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Post By
atrimus

Location: Saint Louis, MO
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,478
In Reply To
mjyoung

Subj: Re: Political Correctness and the new Thor movie
Posted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 at 11:33:43 pm EST (Viewed 894 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Political Correctness and the new Thor movie
Posted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 at 02:29:05 pm EST (Viewed 1101 times)



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      said demographic would probably be indifferent to an all white cast because they have no interest in the subject matter itself. but i'd be willing to bet that Elba's name would at the very least stir their interest.



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    I don't think Elba is a known "name". I don't think his name is going to have any real effect on this movie. It's not like someone is going to be sitting on the fence on whether to see the movie, then say "Oh, Elba is in this movie, then I have to go see it".


well, i'm not saying he's the most known black actor on the planet, but he is known. he had a starring role in The Gospel and This Christmas, and has been featured a number of times in Essence and People. i agree that i don't think he's an absolute draw (even amongst blacks), but he is known enough to garner the interest of blacks, who probably would have no interest in the movie otherwise.


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        We don't know for sure what Marvel Studios was thinking with this decision, but it's a safe bet they didn't want to have an all white cast and allow some to have the perception of racism. Hence the thinking that many have here, that Elba was picked just to be the token black character in the background.

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        what we know is that Marvel didn't select an all white cast. everything else (be it due to monetary reasons, or due to PC) is just speculation. i tend to think monetary reasons simply because i don't see where Marvel would fear any claims of racism being aimed at them. there have been planty of all-white movies that blacks didn't claim racism towards. Marvel's own Hulk had a virtually all-white cast...that i can recall.



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    I can certainly understand it's primarily a business decision with the thought that Elba would cause in an increase in the black demographic, I just don't think that idea as a business practice holds up. This casting decision is going to have no real effect on the box office sales. There would be no difference in this movie's performance whether it was Elba or say Jeremey Renner (guy currently rumored for Hawkeye) in the role of Heimdell.



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    Hence why I don't buy this decision as being a business one with regards to box office sales. Movie studios wouldn't make that kind of decision unless they had actual evidence, and I can't see any. Look at successful and mostly white movie franchises like LOTR, PotC, Spider-Man, Harry Potter, etc. None of the main casts members of those movies had any black actors, and none of them had any established characters switching races.


that's not a fair comparison though. LotR, Spider Man and Harry Potter (sorry, don't know what PotC stands for \:\-\) ) dwarf Thor in both marketability and public awareness. they can sell on their names alone. Thor really can't.


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    On the other hand, let's look at movies that had established characters that switched races: Fantastic Four, DragonballZ, Daredevil, GI JOE. All of those movies are generally failures, or at least didn't live up to their expectations. To be clear, I'm not saying that those movies failed because of casting decisions like Kerry Washington, only that those type of casting decisions are made by bad producers, who in turn produce bad films.


well, i'm not sure what the gauge is for a film to be considered a success, but both FF movies and GI Joe each earned $350+ million worldwide. as for DBZ, that's based on a source that's niche everywhere outside of Japan. Daredevil was just a horrible movie. neither of these are as popular as the aforementioned LotR, Spider Man or Harry Potter.




i don't think black actors are hated internationally; more likely the stereotyped roles they're given in Hollywood don't appeal to international audiences. casting Elba as Heimdall is as far from a stereotype as you can get.

i don't have anything to back this up, i admit; it's just my opinion.


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    So in summation, I don't think this decision was made with the thought that it would increase box office sales by increasing the black demographic. And if it was, I beleive that decision is one that is the wrong one to make. I think the decision was made primarily because the actor was black, but also for other reasons as well (good actor, British, cheap, available for shooting, etc).


it's pretty safe to assume that race was a factor. i just don't think the decision was based on political correctness.





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