12.05.2010

The Fox

(Thanks, Student of the World!)

Speaking of characters written and drawn as black women then changed to non-black women come filmin' time, let's talk about The Fox, a svelte, brown-skinned assassin from the Wanted comics.

From AfroGeeks, by way of Racialicious (damn it...everyone knew about this drama except for Moi):
OK, You all know I try not to take this media shit with much seriousness. I mean manipulation of images is fun and cool and all but its not that serious, right? Freaking wrong. Step 1, Mark Millar, bad ass comic book man puts out a bad ass super villain comic called Wanted, a few years ago. It was super dope. Main female villain is a Catwoman knock off dyed bronze named The Fox. Hot like fire and black, or at least Puerto Rican, right? Like a young Eartha Kitt. So how come Angelina Jolie has the part in the movie? What the hell is going on Hollywood? She is not black! And I know its some pasty faced producer in some high class Hollywood hotel suite snorting enough blow to kill an elephant that lifts his head up right before he has a heart attack and says “Hey guys, Fuck a black chick, they have too much attitude anyway. How about we get Angelina Jolie? She was like Tomb Raider.” That shit for brains passes out but his coca induced fantasy lives on. Can you leave the good black parts for the good black actors. Or at least stop making bad black actors play good white roles (See the Kingpin in the Daredevil movie to know what I’m talking about.)
Goddamn, y'all. *rubs temples*

First of all, the main excuse is that "Halle Berry was the model for the character of The Fox, but she ruined her comics cred when she played Catwoman. One of the writers apparently rewrote the screenplay in order to tailor the role to Angelina Jolie instead. I'm still torn about whether that was a good choice or not" (The Nerdy Bird). Uh...torn about what? This is bullshit.  I used to be a Jolie fan for her edgey roles and her bad-ass 'tude, but the racebending has got to fucking stop.  White women are overrepresented in film, and the best Jolie has to say for herself is, "I know that people are frustrated at the lack of great roles [for people of color], but I think they’ve picked the wrong example here" (Racialicious).

Seriously?

You want to pass on Halle Berry for this role?  Fine.  Okay.  Sure.  I hate when Hollywood finds that one light-skinned black actress or singer to focus on and saturate the living hell out of the market with to 1) shut black people up about representation, and 2) use it as an exuse to go back to white saturation when people start getting sick of them.  Right now is Halle and Beyonce.  Soon Zoe Saldana shall be joining their ranks now that we're starting to see more of her...you know, everywhere.  Rosario Dawson made the mistake of doing the cringetastic Alexander, which oddly enough saved her from this fate, but still...she would have made a good Fox.

And so would Sydney Tamiia Poitier (left).  Both she and Rosario showed they had enough sass and spunk in Tarantino's Death Proof.  So what the hell stopped them from casting one of them?

These films are ruining fandom.  They are driving away fans of color, and they discourage potential fans (such as Moi) from even bothering to look into these comics.  Once again, nerds aren't upset with these characters being of color.  X-men's Storm has been idolized since the 1960s, along with Uhura of the Star Trek franchise.  Fans have worshiped them devoutly and without fail all these years.  The market craves characters like these, and Hollywood is destroying what they represent and accomplish in fandom.

Honestly, I blame the books.  Their writers' don't stop to add a "no-racebending clause" when they sign over the rights to their works.  They're not filing lawsuits, and they're rolling over and playing the apologist's role when fans hold them accountable.  They all say the same, "We had no control/not our idea/blah blah blah" excuses.

Um, you're the creator.  You own the copyright.  If you're trying to make a quick buck in Hollywood, then for fuck's sake, just say so.  No, we won't forgive you, but at least there will be no pretense between us.

37 comments:

  1. Honestly, I blame the books. Their writers' don't stop to add a "no-racebending clause" when they sign over the rights to their works. They're not filing lawsuits, and they're rolling over and playing the apologist's role when fans hold them accountable. They all say the same, "We had no control/not our idea/blah blah blah" excuses.

    ^This. I remember reading about a book (or was it a comic) where the lead character was black or another POC (can you tell how shot my memory has gotten thanks to college?). A major Hollywood studio came a-sniffing, and they wanted to make a film based on the book. With one condition, of course *drum roll* - that the lead character be changed to white. The creator told them a polite 'f*ck no!', and walked with his project intact.

    Unfortunately, not a lot of us are as principled as that creator. I say 'us', because there are too many examples of black people selling out their products or themselves for a fat cheque today with little regard for consequences and repercussions down the line.

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  2. Unfortunately, not a lot of us are as principled as that creator. I say 'us', because there are too many examples of black people selling out their products or themselves for a fat cheque today with little regard for consequences and repercussions down the line.

