When the ever-popular Disney movie “Frozen” was released, it accumulated a massive fan base. However, after the movie’s release, quite a few people complained that Disney was becoming “whitewashed,” and should create more characters of color. (Which will be remedied, hopefully, with “Big Hero 6”, and the upcoming princess movie “Moana”).
When the new “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” movie trailer was released, fans went wild. However, a small group of people decided to start the hashtag “Boycott The Force Awakens” (or “Boycott Episode 7,” I believe) in order to protest the diverse cast. Boycotting a movie because of a diverse cast? That’s ludicrous. Especially after tons of people criticized Disney for their lack of diversity (since Star Wars is now owned by Disney, in case anyone hasn’t learned of this yet).
Thank goodness the idea of boycotting was essentially dropped after a few days of the trailer’s release.
Isn’t this one thing that’s wrong with society, though? We get angry at a lack of diversity, but when diversity is presented, everyone gets into a tizzy about it, too. Granted that there probably are more white actors than actors of other races, and some actors should or have to be a specific skin tone in order to accurately portray their characters, but look at these numbers.
An article on Vanity Fair’s website states that the University of Southern California did a study on specific inequalities in 700 popular films. Less than 1 percent had Native American actors; 1.2 percent were from other races.
A little more than 10 percent were Asian and Hispanic actors combined, and 12.5 percent were African American. Considering these statistics, I don’t think it’s “white genocide” (as some protesters were claiming) to have an African-American actor as a main lead in a mostly white movie franchise. Silly, this claim is.
Why can’t we embrace movies as they are, without complaining about skin tone? To truly enjoy and understand a movie’s deeper messages, sometimes looking beneath the skin tone to see the actual character’s motives, inspiration, etc. is necessary as well.
Why don’t we wait to see how an actor performs in a movie instead of immediately having a fit because they aren’t white? Why do we shy away from representation of all skin tones? This doesn’t mean just equal representation of black and white, but Asian, Indian, Middle-Eastern and Hispanic, too – those that tend to fall through the cracks.
After all, we’re ultimately all of the same race: human being.