The rainbow makes for a good visual metaphor of diversity, but best not to look too closely at the lines – they blur more than Progressives think, and in social media where you’re either for us or against us, there’s no room for insensitive fact.
This is daily news in Hollywood today – who’s offended by what skin color in what production. Big Media paints this as a zero-sum issue – Oscars So White, Unseen Latinas, Asian-American disrespect – as if a few casting changes, in FRONT of the camera, will make cinema and pop-culture by proxy more diverse. That Old White Men have dominated movie and TV production for decades is without a doubt, but random promotions based on a technicolor scale is untenable.
The latest debate comes from Amazon’s wildly expensive “Lord of the Rings” series, where actor Ludi Lin complained about the lack of “characters that look Asian” in the production. It’s somehow a shock to some that pale Englishman JRR Tolkien didn’t paint his imaginary world with all the colors of the rainbow, and that Amazon needs to fix this issue. If Lin is trying to win his SJW badge, he forgot to point out that the LOTR cast is bereft of Mexicans, Africans, East Indians, and Eskimos.
And that’s the problem for Hollywood – how thin do you slice the diversity pie? If Amazon puts a black woman in the cast, does she represent all of Africa? Did Tolkien leave room for gay characters in his narrative? And can one Chinese person represent all of southeast Asia e.g. Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, etc.?
The beleagured Hollywood Foreign Press isn’t precisely representative of the population of the planet (e.g. 16% African), so can they truly speak for moviegoers around the world? Artists say movies should represent society – does anyone in SoCal realize that films made in China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Bollywood, etc., have 0 concerns about misrepresenting Blacks (or Whites) in their films? Why is this only an American cinema issue?
The truth was exposed during production of 2009’s “Star Trek” remake, when Hollywood was called out for casting Korean John Cho in the role of Lt. Sulu, who’s Japanese on the original series. 12 years later, we still can’t thread the needle of infinite diversity – not because Hollywood hasn’t tried, but because it’s impossible.