Did the film industry take a shower? Because its whitewashed.

Many of us know that tv shows and movies are often white washed. Angelina Jolie playing an African American woman. Emma Stone playing a half Chinese woman. John Bennet playing an Asian man. Honestly there is probably a list of hundreds of actors that have played someone not of their race.

In Doctor Who a major one is when John Bennet, an English actor, played an Asian man named Li H’sen Chang. Li H’sen Chang was supposed to be a stage magician. Also when watching the scenes with Li H’sen Chang there are many instances of racism. He is wearing quite a bit of grab and has a very awful and offensive “typical” Asian American accent. The episode as a whole has quite a few racist aspects to it. Is this because of the time or because of the director and writer?

There have been many instances here in America of white washing as well.

When Disney first came out saying they would be making a live action Mulan there was a lot of stir that they were trying to cast a white actor as the main male. This has now been confirmed as not true, but is this because of the backlash or was this the plan all along?

In the movie Drive Carey Mulligan played a character that was originally written for a Latina woman. The director felt that Mulligan was perfect for the part… even though she wasn’t Latina I guess… In the movie Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Christopher Abbott and Alfred Molina were both cast as Afghan characters. Last time I checked they were both white actors, but I guess they fit the role better than an Afghan actor.

Johnny Depp played as a Native American in the movie The Lone Ranger. He said that he has some Native American heritage, but honestly it isn’t enough for me. Johnny is still too white of an actor to be playing a Native American in a movie.

Honestly this list could go on and on. I found a ton when I was looking online to even spark this topic. This is something that has been happening for years. Looking at the past we could say that they have an excuse. It honestly was pretty racist back in the day and it was “better” for the companies to hire white actors and actresses. But now? We don’t have anything to say to explain this. Times are changing, but not fast enough in the film industry.

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Diversity in Doctor Who

Since Doctor Who rebooted in 2005 it has made strides in representing diversity on television.  Strides that can’t be said for many other television shows.  We open with episode one, “Rose” set in England, 2005, on a rare scene for television.  Rose is a working class woman who really is working class, not a dramatized version of this.  She lives in a small apartment with her single mother and wakes early every day to clock-in at her job in a department store.  She’s casual, dressing in clothes that certainly aren’t the height of fashion for the time, she isn’t dolled up in makeup only a professional could do, and what’s more; she isn’t the tiny waisted, long-legged pretty girl we’re used to seeing on TV.  Rose sets the pace for the growing diversity we’re about to be treated to in “Doctor Who”.

Not long after we get Captain Jack Harkness, the first openly pansexual in the history of “Doctor Who” who equally and openly shows attraction to men, women, aliens, and the non-gender conforming.  This was a huge leap for sexual and romantic diversity in “Doctor Who”, and one of the very first times queer people could see themselves in a character on television that wasn’t harmful.  

Next comes Martha, the first black companion on “Doctor Who”.  She’s intelligent and able to keep up with the Doctor’s rambling better, perhaps, than most other companions.  For people of colour, Martha is a big deal.  She’s a strong, woman of colour, in a leading role on one of the most popular television shows of all time.  With Martha, the television series continues to push forward for more diversity in their cast.

The next three companions, Donna, Amy, and Clara continue to portray strong female leads with diverse histories and personalities.  Along the way we meet a couple more sexually diverse characters, and characters from all different walks of life.  

Now we come to the most recent companion, Bill, who is both a woman of colour and openly gay.  She is one of the very first leading characters like this on television, a huge influence for women, people of colour, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.  We finally have a leading character that many minorities can view themselves in in a positive way.

Soon we’ll be treated with something that came unexpected: a female Doctor.  Jodie Whittaker will soon take on the role of the Doctor and make history as the first female Doctor.  Many people are very excited about this.  We get a leading female, and also confirmation that Gallifreyans, or at least the Doctor, experience gender fluidity, which could be a nod toward the transgender community.

