The Pros And Cons Of Cross-Ethnic Groups

808 Words 4 Pages
Today cross-racial and cross-ethnic casting are concerns which people are paying attention to. Everyone is split on this controversy. A few people assume that it is completely respectable for an actor to portray someone from a different ethnic or race group. Others have clashing beliefs. Actors should not play someone from a different ethnic or race group because they are emphasizing racial hierarchy, mocking them, and concluding that the race that they actually are is the norm. Some people believe in allowing actors of one ethnic group to play characters of another race or ethnic group. Employment security for caucasian actors was one apparent cause for why these depictions succeeded on screen and in theater life. Robert B. Ito says in his …show more content…
First of all, when an actor portrays someone of another ethnic group, they represent them as a disconnected breed and a comedic antithesis to a white person. Roland Leander Williams Jr. in his article Black Male Frames: African Americans in a Century of Hollywood Cinema says, “The most celebrated performances perpetuated stereotypes of black plantation slaves” (Williams Jr., no page). William Jr. goes on to say that the practice of blackface excited crowds and enchanted thousands both earlier than and succeeding the Civil War, becoming famous as “blackface minstrelsy.” This is disturbing because the oppressive background of black people is nothing to be celebrated in the entertainment industry. Secondly, due to cross-racial and cross-ethnic casting, non-white people, especially African Americans, were prone to conventions of them as either destructive, profane barbarians or submissive, faithful servants. The film Birth of a Nation is the most famous early rendering of blacks in the entertainment industry, but it was at issue since caucasian actors in blackface portrayed a lot of the black parts in the movie, furthering the previously mentioned stereotypes. Thirdly, the idea of someone of a stereotypically superior race portraying someone of a stereotypical inferior race makes the people of the inferior race seem like villains that only someone superior to them can pull off. Charles Ramirez Berg, in his article Latino Images in Film: Stereotypes, Subversion, and Resistance says, “In its history, Hollywood has gone to extremes to preserve this system of representation, such as putting white actors in brownface to portray “greasers” or other Latino villains or in blackface to play African American villains” (Berg, no page). He goes on to say that currently, though, conventions of authenticity have transformed, and for the sake of credibility it has become less and less respectable for a caucasian

Related Documents