Typecast

“The trick [to avoiding being typecasted] is to plan wisely. I am very particular about what projects I choose to do. What people don’t see is the number of scripts that I get sent, with requests for me to play everything from an Indian spice merchant to a terrorist! If I decide that I am going to play an Indian character, I make sure that I am telling a different story from what I have done before.” – Dev Patel

A short comic about the way we view animals. Vultures are typecast as cowardly scavengers, often seen as a thing of evil, where eagles are seen as a symbol of freedom and courage.

Nevermind that an eagle will willingly eat carrion itself- the most common prey for these birds are things like trout or rabbits or squirrels- hardly a fight for the ages. The vulture however? May have to contend with other scavengers many times its size.

Don’t think that it doesn’t ‘work,’ just because it doesn’t hunt.

This was an experimental page done to test my paneling abilities in inDesign. I like how it works a lot. I just need to figure out some proportions a bit better and set up a template.

typecasting musical theater dudes

musical theater men and the character types they usually play

Jeremy Jordan: earnest but naïve

Andrew Rannells: narcissistic but innocent

Jonathan Groff: innocent but narcissistic also plays straight

Christian Borle: Slightly Unbalanced Man ™ also plays gay

Brian d’Arcy James: suffering everyman

Ben Platt: anxious compulsive liar

Nic Rouleau: Elder Kevin Price

Lin-Manuel Miranda: himself

Laura Moon is not your “iconic badass female character” at all, and I’d appreciate it if white women stopped pretending otherwise. 

I do think it’s important and necessary to portray female characters who are complex, flawed, selfish, dangerous, and even a bit villainous. I also think it’s crucial to represent female characters with mental illnesses properly. So yes, in that sense, Laura is written quite well. Her depression is not aestheticized or glorified in the slightest, nor is it fetishized for a male viewing audience. She’s not a typical wife to a male protagonist because she is dangerous, she is apathetic, she is both a liar and casually blunt, she is self-aware, and she is cynical. These are not typical traits for the love interests of male characters. I get that. 

But Laura is also meant to be a character you dislike, or, at the very least, one that you should have quite a difficult time empathizing with. Not only did she cheat on her husband - she cheated on him with his best friend, a man who also happened to be her best friend’s husband. Her selfish desires caused Shadow to get imprisoned, and she committed adultery while he was in prison because she lied to both Shadow and to herself when she said she could wait for him. She chose temporary relief over honesty. She treated Shadow apathetically, selfishly, and patronizingly, and in fact even after her death she continues to condescend to Shadow and expects him to be at her beck and call. She was callous and flippant with a god (Mr. Jacquel, AKA Anubis) and expected him to listen to her whims. Mr. Jacquel is a serious but compassionate person - if even someone like him is irritated by her actions, then you know that Laura is not a nice or good person at all. 

You don’t need to justify her behavior. You need to accept that she’s a selfish and bad person. If you truly want complicated and different female characters, you cannot spend time trying to prettify or justify their awful behavior. 

Audrey, who justifiably hates Laura, still cares for her because Laura, albeit her actions, was her best friend. It’s difficult to fully hate someone when you found out about their death and their adultery at the same time. But she has no qualms about letting Laura know what she truly thinks about her. And she’s right - Laura did not love Shadow. Laura did not treat him properly. Laura was selfish. Laura is still selfish. Laura thinks of nothing but herself, and it doesn’t matter that she’s depressed; depression does not excuse treating your loved ones like toys to play with or manipulate. 

The only reason any of you are justifying Laura’s behavior is because Shadow is black. The protagonist of the show is a black man, and that’s exactly why you think the show is only good now that Laura is on it. I’ve seen people say “well the show passes the Bechdel test because of Laura now”. Setting aside the sad reality that the Bechdel Test was created by a lesbian to measure lesbian representation (so the show doesn’t actually pass the test since there are currently no lesbian characters on it), there are actually interesting and unique female characters already. These same fans who are touting Laura Moon as the height of “revolutionary” female representation ignore Bilquis. 

If Shadow was a white man, he’d definitely get more sympathy from white fans. Conversely, if Laura was a black woman, she’d get villainized by the same people who are currently defending her. Or alternatively, if Shadow had cheated on Laura, he would be deemed persona non grata by these “Laura defense squad” type fans. Hell, if Shadow was a white man, white fans would not be saying that the show was “boring” until Laura came along - they’d hype it up from the get go. 

