GA

Neil Gaiman makes statement against racebending

Awhile back I was discussing Neil Gaiman's fantastic book, American Gods with someone.
...a scary, strange, and hallucinogenic road-trip story wrapped around a deep examination of the American spirit. - Amazon.com
During the conversation, I shuddered to think that AG's lead character, Shadow, might be played by a non-biracial character as in the book, Shadow's mom is African American and his dad is Caucasian.
So I posted a query of sorts on Neil Gaiman's Facebook:
neil

Neil himself responded to my concern saying,
I don't know about Vin, but I've asked the people doing the AMERICAN GODS TV/movie project to be very aware of Shadow's race.

This is a win folks, and my many thanks to Neil Gaiman for publicly stating that he as a creator is aware of the importance of inclusivity.  

I'd expect nothing less from the author of American Gods.  If you haven't read it yet, you need to get reading today since it's been announced that HBO is in talks with Tom Hanks production Playtone to bring American Gods to tv sets everywhere!

When I returned to the original post on Neil Gaiman's FB, I was dissapointed to see fans dismissing biracial actors like Vin Diesel or the Rock in favor of White actors like Russel Crowe, Christian Bale, Joe Manganiello, Eric Bane and Viggo Mortensen.  All of them fine White actors, White nonetheless.

Seems that our minds do re-create the realities of the world we live in, and as such any lack of cultural understanding come along for the ride.  It's even more important than ever for creators such as Neil Gaiman to support, and even insist that characters keep their color!

"Racebending" (defined) is still too common; recently Asian American community leaders approached Warner Bros about White actors playing the lead role in AKIRA!  Akira, originally a Japanese manga series originally serialized in the 1980's is set in a post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo.

An OMG moment
“Actors like Robert Pattison and Andrew Garfield have the privilege of playing iconic white characters that Asian American actors would never be considered for...When white actors are also asked to play iconic Asian characters, Asian American actors lose their shot at starring in anything.” - Racebending.com co-founder Marissa Lee


As the plans for American Gods get finalized, I will continue hoping that biracial actors are considered for this amazing role.  I'm not gonna lie, when Vin Diesel's phone number got leaked years ago, I did leave him a voice mail asking him to read American Gods!  I do think he's one of the best fits, seeing as he's a huge fantasy geek with serious acting chops that some might dismiss in preference to traditional actor of color stereotypes such as the "noble negro" or the "angry black man" (See Morgan Freeman as God in Evan Almighty and/or Denzel Washington in John Q).  Don't get me wrong, Samuel L. Jackson has done very well navigating the corridor between these types!  Still, without characters like Shadow correctly cast, we're gonna be stuck on the plane with the motherfrakkin snakes k?

At least give these great biracial actors a ring!

Vin Diesel (discovered by Steven Spielberg)
vin_find_me_guilty2
(Pitch Black, Fast and Furious, Saving Private Ryan)

Wentworth Miller (The Human Stain, Prison Break, screenwriter on upcoming "Stoker")
wentworth_miller


Jason Momoa (HBO's Game of Thrones, upcoming 2011 Conan the Barbarian)
20110416_fea_momoa1

Boris Kodjoe (Undercovers, Resident Evil: Afterlife, Surrogates)
220px-Boris_Kodjoe

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (Walking Tall, The Other Guys, Faster)
Dwayne_Johnson_Profile

Thanks to BlackFlix.com's List of Multiracial Celebrities: http://www.blackflix.com/articles/multiracial.html