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Post By
little kon-el

In Reply To

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Subj: So what about Wally West makes him inherently white?
Posted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 at 11:07:45 pm EST (Viewed 7 times)
Reply Subj: Some are, actually.
Posted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 at 07:30:30 pm EST (Viewed 367 times)

Previous Post

    I thought it would be obvious that Wally was black when Wally is related to Iris (now we know that Wally is her brother in the show). I think some diversity is needed, if only because there's diversity out there and these shows should reflect that diversity. Barry is from the Silver Age. There's very little diversity in the silver age. So why not recast someone of color in a heroic role?

I am against Iris being black for the same reasons I'm against any black actor playing a white character and vice versa. If the original source material (the comics, in this case) has a white character like Iris West (or Wally West) being played by a black actor, an Asian actor, a Mexican actor, etc, it violates the original source material. That's why I was against Tom Hardy as Bane, he was of the wrong ethnicity, that's why I'm against Ezra Miller as Barry Allen because Barry isn't Asian, that's why I was against Johnny Depp playing an Indian because he's not an Indian despite being adopted into an Indian tribe, the list goes on.

On the other side of the coin, could you imagine the Black Panther being played by a white man as well as the entire country of Wakanda? I can't and I certainly would be against that. Black Panther is black, not white. Why? Because T'Challa is black according to the original source material. And that is something that should NOT be broken on a whim like this.

I'm fine with diversity, it can be a good thing if used right but a bad thing if it's abused. If these shows want black characters, bring them up I say. However, there is NO need to change the ethnic background of some characters who have been white for decades or longer simply because diversity is needed. Want diversity? Then create a new character, it's not that hard. Changing a character's race is taking the easy way out because the background, Powers (if any) family members, character history, etc, are already there and no one has to spend time working on those things. But with a newly created character, someone has to sit down and actually work on everything about that character. For someone who loves creating characters, it can be a very fun exercise and worth while (I have experience in this, so I know what I'm talking about). But for someone who doesn't want to create an original character won't like the process and for them it'll be hard work.

There are plenty of black characters in the comics that are sitting un-used at DC comics when it comes to Live Action. John Henry Irons AKA Steel, Black Lightning, Static Shock, John Stewart, just to name a few and yet not one of them has made a live-action appearance aside from Steel. These showrunners wanting black characters can dig from those characters not being used and yet they never do. THey would rather change the ethnic background of some of our favorite characters instead and I, for one, will ALWAYS be against that because it's completely unnecessary. Period.

So, when the showrunners have a black man (or woman) playing a character who is white in the comics, it violates the original source material. And that is something that should never be done because it's not making me think the character has leaped out of the pages of a comic.

Can you imagine Abraham Lincoln being played by an Asian man? Or perhaps JFK being played by a black man or maybe George Washington being played by a Mexican? I can't. And yet we love staying true to historic people with movies based on them and yet we treat comic shows and movies so loosely? Why? Why can't these showrunners show the same dedication to making their movies and shows just as important as casting actors who at least TRY to resemble historical people? Some rules need to be clearly established here.

If I offended anyone with this post or any post I've done concerning this issue, I apologize.

I mean, Black Panther, I can understand as an African King. Luke Cage is a Black Man because a huge part of his identity is that he's a take-off of Blacksploitation cinema in the 1970s.

But what about Wally West is "white?"

I always liked Tanaka Rei/Flash from Marv Wolfman's Legends of the DCU issue because it was such a weird fit that worked for a character. Being someone who was Asian, I could identify with Tanaka Rei in a way that I know I didn't with Barry Allen.

Being Asian wasn't his defining characteristic. It was just a part of the character that made him seem more relatable because I knew Japanese-Americans like Tanaka Rei.

I don't mind blind ethicity casting when ethnicity is irrelevant to the character. It would make any sense to make Abraham Lincoln Black or Black Panther white because race and ethnicity define both characters in specific ways. I don't know why, but while I know Wally is a white guy, his "whiteness" is not definitive to his character.

To each his or her own, but I believe you lock yourself out of some great stuff if you only see it as a "white" or "ethnic other" part. In these long-running TV Shows, you end up losing out on great actors if you adhere strictly to the original intent of the comic book.

- l.k.

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