Cast the Characters of Trek Literature

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Haval_Runa, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. DBall

    DBall Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Hmm... I don't think I would've ever caught that VOY character modeling. Great observation!
     
  2. LightningStorm

    LightningStorm The Borg King Commodore

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    I can't take credit for noticing that, it was pointed out in a previous thread by either KRAD or Kirsten herself. :)
     
  3. Herbert

    Herbert Captain Captain

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    For a character who was part-Japanese and part-Filipino. :bolian:
     
  4. Herbert

    Herbert Captain Captain

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    No one seems to be offended that Mexican-born actor Ricardo Montalban played a genetically engineered Indian Sikh. Or is offended that Montalban reprised the role as Khan instead of the role being recast and given to an ethnic Indian actor. Kabir Bedi re-cast as Khan in the Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan?

    Star Trek has a long history of casting Hispanics as Native Americans. Robert Beltran as Chakotay and Henry Darrow as Kalopek being examples.

    Is Lawrence Olivier's portrayal of Othello in black-face racially offensive? Was Olivier's potrayal as the Mahdi in Khartoum racially offensive?

    Are make-ups intended to age actors offensive because they deny opportunities to elderly actors?

    Is the casting of Egyptian-born actor Omar Sharif as Dr. Yuri Zhivago offensive in Doctor Zhivago?

    I believe that we should condemn the practice of having actors made-up to look like other cultures and races if they perpetuate offensive racial stereotypes or support racial discrimination in hiring to deny opportunities to ethnic actors. But we also shouldn't be immediately painted with the racist brush when we imagine an actor being made-up to look like a race/ethnicity to which they do not belong.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2010
  5. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Well, black face is pretty much regarded as offensive nowadays, yes. Alec Guinness' portrayal of an Indian in A Passage to India is widely regarded as the greatest misstep of David Lean's career (personally, I'd vote for the Oirish-isms in Ryan's Daughter).
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Robert Beltran is part-Native American.
     
  7. Herbert

    Herbert Captain Captain

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    Is he Mayan? Should it really matter what actor is hired for the role unless racial, ethnic, religious, or cultural discrimination had a role in the hiring process?
     
  8. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You seem to be confusing nationality with ethnicity. Christopher is more than able to speak for himself, but IIRC, when JJ Abrams Star' Trek movie was being cast, he was among those who didn't have a problem with an actor with Korean ancestry playing Sulu, with a Kiwi playing Bones, with an Englishman playing Scotty or an American playing Uhura (forgive me if I'm wrong on this Christopher). As was I. Because it's not that hard for someone from one ethnic race to play someone from the same ethnic race, even if the nationality is different. You generally just need to get the accent right.

    On the other hand, it is extremely difficult for someone from one ethnic race to play someone from a different race and the results are generally offensive to people whose race is being impersonated. The infamous 'Black and White Minstrel Show', 'Amos and Andy', Mickey Rooney's Japanese caricature in Breakfast at Tiffany's, Alec Guinness in A Passage To India - these are just some examples of how wrong the results usually are.

    If you can name me one instance of an caucasian actor convincingly playing a black or asian character, I'd be surprised.
     
  9. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    Kirk Lazarus in Tropic Thunder?
     
  10. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^But that was a white actor playing a white actor playing a black in a movie within a movie. Not a real instance.

    Unless you're just being facetious!
     
  11. Herbert

    Herbert Captain Captain

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    ^I just wanted you to question what you were saying concerning make-ups used to transform caucasian actors into Asians, blacks, arabs and other races and ethnicities. Make-ups have progressed that it is possible to convincingly transform an actor from one race or ethnicity to another. But we seem to immediately reject the idea as offensive because of past culturally and racially offensive portrayals and systemic racial discrimination in hiring practices in Hollywood.

    Because if we were to accept your arguments, Alexander Siddig (Siddig El Fadil), should only play arabs and Latin types. Avery Brooks should only play blacks and African Americans.

    Remember that Eddie Murphy was able to convincingly play an elderly caucasian Jewish man in Coming to America.
     
  12. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Personally, I would rather see Alexander Siddig, or Avery Brooks playing characters that are their race, than see a white actor take a role where the character has to be another race. Sure we people could away with that kind of stuff back when people either didn't know better or didn't care.
    Oh, and if they do decide to include Khan in the next Trek movie, I would rather see an Indian actor cast.
     
  13. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Lost has Naveen Andrews, an actor or Indian origin, playing an Arab, despite not looking remotely like one. Other than a few online posts by Arabs who find it offensive, I haven't noticed any widespread outrage.

    (I guess we could always fanwank that, say, Sayid has South Asian origin on his mother's side... and even Lost had a joke about it in season 5 with
    Hurley's mom's remark "What's a dead Pakistani doing on my couch?"
     
  14. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know what kind of reaction it's gotten, but it's kind of a similar story with Bollywood (and Slumdog Millionaire) star Anil Kapoor playing the President of a fiction middle eastern country. Yeah, it's fictional, but it seems pretty clear that it's meant to be something along the lines of Iraq or Iran. Although the people playing his family and other people from his country are Middle Easter. I only could find the actors playing a security agent and his wife, but they are Palestinian/Australian, and Iranian respectively.
     
  15. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    yes, yes i was.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I've just had a thought for who could play the young (c. 2290s) version of Curzon Dax, as seen in The Art of the Impossible, Forged in Fire, and The Sorrows of Empire: Alan Tudyk.
     
  17. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, I like that.:techman:
     
  18. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Yes!

    I heartily approve.
     
  19. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

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    Yeah, that works. :)
     
  20. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Ah yes, the same guy who once said that Star Trek was for pussies. Good luck with that. :p