This show is incredibly important because the main character is a black man who isn’t reduced to stereotypes at all, and it’s important because it has many characters of color who are written well and aren’t typecast into boring roles. Laura Moon is not what makes this show great. Sure, she’s one example of the great writing behind the show precisely because she’s such a challenging character to figure out and analyze. But even her actress, Emily Browning, acknowledges that she is supposed to be a character you have a hard time liking or empathizing with. Do not excuse her actions or lessen the degree of hurt she caused. 

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At The Atlantic, we believe it’s never been more important to take on established answers with tough questions. Here, Michael K. Williams, of The Wire and The Night Of, wrestles with one of his own: Is he being typecast?

This is such a deep video, you’ll forget it’s actually a commercial. 

Send Nude Pics of Your Heart to Me

James Potter to Mrs. Wife: lily can we have another baby?

Lily Potter to Wears Socks to Bed: R u going to text me that every time Harry does something cute?

James Potter: yes

Lily Potter: U know if we got one every time u asked we’d have like 35 babies by now??

James Potter: i’d be okay with that

James Potter: they might give us our own tv programme

James Potter: lil and jim and their kin 

Lily Potter: Ur right what’s the point of having children if not to pimp them out for reality television

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Netflix really wants me to watch Ozark and between the keywords “Jason Bateman” and “family unity” and “cabin” and “hiding millions of dollars of cash inside the walls” I can’t be unconvinced that it’s the Black Mirror version of Arrested Development I’m sorry

theguardian.com
Typecast as a terrorist | Riz Ahmed | The Long Read
The Long Read: As my acting career developed, I was no longer cast as a radical Muslim – except at the airport
By Riz Ahmed

This is a really powerful essay. Here’s the beginning of it, but definitely go read the whole thing.

To begin with, auditions taught me to get through airports. In the end, it was the other way around. I’m an actor. Since I was a teenager I have had to play different characters, negotiating the cultural expectations of a Pakistani family, Brit-Asian rudeboy culture, and a scholarship to private school. The fluidity of my own personal identity on any given day was further compounded by the changing labels assigned to Asians in general.

As children in the 1980s, when my brother and I were stopped near our home by a skinhead who decided to put a knife to my brother’s throat, we were black. A decade later, the knife to my throat was held by another “Paki”, a label we wore with swagger in the Brit-Asian youth and gang culture of the 1990s. The next time I found myself as helplessly cornered, it was in a windowless room at Luton airport. My arm was in a painful wrist-lock and my collar pinned to the wall by British intelligence officers. It was “post 9/11”, and I was now labelled a Muslim.

As a minority, no sooner do you learn to polish and cherish one chip on your shoulder than it’s taken off you and swapped for another. The jewellery of your struggles is forever on loan, like the Koh-i-Noor diamond in the crown jewels. You are intermittently handed a necklace of labels to hang around your neck, neither of your choosing nor making, both constricting and decorative.

Part of the reason I became an actor was the promise that I might be able to help stretch these necklaces, and that the teenage version of myself might breathe a little easier as a result.

“I get asked all the time if I’m worried about getting typecast as a queer person. Well, no. I don’t. Queer people are all very different, and have different interests. They don’t ask straight actors, ‘Are you worried about getting typecast as straight?’ I never get tired of playing queer. I just want to tell stories.”

-Natasha Negovanlis

Stereotyped vs Nuanced Characters and Audience Perception

Writing with color receives many questions regarding the stereotypes Characters of Color and their story lines may possess.

There’s a difference between having a three-dimensional character with trait variance and flaws, versus one who walks the footsteps of a role people of their race/ethnicity are constantly put into. Let’s discuss this, as well as how sometimes, while there’s not much issue with the character, a biased audience will not allow the character to be dimensional.

But first: it’s crucial to consider the thinking behind your literary decisions.

Trace your Logic 

When it comes to the roles and traits you assign your characters, it’s important to ask yourself why you made them the way they are. This is especially true for your marginalized characters.

So you need an intimidating, scary character. What does intimidating look like on first brainstorm? Is it a Black man, large in size or presence? (aka a Scary Black Man) A Latino with trouble with the law? If so, why?

Really dig, even as it gets uncomfortable. You’ll likely find you’re conditioned to think of certain people in certain roles on the spot.

It’s a vicious cycle; we see a group of people represented a certain way in media, and in our own works depict them in the way we know. Whether you consciously believe it’s the truest depiction of them all or not, we’re conditioned to select them for these roles again and again. Actors of Color report on being told in auditions they’re not performing stereotypical enough and have been encouraged to act more “ethnic.” 

This ugly merry-go-round scarcely applies to (cis, straight) white people as they are allowed a multitude of roles in media. Well, then again, I do notice a funny trend of using white characters when stories need a leader, a hero, royalty, a love interest…

Today’s the day to break free from this preconditioned role-assigning.

