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December 11, 2010

Hobbit Auditions: Dark-Skinned Need Not Apply

Debates abuzz after 'Hobbit' casting agent turns away a dark-skinned woman

A couple of weeks ago, a casting agent for Peter Jackson's upcoming Hobbit was fired for telling a woman she was too dark to play one a hobbit.

It's caused quite a stir, with people weighing in on both sides of the issue. Some say the agent deserved to be fired for her "racist" attitude, but others contend that the hobbits in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth, rooted in Anglo-Saxon, Northern European lore, should be Caucasian.

Atlantic Wire has a nice summary of the discussion. Check it out, and let us know what you think in the comments section.

Comments

Really, the press is blowing this out of proportion. It is absolutely standard in the movie business for there to be detailed descriptions of what the characters should look like for every casting call. A casting call for a part will often say things like, "Role: Male, 20-25 years old, white, 6'-6'2, dark curly hair, thin, Texas accent, lead." Would this part be discriminating against women, kids, old people, non-whites, short people, giants, straight-haired people, blonds and redheads, fat people, and Northerners and foreigners? Of course not. Certain people with very specific traits are needed for specific roles. That's how it always works in the movies!

Beyond this, I wouldn't want nor expect whites or Asians to be included in a film of African mythology, as I would not want blacks or whites included in a film of Chinese, Japanese, or Indian mythology. It ruins the authenticity of it. Tolkien made the Haradrim who lived to the East and South of Middle Earth darker, but Middle Earth itself was clearly supposed to be an early version of Europe (Shire = rural England, Rohan = Anglo-Saxon England, Gondor = Rome, etc.). That being said, I think they could have allowed some leeway in regard to the Hobbits since they aren't even human. That wouldn't have been quite as illegitimate as incorrectly portraying the human peoples of Rohan and Gondor.

I wish everybody would quit making everything about race. There are more important things in life than to fixate on race.

This is taking political correctness to ridiculous extremes. I, too, wish that people would stop fixating on race. And generally, it is racists who tend to fixate on race. I'm disappointed that CT would even bother to report this nonsense.

Good Lord, have these people read the books!? Tolkien describes Hobbits as light skinned. I'm sorry but that's how the he had them described, and that's the way it should be. The only blacks mentioned in the book were from the southern lands like Near & Far Harad, and Umbar. Asians or more like mongoloid like folks were from a place in south-east of Mordor called Khand. Lastly Arabs were from Umbar and Harad.

Being PC is ridiculous and unbiblical in every way.

Good Lord, have these people read the books!? Tolkien describes Hobbits as light skinned. I'm sorry but that's how the he had them described, and that's the way it should be. The only blacks mentioned in the book were from the southern lands like Near & Far Harad, and Umbar. Asians or more like mongoloid like folks were from a place in south-east of Mordor called Khand. Lastly Arabs were from Umbar and Harad.

Being PC is ridiculous and unbiblical in every way.

Oh, c'mon folks. Let's stop being so naive about the whole race issue. If the situation was as good as some of you all seem to believe it is, the Hobbit issue would not have had garnered much of a response at all, even with media coverage, would it?

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