Exploring racism in Hollywood, White voice over actors step down from mixed race roles, and Kanye West Signs a 10 year deal with Gap.
Written by: Samantha Jacobs – July 1st, 2020 1:42 pm pst
The Black Hollywood Reporter
Black Hollywood Live’s, The Black Hollywood Reporter, brings you the top trending news on industry buzz, business and creatives in Black entertainment. This week we highlight the white voiceover actors who have stepped down from their mixed-race roles, exploring racism in Hollywood, Trevor Noah’s opinion on copaganda, and Jon Stewart talks about the lack of talk show diversity.
In the Social Media Report, we go over the update Disneyland is doing to Splash Mountain and Kanye West’s Gap deal.
As Hollywood tries to navigate change within the industry, voiceover acting isn’t getting left out! It’s no surprise that white actors are playing BIPOC characters in animated shows we love. This past week a few white actors have taken it upon themselves to no longer play their mixed race roles in hopes of growth in hiring BIPOC voice actors for BIPOC characters.
Actors who have recently stepped down are:
Jenny Slate on Big Mouth where she played Missy Foreman-Greenwald since 2017
Mike Henry on Family Guy where he played Cleveland Brown for 20 years
Kristen Bell on Central Park where she played Molly
Alison Brie on BoJack Horseman where she played Diane Nguyen for 70 episodes
It’s been an honor to play Cleveland on Family Guy for 20 years. I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role. pic.twitter.com/FmKasWITKT
This is a time to acknowledge our acts of complicity. Heres 1 of mine. Playing the Molly in Central Park shows a lack of awareness of my pervasive privilege. Casting a mixed race character w/a white actress undermines the specificity of the mixed race & Black American experience. pic.twitter.com/8AL8m4K7Uk
This is something I am happy to talk about! I can tense up when asked about my mistakes (because I'm worried I'll say the wrong thing) but it's good for me to reflect on them and I hope others seeing me do so will help them not make the same mistakes! THREAD (with links!): https://t.co/8mLehLoAHV
To keep the conversation going, SAG-AFTRA held a panel for their Education, Outreach and Engagement program on Race and Storytelling. Industry professionals including Paris Barclay (Director/Producer), Sterling K. Brown (Actor), Yvette Nicole Brown (Actor), Robi Reed (Casting Director/Producer), and more participated as panelists to tell their stories and experiences as Black people in the Entertainment world. The open discussion discussed everything from micro to macro racial biases and how this impact has formed what Hollywood is today.
A story that stood out the most came from actor Jason George, when he experienced a “painting down” when shooting an indie film. A paint down is when they put make-up on a stunt double’s body to replicate the skin tone of the actor’s skin color aka blackface. As Jason saw a stunt double being painted down, the secret was out, and he immediately addressed this to the team. Luckily, they were in support of his statements for change and hired a black stunt double. This old Hollywood “trick” is slowly becoming exposed, which opens up another door in the industry, stunts, showing there are many, many areas that lack BIPOC where it is extremely necessary. What’s more confusing is if they can hire people to do a paint down, why is it consistently a struggle to hire talent to do Black hair and make-up on set for Black actors??
#ICYMI: Watch the first installment of our new series on Race and Storytelling, with all our all-star panel discussing the impact of systemic biases and their experiences as Black professionals in the entertainment industry. https://t.co/LPjxF95nE6
“Copaganda” has been a topic of ours in the past, but it will always be relevant until we see change. Trevor Noah brought copaganda back in the spotlight by dedicating a full segment on police portrayal on TV and how it is replicated in real life. The Daily Show host explained this with visuals of clips from various police shows of “always right” cops using excessive force with real-life police brutality videos. Noah continued the conversation by making a statement in hopes of change in the industry.
“To all those show creators, directors and writers in Hollywood who make these cop shows and have been tweeting that something needs to be done about the police, well, one way you can help make a difference is if you do something about the police on screen.”
Last episode we talked about the possibility of Disneyland re-theming Splash Mountain from Song of the South to Princess and the Frog. Disney has made a final decision and said YES to the change. The two Black female Imagineers taking the lead on the re-theming are Charita Carter (Senior Creative Producer) and Carmen Smith (Creative Development and Inclusive Strategies Executive). They both are delighted to work on this project to give guests a “fun-filled experience” and “see themselves in the experiences they create.” A date on when to expect the new ride to launch has not been released. Will Disney keep the “classic” Splash Mountain open for fans to ride it one last time?
After stating in 2015 about wanting to be the creative director at Gap, five years later, Kanye West can cross another goal off his list. Kanye aka Ye, has signed a 10 year deal with Gap; the store he used to work at growing up. He will design a basic line for men, women and children, which goes hand-in-hand with his current Yeezy line. The fashion collaboration is predicted to bring in $1 billion for Gap after it’s tanking revenue. Gap isn’t the only one that has full faith in Mr. West, a 42% stock increase in Gap shows that investors are ready to put their money wherever Kanye goes. Adidas, the brand behind Yeezy sneakers, saw a stock decrease once the announcement was made. Would it be smart to add Kim Kardashian West’s SKIMS brand into the mix?
We encourage you to watch our companion show to this article, which not only follows this outline, but goes into depth with hosts’ opinions and more inside information. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to share it with a friend and definitely watch, The Black Hollywood Reporter, here on Black Hollywood Live.
For the best news and talk articles, podcasts and video on Black Hollywood, keep tuning in to Black Hollywood Live.
About The Author:
Samantha Jacobs is is a host for AfterBuzzTV and Black Hollywood Live who is a DePaul University Journalism School Alumni. She has worked for multiple media platforms in radio,TV and film.
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