'The Hobbit': Casting agent dismissed after seeking extras with 'light skin tones'

Lord-Rings-HobbitsImage Credit: Everett CollectionA casting agent working on director Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit was fired from the production after placing ads in a regional New Zealand newspaper seeking extras with “light skin tones,” according to Agence France-Presse. The casting agent was also reported to have told a prospective background extra, a woman of Pakistani heritage named Naz Humphreys, that she wasn’t suitable to play a Hobbit because of her skin color. According to The Waikato Times, video footage shows the casting agent telling people at an audition, “We are looking for light-skinned people. I’m not trying to be … whatever. It’s just the brief. You’ve got to look like a Hobbit.” A spokesman for Jackson’s production company told Agence France-Presse that the casting director, who was contracted by the film, was never directed to make any restrictions based on skin color. “No such instructions were given,” the spokesman said. “The crew member in question took it upon themselves to do that and it’s not something we instructed or condoned,” adding, “It’s something we take very seriously.”

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  • caroline

    because the cast in LOTR weren’t the whitest people ever seen onscreen (alabaster, literally), except for the Orcs.

    • Eva

      He better not get hired to do a story on Martin Luther King, how would he describe the actor in a casting Ad?

      • Forvel

        Bingo, Bango, Bongo and Irving!

      • sleek

        If casting light skinned people for a part about a light skinned race of people is racist… would it be sexist to want to hire a man to play a man’s part?

      • momo

        Martin Luther King was a black man so Obviously you would need a person of that ethnic background to play him on Tv. Hobbits on the other hand have no ethnic background i.e No where is it mentioned that they are white or brown or pink.. so basically anyone can be a hobbit.

      • dajackg

        Actually, the text of “The Hobbit” DOES say something about the skin tone of hobbits: “They have long, clever, brown fingers, good natured faces, and laugh deep fruity laughs.” So… you know. There’s that.

      • rcasteel

        momo…you might try reading the Hobbit before commenting on it’s contents.

      • Black-N-Irish

        ********************
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        FUNNY HOW THE ARTICLE CLEARLY SAYS “PAKISTANI WOMAN” YET THE SUBJECT JUMPS TO MARTIN LUTHER KING A AFRICAN-AMERICAN AND BLACK PEOPLE IN GENERAL.

        SO, SOMEHOW A MOVIE BEING SHOT IN NEW ZELAND WHERE THERE ARE NEXT TO NO PEOPLE OF AFRICAN DECENT PUTS OUT A CASTING CALL AND A PAKISTANI WOMAN WAS TOLD THAT SHE WAS NOT FIT FOR THE ROLE…

        AND SOMEHOW THAT TRANSLATES TO AFRICAN-AMERICANS AND MARTIN LUTHER KING?????????

        DO YOU NOT SEE A PROBLEM WITH THAT?

        ITS LIKE GETTING ATTACKED BY A BEAR THEN COMPLAINING ABOUT DOG LEASH LAWS.

        JUST LEAVE BLACK PEOPLE OUT OF THIS CONVERSATION, THEY ARE NOT MENTIONED IN THE ARTICLE AT ALL.

        ********************
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      • Irish & Not Dumb

        I am fairly sure there are Aborigines in New Zealand. Heh. Good try though.

      • momo

        @rcasteel: I have read the Hobbit.. and again, no where in it does is say that Hobbits are “white”. Maybe you should go read it.

      • CarmenSo

        I didn’t realize that Martin Luther King was from New Zealand. And Irish and not Dumb are you sure about the not dumb part? Aborigines are to New Zealand that the Sioux Indians are to the United States.

      • JJC

        Actually the Maori people are the native people of New Zealand…excellent try though!

    • Caiti

      You have a point. No racism, but a black hobbit would look oddly out of place. On the other hand, hobbits spend a lot of time out in the sun gardening, etc., why wouldn’t they be a bit darker?

      • ang

        you dont know what it would look like because of racism

      • Justice4All

        I thought that’s why they hire a makeup crew…

      • Isma’il

        your freak dumba**, hobbits aren’t even real, so no one knows there skin color. Kinda like the pictures of Jesus that shows a european, but everybody knows he’s of color

      • Ekim

        @ Isma’il- It is obvious you are Muslim to think Jesus was black however there is proof Adam and Eve were not “of color”. I mean, have YOU ever tried to take a rib from a black man? (hehehe)

      • steph

        @ Ekim – i lol’d

      • Patrick

        @Ekim

        Dang dude, that is stone cold, and I must admit, very funny.

      • JB Cal

        @ Ekim- why would Isma’il have to be black if he thought that Jesus was black? Only blacks think that Jesus was black? Plus, unless there was another post, I saw no where in his post where he said that Jesus was black, only a person of color. Is that code to you for black?

      • steve

        Isma’il is a muslim for 2 reasons: 1) no non-muslim would ever go through life with a name like that, and 2) “of color” does usually mean black

      • KLR

        with the advances in movie makeup and such, that request was uncalled for I dont care what HOBBITS are supposed to look like. Who set the standard for hobit color anyway? Dumb Azz

      • Mega_Deth

        @JB Cal – 1) EVERYONE is “of color”. 2) he said “Muslim”, not “black”.

      • L

        “Of color” means black only if you live in a rural area. When you live in a city of color means black, brown, yellow,etc.

      • miscn

        I’m tired of hearing this argument. Jesus was a Jew from Nazareth. He probably looked….Jewish.

      • Wzrd1

        I find the discussion regarding the name Isma’il fascinating.
        As the first recorded use of that name was that of the son of Abraham, from his wife’s servant woman, at his wife’s insistence, one would assume that a Jew may also have such a name.
        And even UK derived people have used that name over the course of US history.
        But then, one must assume Muslim, because some must always find fault with a faith not their own.
        Now, would Abraham have been “of color”? Well, again, culture and history essentially call the Jews as descendants of Abraham. Arabs consider that as well.
        Note, no mention of a particular religion?
        Now, THESE days, there are essentially two primary varieties of Jew (OK, there are more, but in the genetic sense). Those who are of European descent and those who remained in the middle east (and a few extremely small groups in Asia, SW Asia, etc). Those who remained in the middle east are not prone to favism but ARE olive skinned. The European Jews are more prone to favism, a handful of genetic diseases and are typically NOT olive skinned. The genetic diseases tend to be founder effect diseases. The skin tone and hair color changes secondary to interbreeding with the local gentile population over the course of centuries.
        Hence, one MAY consider the name to be associated with “people of color”, compared to the pale skinned Europeans, but a far cry from an African.
        What all of this has to do with the fictional creatures, Hobbits, I have less than no clue.
        I’m guessing that the objector is saying only a WASP may be a Hobbit…

      • ryanL

        JB CAL said:
        “there is proof Adam and Eve were not of color”

        I’d like to correct you, but I wouldn’t know where t start.

