Out of Our Hands


I haven’t done a celebrity commentary in a while (see article on Renee Zellweger), but I wanted to chime in on the recent comments made by Michelle Rodriguez when it came to the casting of roles in the remake of films in regards to superheroes: something about minorities ‘stealing’ the roles of previously ‘white’ supperheroes. You can read the point of the article here.

Here we go again….

The actors cast are no at fault- regardless of color (ugh, this again).

This just goes to show that the issue of skin color is still prevalent because it seems the actor cast for the role apparently must still match the color of the graphic cartoon- to a “T”.

It reinforces the idea of a linear approach to acting and further adds to the pressure to conform to an ideal about a person and thus limits and restricts the opportunities that other aspiring (or successful) actors/actresses might have at doing the job they love and may even be good at.

Last I checked, none of the ‘minority’ actors/actresses (who still happen to be human beings) were the ones producing the need for casting calls for which other ‘minorities’ or genders of actors and actresses who would show up to audition and eventually be cast in. This attitude Rodriguez perpetuates, I feel places us in a backward motion and generally I feel opinions like this should be kept in someone’s thought-process. Yes, use that filter we were taught as responsible as thought-provoked adults, to use.

As actors/actresses, their agents are responsible (if they haven’t gotten the calls directly) to audition for certain roles. No coalition I know of exists that functions with the purpose of casting roles to minorities that previously were solely available to change the storylines so it appeared like they came from a different race. I say that because it’s common for actors to have work done cosmetically- so they look a certain way (e.g. nose jobs). It’s done so they can conform and look more appealing to casting directors and producers.

With Michelle Rodriguez being a minority herself, I’m surprised to hear of these words coming out of her mouth. I may agree that there needs not to be a campaign to make a black or Chinese (or any other race) version of every Marvel/DC Comics superhero or character but I would suspect and hope that she’d be a little more supportive of the evolution and concept. Perhaps Marvel (a much larger entity) and others are trying to grab the attention of other demographics? Perhaps they are trying to reinvent themselves because current supporters are looking for something different within the characters the comics have created already.

I’m not entirely disappointed in her comments. I’m pretty much still a Michelle Rodriguez fan- I just expected less commentary on such a sensitive issue- especially since the issue of race and skin color has been media bait for the last few years. Nothing good can come from national or celebrity commentary. We need to let progress occur at local and community levels. We need for the public to interact with each other. Heal in that way. She has a right to her opinion but I’d assume it’d be one less harsh of any potential co-worker and cast-mate.

So while I can appreciate the discussion she had (because something is better than nothing to form public opinion) we, the public could use more inspiring comments in regards to such topics. As an A-list actress (or anyone in the spotlight at the time) I suspect you’d want to communicate to the public in an aspiring and inspiring fashion. Perhaps she shouldn’t contribute to either side of the discussion.

Rodriguez did issue an apology to rectify any misconceptions but the same cautions to define what was said could be taken initially so no apology would be needed.

Or, you could always say the best phrase on the planet for most celebrities: “No Comment


2 responses to “Out of Our Hands

  1. The key to understanding her comments is understanding her contextual perspective. Even though culturally she most likely identifies as Hispanic, racially speaking she identifies with a white experience–one where she chooses to side with the privileged and not the oppressed. This happens often with people of color who are lighter in skin tone than some of us the rest of us. We call this colorism within the black community but it happens in all cultures. Anyone too dark to be acceptable into the mainstream culture is dropped in the “negative other” category. This is why Cubans are welcome but Haitians are not; Why certain middle eastern and African immigrants are preferred to others; why Italians from the mountainous regions are seen as better than their southern cousins.

    So she really meant what she said from the heart. The way you see her is not the way she sees herself. Her culture and race are separate things for her where for me it cannot be because I am visibly unmatched.

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