Does the myth still persist that Hollywood is staffed exclusively by progressive liberals?
I’m asking this because last fall, a sizeable bunch of actors and directors got together to defend Roman Polanski, and then there was that debacle at the Oscars when Alec Baldwin slapped winner Kathryn Bigelow’s behind BUT HEY I’M SURE HE WAS BEING IRONIC and the band played “Thank Heaven For Little Girls” and… ugh, that’s enough. So I was thinking: maybe this myth has already been dispelled, and the idea of “Hollywood elitist liberals” is dead already.
Then I remembered how doublethink works and figured: doubtful.
And so I bring you this, from an article at the BBC website on why Hollywood hires so many British actors who can manage convincing American accents to star in American TV and films:
English actor James Purefoy, who played Mark Antony in Rome, believes the network of British actors is perceived by American colleagues as cheap labour.
“We are often referred to in Los Angeles as white Mexicans,” he told an audience of British hopefuls at a seminar on how to make it in America.
Whoa – check, please! “White Mexicans”? Get it? Oh, it’s so clever because, you see, Mexicans are sometimes oppressed into acting as cheap labor for Southern Californians, and this exploitation is, apparently, just hilarious. But wait, it gets even worse because here’s a newsflash: not all British people are white. In fact, one of the first actors mentioned in the article as an example of this trend is Idris Elba, the black British actor who played Stringer Bell in The Wire. A number of other British actors of varying brown persuasions working in the United States are also mentioned in the article. And yet… “white Mexicans.”
Let’s count up the charges on this one:
- Stereotyping and objectifying Mexican-Americans.
- Trivializing exploitation by comparing a situation in which people from a country with a social safety net choose to underbid the competition with a situation in which people flee to another country to work for less than minimum wage because that’s a better option than they had at home. Think about that for a minute – seriously.
- The massive white privilege involved in referring to all British people as “white” when so many of the specific individuals you’re discussing are, in fact, obviously not.
- Bringing race into it by using the term “white” at all when it wasn’t even necessary to the still highly problematic comparison to “Mexicans.”
- Using the term “Mexicans” to refer to any group more broad than “citizens of Mexico.”
What else have I missed? I have a feeling there’s a lot.