      • Geez

        ryanL, thats code for I want to sound smart but dont know how.

      • chrisp909

        @Wzrd1: I don’t think anyone said Hobbit had to be protestant. There were probably catholic ones too.

      • Thy-Muslim

        You pig-eating pasty faced jack@sses can all kiss my brown @ss. Jesus was a short black guy who managed to pull the ultimate con on every moron who now calls himself a Christian or whatever subgroup derived from Christianity. Just for the hell of it, the d@mn hobbits should end up being f**kin’ Asian.

        And it’s easy to spot the hypocrites here. They are the same people who will be outraged when someone calls a black person “black”, yet here they are making racist remarks towards muslims.

      • Priderockt

        Caiti, you just took the words out of my mouth. And, it makes sense. Most, if not all Hobbits sdo work out in the sun. therefore, they’re going to develope more than a bit of tan. Me? I’m pure straight up caucasion. when I get out in the sun for a decent length of time, I wind up with a really deep tan. the smae would happen with a race of people like the Hobbits.

      • Tiff

        @Thy-Muslim,

        You don’t like being insultd for being Muslim, Well, I don;t like being insulted for being Christian. A REAL Christian would NEVER devalue another person. Jesus, what ever color he was, loved EVERYONE.. even those society deemed un-worthy.
        I don’t know much about the Muslim faith, but I do know that Mohamed was a prophet and that most people of Islamic faith follow his example in treating Jesus as another prophet.. like Moses etc.. he may not be the Son of God in the sense that religion tells us, but we are all Children of God and deserve repect… GOLDEN RULE.. Treat others how you want to be treated!!

      • shoshanish

        @KRL
        um… the person the set the color and everything was tolking, the creator of the book.
        im reading the hobbit now, and hobbits are described as being like short, hairy, WHITE OR SOMETIMES YELLOW men.
        therefore, the normal hobbit was white or yellow, either European or Asian basically, there were no black hobbits, or atleast none of the main characters.

      • Nicholas Givens

        Its a fantasy world created by Toilken, Peter Jackson is making the movie the way Toilken portrayed it in both his books and illustrations. Most people neglect the fact that toilken wasn’t just a writer but also an illustrator and cartographer. If you look at his illustrations hobbits are mainly white in Hobbiton. Which happens to be the only hobbit village in the movie. Hobbits have been described by color on many sites, look it up. Harfoot’s are darker then the other to hobbit families. But Harfoot’s don’t live in Hobbiton. So that being said its not racist its accurate. If a movie with Harfoot’s come out she is welcome to play one and it would be racist for a pale person to play a Harfoot. It’s like saying a white person can play Genghis Khan in the next big motion picture…. Its not historically correct. Regardless to whether the world isn’t real or not, it’s ignorant to change what Toilken worked so hard to make.

    • Keylolo

      I guess black people didnt exist in middle earth either because not one citizen, soldier, peasant was black in the LOTR movies. Not one. Had to be one of the whitest movies ever made considering how many people were in it.

      • tony

        i hate to correct you…but there were black folk in the movie……..riding massive elephants and chucking spears…….maybe they should’ve been excluded ….

      • Lindsay

        Apparently you didn’t watch the movie as most if not all of the orcs were black (take that however you like but there were non-whites in the movie).

      • Christina

        Dear o dear,
        The orcs are NOT people. Anyway this is silly, because in the movies you are (as an actor) always “type” cast, accoring to what you look like. That is NOT racism.

      • Tom

        I guess history was racist too, as there were very few black people in Europe throughout most of its history.

        Middle Earth was imagined as an alternate history of Europe, guys. Yes, there were blacks and dark skinned people, but they all lived far to the east, and had mostly been conquered by Sauron. I guess next you’ll be calling 300 racist because there weren’t any black Greeks, and the Persian army was full of multicolored people (and they were the “bad” guys).

      • BlackIrish4094

        so what, it’s a fantasy novel written by an English guy and made into film. Every story doesn’t need black actors, there are many all-black productions of both plays and films with no cries of racism.

      • Squeezebox

        JRR Tolkien was an Englishman who wrote based on people he would have found in England. Middle Earth is simply a re-mapped Europe, and the languages are variations on European languages. He never intended his hobbits to be black.

      • Ross

        thats alright i’m white, and I am going to try out for the lead role in the new shaft movie. Retards seriously.

      • Shenita Battle

        Some of the ORCS were of dark skin

      • NuhUh

        Are you people seriously debating the skin color of FICTIONAL CHARACTERS?!?!? Really?! What’s next? A debate over why there were no brown Ogre’s in Shrek? A riveting discussion dissecting the cultural significance of having only blue Smurfs? siiiigh. Seriously folks?!?!

        This explains so much about the state of the world.

      • Mr Mister

        @NuhUh – That was one the funniest posts I’ve ever read! Thank you.

      • Cygnus

        tony, that made me laugh so hard, and it’s true.

      • JD

        @Tom – what do you know about Europe? Black people have been throughout Europe for centuries. try the Moors for example? Read a book. Just because you don’t see black people put in pseudo-historical hollywood movies doesn’t mean they weren’t there. For people who think it’s odd to see a brown or black face in a Hobbit movie, then you need to ask yourselves why is it odd to see a person of color in a place of fantasy?!!!

      • John

        @ Keylolo
        Tue 11/30/10 8:14 AMI guess black people didnt exist in middle earth either because not one citizen, soldier, peasant was black in the LOTR movies. Not one. Had to be one of the whitest movies ever made considering how many people were in it.

        Please take a look at the third filkm of the series: The return of the king. Southrons, men of Khand, Corsairs of Umbar: all coloured.

      • Dan

        Black people do exist in Middle Earth, in a land beyond the sea called Harad. Tolkien in one chapter describe them as “black men like half-trolls with white eyes and red tongues”. You can see one of them falling of an elephant in ROTK, where Faramir turn him over. Tolkien however never wrote any stories of the men from Harad as far as I know.

    • chase

      Duh! Guys if you ever read LOTR you would understand that Tokien was a racist. Look up Black Númenóreans. BTW, I am black.

      • Bobbie

        The Black Numenoreans were not people of color, dope. There is no proof that Tolkien was a racist. The reason many of the peoples of Middle-earth are depicted light skinned (Jackson’s films are not the only adaptations to do so) is because Tolkien made it very clear that Middle-earth and the cultures that existed there were based on ancient and Medieval Europe. People of color weren’t exactly commonplace in Europe during those periods. There is certainly no reason why Jackson couldn’t cast people of color in his films (it is a fantasy after all), but Tolkien based his work on historical and ethnographic scholarship. Don’t accuse him of wrong-doing based solely on your own baseless misinterpretation of one word.

      • Justice4All

        @ Toney….”Chucking Spears”? I see no matter how old one gets, they can never shake ignorance.

