The Big Picture: Skin Deep


New member
Apr 13, 2009
Russano_Greenstripe said:
bj_waters said:
I don't care what ANYBODY says, I want an episode (if not multiple episodes) devoted to Samurai Pizza Cats. And, while I'm dreaming, I want the entire series remastered put on DVD or Blu-Ray along with its Japanese original with subs. And a big screen television to play them on. With home theater surround sound. And some cake.
From what I understand, the original Japanese version was played a whole lot more straight than the US version; the dubbers basically threw out the original script and wrote a brand new one. The original Japanese team has gone on record saying that the US version is better.
As best as I understand, it was a pretty straightforward kids show in Japan (makes sense, really). However, the dubbers didn't throw out the script because they never got one. All they got was the video to dub over, so they had to come up with scripts from scratch based on the visuals they had. I don't know about whether the Japanese team said that the US version was better at all (in fact, your statement is the first I've heard of such a notion). I do know that it's become a MASSIVELY obscure cult classic known only to the few who fondly remember finding it on some off-beat station. It's still one of my favorites after all of this time.


New member
May 6, 2009
I've spoken about the whole whitewashing of casts in movies like Dragonball and The Last Airbender with my friends, so I'm going to put my opinion here.

Fanboys and people screamed bloody murder when Katara and Goku and all those guys were portrayed by white people instead of people of their respective races. Understandable, a fanboy (actually a term I'm using here loosely, if you have a problem, shut up) wants to see as close to can accurate depiction as possible when his favorite cartoon is brought to the big screen. I didn't disagree with those fanboys when this all went down.

However, IF the casters would've put actors of the respective races into the roles that were "whitewashed", there would have been equal rights activists and all manner of those silly people jumping up and down and screaming even LOUDER bloody murder about racism and typecasting and whatnot, and that would've been an even bigger issue. Because THEN, we wouldn't just have fanboys screaming on forums and the board-that-must-not-be-named, there would have been national news coverage and possibly some legal action.

So, before screaming bloody murder about "whitewashing," think about what the alternative is.


New member
Apr 15, 2009
That was well said, and it made me think. Usually, I'd actually come down on the other side of the argument, but it's true that the past still affects the present, and to pretend otherwise is to oversimplify a complex issue.


Whose Eyes Are Those Eyes?
Oct 15, 2009
I'd disagree.

Embracing discrimination in what levy and rights is accorded to individuals based on something as arbitrary and irrelevant as their skin colour, sex, sexuality etc. is utterly despicable in any way or form.

Each and every human should have, as an individual, equal human rights and dignity, existing independent of whatever collective group it belongs to, whatever grave sins its great great grandfather might've been up to.

Such collectivist "original sin" responsibility have no place in a world where each individual is evaluated only on its own merits, and far more importantly judged only on its own actions. It contradicts the most basic foundation of all justice, that nobody be deemed guilty and made to suffer for acts they have not committed. Which I find to be much too great a price to pay for speeding up the process of recovery from even the vast injustices of the past (certainly when it comes to something as small as what actors get what roles; AA can be temporarily justified in emergency situations where it alleviates significantly greater harms).


As for the specific case, I'd certainly hope that the actor in question got the part only because his talent made him the best choice for it - impressively in spite of his skin colour deviating from the source material - and not out of pity and a misguided wish to include a token black character; What self-respecting actor would ever accept pity parts being given to him not because of his hard work and prodigious acting skill, but because he was seen as a poor black man in need of some gracious slack, charitably bestowed upon him by Caucasians fit to get by on their own merits?

Is that really, truly, how black actors want to get their parts? Is what matter here their collective race affiliation, and not their dignity as individuals? If so, we have but eschewed one sense of racism for another, which might well be less harmful, yet every bit as demeaning; that racial minorities are inherently in need of "special treatment", and are to be evaluated and treated based on their group characteristics, whereas only the "normal" Caucasian is fit to be treated and evaluated as an individual.

