Monday, 8 September 2008

Ethnic bees and actors

Sometimes, I feel vague ethical twinges about submitting actors for parts. I get a bit media-deterministic in my wilder moments, and I figure it can't be good that every TV/corporate training/film role requires a stereotype.

Also - gems like these, that you find in almost every casting breakdown -

"actor should have neutral accent" - they mean RP, tinged with Estuary English, but not enough to terrify. They don't say that, because they mean That's How I Talk, So It Must Be Neutral, The Default Human Is The London Yuppie, Yah Boo Sucks To You Scum.

"actor can be white or ethnic" - this means I Have Absorbed That Blatant Tokenism Will Get Me A Cool Grand From The Arts Council, But Sadly, I Am A Racist, Illiterate Fuckwit.

(Incidentally, when my friend D beekept, which is now a word, somebody said to him "These are ethnic bees. They are from Africa". I'm assuming that that person didn't mean it in a beautiful, Alice-Walker-esque, Africa-is-the-mother-of-us-all way).

Far, far worse ones are common - we just haven't had any in recently, so I can't source current examples.

Yes, I am having a boring day.

My friend Ed told me last night that he is looking for a sheep. If you happen to have a spare one, please do tell me.

I got cornered, and told off (by someone I don't know) on Saturday, because she learned that I was changing my name. She kept repeating "But (old name) is such a pretty name!" with a look in her eyes that said I Will Eat Your Soul.

Hagrid bore my oh-so-decidedly unpretty self away, laughing at my expression of utter puzzlement. "Well, that's you told" he said.

This is vaguely applicable.


David K said...

Lol, "white or ethnic".

I'd like 2, or a number.
And I'd like a Scotsman, or a Celtic fringe person.

Oliver A. FP said...

I just got an awesome one... OK, awful... asking for an actor who could play both "a fragile friend AND a malicious lesbian!!!"

Yup, the 3 exclamation marks were there.

Sarah said...

I remembered a scene from Bowling for Columbine, where Moore talks about the fear spread through the media about Foreign Stuff, I forget the exact details.

I remember the bit with "African Bees" aka "Killer Bees".

And, I can be both a fragile friend and malicious lesbian without trying. I should totally do that role.

Daphne said...

Without entering into any of the arguments, can I just say that I REALLY like the word "beekept" as in "when he beekept".