      • CricKet

        Chase…no black person is named “Chase” (for obvious reasons! LOL LOL)

      • red dragon

        @ Justice4all… they were “chucking spears” in the movie. just fyi you may want to watch it before calling someone else ignorant!

      • Mike R

        The Black Númenóreans were considered Black because they were evil, not because of the color of their skin. I think it is fair to call the casting director insentive in his statments, but calling him a rasicst…

      • Tom

        Lot’s of great military powers used war elephants. I dare say that if oliphants existed, they would probably still be in use today, fierce as they are. Is it racist to portray the armies of Hannibal riding elephants and throwing spears at their enemies? It seems to me that people are applying their own racism onto this alternate history of Europe.

      • Gaspar Hoxha

        My goodness. I imagine you get upset when people use the word “niggardly,” too. Even though *that* has nothing to do with race, either.

      • Mega_Deth

        From Tolkien history: This growing wish to escape death, known as “the doom of Men”, made most of the Númenoreans envious of the immortal Eldar, who they had come to physically resemble.
        So they resemble Elves, as the Eldar were Immortals, Elves.

      • Laura

        @chase I’m not sure if you’re being ironic or serous.
        In any case if you want more information on Tolkien and racism I recommend a quick look at the Tolkien Wikipedia article which addresses the issue. While wikipedia isn’t always the most reliable source of information it corroborates what I’ve read in several biographies of the man.

      • Patrick

        Black cat is bad luck…Bad Guys wear black….Musta been a white guy who started all dat…..Gas Face by 3rd Bass…

      • chase

        Let me get this straight, he used the term “Gandalf the White” to describe an almost Christ like resurrection for Gandalf; but when he describes men who have been deceived and follow Sauraon AKA “satan”, they are BLACK Númenoreans. Hmmm…. Think people…..

      • Voodoo

        @ chase. White as in “the light” – the good, God, etc.. Black as in “the darkness” – the bad, the devil. You just said it yourself in your post without realizing. Think chase… moron.

      • chase

        “VOODOO”, that made no d**n sense…

      • Voodoo

        Well, I guess that shows you’re a moron, a racist and a f*cking troll.

    • Jean Guy Levesque

      What is alabaster? I’m lucky that I tan nicely and I don’t have to walk around with a red face and neck in the summer. Vive la Quebec!!!!!!!!!!

      • KLR

        wasn’t alabaster the pimp in king of the hill??? lol (had to say it)

      • JC

        It’s “le Quebec.”

    • Forvel

      Wow – huh? A story?

    • Shiny

      Seriously. I guess what the producers are saying is only cast whit Hobbits, but don’t tell people you’re only casting white Hobbits. They’re supposed to do what they do in Hollywood and just “lose” the applications of non-white actors. The only non-white actors in LOTR were the Orlocs and Uruk-Hai.

    • SYR

      But what I find funny, as a black person, when I hear “light-Skinned” I think of a black person that is mixed, or not a dark as the average black person. I really don’t consider white people “light-skinned”… I consider them white…

    • EDWARD 4EVA!!!!!

      F*ck this stupid Middle-Earth stuff, Twilight is soooooooooo much more better!!! It’s so deep and romantic, they’re totally the greatest books that ever were written in the whole history of the world! Twilight fans is going to live 4eva!!!!

      • NATIVE AMERICAN

        YOU PEOPLE are missing the point. Casting Directors can’t ask for “light skinned” people. You can request a look through breakdowns but it’s against the bylaws to say that in person. And even though the producers requested that, PETER JACKSON included, it got her/him fired. And of course the Producers are going to refute requesting such a thing but it happens every day in entertainment industry. Jackson wants to shoot in NZ for for the location not people.
        GOD BLESS AMERICA! BROWN POWER!
        Also drink wine. It comes in 2 colors, Red and White!

      • Wilkby

        Twilight is a poorly scripted film series, with a bad actress in the lead, who does nothing but pout and look sullen all the time. If Taylor Lautner’s hotness weren’t in this franchise it would be completely unwatchable. And who the heck ever heard of “thparkly” vampires anyway? Everyone one knows that real ones burn up in the sun!

  • Lobot

    They were literally alabastar? I need to watch those movies again.

    • Elizabeth

      Well, I heard a reviewer say that some of the performances were a bit wooden. Maybe he meant to say they were kind of stony.

      Or the OP could look up the definition of the word “literally” before using it in such a way again.

    • Black-N-Irish

      ALABASTER COMES IT 2 COLORS. BONE WHITE AND PALE YELLOW (FRENCH VANILLA COLOR). BEYONCE HAS A TYPE OF ALABASTER COMPLEXION AND NICOLE KIDMAN IS THE LIGHTER TYPE OF ALABASTER.

      • UhHuh

        Beyonce is NOT pale yellow. Sheesh. Someone needs a color wheel from the Sherman Williams paint store.

      • Bethany

        @UhHuh

        Black-N-Irish is right Beyonce is the same color as Alabaster.

        I’ve seen black people as white as the average white person and almost the color black. You should travel more.

      • Elizabeth

        Y’all are missing the point of Lobot’s post. When the original poster stated that the hobbits were literally alabaster, he was saying they were physically constructed from the mineral known as alabaster, not that they were white-skinned people. “Literally” is an absolute term, which many people use incorrectly, including the original poster.

  • matmay@cox.net

    There must be more to this story. It baffles me why it would be unacceptable to say/do this. Can someone explain it to me?

    • Leif

      I am 100% in agreement with Cat here. Everyone who keeps saying they never actually read the stories, why don’t you go read them before commenting. So it doesn’t matter what color skin someone has, ONLY for historical facts? I beg to differ. It’d be just as preposterous to remake to movie “Boys in the Hood” with all British people. The movie was written from the geo-political and socio-economic perspective OF THE AUTHOR. Have respect for the author and creator of the story to maintain the integrity of their vision, especially dead authors who are no longer around to defend their work. If you want to make up your own ORIGINAL fantasy stories, then by all means, include people. But when you go around insisting that White people must surrender the ethnic, artistic and creative integrity of their culture, solely because you want to own it, that is one of the largest forms of racism there is.

      It seems today that the most racist people of all are not white, and they are racist against predominantly white people, and everyone is just fine with that.

      And before you go judging me to be a racist or bigot based on the few seconds of reading, just take a quiet moment and shut your fool head. In the ways that really matter in life, I interact with, enjoy the company of, and help in any way I can, all people I meet. I judge people, not based on skin color, but quality of character, wit, intellect and patterns of behavior. So just back off you trolls who can see nothing but skin color.

