SUBSCRIBE:
Error: Unable to create directory uploads/2018/11. Is its parent directory writable by the server?

Hot Post: Peter Jackson Fires Casting Agent for Racial Discrimination, Pakistani “Hobbit” May Result

by
Posted on December 4 2010 6:00 pm
Walter Hudson is a political commentator and co-founder of Minnesota's North Star Tea Party Patriots, a statewide educational organization. He runs a blog entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of Minnesotan conservative commentary. Follow his work via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

This popular post was originally published December 1, 2010.

“Discrimination” is among the most abused words in our political discourse. It is flaunted with such regularity and negative connotation that its actual meaning is all but lost.

An example of just how ridiculous we have allowed racial sensitivities to become was reported from the New Zealand production of The Hobbit this week. The film is Peter Jackson’s follow-up and prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

A casting manager working on The Hobbit has been sacked over allegations a British actress was turned down for a role in the film because of her skin colour.

Naz Humphreys, who has Pakistani heritage, auditioned in the New Zealand city of Hamilton last week… but alleged she was rejected because movie bosses only wanted “pale-skinned” actors.

She said, “It’s 2010 and I still can’t believe I’m being discriminated against because I have brown skin. The casting manager basically said they weren’t having anybody who wasn’t pale-skinned.”

A crew member also reportedly published a newspaper advert calling for extras with “light skin tones”.

A spokesperson for Peter Jackson insisted no such instructions had come from the director’s Wingnut production company, and a representative has now confirmed a casting agent has been fired over the scandal.

It sounds to me as though the casting agent was doing their job. The fictional world of Middle-earth has been established, both by J.R.R. Tolkien’s books and Jackson’s previous film adaptations, to be a twist on ancient Europe. It follows that the characters native to the land would share European characteristics.

Such discrimination should not offend anyone, because it is rational. Should Spike Lee, in the interests of diversity, have cast a white actor to portray Malcom X? Wouldn’t that stand out as ridiculous and detract from the narrative?

What’s particularly annoying in this story is Jackson’s capitulation to Humphrey’s irrational expectation.

The spokesman adds, “It is not something the producers or the director of The Hobbit were aware of. They would never issue instructions of this kind to the casting crew. All people meeting the age and height requirements are welcome to audition.”

Why have an age and height requirement? Isn’t that discrimination too? It’s 2010, after all. Why should we stand in the way of NFL players and geriatrics with aspirations to play Took Number 3?

This is utter nonsense. What is the point of the meticulous effort Jackson and Wingnut put into crafting an authentic film version of Tolkien’s world if the casting turns Hobbiton into something better resembling a New York City burough?

Discrimination is only inappropriate when it is irrational. A casting director’s entire purpose is to discriminate, to find the best actor for a given role. Demographic profiling is a necessary component of that process. The preceding three sentences are all Jackson and company had to say. Otherwise, Humphreys ought to have been ignored. That would have been the rational course, which is why it was not taken, because political correctness is a cultural prime directive.

There is an upside to the madness though. If Ian McKellen bows out, you think I might have a shot at Gandalf?

Walter Hudson is a political commentator and co-founder of Minnesota’s North Star Tea Party Patriots, a statewide educational organization. He runs a blog entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of Minnesotan conservative commentary. Follow his work via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Be Sociable, Share!
One Response leave one →

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

Copyright 2018 NewsReal Blog

The Theme Foundry