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  • Yovani Martinez

    Representing stories from different countries and different cultures sometimes can bring different opinions. Sometimes this can be related to racism but as humans we have to understand that every mind thinks different, and not everyone is going to share the same opinion as everybody. Especially right here in America where there are many people with different nationalities and different perspective. However, being reasonable, we should be honored that we are learning a little bit from every part of the world. After all if we show a little bit of our culture, some people would want to know more, and they might research to learn more. Next, we would have one more individual sharing this knowledge with someone else.

  • mistercomposer

    Umm….there’s a reason they’re called actors. They pretend to be people they’re not. There’s also a reason that American Indians were not used—they represent only a tiny fraction of the population. To object to these “offenses” one would have to also object to actors portraying doctors who have no medical training, or gay people cast in heterosexual roles. I grew up in Oregon, which was 95% white. To put on Showboat, the cast had to dress up as black people. Hey, there were only 2 black people in the whole school, and neither of them were interested in acting! What’s next? If there’s a role who’s a transgender parapalegic, will protesters insist on the producers casting an actual parapalegic who’s had a sex change operation? This is insanity.

  • Daniel Mayeda

    Thank you, Diep, for insisting that Asians and Asian Americans ARE important enough to be respected and that we deserve a chance to tell our own stories on stage (and on film and on television).

  • ML Ishii

    Diep Tran is my hero! She utilizes the power of the pen to validate the movement that so many of us artists have been working in our whole lives. Well intended or not, when artists appropriate other cultures (and badly at that) it is a racist re-injuring to all people of color. It is a message that you do not see us or acknowledge our presence and the ways in which we embody our cultural legacies and traditions. You may not realize it, but know now that you are running roughshod over our very hearts and souls.

    These creative decisions executed also pits us artists against one another and this is not productive to our theatre and entertainment eco-systems at large. As one of my colleagues says, “Check yourself before you wreck yourself!” And another talks about, “Historical amnesia” and “Racism is globally transferable”…this speaks to how somehow we forget that racism and colonialism occurred a minute ago, a day ago, a month ago, a year ago (Mikado in Seattle), centuries ago, and so we can keep making the same mistakes. Well, no more! Hands Off My Kimono!

    • ML Ishii

      Furthermore, I am grateful that Diep Tran stood up for me as another Asian female and Asian heritage ally. Many times we Japanese Americans protest the Mikados and are thought of as complainers or resentful we didn’t get cast. When an ally stands up for us, it is powerful and our arguments and cases are heard and read often for the first time and experienced differently. As you can tell from this article, this ally, wrote/spoke truth to power and people are reading and talking and listening. Thank you, Diep for your allyship!

  • Jack The Lizard

    The moral of this story is unless you are already of that race you can never play a character who is. It is in this way we will have unity through division, peace through war and love through hatered.

  • Leah Nanako Winkler

    Wow-Kevin Nakatani- opinion on the Mikado aside-are you seriously admitting that you’re looking through this woman’s personal pictures from home and dissecting the content like some sort of creep?

  • Kevin Nakatani

    Resigning myself to the realization that I won’t receive a response from the article’s author to my question below, I took it upon myself to find her on Facebook. Naturally, she has the majority of her content blocked. But there was this photo of her doing what one of her friends calls the “diep leap” as she gives a thumbs up, holding a Book of Mormon playbill, in front of a Book of Mormon poster.

    I happen to live in the backyard of the LDS church. Firstly, I’d like to point out that the LDS church has a further understanding of the nature of theatrical arts than Ms. Tran. Their statements regarding the Book of Mormon sounded like, “The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people’s lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ,” or “Of course, parody isn’t reality, and it’s the very distortion that makes it appealing and often funny. The danger is not when people laugh but when they take it seriously—if they leave a theater believing that Mormons really do live in some kind of a surreal world of self-deception and illusion.”

    But while the church has not formally spoken out against the musical (heck, they even buy ad space in the playbill), I do have a few LDS acquaintances who find the work all together offensive.