      • Laura

        I’m also in agreement. I am white and a natural blonde. People don’t think that white people are harassed and judged. I know a young man, who is white that was harassed and made fun of by his non-white co-workers until he couldn’t take it anymore and quit. I don’t know how many times I have been judged by my looks. How many times have I seen postings for casting opportunities with the description ethnically ambiguous? Should I get upset about this? I could but it wouldn’t do any good. I just have to find the parts for blondes. It is a fact that has always been in existence, in the movie industry you are judged by your looks. I guess it’s ok to have a movie with no white people but not ok to have a movie with only white people. Skin color is just that a color, nothing more. Underneath everyone is the same.

      • L.J.Nordvik

        I think you make an excellent point.This is all about that suffocating fear that many people have of failing to be politically correct.

      • Dan

        I took a quiet moment and came to the conclusion that you may not be a racist or a bigot but you are clearly an idiot.

        At no point in The Hobbit or LotR does it state that Hobbits are purely ‘white’ people. Therefore it stands to reason that it’s perfectly acceptable that there would be ones of different skin tones. Also, as stated by someone else, the Harfoot section of Hobbits were dark skinned.

        Plus, you say you enjoy the company of people based not upon their colour but then go on to imply, with no evidence at all, that most racists are non-white!

      • hc

        “Boyz in the Hood” is social commentary about race in the U.S. so OBVIOUSLY having the roles filled by British people (playing British people) detracts from the story (a bit). In a movie about British class systems (which there are plenty of), yeah, cast all the Brits you want. The better question in this discussion is whether injecting diversity into the story of “Lord of the Rings” would detract from the story. No one is saying its mandatory, but in a FANTASY story it doesn’t seem too much to ask to have something more reflective of current society rather than society in Tolkien’s time. I mean, if an all white cast is so important to you, you have all the Jane Austen movies and probably a ton of mid-20th century era German films.

        And this: “It seems today that the most racist people of all are not white, and they are racist against predominantly white people” is probably the most racist thing I’ll read all day.

      • Jarrell

        i didn’t see anywhere in this article a mention of black people…the fact is HOBBITS AREN’T REAL so who is anyone to say that Tolkien’s vision of hobbits had to be lighter skinned this is a fantasy the characters could be purple (who really cares).

      • B

        Leif, thank you for standing up for White people, especially dead white authors who specifically wrote Lord of the Rings with white characters in mind… oh except the Orcs, who’ve got to be black or Persian only, not white. That would be horrendous. That would be like remaking the Wizard of Oz with all black people. Imagine Diana Ross as Dorothy and Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow.. that would be ridiculous!!! And by the way, I would never be racist against White people. Only one white person.. YOU. Fcuking idiot. Respond to me if you want, you warrior for white artistic freedom

      • Moo

        Really? You’re citing to the Wiz? HAHAHAHAHA!!!

      • Jennifer

        B, The Wiz sucked. I think you are proving Lief’s point. Typically, movies are better when you stick to the author’s vision. Just because you CAN change the characters and the story, it does not mean you SHOULD.

      • TJ

        Laura, no one cares about your poor, hard, white blonde existence.

      • Terry

        Umm, Leif, you could remake Boyz in the Hood very easily with british people. Last time I looked, the british weren’t a specific race, so guess what? They have black people in britain and violent areas. As a matter of fact, a british Boyz could be interesting.

      • Deb

        Actually, Leif, I think a “Boyz n’ tha Hood” re-make set in IRA-torn Ireland would be pretty interesting………just sayin’.

      • BlackIrish4094

        Totally agree although I’m a white Irish guy (despite my name) so maybe I’m being racist, lol…

      • Leigh Jones

        TJ, that’s a very racist statement. To quote Plato “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Life can be hard for anyone of every color. I would agree with Leif – most racism appears to be directed towards white people these days… The black entitlement boggles my mind. Slavery was abolished well over a century ago. What about all of the women and children being abducted and trafficked as sex slaves today? And if you’re going to talk about oppression, women never got to vote until the 20th Century and STILL don’t make as much as men, regardless of color. I am half Iroquois, half French Canadian. But all of that is beside the point. It’s a film. Life is short. Get over it and appreciate people for who they are.

      • Matt

        Way to play at the specifics Terry. You know what he meant. It seems you can’t attribute a culture or certain appearance to a country anymore.

        Anyways, Leif is right. This is ridiculous. If an asian or white person got turned away from working for BET, you wouldn’t be surprised would you? Now, Tolkien’s book isn’t a book directed for white people don’t get me wrong, but as others have pointed to it was written by a European, with “white culture” in mind. The same thing can be said for movies like Disney’s Mulan. If they started drawing characters as white wouldn’t it be a little wonky?

        If you get rejected for skin colour, it’s the same as being rejected for not being tall enough, not the right body type, or not the right sex. It’s appearance and nothing more.You have to draw the line somewhere, so quit playing the freekin’ race card…

      • Chandra

        I like you

      • JB Cal

        Actually jennifer, Lief has no point and the fact that you thought the Wiz sucked means little to nothing. I’ve seen both and thought they were both good. There, I guess we both have opinions on the matter, whose more correct?

      • Rach

        Well put. Thank you.

      • Mega_Deth

        Well put!

      • Jim

        “The Wiz” is actually a great example. Was it okay for someone to make a version of “The Wizard of Oz” with all black people? Yes, of course it was. But it is also okay if a filmmaker wants to make a version of “The Hobbit” with all white people. As far as the proper way to post the casting call, I wonder how “The Wiz” handled it? Did they ask for actors who are dark skinned? If they did, were people in an uproar over it?

      • odd

        For real? White people are so maligned….

      • Kene

        Well said, well said!

      • Anthony

        I read the Hobbit, I read page 16, and I assumed hobbits were brown. Because their fingers are brown.

      • CarmenSo

        You know Anthony the mythical creatures can be any color you want them to be. Maybe they are a white and brown plaid. I am not sure what all these people are so up and arms about.

    • dee

      i think if u want the whole story read the whole article/the link where ew got this story from. ew just summarized it and missed out the most important fact:
      In “The Lord of the Rings”, Tolkien described three races of Hobbits inhabiting the Middle Earth fantasy world which is the setting for the movies, including harfoots, who “were browner of skin” than the others.
      now calm down everybody!

      • Tarc

        Yeah, those poor white, blue-eyed, blondes. So persecuted, belittled, humilliated. Those poor white folks who have been lynched, enslaved, and who nowdays you can barely see anywhere on the media. We rarely see white people in film, TV etc. And of course, those poor white folks who are denied basic rights and services because of their beautiful alabaster tone…

      • Jennifer

        Hey Tarc, what about the poor white folks who are denied college admission and jobs? Get over yourself. There are all sorts of persecuted and disadvantaged groups in this country. Every skintone is both an asset and a burden. Perhaps when people like you get over their perceived persecution, we can look past skintone and judge people on character and merit.

      • Justin

        Up… there it is… I was scrolling down all these comments just waiting for someone to comment on slavery. Thanks Tarc for showing colored people can not get over the past. You you people (blacks) keep bringing up the past, maybe we should go back to that way, no?

