If you’ve seen Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, you may have noticed something a little weird about the semi-Biblical, semi-apocalyptic cast of the movie: they’re all white. Even the extras.
In an interview with The Higher Calling, Noah screenwriter Ari Handel spoke about the reasoning behind the lack of racial diversity in the cast.
“From the beginning, we were concerned about casting, the issue of race. What we realized is that this story is functioning at the level of myth, and as a mythical story, the race of the individuals doesn’t matter. They’re supposed to be stand-ins for all people. Either you end up with a Bennetton ad or the crew of the Starship Enterprise. You either try to put everything in there, which just calls attention to it, or you just say, ‘Let’s make that not a factor, because we’re trying to deal with everyman.’
Looking at this story through that kind of lens is the same as saying, ‘Would the ark float and is it big enough to get all the species in there?’ That’s irrelevant to the questions because the questions are operating on a different plane than that; they’re operating on the mythical plane.”
In summary, white people are stand-ins “for all people,” and no other race could possibly qualify for “everyman” status. Ari Handel’s reasoning is that the only way to dispense with the issue of racism is to remove everyone who isn’t white. Asking what happened to all the other races is akin to nitpicking about whether the arc would float or not. It’s just silly, OK? “The race of individuals doesn’t matter,” which is why they made absolutely sure that all of those individuals were white. Or something.
Unintentionally, Handel managed to illustrate everything that’s wrong with the ongoing attitude towards casting actors of color in major Hollywood movies. White people are the norm, and everyone else is just a distraction. God forbid anyone attempt to be as diverse as the cast of the Star Trek, which debuted in 1966 and included a grand total of two non-white characters.
"As Gilens and Page write, "the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy." In other words, their statistics say your opinion literally does not matter."
"bisexuals have straight passing privilege" did you mean bi erasure ? having people constantly assume im straight or gay based on who im dating or how I dress isn’t a privilege. it’s degrading and ignorant.
“The barge she sat in, like a burnish’d throne,
Burn’d on the water: the poop was beaten gold;
Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
The winds were love-sick with them; the oars were silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes…
A seeming mermaid steers: the silken tackle
Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands…”—
Cleopatra’s Egypt, where even the boats get boners.
(Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, Act 2, scene 2.)
I don't mean to be rude, but I keep seeing reblogs about your book and as a lesbian woman, I'm seriously put off by how you keep repeating/insisting that your main char being lesbian "isn't a plot point" and "barely comes up!!" and etc. and it feels very minimizing and erasing and more than a little bit appeasing ("don't worry, straight people!!") and honestly turns me off the book 1000% because I don't want to read a book with a lesbian lead that minimizes and erases her sexuality in-text.-cont
-cont I just thought I might send something to you because I haven’t seen this come up really, and it’s been bothering me for a couple of days now. It just really hurts to constantly see someone “defending” lesbianism by minimizing its existence.
Please note first that most if not all of the posts mentioning the character’s sexuality are asks and replies. It’s never been a selling point for me, I’m not using lesbianism as a cheap draw.
But to answer your criticisms, I’m not in any way minimizing her being a lesbian, I’m minimizing the romance aspect of the book. It’s an action book and I don’t want people to think it’s a book just about being gay or centering on a romance.
This is in absolutely no way to reassure straight people of anything, if they can’t deal with the main character being lesbian I don’t really want them reading it anyway. It’s to assure readers that this isn’t another book where a gay character is reduced to their sexuality or defined by it. Frankly I find it offensive that nearly every book with a gay protagonist has to make the whole story center on them being gay. I find this to be much more reductive than not mentioning it at all.
I do not in any way whatsoever erase or undermine her sexuality in-text. She’s gay and has a crush on a woman and that’s part of the story. In the sequel there’s much more of a relationship. I maintain it’s not a significant plot point in Valhalla because the book is all about the action and spycraft. I feel it’s important to let potential readers know that. I’d not want people to read it just because they think it will have a story about being gay, nor do I want people avoiding it thinking it’s a book primarily about being gay which also has some action scenes. It’s a sci-fi action novel, so when asked again and again about the main character’s sexuality, I feel it important to remind those who ask that the book isn’t focused on that. It’s focused on explosions and flying cars and ray guns.
I did not set out to defend lesbianism. I don’t claim to, I don’t even think it’s this book’s place to try. But some readers feel that representation is important, and others feel that representation without comment is also important. When I reply to those readers, I’m happy to clarify that this book features a few gay characters without further comment on their sexuality.
I’m very sorry that you feel minimized by that. It’s not in any way designed to minimize you or your sexuality. It’s meant to treat it realistically, and that means when you’re shooting bad guys and blowing up bridges, you’re not polluting the book with ruminations about the main character’s love life.
I hope this at least explains why I’ve posted what I have and clarifies that it’s not my intent to minimize lesbianism in any way. More than that I hope you’ll take a look at the novel so you can see that it’s not de-sexualizing its character in any way, and that you’ll consider the offending posts in context- As tumblr messages and replies about a subject that’s not the focus of the book.
Sort of like if people kept writing to J.K. Rowling to ask about Harry’s heterosexuality. It’s there and it factors into the books, but she’d no doubt prefer readers read the book on the merits of the world and story she’s created. Harry’s straight, but the books are about him. Not him being straight.
Violet’s gay, but the story is about her. Not her being gay. If every book about a gay character had to focus on the fact they’re gay, that would be far more minimizing by suggesting that gays are defined exclusively by their sexuality.
Sorry if this post is longer than you hoped, I just want to be very clear on my intent. Which is not to minimize or erase lesbianism, here or in the novel.
I really hope you’ll give the novel a chance. I think you’ll find it very respectful and complete.
“While Hardee’s told us recently that you have to literally become a man to enjoy a burger, Veet’s new ad campaign warns us that women will literally become men without their wax strips. And, again, that isn’t what the ads imply – which obviously wouldn’t be all that rare for a body hair removal product. The campaign’s tagline is “Don’t risk dudeness!” and features a few different videos showing women whose one-day-old stumble has turned them into men being shamed by a paramedic, taxi driver, and even a professional salon worker. Yep, just one day will do it, ladies! The whole thing is vaguely transphobic, relying on the idea that “dudeness” is determined by body hair and that there’s something inherently funny about a man in a dress. And the ad featuring a disgusted boyfriend above throws in some homophobia — “Eww, two guys in bed together, gross!” – for good measure.
Of course, the irony of Veet’s campaign is that the very existence of its product undermines the idea that there is anything naturally “womanly” about a hairless body. Most men and women have some body hair. (If this is news to you, I hope you are someday blessed with the chance to see the range of bodies that exist outside the fantasy world of porn.) The cultural norm that leads many women to remove that hair, while men typically do not, is pretty much arbitrary — and one that necessitates some artificial intervention by razor, cream, laser, or, say, Veet’s wax strips.”—Having body hair will literally turn you into a dude, according to Veet’s new ad campaign (via brutereason)