On using online petitions to harangue Hollywood

I had a lot more sympathy for the petition against the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman in the upcoming Batty vs Supes movie than I do for the new petition against the casting announcement for the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie. Perhaps only because the petition against Affleck’s casting was better written, which makes me a snob, I know.

At least these two were posted on change.org. The people who post such petitions on government petition sites should be inundated with floors full of legos whenever they take off their shoes.

The last two times I refused to go see a movie because of miscasting was systemic racebending, with Cloud Atlas and Airbender: The Last Avatar.  I’m trying to remember the last movie I refused to go see because of one favourite character or the OTP being irredeemably miscast in my opinion, and I’ve probably blogged such a thing several times over the years, but right now I’m coming up blank.

How about you?  Have you signed any petitions to Hollywood?  Do you think you ever might?

Categories: arts & entertainment

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7 replies

  1. I can’t imagine refusing to see a movie on the grounds of miscasting (except maybe race fails, like you mention tigtog). But then I don’t go to the movies much anyway. I also kind of expect Hollywood to bork cool things, so if casting the ‘wrong’ person is the worst they do then *shrug*

  2. Has any movie studio ever recast actors due to pressure from an online petition?

  3. Thinking about this a bit more (and sorry for the triple posts – I was having issues with the site last night), it seems that there’s a tremendous entitlement to thinking that someone else’s creative endeavour has to conform to your expectations. I wonder how much of this comes out of gaming, where you expect to have much more control over the entertainment experience, and also where game companies have folded to players’ complaints (the ending of Mass Effect 3 being a recent example)

  4. Like angharad, I don’t go to many movies, and I’m certainly not likely to get all upset about poor casting choices (or at least, not unless I’ve actually seen the movie involved, by which time it’s really not worth the bother of complaining, let’s face it).
    As for attempting to petition Hollywood to change things… look, I have a perfectly fine collection of walls to bang my head against right here. I don’t need to create any new ones.

  5. I have decided not to see the Lone Ranger because of the race fail. Johnny Depp is not Native American and his head dress comes from a white artist who likes to paint and draw things that are loosely based on Native American art. So the whole thing was a bit too faily for me.
    There are many actors who could have filled the role who actually are Native American.
    I did sign the petition for the Last Airbender. Not that it made any difference.
    I have noticed in my reading that it doesn’t matter how much the author makes a point of describing the characters skin tone I still imagine that character as white, but now I actively try to resist this. I wonder if that is what happens with script writers too?

  6. Mindy: I’ve found PoC fantasy castings very helpful for starting to imagine what movies (and books) might look like with fewer or no white characters. Example:
    This one is gender swapped for bonus points:

  7. Thanks Aqua, fantastic.

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