      • Deb

        Well, now that you bring up bringing up the past, privvelege- denying dude, perhaps some of those black people might stop crying about slavery as soon as some of those white people stop crying about that civil war they lost and that oh-so-precious confederate flag.
        Once again, JUST SAYIN’.
        You shut up. No, YOU shut up. You’ll never get past other people’s crap until you get over your OWN.

      • Lynda

        That’s too bad about the slavery thing and for those who think “it’s in the past.” Actually blacks continue being no more than slaves to lots of others. Believe it or not, it’s real easy to keep out someone who is obviously darker, perhaps considered less intelligent, less desirable…etc. If people didn’t want the slavery issue to keep coming up then they should have thought about the future when going for the purchase.

      • Time Traveler

        they should have thought about the future when going for the purchase.
        Umm,Lynda, I don’t think the people of that time for one minute imagined a futre where slavery was not acceptable. I’m sure they didn’t imagine cars, cell phones, birth control or the internet, either.
        Your theory, like Nic Cage’s hair, is irrelevant.

      • JB Cal

        Why don’t you give it a try Justin.

      • Michelle

        Hi Tarc. I don’t know if you are only aware of American history, but there is a big world out there. White people were slaves as well. In Russia – they were called serfs and this practice was outlawed around the same time that slavery was ended in the US. The Romans captured slaves of all races in the areas they conquored. In England they also had slaves called serfs. And I’m sure in many many other countries. I’m of Russian and English heritage, and I bear no ill will towards people in those countries due to the fact that I am most likely descended from people who were slaves. Get over the past – you were never a slave.

    • Shiny

      The reason you can’t outwardly discriminate is that it would invite lawsuits. They will only cast white Hobbits, but they can’t actively discrimate. Wow, not sure why this is a suprrise to anyone, there are no minorities in major roles of LOTR; Hollywood discriminates, but they don’t want to get sued for it.

      • odd

        colored?

  • Cat

    I don’t see what the problem is. If they’re casting for a movie about slavery, wouldn’t they hire just blacks? But apparently, for a Tolkien novel, which is essentially English, you’re not allowed to just have white people only? That’s stupid. Someone Indian and obviously not the ‘type’ got their feelings hurt and now someone who was probably good at their job got canned. What a ridiculous society. Well, Naz Humphreys, sorry to burst your bubble, but movies are all about TYPE. Get ready to only be cast as a terrorist.

    • AmazingLynn

      You don’t see the problem because you are the problem.

      • Cat

        So, if they’re casting for a film only African slavery, should I be upset if they’re looking for blacks only? That’s right. I wouldn’t. So go back and read my comment–this time, with both of your eyes.

      • jmcg

        That’s a false comparison. The African Slave Trade is historical and based on fact; this situation is complete fantasy–which allows for a wider interpretation of the story. I haven’t read the books, but I’m sure Tolkien described the way a Hobbit is supposed to look.

        Another thing, I find it hard to believe that a casting director would put that sort of restriction on who was cast if he didn’t get the instructions/criteria to do it in the first place.

      • qwerty

        pretty sure pc wankers like you are the problem

      • hc

        First of all, Pakistani is not Indian. Seriously, you’re embarrassing yourself because either you don’t know geography or you can’t read. Second, come up with a better analogy. Do you honestly think that the reason white people aren’t cast as slaves (I’m assuming this hypothetical movie is based in the U.S.) is because of political correctness? REALLY?! REALLY?! Third, English=White, ok? This isn’t political correctness – it’s just factually incorrect.

      • cladwell

        I suppose we should all start protesting about the lack of white people in Shaka Zulu.

    • Kenneth

      Way to hold up and embrace negative stereotypes, Cat!

      • Cat

        I’m sorry you’re blind to PC crap

      • Ahmed

        Seconding Kenneth and AmazingLynn above. Hobbits are fantasy — fantasy can be inclusionary, creative, hopeful, AND have the potential to make us re-think our own prejudices and expectations… NOT AT ALL comparable to a movie about slavery…. Besides, you might want to check out RACE: THE POWER OF AN ILLUSION — available to stream for free via PBS.com! It’s an eye opener….

      • yosaya

        What in gods name are u even talking about? So because it is a sci-fi story u can do whatever horrendous adaptation u want with the story? What Cat meant was that the casting should be adecuate to the story;so a movie about africans slavery would be ridiculous with white people playing the slaves parts ¬¬…and so would a black or latino guy playing Legolas(im mexican by the way and Legolas was just an example i mean ur obviously just looking for reasons to rebate any comment u think is racist in that sick mind of urs ^_^” ).

      • Nicholas

        U guys are nuts. An African slave movie would have plenty of whites in it. They would just be playing the opposite parts i.e. Ship Captain, Salesman, Whip holder, and of course we can’t forget angry mob with white sheets over there head burning crosses. See, there’s parts for everyone. Happy

      • Nicholas

        @ Yosaya, so adding people of color would turn this movie into a “horrendous” adaptation…..really.

      • Bozobub

        So, then, changing all of the characters in “1001 Nights” to white (or Asian, perhaps) people is fine, then, considering it’s a fantasy, ri-i-ight? Because it wouldn’t change the scope or flavor of the movie AT ALL. Uh huh, sure; that argument is obviously pitifully weak and fails miserably.

        Additionally, it is NOT every movie’s job to “make us re-think our own prejudices and expectations”, sorry. If you want to see that movie so badly, watch THAT MOVIE, not “The Hobbit”; it has nothing to do with those themes at all! Your PC insecurities aren’t necessarily actually correct at any given moment, sorry. and I want to watch “The Hobbit”, not some bullsh*t white apologia…

    • Aryuki Ding-Mei

      So close to making a valid point. Too bad you had to ruin it by suggesting the Indian can only play terrorists, you racist POS.

      • Kealan O’ver

        He didnt suggest the Indian can only play terrorists, he implied, quite accurately, that Hollywood has a tendency to typecast people based on their skin colour and at the moment they’re fond of casting Indians in the roles of middle-eastern terrorists due to the unwillingness of many middle-eastern actors to have their people constantly represented as terrorists.

      • Rush

        You’re right, he should have said, “Get ready to play only cabbies, convenience store clerks, and call center workers.”

      • Zebula

        If the shoe fits….

    • Squinty

      I think you fail to see the problem. It is pertinent that the slaves in the time period you are suggesting are Black. That is what actually happened, just as Queen Elizabeth is White. To cast them as another color would be fantistorical and insulting. This is contrasting with the world of Middle Earth, in which it would not alter the story in any way if characters were different colors. Do your research before you hastily jump to conclusions.

