Racism

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One can always expect the villain of Doctor Who to come out of left field, usually in an unassuming , silly and non-threatening way, until the gnashing teeth and wickedly sharp claws come out and things get hairy for the good Doctor. This time around Doctor Who is facing a real life threat from an unexpected corner, scholarly critics who claims the series is “thunderously racist”.

Doctor Who and Race: An Anthology edited by Dr. Lindy Orthia, is a collected work that examines:

Representations of race in the world’s longest running science fiction television show, from colour-blind casting to colonialism, eugenics to euro-centrism, nationalism to noble savages.

I looked over the site and noticed that all, or at least a majority of the proceeds are being donated to charity.

All editor/author royalties from the sale of Doctor Who and Race (8% of net receipts) will be donated to charitable organisations. Specifically, they will be split evenly between two charities: AVERT and Médecins Sans Frontières. The contributors unanimously agreed on this decision and we are very proud to be supporting these outstanding humanitarian organisations.

The BBC has had to respond and released a statement in support of Doctor Who:

Doctor Who has a strong track record of diverse casting among both regular and guest cast. Freema Agyeman became the first black companion and Noel Clarke starred in a major role for five years [Mickey Smith].

Reflecting the diversity of the UK is a duty of the BBC, and casting on Doctor Who is color-blind. It is always about the best actors for the roles.

I haven’t had time to read the essays yet, but considering that Doctor Who has been on the air for such a long period of time, I’m sure there are examples that reflect the race attitudes of the times. I am interested in what, if any, of the authors have to say about the current run of Doctor Who.

What do you think? It’s worth the time to examine the subject and not jump to conclusions on either side of the fence. I certainly don’t think there is any shadowy conspiracy at the BBC to promote racist views on the show, that’s just silly.

Via: Digital Spy

Is This ‘Star Wars’ Toy Racist?

Yeah, that’s a question. And you thought Star Wars Episode I was the extent of George Lucas’ propensity for exploiting racial stereotypes and out-dated portrayals of race.

The Turkish Cultural Community of Austria (TCCA), which includes at least two things you never would have thought go together, is pointing at the new LEGO Jabba’s Palace playset and calling “racist” on it. Now you may be reading this at home, at the local cafe, or even on the bus and maybe thinking to yourself: “How can a LEGO version of Jabba’s Palace from Return of the Jedi possibly be considered racist?” Good question.

According to the TCCA, the palace looks like both the Hagia Sophia, a 1,600-year-old former basilica and mosque in Istanbul, and Jami’ al-Kabir, a mosque from the 7th century in Beirut, and that’s not cool. On the surface, that doesn’t sound that bad, but the TCCA looks at it thusly:

“It is clear that the figure of the ugly villain Jabba and the whole scene [exemplifies] racial prejudice and vulgar insinuations against … Orientals and Asians as sneaky and criminal personalities (slaveholders, leaders of criminal organizations, terrorists, criminals, murderers, human sacrifice)…,” the group wrote on its website.

First of all, really? Second of all, it’s been 30 years since the release of Return of the Jedi, did someone at the TCCA finally put on the Blu-ray? Or is like the whole thing last summer when adoption advocates went off against The Avengers for Thor’s wisecrack: a case of people with too much time on their hands and platform to exploit their over-sensitivity? I think we all know what I think, what about you Bastards?

Source: Blastr

Mixed reviews have been pouring in after Green Lantern’s release this past Friday, but Alan Grayson, former U.S Congressman for Florida’s 8th District, was moved to quote Green Lantern #76. His quote was meant to support his argument on social injustices, so take a look at the complete text from his Huffington Post blog:

I may never have the chance to talk to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, or any of the other Masters of the Universe who led and misled our country for eight long years. Nor may I ever have the chance to speak to Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, or any of the other savage right-wing loons who want to finish the job that Bush et al. started. But if I could, I might say:

Me: I’ve been readin’ about you . . . How you work for multinational corporations like Big Oil. . . . And how you say you built all those roads and schools and bridges in some country in Asia. And in some other country in the Middle East someplace you got rid of some dictator. Only there’s one country you never bother with — America! I want to know . . . how come?! Answer me that, Mr. Flag-Waiving Patriot!