    So my next hypothetical (likely to go unanswered) question to Ms. Tran is this: Why do you give Book of Mormon a “diep leap” and at least one thumb up? A work that portrays a culture (cast with actors who are not part of that culture) in a way that some people find offensive. I’m beginning to think that you see people only for the color of their skin, Ms. Tran.

    • joy m.

      WOW. This comment couldn’t be creepier or more inappropriate. Let’s go ahead and agree that disagreeing with someone is not a good reason to stalk them.

      • ML Ishii

        Right on! Thank you, Joy m.

  • Jib Halyard

    The Mikado is not about Japan. It is about Victorian England. Perhaps we should demand that it be played by British-born actors, and not appropriated by these beastly Americans.

  • CHWolfenbloode

    A (going by the name) Vietnamese person appropriating a Japanese style of dress as theirs to dictate who and how it should be worn without consulting actual Japanese people by lumping everyone in the East Asian cultural sphere as one and the same with the same beliefs and culture. The irony seems to have been lost…

    On a similar vein, as a British-Chinese person of Han descent with family coming from Cambodia, I hereby declare that Vietnamese national dress is an appropriation of Manchu Qing Dynasty fashion and therefore they should cease and desist from wearing it, etc etc etc because you are appropriating MY qipao/cheongsam/metaphoric queue etc etc etc!

    • Moolah

      Vietnamese people can’t appropriate something that was a product of colonization. That’s like saying African Americans are appropriating English and western names. Qing dynasty clothes themselves were forced on Han Chinese.

  • joy m.

    For all the commenters who are struggling with why cross-racial casting in this instance is offensive, when other forms of casting across nationality are less so, I offer these thoughts:
    1. Do you support minstrel shows? Or do you understand that there is a legacy and history around blackface performance in this country, and so, in the absence of great thought, appropriate context, and careful calibration, blackface is usually offensive?

    2. You may want to look into the history of Yellowface performance, which is less widely known. A great place to start is Krystyn R. Moon’s book Yellowface: Creating the Chinese in American Popular Music and Performance. A salient quote: “In California, with the growing numbers of Chinese during the 1850s and 1860s and the resultant tensions and conflicts, songwriters began to use these immigrants as musical subjects. Performers, influenced by blackface minstrelsy, were well aware of the lyrical and musical devices as well as those of gesture, costuming, and makeup that could be used to mark Chinese immigrants grants as inferior. Yellowed-up actors became the norm on the stage, limiting the theatrical opportunities for the Chinese in much the same way that black-face face excluded African Americans until the 1870s. Their songs, with some exceptions, helped to define and circulate anti-Chinese sentiments throughout out the Far West.”

    Krystyn R. Moon. Yellowface: Creating the Chinese in American Popular Music and Performance, 1850s-1920s (Kindle Locations 465-468). Kindle Edition.

    When we see an actor of color playing Banquo (to cite an example offered below), that actor is not calling up a tradition of racist performance historically used to gin up anti-Asian sentiments. Further, in every example I have ever seen, that actor would not be playing an exaggerated racial stereotype that transforms a culture into a strange, exotic other. In contrast, here is an image from the Seattle production of The Mikado that ignited the conversation a year ago.

    This is a crucial distinction for anyone in the field to master. I absolutely recommend learning more about the subject if you work in theater.

  • Cliff Arroyo

    Since when are kimonos Vietnamese? (if Diep Tran is a Japanese name then Bjorn Bergman is Italian)

    • bd005

      Um, Asian-Americans don’t see each other as being different.

      Just as white Americans just see themselves as “white”

      • Kevin Nakatani

        I don’t feel that this is an accurate statement. I very clearly identify as Japanese and I feel that all Asian ethnicities are quite unique, please don’t forget that Asian incorporates MANY ethnicities. Would you confuse an East Indian person with a Korean?

      • Dave206

        How can you generalize about such a huge group of people?

  • Fobes

    Part of acting is playing any part. Skin tone or race should not come into play. This sort of racist casting and labeling needs to stop in every facet of life including in the theatre. I don’t watch a performance and say that person wasn’t dark enough or light enough…nonsense. How far will this be allowed to go and how long will it continue?