    *nods emphatically* Besides as far principles go Mark Millar doesn't really have them. This is the same guy who wrote homosexuality out of the Greek Spartans (300 b.c. and yes Mark they practiced homosexuality and pederestry too, wasn't just the Athenians. They actually praised homosexuality for the bonds that it created between men)

    I still hold out hope of one day having my television series made. It will retell slavery, realistically, but I will make white actors play the slaves and black actors play the plantation owners.

    How is that for whitewashing? ^^

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  3. Girl, I know exactly what you mean. One of the reasons why I'm getting so freaking sick of the movies. Excellent post.

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  4. See? This is why I gave up on TV/Film 10 years ago. This sh*t gets my blood pressure up like nobody's business. The F*ck is this mess? Huh? Why do we always have to go through this? (rhetorical)

    I feel like smashing something right now. It makes me so angry to see this constant tidal wave of nonsense. They always turn to Jolie, who acts as if her adoption of colored kids, makes her above reproach.

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  5. Why do I get the feeling Jolie wishes she was a person of color...you know?

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  6. @ Ankh - I think she is equal parts "I want to be a poor person of color" (cuz we are all such victims, dig?) AND "I enjoy being a White Savior" for all you helpless colored folk. She makes my f*ckin' blood boil.

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  7. @ Lenoxave - Perfectly stated. PERFECTLY. It's a fantasy for her. Remember the abomination that was Beyond Borders?

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  8. *If you can't join them, beat them.*

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  9. @ Ankh - I've never seen "Beyond Borders". Anytime I see white ppl and Africa associated, I check out. I gather it was awful.

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  10. "Beyond Borders"...is that the one where, um...*trying not to spoil it* her character took a wrong step and paid for it?

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  11. On my netflix I mostly have foreign films and documentaries. It saves me time for when the popular (foreign) ones are remade in America, I can stop myself from going to a movie thats already been done better in another language. I almost will never see book to film adaptations in a theatre except once in a blue.

    Angelina Jolie seems like she's one of those liberals who make toys out of minorities. Not knocking her Zahara adoption but I hate this game they play with POCs. There were no black or asian children in the US she could foster or adopt? I guess the red tape involved in adoption is longer here than in other countries like Malawi but people forget the fact that poverty is bad here too. There are plenty of Children who need a good home, and with all her money I'm sure she could've found a way around the red tape if she was really that determined to adopt. I have a friend who works in social services, and people act like adoption is so difficult, it's a process but it can be done if you just want a child. She said most people that can afford to use adoption agencies are looking for a specific type of child and that's why they have to wait so long. I commend her efforts nevertheless, I think she has the best intentions but if it were me I would adopt from the US before I went outside of it.

    Ditto with Ophra and her school.

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  12. I honestly don't think Jolie can act that well, either. She was good in Girl Interrupted but when she's not playing basically an alter ego of herself it's usually not convincing. All her popular films Tomb Raider, Mr. And Mrs. Smith she plays a edgy counter culture tragic bad girl. Once she steps out of her comfort zone, it really down't work. Not every actor can play every role. Some can but, she isn't one of them.

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  13. Oh Ahnk you're so welcome! Nice to know my blathering does some good once in awhile!

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  14. Huh... Never knew Fox was black, never read the comic. Hell the Mortal Kombat characters Ankh mentioned, I didn't notice either. Actually I was concentrating on beating my brother into submission or we play teams and beat the computer into submission. It made me notice this though...
    Impa was black... albeit not in the very early ones, but she is now (Ocarina of Time) Keep her that way, she kicks ass AND is a sage.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBCzkz3gHb8

    This trailer is fake btw, it was a prank for April fools. Still though.

    http://www.zeldawiki.org/Impa

    I did it right and I was in high school. Got a A on that and did everything by hand. NO time t color, I will redo later.

    http://callistoyouko.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d6sj5z

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  15. Janus was black too. We can leave her white.

    http://www.amazon.com/Wanted-Mark-Millar/dp/1582404976

    I want Fox's pants. I can get the body. I am not wearing those heels on the terrain in Korea.

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  16. One more. Fox had more clothes on and she turned all the guys heads away from the other girl.

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  17. Neil Gaiman wrote the novel Anansi Boys with two black lead characters. When Hollywood wanted to change the characters to white leads, Gaiman turned them down.

    -Grateful-

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  18. I wonder if Gaiman was the guy I read about? Either way, YAY HIM! *London Tipton clap*

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  19. I saw Wanted, but since I never read the comic book, I didn't know the character of Fox was supposed to be a black woman. I'm not surprised at this though. Hollywood does this mess all the damn time. The Last Airbender anyone? Or Dragonball Evolution. Or the Imitation of Life. Or A Mighty Heart (another Jolie film, btw). I'm surprised they didn't try to make Alex Cross white (of James Patterson novel franchise fame).

