The most ridiculous cross-race castings.

Since the early days of film, white people have been playing people of all races, such as the early Charlie Chan films. Some movies cast people in roles that they were literally NOT born to play. This is a list of such films. I have included with the list a racism factor. This is, on a scale of 1-10, how racist the person is portraying the other race. For example, if they were playing a black person and had a bucket of chicken in one hand and a grape soda in the other for the entire film, that would be a 10.

Touch of Evil (1958)
Charlton Heston is... Mexican
Racism factor: 3
He's actually not very racist at all. In preparation for the role however, it looks they just took him to the beach to get him tanned and made him grow a mustache. The only reason he gets any racist points is that he doesn't even bother to affect an accent. It's really just that they're kind of lazy about it.

Short Circuit 2
Fisher Stevens is... Indian
Racism factor: 1
When I was a kid, I must have watched this movie on loop and I never knew that this guy wasn't Indian. Come to think of it, I'm not sure that I knew where India was. Anyway, this doesn't feel racist to me at all. The accent sounds pretty authentic (to me at least) and I can't think of anything that's offensive, so way to go Fisher Stevens. Now you can make Hackers.
Kung Fu (TV series)
David Carradine is... half Chinese
Racism factor: 5
The only thing I can say having not watched the show is, I could never take this show seriously because he is obviously not half Chinese. I'm sure Kung Fu: The Legend Continues was pure genius however. It gets a 5 on the scale because I feel like they didn't even try. At least they gave Charlton Heston a tan.
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Mickey Rooney is... Japanese
Racism factor: 10
Wow. Mickey Rooney went from 'just annoying' to 'total asshole' with this amazingly racist portrayal of a Japanese person. His portrayal of a bucktoothed Jap was so bad that I could not sit through even a few minutes of this supposed classic. It made the entire film unwatchable. It's so offensive it made some nonexistent racism-measuring body part ache from over-exertion.
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1 comment(s).:

May 2, 2008 at 9:26 PM Anonymous said...

I have never heard of anyone rating the "racism factor" of movies--is this something that is common among film buffs or did you make it up? I liked these choices and what you picked out to say about each. They were spot on and hilarious to boot. I must confess that I was a devout Kung Fu watcher when I was in junior high and high school, and I somehow never thought about whether Carradine was half-Chinese--at that time, lots of people were going to the East for enlightenment, and I think I assumed he'd done something like that. I just knew I wanted his mental control and power. Thanks for that little trip down memory lane! --Mary