Tag Archives: gabrielle union

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Marvel, Please Cast An Asian-American Iron Fist

By Guest Contributor Keith Chow, cross-posted from The Nerds of Color

Yes, I am proposing that a major comic book institution change the race of one of its popular characters as it transitions to a new form of media. In this case, I want Marvel Studios to cast an Asian American actor to play the lead in the upcoming Iron Fist show it is developing for Netflix. It seems logical enough to me, though as always, there are fans who are urging Marvel to resist changing his race.

Now, I know the topic of cross-racial casting has come up time andtime again here at The Nerds of Color. And while there are a contingent of fans who don’t think such things matter — or worse, arevehemently opposed to such casting choices — I can’t help thinking that Iron Fist gives Marvel a chance to add even more diversity to its interconnected cinematic universe. Not to mention that this is a case where changing the race of the character has the potential to actually add layers of depth to the story of said character.

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“Your Women Are Oppressed, But Ours Are Awesome”: How Nicholas Kristof And Half The Sky Use Women Against Each Other

By Guest Contributor Sayantani DasGupta

I just saw the most problematic image on Facebook. It was a photo of four blonde female pilots in combat gear with the caption, Hey Taliban, look up in the sky! Your women can’t drive, but ours CAN!

Despite the issues I have with militarism, or this country’s campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, I’m all for cheering for female pilots (yea, bada&& flying ladies!). What I can’t just can’t stand by and let slide is this “your women are oppressed, but ours are awesome” rhetoric, a rhetoric which only illuminates how–both actually and metaphorically–racism, xenophobia, and imperialism so often play out on women’s bodies around the world.

To me, this photo represents how blithely and blindly women from the Global North allow ourselves to be used as (actual and metaphorical) weapons of war against women from the Global South. In fact, that offensive caption isn’t significantly different from comments I’ve been hearing this week like, “These are countries where women have very little value.”

Sadly, the place where I’ve been hearing such phrases isn’t on some conservative TV program or website (where I think that all-woman pilot photo originated), but rather, on the PBS film Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women, a well-publicized neo-liberal “odyssey through Asia and Africa” hosted by everyone’s favorite white savior New York Times reporter, Nikolas Kristof.
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Quotable: Gabrielle Union on Rihanna’s ‘Man Down’ video

Saw “Man Down” by Rihanna. Every victim/survivor of rape is unique, including how they THINK they’d like justice to be handed out. During my rape I tried to shoot my rapist, but I missed. Over the years I realized that killing my rapist would’ve added insult to injury. The DESIRE to kill someone who abused/raped you is understandable, but unless it’s self defense in the moment to save your life, [it] just ADDS to your troubles #mandown. I repeat, SELF DEFENSE to save yourself/protect yourself, I’m ALL for. Otherwise victim/survivor taking justice into your own hands with violence equals more trouble for you!! The “Man Down” video did a GREAT job of getting the entire world talking about rape. I hope that leads to healing and prevents rape.
- Via The Root

Where is the Black Julia Roberts? Part 1: Top Actresses 2000-2010

By Guest Contributor Aymar Jean Christian, cross-posted from Televisual

The “black actress” stepped into the spotlight last year, as Nia Long called out Beyoncé Knowles and other singers for taking roles; Tyler Perry released yet another film starring newcomer Taraji P. Henson; and Precious gave its stars, especially Mo’Nique, a chance to shine.

The November 5 release of Perry’s For Colored Girls puts the issue of black women in cinema back into the national conversation — even if it fails to redeem Tyler Perry. So I decided to posit an answer to the question: where are all the black leading ladies? Below: 1) why this question?, 2) a list, 3) the state of the black leading lady, and 4) how I came up with the current crop.

I. Where is the Black Julia Roberts? One Route to an Answer

Easier asked than answered! The question is really more provocation than anything. At a certain point, comparison between races is irrelevant: is Will Smith the “white” anyone? He’s Will Smith! The question, however, does open up an interesting discussion. Julia Roberts, like Meryl Streep, can do a lot: from Duplicity and Eat Pray Love to, now, August: Osage County. Roberts can choose her roles and she almost always plays the lead. What black actress could do the same, now or in the near future? The real issue leads us to ask: of the potential black leading ladies today, who is on top, who isn’t panning out, and why?

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No Future For You: The Last Racialicious Roundtable For FlashForward

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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FlashForward sold itself on the promise that it could become the next Lost. Instead, it bowed out as ignomiously as Heroes, canceled after only one year, and guilty of the same major sin: failing to capitalize on a multi-cultural ensemble.