But when it comes to diversity, is it enough?  Though Doctor Who has done a great job positively representing different groups of people, we still are left itching for more.  Several groups who wish to see any kind of representation on television have been left out.  Doctor Who has come a long way, but I believe it can, and should, go much farther.  I hope that as the episodes continue to air we will continue to see a rise in representation in the cast.      

Diversity of Language

Have you ever thought about language? Language is a way to communicate, either spoken or written, through the use of words in a structured and conventional way. Of course there are many different languages out in the world. Take the show Doctor Who for example; the Doctor and his companion travels to many places and every time, there is always a different language that they speak. However thanks to the TARLES (the time machine) the machine translate the language so that the companion can understand their language. Unfortunately though, life isn’t as easy as it is in Doctor Who, language is something that everyone struggles due to the amount of languages out in the world. This barrier of language causes miscommunication between people and is why their is such a huge diversity between people in general.

In my opinion, I believe schools in general should focus more about language than anything. There has been many cases where due to an misunderstanding, leads to a conflict that shouldn’t had happened in the first place. While its true that there are far too many languages in general to learn, at least learning the top most common language in the world, like english for example, can open many doors that hasn’t been open before. In todays society, language is a basic skill that everyone is expected to learn so it shouldn’t hurt to learn some more and besides, it’s never too late to learn a language and their culture.

 

Diversity in Doctor Who???

The Doctor is always played by a white male always from somewhere in Britain, or is he? This year the BBC announced that the Doctor will in fact be a woman! What!? That couldn’t be announced unless the BBC is just trying harder at being politically correct, right? Turns out that’s not the only reason why they have finally cast a woman as the Doctor. The show announced that Steven Moffat the head writer and executive producer is stepping down and Chris Chibnall will be filling in his rather large shoes.

Classic who never explored a lot of diversity, yes, there was some but there were also episodes in the show that still anger people of today. For instance, the episode The Talons of Weng Chiang was to be color blind casting however they cast white actors to play the Chinese and they all were the bad guys in the stereotypical ninja way. The BBC fell into the hole that most shows and movies do by using only one part of the entire culture.  

Starting in the New Who there became a sort of ‘era’ of Russell T Davies who managed to include a lot of diversity. He had interracial couples to start off as well as some sexual diversity. Davies also cast Christopher Eccleston as the ninth doctor who grew up in the norther part of Britain and was got to keep his accent to start the show off as appealing to the lower classes of the British population. However, even though he showed he could be diverse the interracial couples never lasted they ended up marrying someone of the same color. But the main point is that he had multiple couples and diversity factors, right?

For series 5 and on Steven Moffat took over as executive producer and head writer. Moffat never included as much diversity by always having straight, white women as the companions. He did have different regions of the United Kingdom represented because Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) is Scottish and then Jenna Coleman (Clara Oswin Oswald) is English. Moffat began to introduce some new and some of the same concepts that maybe Timelords don’t need to stay within a single gender or race. For example, he had Melody Pond who regenerated into a younger black woman and then into River Song. Later the Master regenerated into a woman (Missy). This just leads me to believe that maybe Moffat didn’t know how to include diversity in Doctor Who until he gained a larger experience as head writer.

I cannot wait to see which direction Chibnall takes the female doctor on the show while watching as a fan and for aspects of diversity.

Diversifying Diversity

Diversifying Diversity

Diversity- “the condition of having or being composed of differing elements: variety; especially: the inclusion of different types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization programs intended to promote diversity in schools” (Webster Dictionary). Some might ask why I added a definition of a very common used word in this day and age. When people think about diversity I feel like they look at diversity in a very one dimensional way. As the definition states it is different elements. An example that they give is race and culture. Some may argue that those are the only aspects of diversity. I feel that diversity can come in many forms such as peoples various socioeconomic statuses, sexuality, and even political views. These are all aspects of diversity overlooked. From an educator’s standpoint when people look at diversity within a school they look at mostly race. I can argue that I grew up in a diverse community while only a very small group of the community is not Caucasian. Some diversity comes in the different religious backgrounds and other a very diverse in ideas. I came from a school where ideas were shared, ideas were discussed, and people had opinions. That added to the diversity. We might have been a very Caucasian school but we were still diverse.

