Hollywood: Color, Culture and Casting


As former casting director and a person of color, the subject of casting is matter of marketing not being accurate, at least not when the character is a person of color.   I once worked on a popular reality television program where secretly said we are looking for a white family.  We let Asian, Latino, and African Americans walk through the door, fill out applications and videotaped interviews knowing they would never be the selected family.  From big screen to small screen, casting people of color continues to be an issue.  People already get upset which someone of another culture plays someone in their culture or in the Black community when someone lighter or darker plays the part of famous person.  Currently this is happening with Zoe Saldana, an afro latina playing the famous dark jazz singer Nina Simone.  It happened with Denzel Washington playing Malcom X, Jennifer Lopez(Puerto Rican) playing Selena(Mexican American).  Even the heroine Katniss of Hunger Games is described as olive skinned and fan imagined she may be biracial, latina or Native American.    Esai Morales(Puerto Rican) plays a Mexican American in La Bamba.

Ironically Esai Morales who has played roles of Mexican characters time after time, posted on his facebook page an article about Hollywood’s Whitewash of characters.  He prefaced the article by saying, “Whitewashing has hurt my career options in ways that I can’t even begin to calculate.”


Even if you’ve never heard of Hollywood whitewashing, chances are you’ve seen it anyway. It’s a kind of casting where film studios have placed white actors in lead roles under the assumption that the majority of Americans would rather see a white face than a non-white one—despite what the role calls for. And while Hollywood may not resort to putting actors in blackface anymore, the practice of just bending the race of a character is not an uncommon one. Hence, Jake Gyllenhaal playing a Persian.

Read the More of the artice, 25 Minority Character That Hollywood Whitewashed

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