    • New Yorkese

      It shouldn’t but it does. Welcome to the 21st century. I know, wasn’t it easier in the 18th, when folks like you could just lord it over everyone? But then again, you wouldn’t have your iPhone or the Internet, so what are you going to do! Sad you.

      • Fobes

        seen enough of your posts to know you are a fool and a troll. hope you die a horrible death

        • New Yorkese

          How appropriate is that? lol. Just flagged you for your comment. You shouldn’t be on here.

          • Fobes

            oh sorry you got your feelings hurt. go pester other people who care. you are nothing but a parasite

          • New Yorkese

            No feelings hurt: I don’t know you. You just don’t seem to know the rules of social media! lol

          • Fobes

            yes they were or you wouldn’t have reported it. nice try on the deflect. You are not worthy of any dialogue troll and should find yourself another place to haunt

          • New Yorkese

            “Yes they were”? lol You’re really looking for some power you don’t have in the real world, yeah? lol

  • Eric Wenburg

    Productions and plays use the notion of non-white people and culture as exotic. Allegedly this notion spices up and certainly props up bland, stale, safe material. This has gone on for some time and is falling apart. I suggest the problem is not just a long history of racist and xenophobic appropriation but also the bland, stale, safe material. New writers, please — good ones.

  • Hi_Denahnah

    Why, when the issue of cultural appropriation and racism come up, do white people always seem to be the people who get the shittiest the fastest?!?!?

  • Cody Soper

    Although I appreciate Tran’s decisive commentary on this incredibly deep, multi-faceted issue I believe there is much more to this than making a decree of, “You must always cast as specified in the script.”

    It is an unfortunate fact that the community a theatre produces in may not have the “resources”, meaning a large multi-cultural pool of performers to pull from, when casting a production that calls for a specified race. But it is the producing company’s responsibility not only as artists but as human beings to have an astute awareness of the work that they are doing and how audiences both in the theatre and on social media will react to their choices.

    That being said, do I think that a company should not be allowed to produce “The King and I” because they do not have a Siamese actor to play the King? No, but they must realize what statement they are making by choosing not to go the extra mile to find a culturally appropriate actor.

    I never want to be the person to say that a story should not be told, but it is my duty as a theatre artist to have an understanding and respect for the cultures being represented in that story and have a strong, well-reasoned opinion on how to approach that individual production.

    • Sister Simplice

      If you’re in a 90% white community, would you do Ragtime? Would you use the same justification for getting a white Coalhouse and Sarah as you would if you cast a white King, Tuptim, Lun Tha, etc…?

    • Johnny Canuck

      “It is an unfortunate fact that the community a theatre produces in may not have the “resources”, meaning a large multi-cultural pool of performers to pull from, when casting a production that calls for a specified race.”

      Seriously? There are many performers in NY of all places that could fit the roles in this opera. Don’t tell me in a city with the population of New York you couldn’t find enough talented Japanese actors to fill the Mikado. PLEASE!

      Your very statement stinks of systemic whiteness, in that by calling up performers of color in your comment this way, you surreptitiously suggest that we are subpar in our skills compared to white people.

      • Cody Soper

        Well, while I appreciate your comment I seem to have been unclear in my original post.

        While the article is specifically about one production in NY, my comment was taking into account the many other places besides NY that theatre is produced. I’m not claiming to have the answer, but I do think that there has to be a way to tell every story in any place regardless of the population. Do you think that it is fair to a community to not be able to see a story on stage because the performers aren’t there?

  • M_B_W

    First off: As a matter of respect, I very much support having various cultures performed by members of that culture whenever possible.

    That said, I ask this question with complete respect and no snark intended: Where do we draw the line?
    -Should an Irish character only be played by an Irish person?
    -Should a gay person only be played by a gay person? (and same for straight people)?

    -Should a drug addict only be played by someone who has experienced addiction?

    By default, acting nearly ALWAYS means that you are playing someone other than yourself….so where is the line?

    And if actors matching the character description are not readily available, does it just mean that some stories don’t get shared at all? Or is a certain amount of cross-cultural casting appropriate so that an audience may have a chance to experience a story from another culture they might not otherwise be exposed to?

