I agree completely that “actors should be allowed to play any person.” That's why it's called “acting” and make believe. I'm all for diversity, but the way some people are demanding that certain attributes should supercede any requirements of a role is simply outrageous. It reeks with political correctness. Casting considers plenty of factors when they cast an actor, from talent, look to notoriety. It's what they can bring to the project to make and sell it. Talent and project synergy should trump everything else. Because there's always makeup and special effects. So one doesn't have to be a real gay, lesbian, transgender, straight alien, giant, dwarf, robot, Asian, black, white, man, woman, ghost, etc. if an actor can play a role well. Like Charlize Theron who played a lesbian in “Monster” was amazing! Would another real life lesbian actor match the same acting caliber as her on that role? Maybe, but probably not. The same can be said with Tom Hanks and Antonio Banderas who played a gay couple in the movie “Philadelphia”, or Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in “Brokeback Mountain”. I doubt these movies would end up being so iconic had they cast anyone else. Let's also not forget the Wayans brothers who dressed up as white women in “White Chicks”, nobody accused them of being “racist”…. but it was funny. Remember all the cross dressing characters of Eddie Murphy? Are people going to protest? Diversity shouldn't be forced. There's a time and place for authenticity. Like a man doesn’t have to be a real rich vigilante to play Batman, nor do we need a real-life flying person who poses great strength and laser vision to play Superman.
When Hollywood alters a role to attract a certain demographic, it's patronizing and exploitative. Like making a straight character gay in remakes. Thanks for the “representation” but it's really a marketing strategy. It's different when characters in a story are meant to be gay or a minority, because it drives the plot and adds substance to the story. It's another when they're intentionally changed to sell the product to a particular demographic or give in to public pressure. When this happens, it ceases to be an art form, it's turned into a propaganda tool.
However, documentaries and biopics are different. An actor has to represent the subject as closely and accurately as possible to make it believable.
This is really all about political correctness, nothing more. It's a utopian concept that has no place in the real world. It's good for developing juveniles but not for adults.
When people demand that certain people play certain roles instead of others because of who they are and not for their talent and abilities, that’s discrimination. It’s the very thing that minorities and marginalised individuals — like the LGBT community — are standing up against. It would be a real tragedy if such individuals turn into the monster they’re rallying up against.
(TIME) — Scarlett Johansson says her comments on “authentic casting” were taken out of context.
Scarlett Johansson says comments she made on 'authentic casting' were taken out of context and asserts that she supports diversity in film.
In a recent interview with As If magazine, she said actors should be allowed to play any person “because that is my job and the requirement of my job.”