How would you have coped in Shakespearean days when all parts in a play had to be performed by men?
When actors start training, they learn accents, they practise pretending to be younger and older than their age, they learn how to apply makeup to emulate all manner of humanity, and they may be required to pretend that they have lost one or more of their senses.
The lead role in the stage play "Whose Life is it Anyway?" was a paralyzed white male sculptor who spends the whole play in a bed. Essentially a taking head. It wasn't deemed essential to employ a quadroplegic actor, and in fact the acting performance was deemed even cleverer because the actor, Tom Conti, had to remember not to move his limbs for two hours. After a lengthy run, the role was recast
as a white female (Mary Tyler Moore!), and the play had another lengthy run. (When husband and wife team, Laurence "Sybok" Luckinbill and Lucie Arnaz starred in a national tour of the play, they actually rotated playing the patient and doctor.)
Suddenly, some people are saying that ethnicities can only be played by actors of that ethnicity? Why apply this ruling only to skin colour? Where do the rules stop, and who's making them?
Whatever happened to the actor doing the most impressive audition getting the part?