Just off the top of my head, I was thinking of Sanaa Lathan's character in the first Aliens Vs. Predator movie. Yeah, the movie was not Oscar material, but it wasn't bad, and she did a wonderful job with what she had to work with. Black, female, action-movie star.
Anderson in Ender's Game was black, I don't remember her or Graff even having race mentioned in the book. It was a good casting call.
I think a lot of the problem is that roles are either written for characters that couldn't really easily be race-switched because they're written to have a certain background (How to make a lower-middle-class wannabe-soldier like Captain America black, without turning it into a racial commentary on 1940s Brooklyn?) , or that they're heavily (badly) stereotypical.
I haven't read the comics, was Iron Man's buddy Rhodes white? Wouldn't have mattered, really, and that was an example of a role that literally any race could have played, and played well. Same with Falcon. The Matrix was all over the place, and well-cast as well.
But then, you also have the Fast and Furious movies, which are diverse as hell, but they're all fairly stupid stereotypes, too. Big muscly guys, cars and hoes, lotsa booze, etc... It's not helping the situation when folks of Race B are acting in movies that make them all look like assholes or fools.
I don't have a problem with the Human Torch being black, I have a problem if that characterization turns, for lack of a gentler way to phrase it, into gangsta ghetto trash. It's the culture, not the skin color, and separating the two in film seems to be a very tricky thing.
I mean, look at the two Bad Boys movies. Black heroes, but instead of being cool, professional, and upstanding, you've got Martin Lawrence. Will Smith yelled a lot, but I'd be angry and yelling too, if I had to deal with that number of gunfights and an utterly fucktarded partner. But how do I, as a white guy, write a movie where there's a proper (let's say "equal to the demographic disposition of America") number of females and blacks, if the current crop of black actors is of a certain culture, but I'm writing a movie about some calm, collected scientists and soldiers dealing with an alien invasion?
I mean, I'm a few thousand words into a story about an alien invasion. Let's say the book (which I'll probably never finish, because I'm lazy as fuck) is a huge hit, and they want it adapted into a movie. Let's say that I'm not really the type to talk much about the skin tones of my characters, so the character of "Paul Stone, radioastronomer, audiophile, and all-around average guy who gets tapped to be on the First Contact team by his local gov't " gets played by a black guy. Easily doable, right up to the point where they start decidin
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