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Rant: Modern Burberry is Crap

Panama

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I’m not at all familiar with Bridgerton, but that isn’t a particularly apt comparison. Black people have played a role in British society for centuries, though history books written by people who look as pale as me rarely focused on them. I’m told that the show features an unrealistically racially integrated society, but in reality it’s probably not all that much less fanciful than the universally lily white casts of most British period pieces.

Casting John Wayne as Chinggis Khan, on the other hand, was just a flat out silly move, because the number of white people in Mongolia at that time could be counted on the fingers of the hand of someone who played with fireworks. Even today there are only a couple of thousand of us here. Plus Khan was a historical figure who actually existed.

I mean, I don’t really care. Weird casting decisions made in a different time shouldn’t bother anyone today, but casting a white guy to play Chinggis Khan today would be really dumb, while casting black people to appear in a Regency era drama is fine.
Oh Queen Charlotte wasn't real? That's okay then. I watched Enola Holmes recently, the East End was depicted as full of black individuals. The Victorian East End was full of Jews such as my Great grand parents and was the original China town. People of Caribbean and African decent didn't really migrate to the UK until after WW2. If they wanted to depict a multicultural Victorian London why not with Jewish and Chinese?
 

Keith Taylor

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Oh Queen Charlotte wasn't real? That's okay then. I watched Enola Holmes recently, the East End was depicted as full of black individuals. The Victorian East End was full of Jews such as my Great grand parents and was the original China town. People of Caribbean and African decent didn't really migrate to the UK until after WW2. If they wanted to depict a multicultural Victorian London why not with Jewish and Chinese?
I’ve never watched the show, and I have no idea about the characters. I just find it funny to see people get their knickers in a twist about black characters in British period pieces when there have been black people in the UK since Roman times.
 

Stylewords

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I’ve never watched the show, and I have no idea about the characters. I just find it funny to see people get their knickers in a twist about black characters in British period pieces when there have been black people in the UK since Roman times.
I don't think people are getting their knickers in a twist. They are simply stating that it is completely ahistorical. There have been black people in Britain since Roman times, but in extremely low numbers and in very specific areas. If people want to make arguments in favour of inclusive casting, then go ahead. Just don't insult our intelligence by making claims that are patently false.
 

Keith Taylor

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I don't think people are getting their knickers in a twist. They are simply stating that it is completely ahistorical. There have been black people in Britain since Roman times, but in extremely low numbers and in very specific areas. If people want to make arguments in favour of inclusive casting, then go ahead. Just don't insult our intelligence by making claims that are patently false.
Meh. Jurassic Park couldn’t really happen in real life, but I don’t see people getting wound up about the unrealistic longevity of DNA nearly as much as they get wound up about black people spoiling their traditionally whites only entertainment. I don’t believe for a moment that the reason for complaints is that people just care so much about accurate representations of British history, because if we cared enough to really understand British history we’d never wave a union flag again. We’d be too busy apologising to everyone for being massive colonial shitgibbons for centuries :)
 

Stylewords

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Meh. Jurassic Park couldn’t really happen in real life, but I don’t see people getting wound up about the unrealistic longevity of DNA nearly as much as they get wound up about black people spoiling their traditionally whites only entertainment. I don’t believe for a moment that the reason for complaints is that people just care so much about accurate representations of British history, because if we cared enough to really understand British history we’d never wave a union flag again. We’d be too busy apologising to everyone for being massive colonial shitgibbons for centuries :)
So many baseless assumptions made about the people pointing out a misrepresentation of history. A sad sign of our times.
 

Keith Taylor

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Nah, not at all. When you see the exact same people get repeatedly up in arms about racial casting choices but fail to bat an eyelash at any of the countless other historical modifications in media it seems fair to draw some pretty obvious conclusions regarding their intent (I don’t refer specifically to anyone here, just the general noise from the same quarters every time a person of colour gets cast in anything that isn’t a Tyler Perry movie).
 

Stylewords

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Nah, not at all. When you see the exact same people get repeatedly up in arms about racial casting choices but fail to bat an eyelash at any of the countless other historical modifications in media it seems fair to draw some pretty obvious conclusions regarding their intent (I don’t refer specifically to anyone here, just the general noise from the same quarters every time a person of colour gets cast in anything that isn’t a Tyler Perry movie).
So you are unable to engage with the point because of what you imagine many of the people making the point are actually thinking without saying. As I said, a sad sign of our times.
 