Them: I . . . can’t . . . .

Well, I can answer that. For a generation now, we have seen the heartless, callous erosion and destruction of all the things that make you a member of the middle class in America:

A job.

A home.

A car.

The chance to see a doctor when you are sick.

A pension or retirement account.

Social Security and Medicare.

And we’ve seen them replaced by endless war, falling home values, no pensions, lower wages, and now what Karl Marx called a “reserve army of the unemployed” — to keep wages down forever.

Even after only two years in office, as one out of 435 in the House, I can point to a lot of things that I did to preserve, protect and expand the middle class in America, and to help those of us who were falling through the cracks.

I look at our so-called leaders on the other side of the aisle, and I see nothing like that. Only a perverse delight in eliminating programs that help my fellow Americans in need. They’ll lead us, all right — they’ll lead us straight to ruin.

The next time you see one of them — at a town hall meeting, in their plush offices, or just on the street — ask them this: “What have you done to help the people? Answer me that!”

If they’re honest, they’ll say what Green Lantern said: “I can’t.”

Courage,
Alan Grayson

In brightest day,
In blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power: Green Lantern’s Light.

I think the guy is just trying to get attention and is riding off of The Green Lantern’s popularity to get his statement heard. I  think that a white guy using a very racial scene sends the wrong message as it is. He can try to spin it on the social justice side, but  he doesn’t say “American” skins he says “Black” skins.  I would see that as  Jordan being a douchey racist who can’t answer a question when it pins him in an awkward position. So, I give this tirade a 1 1/2 tacos just because it was based on an obviously racist scene. Grayson, look at your material before you use it! What do you think of this very passionate speech? Is it short-sided or does it make a good point?

 

Skids and Mudflap, the two jive talking robots in Transformers Revenge of The Fallen, had fans calling out racism. The buck teeth, small heads, big ears and illiteracy sure as shit justified the accusation. In the time since ROTF, Michael Bay has become well aware of the cultural hatred of these two insensitive robots. He’s insisted that the two would not appear Dark of the Moon – the 3rd and final installment. Apparently, someone called shenanigans (two robot brothers were mentioned in AICN review of DOTM)  and Michael Bay retorted with a bounty offer to prove other wise.

On his own website, ShootForTheEdit, Michael Bay said,

After the internet posting of a nice review by someone who saw Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the writer had not been clear on one thing. He misstated that the Twins are in the film. They are not. So I am offering a $25,000 REWARD to anyone who can find them performing in Transformers 3, on July 1, when the movie opens.

So there, the gauntlet has been thrown. *sigh* we spent the whole last film trying NOT to find them.

I do commend Bay, this has to be one of the more brilliant marketing strategies ever. He’ll get a lot of dumb fucks in the theater looking for a cracker jack prize that doesn’t exist.

(Post by nerdbastards contributor Nick Bungay- Twitter @NickBungay)

With the release of Marvel’s ‘Thor’ only months away you’d think everything would be all right for the land of Asgard and you would be sadly mistaken. With a multi-national cast rounding out the Norse gods the film should be an expected smash hit, but a certain group is trying to boycott the film based on the color of an actor’s skin. Idirs Elba has come under fire for playing the role of Heimdel, brother of Sif in ‘Thor’ because of the fact that Heimdel is protrayed as a white man in Norse Mythology and the comics. The fundamentalist group the Council of Conservative Citizens have organized an online boycott of the Kenneth Branagh directed film. According to the group this is part of Marvel’s “anti-white” campaign.

From their online blog, they wrote: “It’s not enough that Marvel attacks conservatives values, now mythological Gods must be re-invented with black skin.” Kyle Rogers, head of the CoCC, believes that “Marvel has taken their anti-white, radical campaign even further. They cast a black man as a Norse Deity.” According to the group Norse Gods are real people that existed and are Aryan.

