I searched for connections between Trevor Noah and colorblind or color-concious casting and came upon the articles below.
The first article doesn’t include his thoughts but is about the casting of the adapation of his memoir. No whitewashing, to be sure, but still there was displeasure around representation. Casting could not be more tricky.
I bolded phrases in the second article that relate to what I will call the white monopoly on storytelling. It makes me see an analogy to pollution in manufacturing. If your activity has a harmful byproduct, what can you do to minimize that? How does white-centric casting passively establish who does and does not belong in particular roles in society?
People Are Already Stressing About The Casting Of Trevor Noah’s Biopic
…and it’s barely 24 hours since the announcement.
By Duenna Mambana
Trevor Noah’s announcement that his book “Born A Crime: Stories From A South African Childhood” will be adapted into a film is a big win not only for him, but for South Africa at large.
Making the announcement on social media, Noah said Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o would play the role of his mother.
Nyong’o herself is excited.
“When I read Trevor Noah’s “Born A Crime” I could not put the book down. Excited to announce that I will be starring in and producing its feature-film adaptation,” she said in a tweet.
But not everyone is happy that the role of Patricia (Noah’s mom) will be played by Nyong’o.
Why didn’t Trevor noah choose a local xhosa speaking actress. We have plenty good ones. We have supported him from the beginning, why isn’t he trying to open doors for other local Celebs? #BornACrime
— Mabongee (@koeksister123) February 22, 2018
I’m happy for Trevor but I wish he took it home. I wish South Africans played South Africans I think our talent is sufficient #BornACrime
— Omuhle Makaziwe Gela (@Omuhle_Gela) February 22, 2018
I (secretly) wanted an All South African cast. #BornACrime
— Khanya Mkangisa (@KhanyaMkangisa) February 22, 2018
But others couldn’t care less about where the cast hails from.
South Africans have also gone further – suggesting how the rest of the cast should look.
Can the local actor @ThatRobertoGuy be in the Born a Crime movie? Or am I the only one who sees the resemblance?
— Stephanie Pekeur (@Ste_phine) Feb 22, 2018
This guy would make a great trevor noah #BornACrime (Brighton Ngoma)
— Yolana (@Yolana64765341) February 22, 2018
In “Born A Crime” — which is also the title of one of his stand-up comedy shows, Noah shares his experience of growing up coloured, with a Xhosa mother and a Swiss father, in apartheid South Africa.
Trevor Noah on Scarlett Johansson’s comments: ‘We take for granted how much representation means’
Trevor Noah is using Scarlett Johansson’s controversial casting comments to make a powerful statement about representation in Hollywood.
“We take for granted how much representation means to human beings, I think in two ways: one, in an inspirational front, but two, just how it shapes society,” Noah said in a clip uploaded to the “Daily Show” YouTube page Wednesday night.
Johansson came under fire earlier this week for comments in a recent interview with As If, in which she said she “should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal.”
Many found the comments inconsiderate following the actress’ track record of taking minority roles: she previously dropped out of a role where she was slated to play a transgender man and was criticized for “whitewashing” the lead role in a Japanese manga adaptation.
The actress responded to criticism Sunday, arguing the interview was “taken out of context” and promising to “continue to support” casting diversity.
“An interview that was recently published has been edited for click bait and is widely taken out of context,” she previously wrote in a statement to USA TODAY. “The question I was answering in my conversation with the contemporary artist, David Salle, was about the confrontation between political correctness and art. I personally feel that, in an ideal world, any actor should be able to play anybody and Art, in all forms, should be immune to political correctness. That is the point I was making, albeit didn’t come across that way.”
She continued: “I recognize that in reality, there is a wide spread discrepancy amongst my industry that favors Caucasian, cis gendered actors and that not every actor has been given the same opportunities that I have been privileged to. I continue to support, and always have, diversity in every industry and will continue to fight for projects where everyone is included.”
In a “between the scenes” clip, Noah said he understands why Johansson “may want to get defensive as a person” and “can even understand why some white people might feel like they’re under attack in and around these conversations” surrounding casting diversity.
“But that’s exactly what people are saying: for so long, Hollywood and the people who define storytelling in America have defined it as stories to be told for and by white people,” the late night host said. “And so the roles that have generally been reserved for black people have been the stereotypes of criminal, maid, slave. That’s pretty much it.”
Noah called shows like Hulu’s “Rami,” which tells the story of a Muslim family living in the U.S., “so important, not in a charity way, but just in a ‘great TV, great stories, great inclusivity’ kind of way.”
“I don’t take for granted how the idea of terrorists and Muslims was propagated by Hollywood,” he added. “That imagery is powerful, because a lot of the people who watch those movies don’t even come into contact with diverse people, so the image of these people is defined by Hollywood. You’d think that a place that considers itself so liberal would try to find a place to represent people.”
Noah concluded: “So someone like Scarlett Johansson sometimes doesn’t understand … no, people aren’t attacking you for this. They’re just saying, you have the luxury of all of these roles and the roles that these other people will never be considered for.“