Hollywood whitewashing (1921- ), also called racebending, is where White actors play people of colour. It has been going on since at least “The Sheik” (1921). You would think it would have died out in the 1960s, with the civil rights movement and the rise of Sidney Poitier, but it is still going strong in 2015.
Some examples, with before and after pictures:
Gods of Egypt (2016) – Gerard Butler, a Scottish actor of Irish descent, plays Set, an Egyptian god.
Stonewall (2015) – Jeremy Irvine, an English actor, plays a “straight-acting” White American gay man who starts the Stonewall riots. Most eyewitnesses say it was started by Marsha P. Johnson, a Black American trans woman.
Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014) – Sigourney Weaver, a White American actress of English, Scottish and Scotch Irish descent, plays Tuya, the wife of an Egyptian pharaoh, Sethi I.
The Hunger Games (2012) – Jennifer Lawrence, a White American actress, plays Katniss Everdeen, who in the book had olive skin, grey eyes and straight black hair. The before picture shows one artist’s interpretation of the book’s description. I did not read the book, but from fan art, I never thought of her as completely White.
Argo (2012) – Ben Affleck, a White American actor of Scottish, Irish, German and Swiss descent, plays Tony Mendez, of Mexican, Italian, French and Irish descent.
The Last Airbender (2010) – Nicola Peltz, a White American actress of Austrian Jewish, Russian Jewish, German, Welsh and English descent, plays Katara.
21 (2008) – Jim Sturgess, an English actor, plays a character who in real life was Jeffrey Ma, an Asian American.
A Mighty Heart (2007) – Angelina Jolie, a White American actress of German, Slovak, French-Canadian, Dutch,and Huron (Native Canadian) descent, plays Marianne Pearl, of Dutch and Afro-Chinese-Cuban descent. Jolie is not one bit Black.
World Trade Center (2006) – William Mapother, a White American actor of German, English and Irish descent, plays Sgt Jason Thomas, a Black American.
The Passion of the Christ (2004) – Jim Caviezel, a White American actor of Swiss, Slovak and Irish descent, plays Jesus, a Palestinian Jew. The before picture shows what someone of Jesus’s time and place looked like.
Alexander (2004) – Colin Farrell, an Irish actor, plays Alexander the Great, a Macedonian Greek. Not a case of whitewashing, strictly speaking, but making him blonde and Irish is in that same spirit.
Kung Fu (1972-1975) – David Carradine, a White American actor of mainly Irish descent, plays a Eurasian character Bruce Lee meant for himself. Carradine is not one bit Asian.
Cleopatra (1963) – Elizabeth Taylor, an English American actress, plays Cleopatra, an Egyptian queen, who was probably part Greek and part Egyptian. The before picture is a forensic reconstruction of a woman who was likely Arsinoe, her half-sister.
The Conqueror (1956) – John Wayne, a White American actor of Scottish, Scotch Irish, Irish and English descent, plays Genghis Khan, a Mongolian.
Notice that even Whites from the Mediterranean are getting screwed, even though they would make much more believable Alexanders, Cleopatras and Jesuses.
- 49% Latino
- 29% White
- 11% Asian
- 10% Black
- 1% Other
Hollywood executives who greenlight films:
- 94% White
– Abagond, 2015.
- The White Default
- racism before 1400
- Sgt Jason Thomas
- Genghis Khan
- Jesus Christ