    Not all theaters are high-budget theaters that can afford to fly in actors from across the country or the world….so do you choose the strongest actor you can afford? Or do you just not do the play at all if such an actor is not available?

    • M_B_W

      I would also point out that cross-cultural casting happens all over the world, not just in the US…it’s not just a “white people” thing.

      At some point do the various cultures (white and non-white) just agree to cut each other some slack as long as the portrayals are done with respect?

    • Johnny Canuck

      The line is: Can it be perceived as offensive by the community that you, Mr Caucasian, are portraying? There’s a reason why you don’t see blackface doing “Mammy” in the 21st century. The Asian community is starting to catch up to that.

      • Cliff Arroyo

        Ah diversity, the never ending battle for position of apex victim…….

        • bd005

          More like conservative white males these days…

  • lancesackless

    Will you therefore stop performing Jesus Christ Superstar as it’s offensive to Christians of all races and creeds?

    didn’t think so.

    • Sister Simplice

      Is it, though?

  • Jose Carrillo

    R_E_S_P_E_C_T is important when cultures mix, integrate, and trade arts and traditions. Shakespeare had to make do with all white male actors to play dozens of non-anglo ethnicities, and female parts of all ages and ethnicities. No prob.

    • Barbara

      Theatre companies in Shakespearean England would not have been all white. English society at the time certainly wasn’t.

  • Tom Shea

    I haven’t seen the Mu production of The Mikado, but the other two productions suck major ass because they bear almost no relation to what Gilbert and Sullivan wrote. (And friends of mine have participated in the Hypocrites’ production here in Chicago.) Perhaps what you feel is the racist angle has been scrubbed, but the on-stage product makes almost no sense. Gilbert wasn’t writing Japan, as you said. the fact hat it’s used as a romantic scrim is unfortunate, but one can’t examine it without examining the (unfortunately white, male) time in which it was written. I would love to see new musical works by minority figures, but not at the expense of ruining canon. History might work that way. Art doesn’t.

    • New Yorkese

      You just said it, “canon.” This bad musical has been regurgitated for so damned long that theater folks don’t know why, they just keep doing it cuz… I’m guessing, America has a short history and anything mildly historical, even if offensive, sits on a pedestal. Time to get off that train.

      • Tom Shea

        I know why the fuck they keep doing it. Because it’s great and not at all bad. Write me a better musical libretto than “The Mikado.” You’d be the first person to do it. Best of luck to you.

        • New Yorkese

          Whoa, dude. Keeping the white patriarchal order’s that important to you, eh? Sieg heil.

          • Kevin Nakatani

            This is the MOST racist thing I have seen come out of any of the conversations regarding The Mikado! And I LOVE IT!

          • New Yorkese

            Because you’re an actor, Kevin, and you like drama more than reading and thinking. Sad.

          • Friesjones

            It’s a theater, not a concentration camp. Remember, theater, that thing where people wear costumes and makeup to portray people entirely different than them? Is Macbeth appropriating Scottish culture? Is Hamlet appropriating Danish culture? Was “The Wiz” appropriating Midwestern US culture from Frank Baum’s people?

            You picked the shittiest of hills to die on there, Sarge.

          • New Yorkese

            Macbeth doesn’t necessitate folks wearing kilts throughout the play nor Hamlet eating butter cookies from tins because they are neither comedies nor musicals? What a stretch! Even if they were, there is some understanding of a “common” culture in play there. With “Mikado,” G&S bandy about in their ignorance and make their audience feel comfortable in it as well. Speaking of which, I’m not even going to go into your take on “The Wiz” because clearly you care more about defending your cultural privilege than working through about something that is so obvious to thinking (unconservative) lovers of culture that I might have to end my exchange with you here.

          • Friesjones

            Wouldn’t lumping “Europeans” into a singular ethnic and cultural group be just as offensive and foolish as lumping all East Asians into a singular ethnic and cultural group? Anglo-Saxon and Gaelic and Germanic and Latin cultures are vastly different you know. As well as Nordic, Slavic, Romani, and so forth.

