A bit of humour.
The entertainment industry is having both a bit of fun and mired in controversy regarding its choices of actors in movies and plays.
‘The Lehman Trilogy’ played on Broadway and featured three British non-Jewish actors – one Black – portraying three German Jews. TV’s ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ about a female Jewish comedian is played by a non-Jewish actress. The upcoming movie about Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir will similarly not star a Jewish – or Hebrew-speaking – actress.
The Jewish comedian Sarah Silverman called this practice “Jewface,” taking a lift from the term ‘Blackface’ in which a non-Black actor paints their face Black (something Silverman has done). While some actors object to the practice (only for Jews; it is universally condemned for Blacks), others think that the nature of acting should allow anyone to play any part.
In the show ‘Hamilton’, the founders of the American revolution were cast as Black and Hispanic, to show how the story would be told from a different perspective (considering Hamilton himself as a Black-ish figure) using rap music. The musical ‘1776‘ took this approach a step further, and recast the founding fathers as all female or non-binary, as well as non-White. The directors thought that doing so would make the discussion about slavery and “patriarchy” ring louder.
With such “progressive” approaches to reenacting historical drama, I was disappointed that the latest season of the TV show ‘The Crown’ opted to cast a milky white woman in the role of Camilla Bowles. In light of the charges of racism that former Prince Harry and his multi-racial wife Meghan Markle made against Queen Elizabeth and the royal family, it would have been an interesting twist for the redhead to hate the usurper of his father’s love, had Prince Charles run off with a Black woman.
Perhaps better still, a strong Black man, like Samuel L. Jackson, should have played Princess Diana. It would have been a meaningful commentary on proper British society for the future king of England to marry a Black man, and have the English consider racism, homophobia, the demeaning objectification of a princess, and the importance of an heir, all at one time.
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