Star Trek: would you call it white washing? (SPOILERS)

MetalDooley

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Jhooud said:
Well, it's not Trek but in the comics Nick Fury was white. And now he's Samuel Jackson.
Nick Fury was black in the Ultimate universe though so having him played by Sammy L in the movies wasn't that jarring of a change
 

Schadrach

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Tr3yk1ng said:
So black man can play the human torch but its wrong for a whiteman to play khan.
Of course, don't you know how this works? It's racist if you use the same rules for everyone, regardless of race!

As for me, same opinion I have every time this topic comes up -- when working with an established canon, they should be trying to stick to canon. This applies here just as much as it does anywhere else.
 

tahrey

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I was just surprised to find out the original Khan was supposedly nonwhite. I mean, he has something of a tan, but he's hardly Ving Rhames or any of the many actual Bollywood actors with the real life surname of Khan...

Possibly it was thought a genetically engineered supersoldier would have no need for sunlight reactive melatonin in their skin, and a light basis is easier to black-up for camouflage than the other way round.

Or they just didn't care. Who knows.

In any case, quite a few famous "British" people were born in India, and the complications of marriage and adoption mean that a surname is no longer as good an indicator of "where you're from" as it was. By the time of the film's setting it may well be meaningless,
 

Gorrath

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DVS BSTrD said:
It's isn't a terrible assumption to think his appearance should be X when his name sounds like X, especially given the nature of the historical link of India and Britain.
I"m not sure I follow you. The point I was intending to make is that it would not be unheard of for a man bearing an Indian name to look or sound a way that's British. Assuming that he should have a certain skin or hair color I think is a terrible assumption to make, especially given India's amazing ethnic diversity.
 

Axolotl

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DVS BSTrD said:
Gorrath said:
DVS BSTrD said:
It's isn't a terrible assumption to think his appearance should be X when his name sounds like X, especially given the nature of the historical link of India and Britain.
I"m not sure I follow you. The point I was intending to make is that it would not be unheard of for a man bearing an Indian name to look or sound a way that's British. Assuming that he should have a certain skin or hair color I think is a terrible assumption to make, especially given India's amazing ethnic diversity.
Except he doesn't just "look or sound" a way that's British, he IS british and Caucasian British at that. And Caucasian brits don't really have Indian/Mongolian names.
Why not? I know Caucasian Brits with Persian names, why not Indian names>
 

Froggy Slayer

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thaluikhain said:
Well, yes.

However, this doesn't mean that anyone had to have been twirling their moustaches and wanting to be racist, they just decided that a formerly dark-skinned character would be better played by a white person. In of itself that's not a big thing, except that it's part of a general trend that way.

To put it another way, I seriously doubt anyone considered having Kirk being played by an Asian, or Spock being played by a black guy (that is, obviously so). That just wouldn't happen. Taking a brown skinned guy and making him white, OTOH, isn't unusual.
To be fair, the original actor they had lined up for the role, Benicio del Toro, is brown skinned. I think that Cumberbatch was just their next choice.
 

Woodsey

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Original Khan always looked white to me anyway, so I can't say I really thought about it and perhaps neither did they. Isn't he the result of selective breeding and shit? Makes the mix 'n' match easier to buy.
 

FoolKiller

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Oh the irony. So its incorrect to cast a white guy as Khan, but a black Johnny Storm (in Marvel) is okay?

Personally I would want authenticity to what I'm used to, but I don't have a problem with it either way.
 

shatnuh

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MetalDooley said:
Jhooud said:
Well, it's not Trek but in the comics Nick Fury was white. And now he's Samuel Jackson.
Nick Fury was black in the Ultimate universe though so having him played by Sammy L in the movies wasn't that jarring of a change
Actually, Marvel used Samuel L. Jackson's likeness for Ultimate Nick Fury. The catch was that he was allowed to play Nick Fury in the movies. Easy deal to make, no?

But, no one ever thought JJ Abrahm's was really a good director, did they? Why give him the benefit of the doubt? The first Star Trek he did actually made people excited. Into Darkness only proves that he's cashing in the name, ala Michael Bay (More specifically, Paramount) with Transformers.

And now he has his hands on Star Wars... Shoot me. In the face.
 

shrekfan246

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Desert Punk said:
Well the original Kahn was played by a mexican actor who was...quite white in his older age which the movie is based on...
That boy is pretty damn white..