          • New Yorkese

            You’re not reading carefully and also ignoring the American context. I wrote “some understanding of a common European culture in play” between two British playwrights which means NOT lumping those groups while showing the commonality. Is Gaelic anything like Chinese? No. Does Gaelic have a relationship to English culture, yes. And you will miss this reference too I’m sure but when I say the American context, I mean the 20th century history of wars based on racism: Hiroshima and the Vietnam War.

          • Friesjones

            You accuse ME of not reading much, when you’re so ignorant of 20th Century history that you actually think that Vietnam and Hiroshima were based on American racism? If I recall my history lessons, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and destroyed most of the Pacific Fleet in a pre-emptive sneak attack because they were angry over some trade agreements that shut them out of lucrative markets in the Pacific region. Hiroshima and Nagasaki likely saved several million Japanese lives that would have been lost due to starvation and disease and direct combat injuries had the planned invasion and blockade of the Japanese homelands taken place. They chose to join the Axis and ally themselves with HITLER, for Pete’s sake.

            And we were fighting the Cold War against Soviet communism in Vietnam, at the request of the Diệm government, which was besieged by Viet Cong revolutionaries when Ike started sending advisers. US policy at the time was based on “The Domino Theory,” which held that each nation that “fell to” communism made the next country’s fall even more likely.

            Where do you get your crappy ideas? From some a-holes? Because you certainly show no signs of understanding history AT ALL.

          • New Yorkese

            Where do you get yours? “angry over some trade agreements that shut them out of lucrative markets in the Pacific region …. Hiroshima and Nagasaki likely saved several million Japanese lives” And the Domino Theory proved to be wrong, and highly damaging, yes? The Vietnamese weren’t brainwashed by a bunch of Soviets, a-shat. They made up their own minds about what govt they wanted, there was a struggle and we shoulda kept out of it.

          • Friesjones

            That’s definitely an indicator of just how deep the well of your ignorance goes, that you think that there is any equivalency between the Vietnam
            War and the struggle between the US and Japan in WWII. You didn’t even
            know that the President and Joint Chiefs had a plan for a long-term
            assault on the Japanese homeland that involved carpet-bombing and a
            siege followed by an invasion. Millions would have died. Instead, they
            forced a total surrender by destroying two small towns in a show of
            force. So yeah, atomic weapons saved millions of Japanese lives from
            the consequences of their own leaders’ bad decision to wage war with the
            world’s largest neutral power.

  • Kevin Nakatani

    Ms. Tran, are you Japanese?

    • Kevin Nakatani

      Only asking because if you are not then I don’t think anybody’s trying to lay their hands on your kimono. Unless you purchased a Japanese kimono. But on second thought, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be trying to appropriate Japanese fashion.

      • Michael Smith

        I’m half Japanese, Half White….. I think this whole “misappropriation” of Japanese culture thing has gone overboard. the protest by asian americans who were not Japanese at the Boston MFA… playing of characters in Mikado, Madame Butterfly by non asians…… I was more offended by the two premier geishas roles in the Memoirs of a Geisha being played by Chinese actresses and not Japanese actresses, than I am by non asians acting in these plays/operas….. .. or non asians wearing kimono at the Boston MFA.

        • New Yorkese

          Maybe you should think about that, lol.

      • New Yorkese

        Are you kidding, Kevin? She’s defending our culture. If you don’t agree, don’t agree but don’t attack on a personal level. As a JA, you should be offended by the Mikado too.

        • Kevin Nakatani

          No. I’m not kidding you, New Yorkese. And I’m sorry if it came off as a personal attack, I was merely turning her logic around on her to prove its ridiculousness.

          Firstly, she writes the article as if she’s of Japanese descent (which she may very well be), but I took an educated leap from her last name and I’m still under the assumption that she is Vietnamese. Therefore the very title of the article does not sit well with me. It is not her kimono. You want to protect the Japanese culture, and yet you draw no distinction between Japanese and Vietnamese?

          Secondly, if she is indeed Vietnamese, why is she not boycotting the West End production of Miss Saigon which stars a Filipino-American as Kim, the lead role which is very specifically Vietnamese?

