So a black actor is considering role of Johnny Storm and nerdrage has turned racist again.

Lovely Mixture

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OtherSideofSky said:
No offence to you either, but something like adoption would represent a far more significant change to the characters' history than casting black actors. It would require time in the film to explain, and it would be totally unnecessary. Also, I would actually be kind of annoyed if they did this and then didn't have the guts to go all the way with it. Jumping through hoops to keep the female lead and love interest white would really rub me the wrong way in a way that something like this doesn't. It would make the whole thing feel like a corporate gimmick.
Valid point. It would indeed come off as a gimmick and rather forced, especially considering if it was a change to an existing continuity. I was considering it more from a storytelling perspective, but considering we are talking about adaptation....the idea of it being an absurd change is very valid.

OtherSideofSky said:
My point is just that it is not, in any sense, a change for an adaptation of a work written entirely in English to also be filmed in English. Honestly, I'm not certain that you can specifically call that a problem with the Memoirs of a Geisha movie; if it's an issue, then it's also an issue with the original work.
Ok, I see what you're saying now.
On a personal level, I guess it depends how far you demand historical accuracy and authenticity to an adaptation of a written work.

I was arguing that since the story is supposed to be reflection of a real Japanese person's life, it was strange that while no one was actually speaking Japanese in the film.... people were focusing on the the fact that the actress herself wasn't Japanese.

But on a personal level, yeah I can where I had a clear double standard.
 

Gatx

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On the one hand there isn't anything inherently "white" about Johnny Storm, what cultural traits WOULD make him or any character have to be white? Being "white," as far as the United States is concerned, is just being "American," but just being American is something any ethnicity can do. There's nothing about Peter Parker's situation that means he HAS to be white, nor Captain America's (hell, maybe being non-white would give them more reason for rejecting him for military service in the first place). What's left to justify a character's race as being white? Being racist? Or a Nazi? Evidently literally being a part of Saxon mythology isn't enough reason to keep a character white because it's okay as long as the actor is good (I know there's the whole justification that Asgardians are aliens in Marvel, but a similar reasoning could be applied to the Last Airbender, where they're completely fictional setting with people of no predetermined ethnicity, and that never flies with anyone for some reason).

On the flipside, the argument that it's okay for Nick Fury to be black because he was black in the Ultimate comics is bullshit, because that STILL means that in one adaptation his race was changed. Changing a character's ethnicity for a new comic book retelling is the same as changing it for a movie retelling. If you're fine with Nick Fury being black, you should be fine with Johnny Storm being black.
 

emissary666

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My problem with this whole thing is that people don't seem to get that complaining about changing an element from the source material isn't racist. This is no different than complaining about Doctor Doom suddenly wearing a bright pink cape for the whole movie or Ben Grimm being British; it is not true to the source material and, as such, it is a valid criticism. The fact that this has to do with a black actor playing a white character that is causing the whole "racism" thing.
Also, on a semi-related note, I find it funny that a lot of the people defending the decision to make Johnny black are also the people opposed to making Sue black. If you are going to argue that Johnny's race doesn't matter, then don't turn around and say that there is no reason Sue can't be white. They are blood related, and THAT is not an aesthetic element.
 

Erttheking

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You know, just once JUST ONCE I want to see a discussion on race/sex/sexual preferences that has people respecting one another, being polite, and not just devolving into throwing insults at one another. JUST! ONCE!
 

ninjaRiv

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Gatx said:
On the one hand there isn't anything inherently "white" about Johnny Storm, what cultural traits WOULD make him or any character have to be white? Being "white," as far as the United States is concerned, is just being "American," but just being American is something any ethnicity can do. There's nothing about Peter Parker's situation that means he HAS to be white, nor Captain America's (hell, maybe being non-white would give them more reason for rejecting him for military service in the first place). What's left to justify a character's race as being white? Being racist? Or a Nazi? Evidently literally being a part of Saxon mythology isn't enough reason to keep a character white because it's okay as long as the actor is good (I know there's the whole justification that Asgardians are aliens in Marvel, but a similar reasoning could be applied to the Last Airbender, where they're completely fictional setting with people of no predetermined ethnicity, and that never flies with anyone for some reason).