      • k8dee

        Not if it’s Queen Elizabeth X and it’s an episode of Dr. Who. Also, what era of slavery are you talking about. Not all slaves were black, and even then, not all black people are of one color. We scan the spectrum. And, yes…the people (especially ALL the good ones) in the LOTR were literally alabaster white. Some of the bad ones were white, but most of the bad were black. No, no judgment there. No historical crap going on there. That’s just the way things are (but they don’t HAVE to be!). Ugh!

      • Windywoo

        It would alter the story as the Hobbits in Tolkiens books were not multicultural. Their climate would not produce darker skinned individuals, nor would there be any immigration. The isolation of the Shire from the rest of Middle Earth is one of the reasons Bilbo’s expedition is such an adventure.

      • yosaya

        Yes it wuld…SINCE TOLKIEN DIDNT WRITE THEM THAT WAY!! YOU CANT JUST GO ON MURDERING BOOKS MY GOD!! xD Well there are hobitts wit darker skins and so are elfs…just not the ones portrayed in this particular book so it would be WRONG and not true to the original story(wich is not there to be turned into crap by some idiot woh thinks science fiction doesnt deserve any kind of respect and a chinese actor can play Bilbo)

      • Dw Dunphy

        And beside all that, even though it might be a drain on the casting agent resources, you see everyone. If they’re not right for the role, you don’t hire them. If they might be right for another role in the movie, you thank God you weren’t so exclusionary.

        This isn’t about a blow against political correctness – it’s about not being farsighted enough to see you might be turning away talent based on an exclusionary practice.

      • Tom

        Uhh, yes, actually, you do alter the story significantly by changing the color of the characters, unless you make them ALL black, or ALL Indian. Tolkein made it clear in his books that the characters were fair skinned, and that Middle Earth was an alternate history for Europe. You might as well cast a Native American as Harry Potter or a white guy as Othello (which happened, and is considered something of an abomination these days, even though he played it in blackface).

      • Elizabeth

        Tom, I once saw a production of the opera “Otello” in which the Otello was played by a white man in black face and the Desdemona was played by a black woman in a blonde wig. Both of them sang beautifully, so their races didn’t matter. Unfortunately, film doesn’t work the same way.

      • Nicholas

        I think we should leave this alone guys. They sound pretty bummed that u guys wanna add a splash of color to a fantasy movie. They’re defending it like it is the last bastion of white hope in a world slowly enclosing on them where once they were the dominant race and its actually becoming a leveled playing field. Yes, I’m white and so what. If the world were blind (literally), we wouldn’t have these problems. Wrong again!!! Then we would have, “oh, you sound different”, or “u smell different”, and all the ism’s would continue in that manner. Humans are dumb. We look for any reason to mistreat each other.

    • informed

      There have actually been people of West Indian, African and various other dark-skinned nationalities in England since 18th century. In Tolkien’s book he describes Hobbits of differnet varieites, some having darker skin tones than other varieties of Hobbit. So Cat, your comments are ignorant and ill-informed, working on the assumption that there are only white people in England. There were certainly darker skinned people in Britain when Tolkien was writting the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

      • TexTinstar

        There were people with various skin colours in England in the 18th century but LOTR takes place long before that.

      • yosaya

        Based on Tolkien’s descriptions of the characters there werent any any indian/muslim/latin/chinese looking hobitts or any other middle earths races for that mather, some just had darker skins.

      • @TexTinstar

        But LOTR isn’t set in England, bonehead

      • cladwell

        Tolkien stated his desire to create a mythology for England. He’s English, and his characters are English. And the bad guys aren’t “black.” They’re monsters, morons. Write your own epic fantasy novels if you want the heroes to be black. Being cast in movies is a not a civil right.

      • Reader

        Tolkien was born in South Africa and spent some of his childhood there -he was not strictly English.

    • Kit

      “Well, Naz Humphreys, sorry to burst your bubble, but movies are all about TYPE. Get ready to only be cast as a terrorist.”
      ROFL

    • Mungu

      Did any of you turkeys actually read Tolkien’s books? Yes the people of the ‘west’ are pale. The nations of the south that help Mordor are Black. I would argue that the elephant riders in LOTR3 weren’t dark enough. Gullum was also supposed to be black skinned. He was obviously make paler not to offend. These stories are from a pale skinned man who made a fiction based on his socialization and beliefs. As we all would to some extend or another. These are riveting tales and make good movies. I doubt if this casting director was acting without license. He was just too open with it. Everyone can see that Rohan is nordic and Gondor is Latin/Celtic/Teuton mix. So should a Denzel Washington play a prince of Rohan? Or a Morgan Freeman play a wizard from the north? This is fantasy, so perhaps we should use license to tamper with Tolkien’s vision, for modern consumption.

      Furthermore Cat, you should know that our English word ‘slave’ is from Slav. Read up on why that is.

      As far as real historical ancient depictions of people in movies, when do we ever see that? Prince of Persia, The Mummy, Passion of Christ, Clash of the Titans etc…

      • ew-bot

        nicely put.

      • laurie

        Mungu – I don’t think I EVER came across any sentence in any of Tolkein’s books describing Gollum as being black. He was from another race of Hobbits long ago, which the author described as fair skinned. Personally, I think Tolkein used the colors of black and white to depict good vs. evil as it’s always been – which is not a racist statement. It is what it is, good vs. evil – and the good win. End of story. The orcs as well as the other bad guys riding the Oliphants were either black or of other nationalities with dark skin, which only adds to what he wanted to portray in his books.

        I despise any racist – black or white. I’ve read these books several times and have seen the movies several times too, and I just keep walking away from it with the message of the good vs. evil theme, and how well it worked in Jackson’s portrayal of all 3 movies. There’s nothing racist to it, just that old, old all around knowing that typically black is portrayed as evil and white is good/pure.

    • Ricko

      Well I can see where you’re coming from with this one. But clearly You’re missing the point.. LOTR was never set in the real world, its a fantasy flick and that’s why you are wrong and this guy is fired. “in fact i read the books, and Tolkien mentions the dark people from across the sea” lol they were thought to be dangerous lol. How funny..

    • Chelsea

      It’s for extras though. If one of the main characters who we know and love was cast with an actor of Indian or African descent that didn’t fit the image created by the author and the casting director/ fans became upset then I would say that’s not racism but being true to the story. Does it really matter when it involves extras who will purely be in the background though? A darker skinned hobbit wouldn’t immediately jerk me out of the story or make me cry foul.

      • yosaya

        Finally someone with a litlle common sense in here hehe ^_^”. I would cry if Bilbo was payed by a black or chinese guy though ='(

    • dee

      In “The Lord of the Rings”, Tolkien described three races of Hobbits inhabiting the Middle Earth fantasy world which is the setting for the movies, including harfoots, who “were browner of skin” than the others.

      There u go. end of story

      • RedWolf

        Anyone read the LOTR books? At the start they tell you are about the different kinds of Hobbits and yeah there were some brown Hobbits but there are some white Hobbits as well. I think the four Hobbits from the book all came from the white lineage so the real question here is what type of hobbit look were they casting? Apparently white but that apparently caused some trouble for some reason

    • Squinty

      It is also important to note that Tolkien is famous for being a racist.