Keith Taylor

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OK, then. I look forward to seeing the people complaining about the casting choices continue with their exhaustive list of issues with the dress, culture, language and behaviour of the characters not fitting with the time period. I’m sure their quest for historical accuracy just started with race for no apparent reason.

In the meantime I have to get going, because Lucy promised she’ll really, truly, honest to God let Charlie Brown kick the football this time, and I want to watch ;)
 

JFWR

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I’m not at all familiar with Bridgerton, but that isn’t a particularly apt comparison. Black people have played a role in British society for centuries, though history books written by people who look as pale as me rarely focused on them. I’m told that the show features an unrealistically racially integrated society, but in reality it’s probably not all that much less fanciful than the universally lily white casts of most British period pieces.

Casting John Wayne as Chinggis Khan, on the other hand, was just a flat out silly move, because the number of white people in Mongolia at that time could be counted on the fingers of the hand of someone who played with fireworks. Even today there are only a couple of thousand of us here. Plus Khan was a historical figure who actually existed.

I mean, I don’t really care. Weird casting decisions made in a different time shouldn’t bother anyone today, but casting a white guy to play Chinggis Khan today would be really dumb, while casting black people to appear in a Regency era drama is fine.
Black people may have existed in small numbers in England, but is there evidence they were prevalent as upper class aristocrats? Or more importantly: was Queen Charlotte black? The answer to the latter is definitely not, whereas the answer to the former is very few, if any.

We know how Genghis Khan looked like, we know what Queen Charlotte looked like. This should inform our historical drama casting choices.

England was a largely ethnically homogenous society during much of its history. It is not currently, but was for thousands of years.

I am opposed to putting unnecessary white people in African or Asian society dramas; I am equally opposed to non-whites in European society dramas.

Here's another question I have: would you want a historical piece in the antebellum South to feature a curious number of black slave masters? Jefferson Davis played by a black person? I am not talking about the moral problems of the depiction, but just the historical idiocy of it. The moral problems would underscore the laughable ahistoricity, but it would only underscore, not be the basis of.
 

JFWR

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Nah, not at all. When you see the exact same people get repeatedly up in arms about racial casting choices but fail to bat an eyelash at any of the countless other historical modifications in media it seems fair to draw some pretty obvious conclusions regarding their intent (I don’t refer specifically to anyone here, just the general noise from the same quarters every time a person of colour gets cast in anything that isn’t a Tyler Perry movie).
I don't think any person has a problem with non-whites being represented in cinema. The problem is telling me that white people were black people and vice versa.

Many people may also be historically less informed to point out discrepancies and other anachronisms.
 

Keith Taylor

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I mean, there’s a pretty interesting theory that Queen Charlotte was of African descent, though nobody can know for sure either way. One would think it would be a fairly uncontroversial decision to portray her as such in popular entertainment.

Never mind that, though. Did you know that the guy who played Dennis Nedry in Jurassic Park can’t even program a computer in real life? And he wasn’t really killed by a dilophosaur. Apparently he’s just some sort of... actor. They made it all up.

I’m thinking of starting a petition. We can’t let popular entertainment continue lying to us, right? I’m *furious* about this ;)
 

Phileas Fogg

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Anyone who has ever gone to see an opera or a play knows that accuracy in racial representation is somewhat fluid.

I suppose if the characters race is an essential feature of that character, that’s one thing. I’m not sure someone white would pass as Othello, especially as his race is alluded to in the text. But I’ve seen Caesar represented by an African-American and didn’t find it odd. Opera is notorious for this.

With that, I really do wish some sectors of our society would stop feigning outrage at the perceived lack of accuracy in racial representation. There was a dust up not too long ago about Gal Gadot playing cleopatra. “Critics” were saying that an Arab or African actress should have played the part. Apparently those critics failed to do the basic research to understand that cleopatra was Greek. Besides, Gal Gadot is Israeli. She’s Semitic, as are Arabs.

This is the kind of nonsense that most people roll their eyes at but the media seems to feel they need to treat seriously lest they are next in the cross hairs of the Twitter mob.
 

radicaldog

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In renaissance paintings biblical characters are often represented wearing modern (i.e. renaissance era) clothing, to make them more relatable. I think we should see some casting decisions in that light.
 

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