Thus I'll opt to optimistically believe that getting this actor to play Heimdal was a stroke of unconventional casting brilliance, after seeing someone who was overall so perfect for the role that it eclipsed even his skin colour being off in regard to the source material. 'Guy did a good enough job that it isn't too unfeasible.


New member
Oct 11, 2009
Just one thing, and don't hate me for that...

Wasn't Goku "white" in the anime?

With the exception of the in "reality" impossible hair I think
the actor was right for the part.
Others maybe not. And the movie sucked.

Thor: Movie was good, Heimdall was one of the highlights
(and the Punisher playing Volstagg^^)

Captcha: ordsou universal
New interstellar evil company?

Iron Mal

New member
Jun 4, 2008
I personally had no issue with the idea of casting a black man in the role of a white character in Thor (if the guy is a good actor then he deserved it, end of discussion), where I do have issue with Bob's opinion's in this video is the idea that some double standards are acceptable while certain other ones aren't.

Yes, the African slave trade happened, it was a very bad and shameful time in history for the people affected and if they were still around those people would have my sympathies, but they weren't the only ones.

White people have been enslaved too (look at the Roman empire, the majority of Europe were forced into subjugation and slavery, many were forced to work horrible jobs or to go off to fight and get themselves killed in the name of an Empire that had enslaved them), as have Asian people, Hispanic people and people of almost every race and background (the Irish have had a very bad history in the form of discrimination and being second class citizens for a long time in Britain and the US, Oliver Cromwell was an absolute douchebag to us yet I don't give the English a hard time over it nor would I demand anyone to try and make it up to me).

Slavery in general is bad (a fact so self-evident that it shouldn't really need repeating).

My opinion on equalty (or more importantly what equality actually is) means that if you start giving special treatment and favours to one group of people then it either has to be made universal or said people have to accept that these perks come with the attached disadvantage of inequality, you can't want to be equal and have the special bonuses that come with being unique (that's trying to have your cake and eat it, 'we're just like you but we still want to be treated differently' is pretty much what that's saying to me).

As a result I believe that all double standards are harmful, I personally believe that the idea that some people deserve preferential treatment because of the sympathy generated in the past by the minorty in question to be in and of itself a racist and discriminatory stance to take.

Yes, the world isn't perfect but is this an excuse for us to half-arse things and not even bother? No, just calmly stating that the world isn't perfect isn't really a good justification for the stance that some double standards are acceptable just because the people who benefit from them are viewed with more sympathy than the rest of us (an attitude which will only futher draw out and perpetuate feelings of alienation and potential hostility amongst the populace).

Before anyone responds to me citing that I'm one of the stereotypical self-entitled young white people who believes that society should bow down to me (while we're at it, that is also a racist stereotype in itself as well), I have no objection to the notion of equality provided that we all remember just exactly what equality is, being exactly equal to others (not special treatment or 'trying to make up for sins of the past' or any crap like that, just a pure, simple ambivilence towards the differences between various peoples).


New member
Nov 29, 2010
Of course it's a double-standard. This entire fucking country was founded on a double-standard. It was founded by slave-owners who wanted to be free.

Sometimes people don't acknowledge this though. I think one of the biggest obstacles to trying to fix the long standing cultural inequality in the U.S is stupid people who refuse to acknowledge their own history. Some people genuinely believe that we live in the ideal world of genetically mutated ponies with the inexplicable ability to speak and reproduce despite having no genitals, or rather in this case a world where America was always a noble country. Somehow acknowledging historical fact that in most stories with historical accuracy American whites would likely be genocidal villains makes you unpatriotic, mind you i use the term "Patriotism" in the same tone of voice i use "Paranoid Schizophrenia" these days. It infuriates me that people would deny history and deny years of suffering in order to convince themselves that America is some kind of supernation from a fucking fairy tale, and it makes me all the more outraged that people who believe those lies try to deny the existence of cultural difference and call most people who still remember the horrid crimes of history racists. You would not believe the type of shit i have taken for treating Thanksgiving as a time of mourning due to my Native American heritage because questioning anything these deluded fucks take for granted makes me a cross between Hitler and Stalin who eats puppies and shits oppression. Here's a fun one: remind people the bible never actually gave a birth certificate for Jesus and that Christmas was never once mentioned in Christian text and that Christmas was in fact a pagan ritual hijacked by the Christians. Between that and justifying the Catholic praise of Mary to protestants, sometimes i wonder if i've got a death wish.


