Bridgerton & Black Achilles - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Discuss literary and artistic creations, or post your own poetry, essays etc.
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By noemon
#15236608
After an intoxicated conversation in a symposio with friends, I got to thinking about the trend of Black actors in white roles and social settings and so here is my own brief commentary weighing up the pros & cons on the matter from 3 perspectives:

1) how it relates to my own Greek identity,
2) how it relates to Black identity and
3) how it relates to the art form of theatre & film.

I think it is a positive from a Hellenic point of view as it opens up Greek civilization to Black audiences allowing for a more intimate relationship, this also runs the risk of cultural appropriation. I believe the pro outweighs the con here.

From a Black people's perspective, I think that industrial-level tokenism is the way most serious Black people would see these attempts of putting them in the shoes of famous white people. At the same time it creates an atmosphere of inclusion and it permits Black actors to play any type of role thus enabling them to participate in more genres(.ie periodicals) and not just roles representing themselves. White actors have been playing parts of any kind of ethnic identity without even bothering to ask and that brings us to...

Theatre was originally played only by men who would represent women, gods, animals and creatures. Hence the invention of the mask.

The identity of the actor has always been a non-issue as the point of theatre is to focus on the point rather than the skin, gender or type of the actor playing the role.
#15236835
noemon wrote:After an intoxicated conversation in a symposio with friends, I got to thinking about the trend of Black actors in white roles and social settings and so here is my own brief commentary weighing up the pros & cons on the matter from 3 perspectives:

1) how it relates to my own Greek identity,
2) how it relates to Black identity and
3) how it relates to the art form of theatre & film.

I think it is a positive from a Hellenic point of view as it opens up Greek civilization to Black audiences allowing for a more intimate relationship, this also runs the risk of cultural appropriation. I believe the pro outweighs the con here.

From a Black people's perspective, I think that industrial-level tokenism is the way most serious Black people would see these attempts of putting them in the shoes of famous white people. At the same time it creates an atmosphere of inclusion and it permits Black actors to play any type of role thus enabling them to participate in more genres(.ie periodicals) and not just roles representing themselves. White actors have been playing parts of any kind of ethnic identity without even bothering to ask and that brings us to...

Theatre was originally played only by men who would represent women, gods, animals and creatures. Hence the invention of the mask.

The identity of the actor has always been a non-issue as the point of theatre is to focus on the point rather than the skin, gender or type of the actor playing the role.


My favorite actor is Viola Davis. She is black. And she is also super talented. She could play any role. But a lot of roles in the past were for particular looks.

I think the quality of acting is important though for a compelling performance. Even if the actor's native langauge is not English, if they have a compelling stage presence and can do the character well? I say it is good.

Now, some roles are iconic and many audience members would be turned off if they cast someone that just is not really believable in the role.
#15236837
noemon wrote:After an intoxicated conversation in a symposio with friends, I got to thinking about the trend of Black actors in white roles and social settings and so here is my own brief commentary weighing up the pros & cons on the matter from 3 perspectives:

1) how it relates to my own Greek identity,
2) how it relates to Black identity and
3) how it relates to the art form of theatre & film.

I think it is a positive from a Hellenic point of view as it opens up Greek civilization to Black audiences allowing for a more intimate relationship, this also runs the risk of cultural appropriation. I believe the pro outweighs the con here.

From a Black people's perspective, I think that industrial-level tokenism is the way most serious Black people would see these attempts of putting them in the shoes of famous white people. At the same time it creates an atmosphere of inclusion and it permits Black actors to play any type of role thus enabling them to participate in more genres(.ie periodicals) and not just roles representing themselves. White actors have been playing parts of any kind of ethnic identity without even bothering to ask and that brings us to...

Theatre was originally played only by men who would represent women, gods, animals and creatures. Hence the invention of the mask.

The identity of the actor has always been a non-issue as the point of theatre is to focus on the point rather than the skin, gender or type of the actor playing the role.


Mostly you are correct I would say but there is one huge BUT. Tokenism ruins the film often by making, well tokenism, the centre of the story. So there is that, at least now.
#15237084
Beren wrote:Are we supposed to directly respond to the OP or ad hoc opinions are fine as well? Because I wouldn't mean to spoil your thread.



I don't mind, whatever and however you feel like commenting.

This subject encompasses a wide variety of perspectives.
#15237100
To me this is about artistic freedom, and I don't see the problem since Achilles is completely fictional and no one needs Homer's or his descendants' consent to interpreting him however they want to. In my opinion even the Black Anne Boleyn wasn't problematic because it was a drama or something, not a documentary, so she was a dramatic character in the first place rather than an actual historic figure, so thus also free for interpretation. It may have been supposed to be even more dramatic that way.

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