On the flipside, the argument that it's okay for Nick Fury to be black because he was black in the Ultimate comics is bullshit, because that STILL means that in one adaptation his race was changed. Changing a character's ethnicity for a new comic book retelling is the same as changing it for a movie retelling. If you're fine with Nick Fury being black, you should be fine with Johnny Storm being black.
Johnny is fairly privileged, which is quite a white thing. He's a handsome, blonde white guy. He's a stereotypical privileged white guy. So that adds to his over confidence and personality.

I call BS on the "if you like so and so, you haver to like this" mentality. No, you don't. You really really don't. You don't have to like anything, just because you liked something similar.
 

Marcus Kehoe

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(bust's into room where people are discussing this)

NERRRRDSSSSSSSSSSSS

Why do people still care about the fantastic four. Either way just cast the person who best act's the role.
 
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I don't like the idea. It's badly cast to cast a black actor in the part of a white person. Nothing against the actor (who I know nothing about) or said actor's skills, but it bugs me a lot when roles are so badly cast. It's not racist in the slightest to say as much.

To further elaborate, while I enjoyed the PoP film, I think Jake Gyllenhal didn't make a convincing Persian and would've preferred someone much more swarthy for the role.
 

Ariannus

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I don't believe that it has anything to do with race. When you take a character form some other medium and move him to film, many if not most people expect the actor who plays him to match their mental image of the character.

I been upset before for something as simple as the character in the movie having the wrong hair color. Does that make me hairist?

The actor is being chosen to play a preexisting character with define characteristics (looks, personality, mannerisms, etc.). If the version of the character in the film differs from that, I believe there is a valid complaint.
 

RJ 17

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MrGalactus said:
I don't think the people saying the stuff are racists, I just think the things they're saying is ignorant and offensive.
Funny, because the title of your topic says that anyone with nerd rage against this is being racist. Hell, let's look at your comment right above the one I just quoted:

MrGalactus said:
So I'm just sat here waiting to be offended? So when people cry for a man to never even be considered for a role based on the fact that he has one physical feature that differs from the original character, nobody should get angry about that? sorry, mate, but it IS offensive, and it IS racist.
So which is it? Ignorant and offensive? Or racist and offensive?

Now that the "Just being a dick" portion of my response is over with, I'll go ahead and say that I don't think it's racist. In my experience, it's generally the people that cry out "racism!" that are the most racist people and/or are the ones interjecting race into a topic. In this case, where the race of the actor IS the topic, it's a bit different though. You can't, however, go around calling people racist just because they point to a character who is white and say "Why are they making him black? He's not black." Because...well...he's not. There's nothing racist about that, they're making a very valid point and observation: Johnny Storm isn't black in the comics, is it not ok for Fantastic 4 fanboys to get pissed off when a movie adaptation doesn't try to have as close a resemblence to the comics as possible? They want the movie to be as close to the comicbook canon as possible, THAT'S why they don't want Jordan to be Johnny. It'd be like getting a white guy to play the role of Muhammad Ali. No matter how fantastic the guy as an actor is, people would still be sitting there saying "Ummmm...wtf? Ali's black..."

To say that criticizing this is racist is the same as saying any objections to the Obama administration stems from racism. God forbid people disagree with their policies, no, it's clearly because they're racist. Just like here: god forbid people want the movie to reflect canon, no, it's clearly because they're all racist and hate black actors.
 

Gatx

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ninjaRiv said:
Johnny is fairly privileged, which is quite a white thing. He's a handsome, blonde white guy. He's a stereotypical privileged white guy. So that adds to his over confidence and personality.

I call BS on the "if you like so and so, you haver to like this" mentality. No, you don't. You really really don't. You don't have to like anything, just because you liked something similar.
I didn't say you have to like it, I said if you're fine with one thing you should be fine with another, as in if one thing doesn't offend you why should this other similar thing (as in if you're okay with violent movies, why do you hate violent videogames, etc.) - not necessarily that you have to like it.
 

