Monday, August 21, 2006

The New "Black Face?"


Source: MSNBC (by way of my girlfriend)

Journalist, Daniel Pearl, was killed by Islamic extremists in Pakistan.

His bi-racial wife's name is Mariane and she looks like this:



In an upcoming film, Ms. Pearl's character will be played by none other than Angelina Jolie. I think most of us know what she looks like, but here's a pic, anyway.

Apparently, there's some amount of controversy over the fact that Jolie will be playing "the tan, biracial widow," despite the fact that (aside from those lips) Jolie looks pretty doggone white, to me.

A BET messageboard user, chantejoy, may have said it best, calling the very idea a "new generation of Hollywood in blackface." S/he goes on to say the following:

“With talent such as Halle Berry, Thandie Newton and Jennifer Beals available — just to mention a few — what is Hollywood's excuse for casting a white woman this time?” she asks. “Anyone who has seen a photo of Mariane Pearl can tell she is a woman of color.”

For the most part, I must agree with chantejoy, but what do YOU think?

10 comments:

Raiden said...

If there were not a bevy of qualified women of color capable of filling this role Angelina would be fine, but there are. By going with Angelina the film makers are clearly making a statement that this is about money and not the story.

West said...

Now there's a fair and balanced response, if ever I've read one.

Thanks, Raiden.

Remnants of U said...

I heard that the same issue happened with the movie "World Trade Center". I heard this after I saw it. That one of the rescuers was a black soldier, but not in the movie.

It seems Hollywood wants you to believe that after Denzel & Halle won their Oscars that things are a changing. I guess not.

It is so disappointing that in true stories, they choose not to be accurate.

chele said...

This type of thing is just wrong on so many levels. I am not a fan of AJ ... let me rephrase ... I can't stand that heffa. Why is the media trying to turn this ho into a housewife?

Anyway, this is just one more slap in the face that Black women have to endure.

West said...

re: "Why is the media trying to turn this ho into a housewife?"

She was a wild youth, but seems extremely grounded, at this point. I think *she's* determining who she is.

I can't blame her for that.

As far as this role is concerned, I wish one of the filmmakers (or actors) had felt more strongly about presenting such a recent events a bit more accurately.

The article suggested that Ms. Pearl may've been cool with it, which is a bit of a wrinkle, but I still think it was a really bad idea. I'd like to read her thoughts on the issue, to be honest.

Luke Cage said...

I can't stand that heffa. Why is the media trying to turn this ho into a housewife? - Damn Chele! Honey tore Jolie up didn't she West?

The fact that Jolie isn't much of an actress (except when she did the movie Gia), Hollywood is simply going with the hot woman of the moment. I think if the movie was about a darker skinned woman, Jolie would have STILL been offered the part.

Hollywood has shown when it comes to portrayals of women of color, they will not care about authenticity. Merely how it will do in the box office. Without anything else to motivate them to "get" it right, they'd rather count the dollar signs. Truly unfortunate! (greenlit by the widow? Really? - now THAT'S sad!)

West said...

re: "Damn Chele! Honey tore Jolie up didn't she West?"

Yip. Chele surprised me with that one - especially since I've been extremely impressed with Jolie's humanitarian efforts over the past few years. If Jolie's only faking the philanthropy, she's a better actress than I'd have given her credit for.

re: "The fact that Jolie isn't much of an actress (except when she did the movie Gia), Hollywood is simply going with the hot woman of the moment. I think if the movie was about a darker skinned woman, Jolie would have STILL been offered the part.

Hollywood has shown when it comes to portrayals of women of color, they will not care about authenticity. Merely how it will do in the box office. Without anything else to motivate them to "get" it right, they'd rather count the dollar signs. Truly unfortunate!"


And that's the main reason I'm seriously considering passing on this film - I'm bothered by this so speaking with my wallet's probably the best way to get their attention. This next part is what gives me pause.

re: "(greenlit by the widow? Really? - now THAT'S sad!)"

On the one hand, I could see that. As a bi-racial individual, she may have a very different perspective on race, than I.

Heck, matching skin tone hasn't always been a deal-breaker, like in Malcolm X. Most folks seemed pleased with the choice of Denzel as the lead, including me. If Malcolm were bi-racial (which he kinda was), one could argue that casting a Black person in the role was just as inappropriate as casting a white person (at least if we simplify his racial make-up a bit).

Ultimately, I'd just want them to match the skin-tone a bit more, regardless of the actor's ethnicity.

I guess now, I've got a better idea of how people felt when they changed Domino's story, in her self-titled movie.

Michael May said...

I don't think calling it "the new blackface" is fair (unless they're putting Angelina in make-up to give her a bi-racial appearance, which I really doubt), but I agree with the rest of you guys that another actress would've been way more appropriate. Especially given how sensitive this issue is.

Raiden's right on the money.

West said...

re: "I don't think calling it "the new blackface" is fair (unless they're putting Angelina in make-up to give her a bi-racial appearance, which I really doubt)..."

I feel you and I thought the same thing, for a minute, but that's what'd make it the *new* Black-face: simply being non-Black (or white, specifically) is good enough.

I can see how one might disagree, though, and I agree that Raiden said it well.

DivineLavender said...

Making movies is about the box office wars that happen every weekend around the world. Jolie has the name to draw people to see her and they will pay to see how. *Climbing on my soapbox*

This is the main reason why I have developed such an appreciation and support for independent film makers. I have found that indeny's want to tell the story to connection with the audience.

Mainstream...doesn't.