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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An Update on Doctor Who

Despite my initial impressions and expectations of Doctor Who, I really enjoy the show after watching the episodes that we were assigned. This show is very unique in that it can pretty much make an episode about anything one could possibly imagine. Anything is possible because the Doctor can travel anywhere in space and anywhere in time, which makes any situation possible. This is what makes the show very interesting and intriguing.

One of my favorite episodes is “Gridlock.” The whole plot line is very different and is something very “out there”. It is amazing that someone thought up something like being in a line of millions of cars where you only travel 10 miles in 6 years. Of course, it is not anything that would happen today, but it was interesting learning about that alternate world and how and why the motor way came to be. It was also interesting because it could be possible in the far future. Although the circumstances were very extreme, the idea of pollution and over population were very eminent in this episode. Whenever one is out in the motor way, they were exposed to a poisonous amount of pollution, which sounds very similar to the pollution issues of our world today. In addition, the idea of there being so many people that traffic is backed up for years is like the population issue of today. The world’s population has been growing over time and someday the earth might not be big enough to hold us anymore. Although this episode is science fiction, it was fascinating because it could become reality in our future.

Not only did I enjoy “Gridlock,” but I also enjoyed “Blink.” I love time travel movies and shows, and trying to understand time, so this episode was fun for me to watch. I thought it was crazy that the woman was sent back to the past and was forced to spend the rest of her life living in a different decade. I loved all the different time jumps and changes that were made to time, like when the main character runs into the Doctor before he meets her. It is complex to understand but very thought-provoking. Also, the idea of the angels was clever. The way they functioned was cool. It made it intense when the characters were trying not to look away from them. It reminded me of a horror movie and it kept me hooked.

The more Doctor Who I watch, the more I like the show and I always look forward to watching more episodes. I especially enjoyed the episode where they travel through time and hope there are more episodes like these to come.

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.      

Doctor Who Update

At this point in the show I have been back and forth between emotions about several things on the show. For starters the new Doctor change, at first, upset me but as I kept watching the show the tenth doctor was similar in mannerisms to the ninth doctor. One noticeable difference was he jumped back to the suit look and turned the hyper dial up a bit. Nine and Ten get along with rose very well and treat her like an equal. Ten is very social with people of other planets and times such as nine was. Matt is just as witty as David Tennant but something about David Tennant seemed to portray the severity of situations a little more in a desperate matter…life or death.

Secondly, we see Rose and Mickey fade apart. Although when Rose left for the Doctor over Mickey, their relationship gets pulled apart but it doesn’t really hit Rose until he opts to stay in the alternate reality over continuing through the gap in time with the doctor. Rose even cries a little when he tells her but in the end, she goes with the doctor and he stays.

Next is the New Companion; Martha Jones. The episode we watched with Martha as the companion, the doctor verbally projects the fact that she is not as great as Rose. When they are battling the Ware wolf, the doctor says to Martha, “Rose would know what to say here.” Again, at the start of the show The Doctor and Martha are lying in bed and the Doctor says something to Martha about Rose in which she gets very upset and turns away from the doctor in anger. The feelings of the Doctor are feelings of how most of the viewers must have been feeling and perhaps was a “let me down easy” sort of attempt at getting people to stay on the show and continuing to watch.

A little note on Diversity, we still don’t see much color other than Mickey as prominent roles in the show before Martha Jones, and even though Mickey has somewhat of a big role in the show he gets picked on a lot by the doctor as if he is different and he gets basically dumped by Rose. And from the episode with Martha and the Doctor, she gets picked on as well.

On a reflective note, I am enjoying watching the episodes however sometimes they get a little dull where not much happens as far as action. My favorite genres are Action and Adventure… more along the lines of coming of age stories or learning stories and Doctor Who does follow that Pattern in Genre.

Doctor Who Identity #2

The last post done from yours truly, it was about identities of the characters from Doctor Who and how a lonely Dalek (the last species of their kind) was lost as to who he should be; what his identity is. A recent episode I’ve watch however, reminded me of the episode Dalek once more and the identity about Dalek’s in general. The two episodes: Dalek and The Parting of Ways, both relate to one another of the struggle of identity.

From the episode of “The Parting of Ways” we discovered that the Dalek race has lived through the Time War thanks for the help of the Dalek Emperor. He then explains that by mixing dead human bodies with the little pieces left of the Dalek’s he was able to revive the Dalek race little by little. This little information is interesting because like Rose pointed out “wouldn’t that make the Dalek’s part human?” The Emperor denies this statement by getting rid of anything related to humans through the years that the Dalek’s control the human race.

As we know, its possible for Dalek’s to become part human because that’s what happened to a Dalek as he absorb a part of Rose’s DNA. We also know however, that this can drive a Dalek crazy in a whole other level; crazy to the point that a Dalek would commit suicide. This type of craziness can be seen as the Dalek’s tries to get rid anything human related. Even the Doctor points this out by stating the fact that the Dalek’s hates the stink of humanity, to the point that they hate their own existence. This is why they get rid anything human related, that way they’re not reminded that the Daleks are part human.

The Dalek’s tries anything possible to avoid their true identity despite their intelligence. The emperor has a mind set that they are pure Dalek’s and that he is God. Just the fact that he believes that he’s a God is prove that he’s part human more than he believes. The belief of a God in general, is a human believe that the Dalek’s didn’t had before. Basically, the Emperor and the Dalek’s in general are contradicting themselves to think that their not part human.

Team Rose

As someone who was new to Doctor Who until this year, I didn’t think I would so quickly turn into one of those fan girls, but I have. One of the opinions I have realized that follows that is the favoritism of the companions. Although I have only seen three main companions, I have an opinion on who is my favorite and why. Although I have a favorite, it doesn’t mean that I do not also like other companions. In my opinion so far, Rose is my favorite companion. Not that I don’t like Martha a lot or appreciate what Donna brought to the table, but Rose has a special place in my heart. Maybe it is because she was my first companion, maybe it is because I love how even though she was an ‘average girl’ she could outsmart the Doctor and think of things he wouldn’t have, or maybe even because I adored the way she and the Doctor slowly fell for each other. Rose had passion, she was witty and sassy, she was smart, but most of all, she was brave. I am sure there will be other companions that I might come to like more than her, but I think she is a tough first to beat.

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.