New member
Jun 2, 2011
I usually don't like when things are changed when adapted, and that includes changing the ethnicity or gender of a character, among other things.
However, I do understand that if something is created with all characters white, or the default being white, and characters being anything else needing some kind of reason... there is a problem. And I can understand wanting to fix it in the adaptation.

Beyond that, this specific casting choice is something I can rationalize within the context of the story. The Norse Gods were seen by the Norse, who were all Caucasian. They "created them in their image", if you will. In this case, the Gods are actual people, but this specific one is the dude in charge of the door, i.e. someone Norse people have never seen and only heard of. That they didn't conceive for a second his skin could be a different colour is fine by me. It makes perfect sense even within the story that this guy doesn't look like the legends say he looks.

Yes, I realise he was white in the comic, I'm talking about the movie and the mythology here. Because if Thor had been black, for instance, and all his portrayals had been white, that would have been weird. Surely the Norse would have noticed something as unusual as a black dude and emphasized that fact. But it's someone I can assume they've never actually seen despite hearing about him, so his portrayals not matching what he actually looks like works fine for me.

I think Bob made a great point though from an actor's perspective. In North America, there aren't many roles for minority actors. When a role is designed specifically for them, one they match perfectly, and they don't get it because a white person (who has a lot more opportunities everywhere) was cast instead, that's pretty harsh.
When one of the many, many roles available to white people ends up going to a minority instead, white actors don't suffer much from it and it's good for the minority. So yeah, I totally get that.

I wish that wasn't how things are, but it is. When anything that needs to be adapted already has characters representative of the actual demographics, then yeah, switching it up will only be annoying to anyone who likes adaptations to respect the original material as close as possible (as it already is) instead of also having consequences which are different depending on the direction of the switch.


New member
Jan 17, 2011
I'd like to point out a few inconsistensies with Marvels Thor in comparison to the nordic god Tor and the nordic religion:
-Mjölnirs handle is meant to be too short due to an accident when it was made(caused by Loki), it is only long enought for one hand.
-Loki is Odins bloodbrother, not his adoptive son.
-Tor didn't use a winged helmet as vikings didn't use winged helmet, or horned helmets for that matter.
-Odin didn't loose his eye in battle, but sacrficed it for wisdom.
-Odins spear dosen't shoot lasers, but hits whatever target the wielder aims at.
-Tor didn't use plate armor since vikings didn't have plate armor.
-Odin had many, many sons. Not just 2.
And people complain about a black guy playing Heimdal? I mean, it's not even the most noticable inconsistency with the sourcematerial.

Spencer Haynes

New member
Jul 18, 2012
I have to disagree with this video. To say that because of the atrocities of our ancestors we are to be held to a double standard is pretty much guaranteeing we never move on as the human race. We can't move forward that way. It keeps the wound open. I'm not saying we forget it, but we did not do what are ancestors did. That being said...

Goku is not Asian. He's an alien. He is never made to look Asian. Ever. There are Asians in Dragon Ball. The Asian animators made the Asian characters look borderline to straight out stereotypical Asian. Goku was a Saiyan.

If anything the reason Goku was hated by anyone I know who watched it is because the actor didn't play Goku as Goku. They turned him into a whiny teenager. Goku is confident. Goku is determined. Goku doesn't back down.

Also, If there is a black fictional character that has a very specific demeanor that is key to identifying that character, and you can't find a black actor to fit that but you can find a white actor who can. I want the essence of the character preserved.