 

America is known as the melting pot. The melting pot of culture, race, and ideas. These all ideas make the United States a diverse place to live. Some these cultures have assimilated into a culture of their own. Iowa has created a culture different that of Texas. Although there are both a variety of races in every state the culture is different on different factors. The ideals from different areas are different. Your ideas are affected by multiple factors that are built from your community, family, and friends. These help build the identity and culture of the place you are a part of. Not to keep referring to school but Wartburg is very diverse. Not only in race but in the culture and ideas brought by students from other states, schools, communities, and countries. This makes up a culture at Wartburg. Already being in class I have had ideas changed by learning about fellow classmates culture. That this school/ community has made me more diverse. All in all, diversity is more than race but is a connection and changing the thing that grows and changes individuals constantly.

 

Sources

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diversity

Diversity in Doctor Who

I will be looking at an episode that we watched a while ago titled “World War Three.”  This episode I noticed a lot of diversity that I wasn’t used to seeing within the previous episodes.  The type of diversity I noticed in this episode was racial diversity in a good way.  Sometimes Doctor Who episodes try and display racial diversity and they do a bad job of displaying it.  It then is looked at negatively by the viewers; even if their intentions were not negative.  Usually in these episodes the white man and sometimes the white girl will be the one to save the day.  This episode was different than that.  This time Mickey who is black, had a huge role in saving the day.  He not only saved the main characters but also saved everyone on the planet.  I thought this was cool to see because it wasn’t something the show Doctor Who was used to doing.  I also feel like this was a big stepping stone for this show.  It showed people that it wasn’t like the classic who anymore.  The Classic Who had no racial diversity and when they did try and have racial diversity it comes off as racist to us now.  I believe the point of having Mickey save the planet in this episode was to show everyone that the new who was a different show in a way.  Like I said, the Classic Who lacked racial diversity, but that was how the culture was in the days classic who was made.  New who is made in a much different time and it should be expected to have some racial diversity.  The show still lacks racial diversity of course, but this was a big step for the show in my opinion.  Like we have talked about in class, it would be nice to see a Doctor Who isn’t a white male.  There will be a female doctor next which is a step in the right direction.  Next, it would be nice to see a person of color become to doctor.  If/when this happens, it will be interesting to see the numbers of viewers change.  This will give us a good idea of how the world still has a problem accepting racial diversity.  Hopefully we wouldn’t see any decrease in viewers, but that more than likely wouldn’t be the case.  I believe this is the reason why no person of color has been the doctor yet, because of fear of major loss of viewers.

 

Whitewashing in 2017

In our day and age we seem to think that our society is, for the most part, very diverse.  Everything from the workplace to schools and even our films are often portrayed as diverse both culturally and racially.   Unfortunately that isn’t always the case.  If we are to focus on the film industry for example, we find that their are often times when certain roles are not convincing enough to maintain the ambiance of the scene based on the actor or actress’  visual appearance or ability.  This however isn’t a big deal if you find someone who fulfills one of these two vital roles, but there are often times when directors pick actors and actresses to fill the box office rather than accurately portray a character.  Furthermore, there have been cases where there are perfect actors to fill roles but are not picked purely because of their race.  An example comes from the recent news about a live action Mulan film produced by Disney.  While in the early stages of development the media found that not only the main heroine in the film but many other lead roles would not be played by those of Asian descent.  How? In what world did they think it would be okay to make a film about Chinese heritage and not include Chinese people.  Continually, the director wanted to add a portion to the film that is not seen in the 1998 original version.  This would include an older European (white male) love interest who inevitably saves Mulan’s homeland for her.  This one instance in the very definition of whitewashing in America, rather than an accurate portrayal of the characters and plot it is changed to allow white people to fill the roles.

Personally, I was outraged because the original film, for some of my childhood friends the first time they could see themselves and be excited to share their heritage with others through the popularity of the film.  And to take it away from today’s youth is criminal.