          We are on the edge of a very slippery slope. While screaming accusations of inauthenticity and disrespect I keep seeing people post “Can’t they find Asian performers for these roles?” Which to me sounds ridiculous coming from someone of Asian ethnicity because what I hear when I read that is “We are pretty much all the same, take your pick as long as they have olive skin, a round face, and almond shaped eyes.” Does a valid argument exist for Filipino actors portraying Vietnamese as acceptable while Whites portraying Japanese is not

          Lastly, I don’t appreciate people telling me what I should or should not take offense to. I’m going to assume that you weren’t implying that I’m a “bad Hapa” since you’ve already stated your feelings regarding personal attacks. I am NOT offended by The Mikado, and as I stated in another comment, I’ve played the role before, quite happily with a cast consisting of nearly all white members except myself and a Latino.

          • Fobes

            well said kevin. slipperly slope for sure and her title quite frankly is racist

          • New Yorkese

            How do you know it was *her* title? Editors have say over these things, writers frequently less so.

          • bd005

            Oh, please.

            Maybe for “Memoirs” it would have been better to have cast Japanese actresses (the fact that the only Hollywood films about Japan have been about samurais and geishas has more bearing on what Tran is trying to say than the actual race or ethnicity of the actors), but at the same time, white American actors have long portrayed Brits (whether English, Scot, Welsh, etc.), the French, Germans, Italians, Russians, etc. and nowadays Hollywood films are rife with British and Australian actors playing white Americans, much less American superheroes.

            Asian actors playing Asian characters of other ethnicities or nationalities is not close to being the same as white actors doing “yellowface” (you think whites doing “blackface is acceptable?).

            Gee, I guess according to you, gay actors can’t portray straight characters and vice versa.

            And Tran’s greater point is beyond the casting, but the superficial use of stereotypical “Asian” themes or shoddy cultural appropriation.

            Much like when Wendy’s introduced onto its menu, an “Asian salad” – which was nothing but a bunch of supposed “Asian” ingredients thrown together and not an identifiable salad from any Asian cuisine – hence one Asian-American commentator stating “that’s not the salad of my people.”

            In the Bay Area, there was a play set in an imaginary ancient Chinese kingdom with all the requisite Chinese-themed costumery and set.

            Problem was, all the actors playing the male Chinese characters, including the King were white.

            Funny how they managed to find Asian actresses to play the female characters.

      • ML Ishii

        I am grateful that Diep Tran stood up for me as another
        Asian female and Asian heritage ally. Many times we Japanese Americans
        protest the Mikados and are thought of as complainers or resentful we
        didn’t get cast. When an ally stands up for us, it is powerful and our
        arguments and cases are heard and read often for the first time and
        experienced differently. As you can tell from this article, this ally,
        wrote/spoke truth to power and people are reading and talking and
        listening. Thank you, Diep for your allyship!

  • Kookamungus

    Than you, Diep Tran!

  • Dave206

    So is it racist to cast non-white actors in “white” roles?

    If your answer is yes, then you are going to shrink the number of roles available to non-whites – do we really want that?

    If your answer is no, then you are a hypocrite.

    • Cody Smith

      What’s a ‘white’ role?

      • Kevin Nakatani

        I submit these examples which I perceive as white roles: Snowboy in WSS, Frump in H2$, Jud in Oklahoma, Rudolph in Hello Dolly, Grenvil in Traviata, Sergeant of Police in Pirates, Charles Thomson in 1776, Lutz in The Student Prince, Banquo in Macbeth, Harry the Horse in Guys & Dolls. All roles I have played. Not to mention roles I’ve played of ethnicities other than my own: Don Basilio in Barber, Angelotti in Tosca, Ferrando in Trovatore. Of course I’ve also performed The Mikado in The Mikado as well as both Yakuside and Yamadori in Madama Butterfly. Not an exhaustive list of the roles I’ve performed, but I’m hoping someone of authority can weigh in and let me know for which of these roles I should issue an apology, having been cast over a white person.

