Deadline reported Monday that actor Will Smith has been cast to play Serena and Venus Willams’ father in a new biopic about the tennis stars, and some leftists are not happy about it. Apparently, Smith, a black man, is not black enough to play Richard Willams.
Sports reporter Clarence Hill Jr., for example, was disappointed about the casting of Smith because “[c]olorism matters.”
“Colorism matters…love [W]ill Smith but there are other black actors for this role,” said Hill in a tweet posted Monday. The post has racked up well over 2,000 likes.
Colorism matters..love will Smith but there are other black actors for this role https://t.co/qrV1QuBiJH
— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) March 5, 2019
“Why is he always cast in roles portraying dark skin men like there aren’t tons of black actors that would make more sense for the role?” asked another aggrieved Twitter user.
Why is he always cast in roles portraying dark skin men like there aren’t tons of black actors that would make more sense for the role? https://t.co/1VcZyCmwTK
— Pikliz Papi (@so_rudez) March 5, 2019
Another posted: “?? was mahershala [Ali] not available or any other darker skinned male actor ever??”
?? was mahershala not available or any other darker skinned male actor ever?? https://t.co/tBNwgxl8hj
— e (@futiledevicesx) March 5, 2019
“Scarlett Johansson might as well play Venus with this kind of mess casting,” mocked Philadelphia-based writer Candis R. McLean.
Scarlett Johansson might as well play Venus with this kind of mess casting https://t.co/GmDItxrjJm
— Candis R McLean (@CandisRMcLean) March 5, 2019
Johansson was cast to play a transgender character in a new film called “Rub and Tug,” but was pressured to withdraw from the role in July after similar social justice backlash was unleashed.
The famous actress told Out Magazine that she “decided to respectfully withdraw” from the film due to “ethical questions raised surrounding” her casting:
In light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting as Dante Tex Gill, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my participation in the project. Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues. According to GLAAD, LGBTQ+ characters dropped 40% from 2017 from the previous year, with no representation of trans characters in any major studio release. While I would have loved the opportunity to bring Dante’s story and transition to life, I understand why many feel he should be portrayed by a transgender person, and I am thankful that this casting debate, albeit controversial, has sparked a larger conversation about diversity and representation in film. I believe that all artists should be considered equally and fairly. My production company, These Pictures, actively pursues projects that both entertain and push boundaries. We look forward to working with every community to bring these most poignant and important stories to audiences worldwide.
“This will mean that the film likely receives far less distribution if it is even made at all,” Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro pointed out at the time of Johansson’s surrender. “But at least the groupthink in Hollywood continues to grow in strength.”
“This is asinine in the fullest sense,” argued Shapiro. “First off, Johansson is a biological woman playing a man; transgender advocates say that only a biological woman who believes she is a man can play a biological woman playing a man. Presumably, then, only a gay man should be able to play a gay man, since a straight man playing a gay man doesn’t actually believe he’s a gay man. The same should hold true for straight men as well. For that matter, only a person who believes he is Superman should actually be able to play Superman; anything less represents ‘stealing’ a narrative. Second, Hollywood would presumably not demand that a biological cisgender woman play a biological cisgender woman on screen. If Laverne Cox wanted to play Harriet Tubman, the Left would praise that casting as pure genius, in all likelihood. So the standard only holds in one direction.”