    One of the only good things to come out of the crapfest that was The Last Airbender was that fans--both black, white and in between--protested loudly at the racebending that went on in that film. (I'm still tickled pink that the movie both sucked and didn't make much of a profit.)

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  20. Janus was black too. We can leave her white.

    Alas...but we have to remain consistent.

    One of the only good things to come out of the crapfest that was The Last Airbender was that fans--both black, Asians, and in between--protested loudly at the racebending that went on in that film.

    Amen, baby.

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  21. @ DN - does Fox have cornrows in that pic? While workin' da pole?

    Oh, no...can't have that in no film.

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  22. (I'm still tickled pink that the movie both sucked and didn't make much of a profit.)

    Oooh, me too. Heheheheh. >:D

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  23. *nods*

    And to think some people believe karma's just a myth.

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  24. W-O-W I don't know why I was surprised by this....I too saw Wanted and I too did not know Fox was black or looked black loordy geeze! I must admit I did not pay attention to half of this mess until I found this blog (shame oh shame just tired of being angry I suppose)btw hollywood and "fan girls" got what they wanted (since they had such a problem with Mikka) did anyone see "warrior's way" all I can say is this is what you get for hating on Ninja Assasin

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  25. @ asummermoon - I saw a clip, and from the way my die-hard ninja/martial arts friends (male & female) ripped it, I doubt I'll be seeing that in the cinemas at all.

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  26. @ asummermoon

    I know how you feel. I feel like I should know this stuff, considering how much time I spend on the blogosphere.

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  27. @ asummermoon

    me too

    I knew it was a graphic novel but i didn't know she was black. I only watched the movie for one scene, and it was when he smacks dude in the face with the keyboard.


    I read the reviews for warrior's way and they were kind of harsh.

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  28. @Cinnamon, if you watch the original 1934 version of "Imitation of Life" they actually hired a Black female for the role, which is kind of ironic considering I'm sure racial tension was stronger back then that it was in 1959 when the remake was made.

    I also had no idea Fox was supposed to be Black. It just makes me glad I didn't go see it (and I had every intention to)). Won't be paying to watch it now. Heck, I wouldn't even bother pirating it now :/ It makes me so mad when there's actual roles meant for POC, a White person gets the job anyway.

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  29. Oh yeah I remeber this a few years back and was pissed. Pissed becasue of defenders trying to say "Oh Halle Berry is black and she played Catwoman who is white." Number 1 No the same black woman are not often represented in these types film genres. #2 See Eartha Kitt. She played Catwoman on those old Batman shows she was black and she could purr really well too.

    Another racebender see Tekken movie. Christie Monterio is a Afro Brazillian, yet in the movie she was a white woman with blonde hair! How they hell are you going to do that?

    You never see black women in these fighting games but when I saw Christie and she was doing capoeria I had a big smile my friend Eva was even happier becasue she too is Afro-Brazillian. But then the cast was revealed. So...they couldn't find a black woman who does capoeria? Eva's sister looks like Christie but with black hair. Hell Sydney Portier even looks like Christie.

    All this racism is slowly killing me on the inside

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  30. Please don't get me started on this bullshizz; I was having a semi-decent day, in fact.

    Because this shizz! THIS SHIZZ! EPIC!FAIL like a mofo!

    That is all.

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  31. Neil Gaiman wrote the novel Anansi Boys with two black lead characters. When Hollywood wanted to change the characters to white leads, Gaiman turned them down.


    PS: I OWN THAT BOOK. Shizz is AWESOME! I mean, I didn't like the main character..I liked his brother for obvious reasons, if read the book, but it was still a good read. Neil Gaiman is fearless and a visionary, from the works of his that I've been exposed to so far (Mirrormask is a must see for people who love art and CGI and modern fairy tales) hands down.

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  32. Oh, and sorry for the triple post, but if you want to talk about RACE!FAIL in white people getting the roles of POC characters, please check out the FAIL!FAIL!FAIL!EPIC!FAIL of Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea. Sci-Fi made it into a movie, and when I found out, I was too too excited, and then I found out the casting for the main character. See, the main character is *clearly* a person of color, but they made him...you guessed it...white, blonde and blue-eyed. Even Ms. LeGuin was pissed off about the film because she specifically made the character POC because of the environment she set the world of Earthsea in: desert, hot, savannas, etc. But, the way Hollyweird works is that once a studio gets the rights to your works, there's very few ways for you to actually fight what they want to do with it. Sometimes, an author just can't win, and this instance, she didn't.

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  33. Oh yeah I remeber the whole Earthsea thing, I have been writing and drawing a graphic novel on and off since I was 13 which has people of colour as main characters. I would turn it into a movie myself where I direct and get final say on all of the shit. I don't care if it's selfish no one is fucking with my babies. (Yes I'm very attached to my characters I created them so they are my children. And yes I know I am weird lol)

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