      • Lizzie

        Can you back that up with facts please??

      • Oh my!

        I thought it was only the cross-dressing he was famous for?

    • B

      Imagine a scene where there’s a long dining table with a lot of fancily dressed people are eating.. and they’re all black, Cat. Servants are there to refill their drinks and plates at the clap of a hand… they’re all white. Would that bother you? Huh? Just a little bit? Admit it.

      • David Duke

        It would sure as hell bother me!

      • Moo

        Isn’t that a Kanye music video?

      • Elizabeth

        Wouldn’t bother me. I used to know a white nanny who worked for a black family. Didn’t bother her, either.

    • ani

      @Cat. Hey, moron. Pakistan and India are different countries. Someone of Pakistani heritage (as the article mentions) is not called Indian. As for the rest of your comments, you make it clear that youre an ignorant fool.

      p.s. if you want to talk about appropriate casting, let’s talk about Prince of Persia and how a cast that should have been completely middle eastern/south asian was replaced by white people. gemma what’s her name is not an indian princess in any world. ah well, it ended up being a crappy movie regardless.

      • Lydia

        Not to mention Airbender, which should have been cast by Asians and Inuits, and was instead cast with white kids as the heroes, and brown people as the bad guys. The whole movie ended up sucking so painfully I don’t know if I’ll ever recover from the experience.

    • Caiti

      I agree with you completely, if it makes you feel better, Cat. I for one, would love to see the outrage that followed if a non-African American was cast in a movie like that.

    • Keylolo

      So basically the only time blacks should be cast in a large abundance is when the pictures has to do with slavery? Thats idiotic. Middle earth is incredible large, the movie spans across many locations encountering many different people/tribes/cultures. And not ONE of them were dark-skinned? Not ONE? And you see nothing weird about this? Come on.

      • sleek

        Im guessing you never read return of the king.

    • Just_me

      Cat – just to be clear Pakistani is not Indian. Figured I’d shed some light.

      • Dave

        Go back to the 20th century and you will find that Pakistan was a region of India that was arbitrarily split off and made a separate country, so ethnically Pakistanis ARE Indian.

      • ani

        Oh, I see, Dave. Let’s clarify this further. So if you are a white person born, raised, and living in America, you call yourself European, do you? Why don’t we go back further and call you a Neanderthal?

        But thanks for your awesomely irrelevant history lesson (aka you know how to read Wikipedia). And I wish you the best of luck for the next time you go up to a Pakistani person and explain to him/her that he/she is really Indian.

      • Tristan

        We have spent many a happy hour dining in the Hobbit House, Manila, and eenjyod the music there and the delightfully friendly staff. I bought a sun visor from there (black with Hobbit House motif) and have since lost it.Would love another one! Any chance you could send me one, and I’ll reimburse?We are now living back in the UK, so can’t collect myself.Sheila Selwyn

    • Elizabeth

      No, Cat, they wouldn’t hire just blacks. They would also hire white people to play the owners of the slaves. And white people to play the ship owners and sailors who brought them over from Africa. And white people to play the auctioneers and other buyers at the auction.

      The point is that Middle Earth is supposed to be Europe, right? Well not everyone in Europe is blonde and blue-eyed. There are also Europeans who have black hair, brown eyes, and dark skin – if you don’t believe me, feel free to visit France or Italy.

      If Jackson wants only whites to play Hobbits, that’s his prerogative – he has the right to make the movie look the way he wants. But the casting director shouldn’t have said they weren’t casting the Pakistani lady because of her skin tone. It was just handled badly.

      • Lynda

        Why does everything go back to slavery when it comes to blacks? Blacks must not be of much interest to whites when in any other setting. That’s usually the case.

      • Elizabeth

        Lynda, don’t ask me. Cat started it.

    • Arley

      I’ve had it, the only people that can be called racist are white people… don’t you get it? Blacks, Asians etc can’t be racist because they’re the minorities. Geeze.. And yes, I’m being sarcastic. Blast away you scary online people..

      • Lynda

        I think we’re all racist. People just don’t like to admit that it’s how many life choices are made.

      • Lauren

        @ Lynda – Bravo for saying we are all racist. It is true. Even if it has nothing to do with skin color, people still have issues with people who come from different economic or social backgrounds. Who here has used the term “White Trash”? Everyone of us looks down on people we think we are better than. I fully admit I look down on people who I think are from a lower class than me. It doesn’t matter what color their skin is.

        Regarding the movie – I feel sorry for the casting guy who got fired. I’m sure there was a cover up and they used him as a scapegoat. Of course someone told him to do it. When a director makes a movie he already has an idea in his head of how he wants people to look (even if it was based on a book). That is why casting directors put out ads describing the exact look they want. If they are making a movie about the 1950’s they want wholesome looking people – not someone with tattoos and piercings and purple hair.

    • Shiny

      If white actors applied to play slaves the producers would not be able to turn them away; they’d be sued otherwise. What they will do is file those applications in the circular file. It works both ways, that is the ugly truth of the industry. But the bigger issue is bigots who rant that women and minorities “imagine” discrimination or are “paranoid”. Talk all ya want; no one can deny that LOTR is the most racially pure movie series of modern times. Last Airbender comes close tho.

    • CarmenSo

      Yes because the only group of people that have ever fallen victim of slavery would be black. . .sigh

  • Torrance

    I don’t think asking for a light skin person is offensive, it’s the manner in which he asked that made it seem like prejudice. All that’s needed is “seeking white male and females to play hobbits” it’s not unusual to ask for cast and extras by ethnicity or nationality if that’s what the movie calls for.

    • Keylolo

      Why is the movie calling for that when the book says nothing about hobbits being strictly white?

      • Dan

        Keylolo, what do you mean with “the book”? The two movies are not based solely on the children book “The Hobbit”, but draw A LOT of material from the trilogy The Lord of the Rings. In these books Tolkien say a lot about Hobbits being strictly white. Try read them before you post.

  • Chris

    That wasn’t racist. I agree with Cat. This is ludicrous. “Sorry, guys, in casting Queen Elizabeth, we’re only looking for white women. Again, sorry!”

    • Ahmed

      I am amazed at the willful ignorance on display in this message board. It reminds me again how we are all so dumbed down, that all we can offer are half baked ideas, and unbelievably ridiculous parallels that do not hold up to any serious scrutiny. it is making me a little sick.

      • Joe

        These ‘parallels’ are pointing to a fairly obvious theme, which has the basic premise of stating that excessively PC ideals sometimes lead to the attribution of ‘racist’ labels to situations that are clearly not racist. I am sure this casting agent meant no ill-will. If we assume that to be true, what this comes down to is that people are symbolically extracting a racially charged ‘no-you-may-not’ situation where it doesn’t really exist.

