Worst Examples of Ethnically Dubious Movie Casting?

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  • Tom O’Neil
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    #104463

    Johnny Depp as Tonto reminds us of how risky it is for white guys to portray ethnically dubious roles. Often disastrously. Think of Al Jolson in black face in The Jazz Singer. Thing of Mickey Rooney as a Japanese man in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and all of those white actors who taped back their eye slits to portray Charlie Chan. Who else? Let’s compile a list of ethnically criminally casting ….

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    Baby Clyde
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    #104465

    Luie Rainer and Paul Muni play Chinese peasants in The Good Earth.

    According to Rainer they wanted to make her eyes ‘slitty’ but she refused insisting she could make the audience think she was Chinese just through her acting.

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    Baby Clyde
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    #104466

    Alec Guinness is an embarrassment as an Indian doctor in A Passage To India…………

    Apparently at one point he was scheduled to play Gandhi as well. Good grief.

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    Baby Clyde
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    #104467

    Katherine Hepburn in Dragon Seed

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    Marcus Snowden (The Artist Formerly Known as msnowden1)
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    #104468

    I remember when Angelina Jolie was cast to play Mariane Pearl in A Mighty Heart, people were having a field day, since Jolie is white, and Pearl is biracial. Pearl later came out and said that she chose Jolie personally to portray her. Another example is Lou Gossett, Jr. playing Anwar-el Sadat in a TV biopic about the Egyptian leader. That might not count, but I just wanted to put that out there.

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    Logan
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    #104469

    Anyone have an example of a career ruiner? None of these seem to qualify.

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    Halo_Insider
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    #104470

    Wasn’t Rob Schneider called out for playing an offensive Asian stereotype in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry?

    Didn’t John Wayne at one point portray… Genghis Khan?

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    BrokenFan
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    #104471

    Let’s see…

    Naomi Watts in the Impossible. They didn’t even try to hide it.
    Cumberbatch in Star Trek (I’m OK with this one because he was phenomenal)
    In the upcoming film Pacific Rim, several Asian named characters are played by white people. Really? I don’t want to sound like black30 but C’mon 
    The Last Airbender – As a fan of the series, I have to again point out this embarrassing film adaptation. One of the biggest examples of miscasting ever. They have Indian people in Chinese attires…I mean…OK. 

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    Madson Melo
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    #104472

    What? Naomi Watts was playing an english woman LOL

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    24Emmy
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    #104473

    What? Naomi Watts was playing an english woman LOL

    The real person she portrayed, María Belón, is Spanish.

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    Logan
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    #104474

    They changed the ethnicity though, so it’s not comparable to those that used makeup.

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    Andrew Eng
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    #104475

    Let’s see…
    The Last Airbender – As a fan of the series, I have to again point out this embarrassing film adaptation. One of the biggest examples of miscasting ever. They have Indian people in Chinese attires…I mean…OK. 

    Yes, on top of the film just being plain awful and a insult to the series (thank goodness we didn’t get a sequel and that The Legend of Korra came around on TV instead), this too. All of the characters are Asian or non-white (Earth Kingdom = Chinese; Fire Nation = Japanese; Water Tribe = Inuit;  Air Nomads= Tibetan/Indian monks)

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    black30
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    #104476

    Wasn’t Rob Schneider called out for playing an offensive Asian stereotype in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry?
    Didn’t John Wayne at one point portray… Genghis Khan?

    His mother is Asian.

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    SaraR
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    #104477

    BuzzFeed just posted a list today. A few names that haven’t been mentioned…

    Burt Lancaster, Apache
    Chuck Connors, Geronimo
    Laurence Olivier, Othello
    David Carradine, Kung Fu
    Ben Affleck, Argo

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    Leo Grant Logan
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    #104478

    Joel Grey as an Asian in “Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins”.

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