        • Cliff Arroyo

          I thought opera had long been colorblind in terms of casting, the ability of the singer performing Tosca to hit the money notes is a lot more important than her skin tone. Or have the thought police caught up?

          • Kevin Nakatani

            Opera is indeed a whole other beast. But it IS undergoing a change. I did my first Butterfly with an Asian lead recently (she is Korean/American, not Japanese). And while I’ve always been (and will continue to be) a proponent of colorblind casting, I found myself thoroughly enraptured on another level.

            I’ve also performed an Otello with an African American in the role, which was also quite nice. And while casting every production in the world with an authentically Black Otello would be nearly impossible, I was very happy to hear of the Met abandoning the use of blackface for their future productions of Otello, which consequently, one of my friends performed in the opening of last night.

            Opera has yet to fall fully under the watchful PC police, but those productions that do strive to cast ethnically are typically all the better for it. However, you’re correct that technique and ability are regarded above all else in Opera.

    • Sister Simplice

      Where does Hamilton fall in your logic?

    • Johnny Canuck

      “Is it racist to cast non-white actors in “white” roles?”

      The answer is no, and no, I’m NOT a hypocrite. Here’s why: you are speaking from a position of systemic white privilege. And due to you coming from that position, of course you want to try to play the reverse racism card. Because it’s a systemic thing, you are unable to really see the issue from the position of an artist of color. But you expect that I, an artist of color, should of course see things your way, because that’s how our current society operates, right? NO.

      Your contention in your comment would ONLY apply here in North America if artists of color were treated EXACTLY THE SAME as our Caucasian counterparts in the performing arts community, i.e. given the opportunity to be cast as the LEAD in any production. Granted, there are some contemporary examples where this has occurred, but we ALL KNOW this is not the reality. The practice of “ONLY WHITE PEOPLE can realistically portray the trials and tribulations of a human being, regardless of the narrative, time period or social setting” is starting to lose credibility, and conversations about casting specific to a show’s ethnicity is again breaking new ground since the abandoning of Al Jolson’s blackface.

      • AvadaKedavra

        Which is a very long justification of hypocrisy.

        • Dave206


        • variable

          Your hypocrisy is you justifying that it shouldn’t be illegal to shoot me with your shotgun because it’s legal for me to throw jellybeans at you and call you an ass.

          Now reread the post and stop assuming you know what you’re talking about. You don’t.

    • bd005

      Big difference from changing a character from one race/ethnicity to another and having actors do “blackface”, “yellowface”, etc.

      It’s fine to do a rendition of “The Honeymooners” with a black cast; it’s not fine to do a rendition using white actors in “blackface” to portray Ralph and the gang as black.

    • New Yorkese

      Whites can’t be victims of racism. I know you want to be, but you just can’t. Racism is contextual.

      • Dave206

        This is the standard argument of people have bigoted views towards other races but don’t want to be called hypocrites. Well, rest assured, if you hate white people, you are a racist.

        For what it is worth, your argument was more common a while back but now is a bit of a punchline (even Black-ish did a riff on it).

        • variable

          Awww, did a white guy just whitsplain racism for us all? Really self-serving definition you’ve got there whiteguy, I bet you pulled that right out of Webster’s and are feeling pretty gosh-darn clever right now.

          Now go do some reading on racism. Ideally take a class on the subject and let the grown-ups get back to the conversation so we can stop wasting our time explaining racism 101 concepts to you. I don’t care if you’ve got Freedom of Speech, you don’t get to define racism however you like. It has a long history and a well established meaning:

          • Dave206

            So my argument that it is hypocritical to judge people differently on the basis of their race is whitsplaining? Oh the irony!

            I am aware that some people define the word “racism” so that it excuses them from responsibility for their own bigotry – I don’t need to go to a class to learn that.

          • variable

            While you are researching racism to avoid further instances of looking like a complete fool you need to look up the word ‘irony.’

            Also, you used the term bigotry correctly. Had you used that term instead of misusing the word ‘racism’ you wouldn’t look like such a tool right now.

        • New Yorkese

          If you still watch that much TV and rely on it as a source, rather than the comments of actual friends of color, you’re truly racist.

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