      • Twyla

        I agree Ahmed. The ignorance that is shown in some of these posts is truly amazing. People should be more concerned that someone lost their job over this. I’m sure he thought that what he was doing was right, he’s not a racist. Why didn’t the producers just clarify the point for him and move on?

        Anyways, there are some truly ignorant statements on here from apparently both black and white people.

    • C

      I’m a black actress living in NYC, a casting director saying exactly what they want is not shocking or unique. Every casting director has a specific list of things that they must meet when choosing cast members. Its so obvious that it is the production company and the director that are the ones in the wrong. Casting directors don’t make big decisions like that, and the only reason they fired the CD is because the issue was caught on tape. They are always specific when casting extras. Is it wrong, of course, is this done on every movie and tv set, yessss! Look at the background in shows shot in NY (sex in the city, gossip girls, etc.) there is never any diversity, except NYC is one of the most diverse places on the planet. You never see diversity because in the Directors limited mind, in there made up verisons of NY, there are only rich Caucasian people walking down the street. Does it upset me? Yes? But will I challenge your vision for your show, No! If the Hobbit director wants light toned people, who cares! Its his vision for his movie. Does it really need to be that big of an issue.

      • B

        It is a big issue… for the angry white people on this board.

      • JMC

        Not entirely true. Not ALL shows or movies. My friend is an actor in NYC that has done musicals all over the country! Recently he’s been an extra on Nurse Jackie and L&0: SVU just in the past month. He’s black! Just want to throw that out there.

        On a side note: he does get told to drop some weight ALL the time!

  • Captain Obvious

    If all the hobbits in LoTR were white, then it is a perfectly logical assumption by the casting director that the ones in the Hobbit would be the same. Wrongful termination.

  • Bob

    I’m dark skinned and I don’t see anything wrong with that.
    I don’t remember any non-white hobbits in LOTR either.

    • dee

      YES there most definitely are. Read the book again! and if u read the original article it clearly states:
      “In “The Lord of the Rings”, Tolkien described three races of Hobbits inhabiting the Middle Earth fantasy world which is the setting for the movies, including harfoots, who “were browner of skin” than the others.

      • Emmy G

        Excellent point! Even leaving aside the argument that this is fantasy, so that even if Tolkein had focused only on light-skinned characters, the director can do what he wants, Tolkein does include some darker-skinned hobbits:

        http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Harfoots

      • Wym

        They aren’t making another LOTR book. They’re making a LOTR movie. Did you see any dark-skinned hobbits in the LOTR movies? The casting directory made a logical assumption based on the past LOTR movies.

      • Kirsten

        Yeah, dee but those hobbits were never in the actual story. Bilbo never came across them. So why should they be included in the movie if they were barely in the books? Should they be there just to fulfill the “Black/Indian/whatever” category? At what point are we going to stick with the ACTUAL storyline and stop messing with it because of PC?

  • geoh777

    Just some more PC BS.

  • Cat

    I hope the casting director sues for wrongful termination. Harry Potter can be multi-racial, but Hobbit is a different story, a different atmosphere, culture, etc. I hate it when one person blows it for the rest. As if this project didn’t have enough problems–now someone is again throwing a wrench in the works.

  • Anirudh

    Being dark-skinned myself, I feel the casting director was not being racist. I guess it is the requirement of the role. Tolkien based his novels partly on Anglo-Saxon folklore if I am not wrong. There is no room for dark-skinned people in that case, and the poor chap is perhaps being made a scapegoat.

    • v

      I agree with your sentiments. The problem, I think, is the lack of tact in his phrasing. Tolkien was no paragon of racial justice, but his stories are good ones and I see no reason to alter them because his work does not demonstrate sentiments of racial equality.

    • Anthony

      Read page 16 of the Hobbit. The problem is that they are described as having brown fingers and thick black hair.

  • Tim

    I don’t see the issue here, it seems the casting agent was just honest, unlike most people. The Hobbits of middle earth are all mostly light skinned, it makes sense to call for light skinned extras.

    • momo

      Where in the book does it say that Hobbits of middle earth are “light skinned”?

      • Dan

        momo!!! For Christ’s sake, why are you so obsessed with spreading false claims that Tolkien does not describe the looks and races of Hobbits, when it is so easy to prove you wrong? Tolkien would surely be banned and put off as a racialist if he would publish his books today, just because of his racialist views would never be considered politically correct in this day and age. The only dark non European people that Tolkien described were the Southrons and the black men from Far Harad which he describes as “black men like half-trolls with white eyes and red tongues”. If you actually read LOTR you will know this. The description of Hobbits is in the first chapter of Fellowship of the Ring, called “Concerning Hobbits”. And, if you knew about Tolkien at all, you would also know that Tolkien based his Hobbits on early population of The British Isles, and not anywhere are there Hobbits from Far Harad or the Southron lands. Much of the material in the two “Hobbit” movies are not even based on the book “The Hobbit”, but the appendix of The Lord of the Rings-trilogy, where Tolkien several times on many places describes the races. That the film makers should stay true to Tolkiens work and not cast non Europeans except for Southrons are of course highly debatable in this day and age, but why question the source material when it is so easy to prove you wrong? Perhaps just to troll?

      • Dan

        momo, I now think I see what you are trying to do. You ask people: “Where in the childrens book “The Hobbit” do Tolkien describe any appearance of Hobbits or any other beings?” You are correct that Tolkien does not. BUT, your mind game still does not work, because what you do not know is that perhaps 50% of the Hobbit films are not even based on “The Hobbit”, but, like I said, on the Lord of the Rings books.

  • Michael Bryan Walt

    I agree, the casting agent sort of verbally goofed with his wording. Firing him was a little much, but in this day and age, with everyone having to be “politically correct” because someone is going to get their feelings hurt and… possibly litigious… well, you have to see the production’s side of it. I don’t agree with the company action (Mr. Jackson should have called him on it and had him reword what he said), but that is how things have become. Ah, the interesting times we live in.

  • Jenna

    It does sound like the woman is victimizing herself… A Facebook group against “hobbit racism”?

    But the linked article said the skin tone requirement was only for women, which would be something to complain about.

    I don’t get why someone would bring it upon himself to make-up this casting requirement though?

  • Hancockenstein

    LOTR movies aside, there were “darker-skinned” hobbits in fact they were the most common. there was 1 group that had lighter skin than others. this is from Tolkien himself from an extras collection item.

    either way it’s hard to believe this is racism. the casting director may be an idiot however, if they made the ad without cue from whoever hired him. or whoever hired him is covering their asses for something they regret doing.

    • Maki

      Holy Mother of Hobbits! I think I see a hobbit house! I know I did NOT see any lamas at lamams. ha ha ha. Cool place. I hope you go and report back to us here at lil ole greenworm.

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