But this show actually blundered on a greater scale than Heroes – not only was it created by sci-fi faves Brannon Braga and David S. Goyer, but its’ primary POC players – John Cho, Courtney B. Vance, Gabrielle Union, Michael Ealy and Barry Shabaka Henley – were already known quantities going into the show. In a disturbing omen, you had Cho coming off Star Trek and two successful Harold & Kumar movies, but still in second-banana status behind Joseph Fiennes, who hadn’t had a hit in any medium in more than a decade. Fiennes didn’t do himself many favors with the mostly listless character of Mark Benford, who only seemed to come alive until after his marriage dissolved sloooooowwwwwlllyyyyyyy over the course of the season. Worse yet, the creative team chose to shunt these actors and their characters to the background and burn screen time on nothing characters like Aaron Stark; a pair of Magic Autistic Saviors; and star-crossed, bird-brained near-lovers (more on them later), among others.

chobenford1Not that the series finale, “Future Shock,” didn’t try to redeem its’ ever-beleaguered protagonist, as Mark went into Army of One mode and
ohbytheway finally solved the riddle on his wall – that the show and the series would end with a second flash-forward. In this regard, he got something denied to his his counterparts on more-ballyhooed contemporaries like BSG and Lost – a sense of agency. Here, Mark chose to literally walk into the assault he always knew was coming, and to fight his way out. Similarly, you had Wedeck figure out why his flash-forward had him, literally, on the toilet – because and Vreede chose to go in and save Mark’s ass. (Wedeck, by the way, got the episode’s only “F-CK YEAH” moment in shooting the guy in the bathroom). Continue reading

Face The Music: The Racialicious Roundtable For FlashForward 1.21

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

You know what might’ve made “The Countdown” a little easier to handle? Just one more word in the title:

But seriously, this was your standard “darkest before the dawn” episode, where everybody battled the Determinism blues before next week’s Big Finish. While we’re waiting to see if this follows the finale trend set by BSG and now Lost, the Roundtable focused in on one specific plot thread: the final descent of Demetri.

demdoor1So, you had Demetri finally ‘fessing up to Zoey. Props to John Cho for mustering up the right amount of groveling and contrition for the moment. But it left Dem having to hitch his wagon to Janis and Simon of all people. Your take?
Andrea: I thought Gabrielle Union also brought the right amount of heartbrokenness, incredulousness, indignation, and upset to the scene. All I can say is I’m so happy she dumped Dem’s ass right there then took her freshly done sun-kissed weave and went to Hawaii with her parentals. As for Dem’s infidelity leading to his having to hang with Janis and Simon: Fuck him.
Mahsino: 1.) I hated her highlights, they should’ve been a warmer tone. 2.) I almost felt bad for Demetri. It’s like he got 20 points for fessing up before it’s too late, but -1000 when he cheated in the first place. I do like how she brought up how she risked everything for him, I hadn’t even thought of that.
Diana: I thought it was pretty realistic. Really, it made no sense to him to sleep with someone else because he thought he was going to die? That’s when you hold on to those you love the most. So I’m with you, Andrea, fuck him. Highlights or no, the weave was fresh.
jen*: As much love as I have for Cho, I’m beginning to be ok with Demetri eating it in the finale. He should be in something else, anyway. Continue reading

Circling The Drain: The Racialicious Roundtable For FlashForward 1.20

Hosted By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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It wasn’t our fault, promise. Well, at least we don’t think so.

FlashForward officially entered lame-duck status last week, making “The Negotiation” awkward to watch, despite it finally putting its’ players, as Gabriel would say, “where they need to be.” For the first few minutes, watching Wedeck rally the troops – and credit to Courtney B. Vance for making this speech shiny yet not-saccharine – I thought this was the finale. Gang, your thoughts?

Andrea: As much as I had patience with the show to establish itself, another part of me wonders if the creatives thought they had more time to develop the show, considering that far worse shows have been picked up. I guess they forgot they were on ABC, not the CW (or whatever the hell it’s called nowadays).
Mahsino: No Andrea, it wouldn’t have lasted that long on the CW, too many people of color. But yeah, I kept checking IMDB to see if this was the season finale.
Arturo: Y’know, I’m not so sure. The CW lusts after the younger demos enough to think it would’ve been more likely to accept J-Cho as a lead actor vis-a-vis J-Fiennes. And while Smallville is positively bad, the network’s shown a steady hand in letting that fandom develop over the past 10(?!) years.
jen*: It did seem like the finale. But I’m not thinking the CW would go for a show with so many old people … playing old people.
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Dear John: The Racialicious Roundtable For FlashForward 1.16

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

He smokes, he sings, he stares down paranoids … “Let No Man Put Asunder” was all about Demetri. Kind of odd, in that an ep named after something you hear at weddings focused nearly exclusively on the groom, but what the heck – the Roundtable didn’t mind him being the focal point of an episode. Mark who?

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I guess we should’ve known something big was up when Demetri both talked down *and* shot up the Lone Gunman there all by his lonesome.
Andrea: Demetri is full of awesome sauce, full stop, with a caveat. (I’ll address this shortly.) And it’s about time the writers start realizing who the show’s emotional center is….and it isn’t Mark Shakespeare.
jen*: Dem is awesome – no doubt. I could definitely see him carrying the show from here on.
Diana: Dem’s the man.
Mahsino: I dunno, I hate reckless, illogical thought processes more than I love Dem. When he was doing that I could help but think, wouldn’t it be a bitch if he gets shot here and dies the next day? Continue reading