This Supercut Of White Actors Playing Other Races Will Bum You Out
progress? what progress?
Hollywood's diversity problem has only recently become a hot button issue, thanks to the last two years of Oscars whitewashing, and an increased overall awareness of race issues in general, especially among young people. But, in a new video compilation courtesy of ScreenCrush, we're reminded that although the conversation has only really just begun, Hollywood's embarrassing track record of racial representation is as old as film itself.
The video begins with Viola Davis' recent Emmy speech, in which she argues that women of color can't win awards for roles that are "simply not there." Over the course of the next three minutes, we're reminded of exactly what she means. And while seeing old school stars like Natalie Wood, Sir Laurence Olivier, and Mickey Rooney playing characters of color is very telling, it's nowhere near as shocking as what we see when the video moves to present day. That's when recent examples of Hollywood whitewashing — like Emma Stone playing a Hawaiian in Aloha and Rooney Mara as a Native American Pan—flash across the screen.
The video ends with perhaps the most jarring recent example of cross-racial casting—the news that Joseph Fiennes is set to play Michael Jackson. It's a damning, but necessary trip through Hollywood's embarrassing history. Watch above.