Casting announced for Jem and the Holograms. comments on the post are pretty damn stupid, as most are complaining that Shana and Aja are white-washed but express themselves terribly.
Question: Is it white-washing to cast biracial actors in these roles? Most comments are arguing that the actors chosen are white, when they’re biracial (or multi-ethnic — whichever is most apt).
I do agree that Shana’s skintone was darker in the show than the actor cast and there’s a huge issue with dark skinned actors/models/etc being looked over for lighter counterparts in roles.
That said, there’s also a massive issue for anyone who is biracial or of a multi-ethnic background where people in other groups say “oh, sorry, you’re not [insert culture/ethnicity/race] enough”.
Does that mean Aurora Perrineau can only play biracial characters (this seems silly)? Or is the argument that if Shana has darker skin, then the actor cast should reflect that so little girls who have dark skin see themselves in her (this, unlike the comments on that blog post, is a good argument).
If the argument is that Hollywood often casts biracial actors further supporting the idea that anyone without some whiteness in them is an “other”, then I am interested as all hell in the argument.
If the argument is that Hayley Kiyoko “isn’t Asian enough”, then I think whomever holds this idea has serious issues about identity when it comes to ethnicity. Would having two Japanese parents be enough (she’s mixed, but you gather my point, right?)? Or does she have to speak Japanese too? Would “Asian enough” mean she was born in Japan? Or is it cool if her grandparents moved here before her parents were born?
Aja is described only as “Asian-American”. I am unsure if the show explored her heritage in any way, as the Holograms were all foster kids.
As a pasty white girl with european ancestry, I have no horse in this race and get my understanding of how complex these issues are from women of color that are my friends (note that still doesn’t mean I have a horse in this race — this is not my issue personally, but I want to understand how those that it directly affects feel about it). As intersectionality is fucking important, however, I don’t want good arguments to be undone by dumbass commenters on a blog.
I am so damn happy to not see four white girls cast, as that’d be so untrue to the show, but just because this is progress doesn’t mean they did it perfectly. So #realtalk this one out.
Do you like the casting choices?
Do you think casting a biracial/multi-ethnic actor is white-washing?
Why are these actors so young and I am now so old?