The Economist bleats from the ranks of the colonial hetero-white supremacists
This is The Economist’s usual colonial hetero-white supremacist bull shit. The issue (of white people dressing up in costume by wearing traditional Chinese dresses (or CatWoman suits) or of Idris Elba playing James Bond) has nothing to do with “respect for diversity”, that the white male headline writers at The Economist are trying to denigrate. Of course there is nothing wrong with cultural appropriation, if it is symmetric. In response to the incredibly funny article by Marina Hyde in The Guardian, a white-whiner asked which of the following is “acceptable”:
“1) Idris Elba (a black man) playing Bond (a fictional white man)
2) Adrian Lester (a black man) playing Henry V (a historical white man)
3) Scarlett Johannsen (a woman) playing a trans man
4) Jack Whitehall (a straight man) playing a gay Disney character
5) Eddie Redmayne (an able-bodied man) playing Stephen Hawking (a disabled man)
6) Jared Leto (a man) playing a trans woman
I say all are acceptable, but this paper has argued against 3–6 being acceptable.”
The reason 3–6 are unacceptable is because 1 and 2 are complete exceptions to the general rules that A. most characters are written as “white” (+ heteronormative, cis-male), even if they are from other species/worlds/galaxies/universes and B. characters considered by default white, heteronormative, cis-male are only played by white heteronormative cis-male actors. The only “crazy extremes” here are the extremely low proportions of such roles that have ever been allowed to non white cis hetero actors. This is not just about “exposure” or diversity, this is about money being paid and made.
So when “white-washing” stops, when a trans man plays a cis man, when a woman plays a male role, when a gay actor plays a straight role, when a disabled actor plays an able-bodied role, when blacks, asians, Indians etc. play significant proportions of “white roles” (not to mention when there is a greater diversity of roles being written) and when The Economist stops bleating about the above, then we can all put it to rest. Until then, most reasonable unbiased people will continue to consider that assigning the countably few non-(hetero*cis*able*white) roles to yet another dweeb white male able cis actor is unacceptable.