Guitarmasterx7

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I mean he isn't black in the comics. Personally I don't give a shit about the fantastic 4 or a black guy playing human torch but if we're concerned with nothing but authenticity, it's probably not an accurate casting. Also would that mean the invisible woman would be black too? aren't they siblings?
 

Little Gray

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Kaulen Fuhs said:
What relevance it has. Is his "whiteness" central to his character? If so, in what way? If not, then who cares?

And no, "he's white" does not speak for itself in terms of relevance, unless he's a Neo-Nazi or something..
Its for the same reason that people freaked out when they changed how Dante looked in DMC. When you take an existing character and completely redesign the look it will never go over with the fans. Especially when they is no point in doing tn such as the case with Johnny Storm.
 

RJ 17

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erttheking said:
You know, just once JUST ONCE I want to see a discussion on race/sex/sexual preferences that has people respecting one another, being polite, and not just devolving into throwing insults at one another. JUST! ONCE!
You know, just once I'd like to come to The Escapist and NOT see a topic (or three) in the "Popular Forum Posts" box that's about race/sex/sexual preferences. Just once. :p

Captcha: ad for Kansas tourism telling me to type "Enjoy Kansas History"
I got a good lol out of that. :3
 

La Kias

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Moonlight Butterfly said:
Queen Michael said:
Moonlight Butterfly said:
The only thing that's ever bothered me is them making Amanda Waller skinny in the new 52, she was such a badass character and her weight somehow added to that. She was like I don't fucking care if I'm fat Imma shoot your android with this huge nanogun! Meh.
That change bugs me as well. Her wight gave her authority. It kept you unconsciously aware that she's a woman who won't budge.
I've never thought about it that way but I think you are right. It was good characterization. I really like Amanda Waller as a character she is not so much evil as like coldly practical. I like her in the Suicide Squad comics.
I was agreeing, but what I was also getting at was fans can cope with one character...can they cope with 4 though? Ben Grimm would be the one to me that would make sense to bring a black actor in for as he doesn't have so many family relations.
 

Celtic_Kerr

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MrGalactus said:
So yeah,
http://www.thewrap.com/movies/column-post/will-chronicle-star-michael-b-jordan-be-human-torch-fantastic-four-88881
Michael B Jordan is considering being The Human Torch in the Fantastic Four reboot. Frankly, I think there's no problem here at all. A role, as far as I'm concerned, has nothing to do with the look of the character, but how well the actor can capture or interpret the character, but the comic book community is complaining all over the internet. Seriously, check the comments. It's not good stuff.

What does the Escapist make of this? Do you guys care about the race of a character in an adaptation?
Well first don't forget that Johnny and Sue Storm are brother and sister. 100% same parents siblings, so unless they wanna start messing with their backgrounds, they'll need a black actress for Sue Storm as well, which I could be okay with. Heimdall was never black in the comics, yet he was in Thor. It had nothing to do with his character.

Now take Black Panther, whose entire entity is about his pride and loyalty to his African people, and replace him with a white or Asian actor, and suddenly you destroy the character completely.
 

White Wizard

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MrGalactus said:
What does the Escapist make of this? Do you guys care about the race of a character in an adaptation?
I care; I feel every every effort should be made to keep things as they were, if the bloke was white then he should be portrayed as such. If he was black, then he should be portrayed as such. Simples
 

Battenberg

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As long as no one complains about white actors playing black superheroes then I don't see why this should be a huge problem. I'd much rather have a really good actor who looks nothing like their character does in the comics than a crap one who's the spitting image.
 

ninjaRiv

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Gatx said:
ninjaRiv said:
Johnny is fairly privileged, which is quite a white thing. He's a handsome, blonde white guy. He's a stereotypical privileged white guy. So that adds to his over confidence and personality.

I call BS on the "if you like so and so, you haver to like this" mentality. No, you don't. You really really don't. You don't have to like anything, just because you liked something similar.
I didn't say you have to like it, I said if you're fine with one thing you should be fine with another, as in if one thing doesn't offend you why should this other similar thing (as in if you're okay with violent movies, why do you hate violent videogames, etc.) - not necessarily that you have to like it.
But if I don't like it, I'm not fine with it.