is being restricted or persecuted. Second, I wouldn't notice because I don't know the race of ANY of our posters. I try real hard to assume that they're people... and ignore any other aspect about them. (Well, except for those damned Irish... :)

I do not dismiss or explain away anyone's comments or observations, nor do I make excuses for them. And if I'm uncomfortable, it would be due to MY behavior, which I try to update constantly. I really want to be open minded. I don't see how more black people on this board would change that... but you obviously observe something that I do not, which you feel more minorities would change.

I have never spoken with a black person about DWB. I KNOW that this happens, and I know that minorities are not treated the same as white people in many situations. I also know that it DOES happen to some white people. It shouldn't happen to black people... it shouldn't happen at all.

I don't want to pretend that underrepresentation doesn't happen. I don't want underrepresentation to MATTER. Again... I want the best actor for the role, PERIOD.

I don't think we're discussing at cross purposes here, my friend. I just think we're seeing it from VERY different perspectives. I believe that everyone should have the same rights and security. I believe that everyone should have the training to qualify for an acting role*. I believe that everyone deserves the same treatment, regardless of race, religion, creed, Marvel-or-DC reader, etc.

But I DON'T believe that someone should be entitled to different treatment from others due to the race, religion, etc. I believe in casting a black actor because he's better at the role. I don't believe in casting a black actor because not enough black actors have been cast in the past.

Obviously this equality is not happening now; obviously things are changing and it's starting to occur. And I still think that saying, "Cast him, he's Japanese" is hurting this change more than helping it.

*I hope it's obvious that I believe this should happen in every aspect life, not just movies and TV.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 05 March 2018 at 9:02am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Something that we should be glad for! Frances McDormand, in her Oscar speech, ended it with two words: inclusion riders. It took me a little bit, but I found out what it meas... it's a condition that A-list actors could put into their contracts that specifies that ancillary characters should represent the setting of the movie - the region, the spirit, etc.

That would be fantastic. More representation of proper citizens and populations, instead of insisting that Tokyo is populated by six foot tall white people...
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