So anyone who complains about white washing is really just looking to be a sensationalist and liekly just looking for any reason to be outraged that they can get their hands on..
Yeah, that was going to be my point too.



Complaining about the fact that new Khan isn't Indian is probably one of the silliest things I've ever heard, considering OG Khan wasn't Indian either. Sometimes, you know, reboots in "alternate universes" don't need to stick rigidly to the original source material. You'd figure a group of people so enamored with comic books would be able to stomach it in film.
 

Gorrath

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DVS BSTrD said:
Gorrath said:
DVS BSTrD said:
It's isn't a terrible assumption to think his appearance should be X when his name sounds like X, especially given the nature of the historical link of India and Britain.
I"m not sure I follow you. The point I was intending to make is that it would not be unheard of for a man bearing an Indian name to look or sound a way that's British. Assuming that he should have a certain skin or hair color I think is a terrible assumption to make, especially given India's amazing ethnic diversity.
Except he doesn't just "look or sound" a way that's British, he IS british and Caucasian British at that. And Caucasian brits don't really have Indian/Mongolian names.
But the character isn't a Brit, so even if it were true that caucasian brits don't really have Indian/Mongolian names (which is itself not a statement I can agree with) it wouldn't matter because it's not relevent to the character. The character, in this incarnation, is a genetically modified man of Indian descent who looks and sounds British. The only way this would not make sense is if you could show that there aren't any people of Indian descent who have a caucasian appearance and a British accent.
 

Lovely Mixture

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I never thought Khan was really defined by his nationality, just his immense anger.

FoolKiller said:
Oh the irony. So its incorrect to cast a white guy as Khan, but a black Johnny Storm (in Marvel) is okay?

Personally I would want authenticity to what I'm used to, but I don't have a problem with it either way.
Tr3yk1ng said:
So black man can play the human torch but its wrong for a whiteman to play khan.
Who are you guys talking to? There are people with differing opinions on this thing.
 

Gorrath

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Lovely Mixture said:
I never thought Khan was really defined by his nationality, just his immense anger.
I would say that his nationality is important because it is an established part of his backstory. His physical appearance I think is far less important. I think for a good Kahn you need his anger, his self obsession with his own superiority, his machismo, and his fatal two-dimensional thinking. This latest version of him has everything but the machismo, and was superbly acted.
 

BeeGeenie

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DVS BSTrD said:
Gorrath said:
DVS BSTrD said:
It's isn't a terrible assumption to think his appearance should be X when his name sounds like X, especially given the nature of the historical link of India and Britain.
I"m not sure I follow you. The point I was intending to make is that it would not be unheard of for a man bearing an Indian name to look or sound a way that's British. Assuming that he should have a certain skin or hair color I think is a terrible assumption to make, especially given India's amazing ethnic diversity.
Except he doesn't just "look or sound" a way that's British, he IS british and Caucasian British at that. And Caucasian brits don't really have Indian/Mongolian names.
Except they do, if their mother took her husband's last name. For all you know, he could be half, one-quarter, or even one-sixteenth Indian, and still have an Indian name.
Maybe his parents are just really proud of the Indian side of their heritage.
 

AetherWolf

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Cumberbatch was originally cast as John Harrison, a completely original character. Early on in filming the script was modified and Khan was written in, and the story's focus was taken away from the terrorism/Harrison plot.

http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/the-reel-breakdown/check-star-trek-writers-planting-easter-eggs-tribbles-215642312.html

A poor decision on the production, if you ask me. The entire structure of the plot was effected.
 

Dragonbums

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OneCatch said:
DavidBowieNoReally said:
erttheking said:
It was either that or have a person with brown skin blow things up, and fly an aircraft into buildings in a major populated city...yeah I can see why they'd be hesitant to do that.
0.o

Interesting, I didn't see it that ways.

>>
Also worth pointing out that in-universe Khan and his ilk are specifically described as being genetically modified. Both his parents were genetic engineers from what I remember.
There's therefore no reason that he'd have specific physiological traits linked to his heritage.

So there you go, on-stage and off-stage explanations!
That's a pretty dangerous explanation. By saying that you could insinuate that his parents modified him to be white because his heritage, and skin color wasn't good enough for him. Which is an even more extreme version of "Whitewashing"