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Stop getting mad over the casting of fictional characters

Stop getting mad over the casting of fictional characters

Stop getting mad over the casting of fictional characters
March 06
14:00 2021

The entertainment industry is one of the most influential things to exist. Every day, new concepts for movies and shows are thrown out into the world and some of those concepts involve characters from fictional worlds like comics and cartoons. If there is one thing that I have noticed over the last couple of years, is that a large group of people hate when the adaptations stray away from a source material. This has to be one of the most ignorant and tone-deaf arguments I have ever seen, and it is becoming detrimental to worthy actors looking for work.

The most recent case of this disgusting mindset took place after Pedro Pascal was cast as Joel in HBO’s “The Last of Us” television show, as plenty of fans became upset about the casting. It appears that people are in the mindset that if the character is white in a video game, the actor should be white if there is a movie or television show made about them. Before Pascal was confirmed to take on the role, there were rumors that Oscar winner Mahershala Ali would take the role, which sparked even more outrage because Ali is a Black man.

People that get upset by these things need to realize that anyone can play any role, especially when their race or ethnicity plays no significance in the role. The backlash that both of these actors got, one of which was not even confirmed for the role, just goes to show that fans will never be happy, especially the ignorant ones that refuse to take in anything that strays away from their precious original version of the character.

Another fresh instance of this behavior happened when Sasha Calle was chosen to play the iconic Supergirl in the highly anticipated “The Flash” movie. As you can imagine, many people were outraged that the character was not going to be played by a white woman with blonde hair and blue eyes. This behavior tends to be the worst in the comic world because lots of people tend to be extremely critical of how their favorite comics are portrayed on the big screen. A lot of these comics were made in a time where representation was limited, and the pages were mostly taken up by white people. 

Halle Bailey is set to star as Ariel in the upcoming live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” and reactions that were quite disgusting. There was a #NotMyAriel hashtag going around on Twitter and the actress received a lot of personal hate. To break it down, there are a group of people upset on the internet because a movie about a mermaid is not realistic enough for them. It is as ridiculous as you think. Anyone who is familiar with Bailey, or any of her work, knows that she is extremely talented and will do the role justice in the best way possible.

The worst counterargument I have seen is, “Well what if they made Black Panther a white guy?” In “Black Panther,” T’Challa’s race and heritage are important to the progression of his story and development. That representation on the big screen is something influential and important to so many. Ariel’s race is not a significant part of her character, same with Supergirl and Joel. These characters are fictional and their personalities drive the story, not their skin color.

We are finally starting to make progress with representation in film and television, and while there is still a long way to go, there are always going to be people that try to discredit those who pour their heart out into a performance. We all know why these people really don’t want these actors to play these characters, and that is exactly why these castings are so important and extremely influential moving forward.

Featured Illustration by J. Robynn Aviles

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Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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