So your telling me that a group originally meant simply as a neutral ethno-linguistic classification, later used for ideologically motivated racism in Nazi and neo-Nazi doctrine, doesn’t like a black man playing a white god. Now it all makes sense! Now while it’s just ludicrous that a group thinks someone can’t play what they call a “whites only” role then it’s their right too. You know what though, it’s the studio’s right to hire who they want to play what the actor tries out for. It’s a new age and actors are allowed to play who they want.

Elba, Stringer Bell on “The Wire” believes the boycott is absurd asking, “Thor’s mythical, right? Thor has a hammer that flies to him when he clicks his fingers. That’s OK, but the color of my skin is wrong?” Well, apparently Thor was real and if he can flick his fingers to make hammer’s fly to him why can’t I flick my fingers to transport my beer into my hand. Coming from a site that has posted that Marvel has a history of publishing “Black Power” comics this makes them seem like a bunch of morons. If these guys were to try and protest this garbage their preaching at something like comic-con (like these idiots) they’d get their asses handed to them in geek fashion. Yet, while we can just laugh at all this nonsense we can’t take this group lightly, they have connections.

When your connected to big name politicians like Mike Huckabee, Bob Barr, Haley Barbour and Ann Coulter, and this year collaborated with Tea Party groups in the states of Florida and Mississippi to help elect the new conservative Congress, you can’t just laugh it off. Yes, the racism is real but so are the people involved in this. They all have their worries and fears about what should and shouldn’t be but this is a little much to be concerned with. It’s a movie, a piece of fantasy with high budget effects and sets, far from the world these people believe in. Other actors of color have portrayed roles originally held by white people and they’ve done a fantastic job. Hell, white actors have been cast in Asian roles and the community wasn’t trying to rush studios in protest. Even more, star actor Jake Gyllenhaal was the “Prince of Persia” and that was a casting choice that pissed off quite a few people but they stuck to their guns on the decision.

This might only be a speed bump on the road to Thor’s release but it’s might spin the car right into a ditch. If Marvel doesn’t really care about this it’ll get brushed right to the side, a splash in the pan.

Via: You Bent My Wookie

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I may be wrong, but I’ve seen all the Lord of the Ring movies and can’t remember seeing dark skinned hobbits anywhere. Therefore, it presumes the fictional hobbit characters have never been portrayed as anything but fair-skinned. Am I right? Right! Well, that didn’t stop someone from shitting in some casting directors cereal.

A casting director for Peter Jackson’s upcoming film adaptations of “The Hobbit” has been fired after placing newspaper ads seeking extras with “light skin tones” only. According to a spokesperson for Jackson’s production company, no specifications regarding skin color were ever made, and the crew member took it upon themselves to only audition actors with pale skin for hobbit characters. Apparently believing that hobbits could only be played by whites.

Much of this controversy has to do with an earlier report by The Sydney Morning Herald who wrote about an aspiring actress named Naz Humphreys who had tried to audition as an extra but was denied the chance due to the color of her skin.

Humphreys who is 5 ft tall has all the essential requirements to be a hobbit extra, but the British Pakistani was told that she’s not white enough.

light skin tones? sorry how is that offensive? Oh, I get it. They’re just mad that all the non-white parts were for Orcs and other hideous middle earth chuds.

OK, maybe that was a bit mean. To tell you the truth I think the casting people behind the Hobbit are ass-hats who don’t know a goddamn thing about Tolkien’s characters. In “The Lord of the Rings”, Tolkien described three races of Hobbits inhabiting the Middle Earth fantasy world , including harfoots, who “were browner of skin” than the others. Now, had the idiot casting members actually read the books, and not based they’re casting specifications solely from what was seen in previous movies they would have realized that they’re can be a homey hobbit.

Personally, I don’t think the casting people are racist by any means. Just idiots who made an assumption.  If all the hobbits in LoTR were white, then it is a perfectly logical assumption by the casting director that the ones in the Hobbit would be the same.  He/she should have known better, yes, but termination just seems so unwarranted. People are way to0 goddamn sensitive.

source: EW