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i’m glad the ffvii remake is happening, because so far the only cloud we’ve seen fully voiced and rendered is the moping stonefaced borefest he got typecast as because he had the audacity to be sad one time

i want the cloud who disguises himself as a concubine, right down to the underwear, because the tittering flower girl he just met told him it would be a great idea. i want the cloud who proudly rides the plains on a cartoon ostrich, which he wrangled himself by throwing turnips at it while discreetly murdering all surrounding wildlife. i want the cloud who tries to infiltrate an evil corporation by stealing a uniform, showing up late to a parade and running in squares like a fucking idiot on live television

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The Instagram post has been deleted but Xavier commented on it:

xavierwoodsphd Someone sent me your post @funnymanalexthomas I assume so that I could clear up the disgusting assumptions that you have made of me and my group, The New Day. What we are doing with our current position is the furthest thing from racist but I can see that you did not feel the need to figure out the why or the how before making an attempt to inflame your following to get a few extra likes for your ig. My brothers and I have done everything possible in our power to change the perspective of the way that African Americans have been viewed in the past by our industry (professional wrestling). There was a time where being black meant that you were either foreign, you were a dancer, or you were simply the big strong black guy. We used to be classified by the color of our skin and typecast in these roles without being given a clean slate to be what ever it is that we wanted to be….

xavierwoodsphd Which means that the idea of starting with a clean slate is something that we have to face from both ends. For example, as I stated, the industry of professional wrestling viewed us (black people) in a certain manner due to the color of our skin. And then you, a black comedian with a solid following and a voice sees one of our products, types lies about it, says we are “coonin”, and hastags “Blackface” without feeling the need to do any type of research on the why or how this has come into existence. In the entertainment industry we see blacks typecast in a villainous light playing gangsters, thugs, etc. But luckily its getting better. We wanted to do our part to help that change that so we did. We took an idea that was given to us to be overly charismatic positive preachers, essentially another stereotype which would have done nothing to help advance African Americans in our field.

xavierwoodsphd Eventually we spun the idea into something where we could simply be ourselves. My partners Kofi Kingston and Big E both have their college degrees. I myself have two degrees, a masters, and a nerd culture youtube channel that helps to empower kids with similar interest rather than bringing them down for enjoying things that aren’t in the mainstream. We express the idea that knowledge is power and that you can be literally whatever it is that you want to be. The three of us were clowned growing up because of our interest in video games and comic books. Growing up we weren’t ever “black” enough for a lot of people. But when really looking at it they meant that we didn’t fall into the black stereotypes that we as black people hate being classified into. This does nothing but internally tear us down as a race when we are supposed to be building each other up. The accoutrement that we have, unicorn horns and a trombone, have stories and reasons that we come to the ring with them. It has all been a part of our evolution.

xavierwoodsphd This cereal was our idea and we love cartoons so adding them into the mix was something we definitely wanted to do. The way that we look on the box is how we look like in real life. So to say we are “coonin” is extremely disrespectful to us, what we have accomplished and what we are currently trying to do. We broke a record for the longest reigning tag team champions that had been in tact for 20 plus years, we have changed the way that people approach stereotypes about black people in our industry for the better, we are empowering not just black children but all children to understand that you don’t have to fit the mold or be what other people see you as in order to be successful, we have inspired people and helped them get through loss and depression, we participate in anti bullying rallys, we meet amazing kids who are a part of the make-a-wish foundation, we are on the road 300 plus days a year in order to to bring joy and happiness to families across the world.

xavierwoodsphd So if that counts as “coonin” then I must have misunderstood the definition when my parents explained racially derogatory terms to me when I was a child. This post is not meant to degrade or throw shade. It is meant to inform and educate you and the people who follow you that assuming the worst and using racially derogatory language to describe others without knowing anything about them is never the right thing to do. I’m aware that there are people who will not agree with me on this and that is fine but I just urge them to find a more productive way to combat racism than being mad at few guys who are trying to combat it themselves. I wish you nothing but success in your travels and your career. I hope that this has opened your eyes.

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#kdramawomensweek: Day One: Least Typecast Fave: An actress you appreciate who manages to not get boxed into industry stereotypes (re: roles), someone who constantly surprises you. @undergroundkdrama

Kim Mi Kyung

She is an actress playing many different roles. Sometimes she is a loving mother, sometimes a chaebol aunt, and sometimes a hacker-ahjumma. And those dramas above are just the ones I watched, I know she has many other roles with different characters.