Also, Dev Patel in more things – hope he’s not playing secondary to what’s his name Armie Hammer in this story (don’t Green Book this, Hollywood). He’s been good in everything I’ve seen him in (Dev, not Armie who I really only found interesting in The Social Network and to some extent Sorry to Bother You – nothing against him personally, it’s just a chemistry thing). What have I seen Dev in?
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Hope he continues to get ever more expansive opportunities (i.e. not opportunities limited by Hollywood profiling).
Which brings me to my two cents on the Jordan Peele brouhaha. Really? People are throwing around charges of ‘reverse racism’ because he said “I don’t see myself casting a white dude as the lead in my movie. Not that I don’t like white dudes, but I’ve seen that movie.” Quick quiz. Are the majority of films in Hollywood made by white male directors, starring and telling stories from the point of view of white males? What is wrong with one of this deep field of auteurs adjusting the lens? Has he not cast white people in his two films, Get Out and Us giving them their own arc and nuance? Pick your favourite director – how many people of colour leads have they had relative to their entire filmography? Okay, let me make it easier, how many secondary people of colour characters have they had that wasn’t a trope or a stereotype or there simply to serve the white lead’s narrative (still looking at you Best Picture winning Green Book)? Easier still people of colour at all. Let’s get even narrower – how many black leads or people of colour leads have there been in the horror film genre in a mainstream Hollywood film? I was watching a discussion about horror noire recently. It mentioned the erasure of one of the few black women in a featured role in a horror film (Rachel True in The Craft) – on digging, I learned of her not being included in press junkets when the film was released in the late 1990s nor being invited to present alongside her co-stars at the MTV awards as though she wasn’t in the room, though she was, and more recently being omitted from convention panels that her co-stars were a part of and a recent Hollywood Reporter article (the latter was fixed after she spoke up on social media). The reality is that opportunities are limited for people of colour in Hollywood because casting directors, producers, directors, and filmgoers have blind spots and don’t even notice their absence or stereotyping when they do show up – that’s the thing half the time it’s not even malicious. And then a single director says to reference Issa Rae, I’m rooting for everybody black, and somehow this attempt by one individual to address an imbalance by telling stories particular to his point of view is the most racist thing that ever racisted? (I think the word you’re looking for is prejudice anyway, since racism is systemic and underpinned by power but…okay). Us, Peele’s sophomore effort, opened very strong and there are a million theories and stories around that film and its success. Here’s one, Lupita Nyongo despite winning best supporting actress for 12 Years a Slave (which came out in 2013) and being young, gifted, beautiful, charismatic, and a fashion darling to boot had not played a lead role in a film before Us. Reflect on that and miss me with the outrage.