Let’s talk about White Washing in Hollywood

White Washing refers to a casting practice, primarily that used in the United States in which white actors are cast in historically non-white character roles. The industry is notorious for having a diversity issue, one that predates its creation. Hollywood was built on white privilege and discrimination and not much has changed since then.

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The producers are white. The directors are white. The actors are white. Even when characters are of ethnic origin, casting directors tend to fill the roles with white actors.

However, Hollywood doesn’t see whitewashing as a problem, instead they believe it is a necessity. A financial necessity. For example, in 2014 director Ridley Scott told Variety. “I can’t mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such after receiving criticism for his lack of middle eastern actor’s in his film Exodus Gods and Kings.

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His argument is shocking but not surprising. It is common knowledge that successful filmmakers in Hollywood are more willing to turn a blind eye and adopt complacency to discrimination than take a stand and provide a solution for it. They seem to believe that it is okay to take the cultures of other societies, the history, the stories and even the skin colour all the while shunning the people from those countries who would be better skilled to tell the stories… Their stories.

It would be wise to say that at some point the industry decided that white people are more marketable than POC. If we were to look back at the history of film, white actors have always come out on top. In the early 20th century, the practice of Yellowface and Blackface was prominent, instead of the erasure of minority actors we see today white actors wore yellow or black makeup to respectively play a Black or Asian character. In 1915, Birth of a Nation saw white men put on blackface to promote the white supremacist agenda and incite further violence towards black Americans. Then in 1961, Mickey Rooney notoriously donned yellow face to portray a Japanese American in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

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During this time, minority actors were side-lined. If they were luckily enough to be given roles, it was either as a supporting lead or in a stereotypical role. For example, Anna May Wong, a Chinese American actress from the early twentieth century who is considered as the first Asian-American star left Hollywood for Europe in the late 1920s after becoming fed up with the endless amount of stereotypical roles she was being given.

On the other hand, we have Bruce Lee, a household name who became an international superstar within a year of leaving Hollywood for Hong Kong in the 1970’s.

Some would argue that Hollywood is a trap, actors are made to feel that in order for them to be household names and truly successful they need to break America. Sadly for minority actors this often means that they need to settle for roles lesser than what they deserve, whether that be as a supporting actor or in roles that stereotype their culture. Some are even forced to give up their cultural identity completely, especially if they are white passing POC. For example, Agents of Shields star Chloe Bennet or Chloe Wang recently spoke out about her decision to change her last name so that she would get offered jobs in ‘racist’ Hollywood.gettyimages-497619992

“Hollywood is racist and wouldn’t cast me with a last name that made them uncomfortable,” Bennet announced on Instagram. “Changing my last name doesn’t change the fact that my BLOOD is half-Chinese,” she wrote. “It means I had to pay my rent.

Bennet isn’t the first star to change their last name to get jobs and I doubt she will be the last. Except the fact that this was even an option for them is a testament to how archaic the entertainment industry is.

2017 has had its fair share of Whitewashing controversies from Aladdin to Ghost in the Shell to Death Note and Hellboy, yet at the same time with some of the controversies have come a suggestion that better times may lay ahead.

Most recently, actor Ed Skrein left Hellboy just a week after joining the cast where he was set to play Major Ben Daimio, a half-Japanese character in the comics. He made the decision to step away after seeing the waves of online protest and realising how his casting would take away the opportunity from an Asian actor.

Update: Hawaii Five 0 alum and Korean native Daniel Dae Kim is now being considered for the role.

The decision caught Hollywood by surprise with many praising the actor for being the first actor to step away from a role after realising the cultural implications of their casting. However, surely this responsibility should not have to fall on the shoulders of those given the roles but the ones making the casting decisions.

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Furthermore, the extent of Hollywood’s casting problem goes further than overlooking minority actors for roles but ethnic minorities are still experiencing a large gap, in comparison to their white colleagues. It was only a few months ago that Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim, both of whom are main cast members of the hit CBS show Hawaii Five 0 quit the show after a pay dispute. The two had been trying to secure an equal salary alike to that of their white co-stars but had failed. Together, they made a decision to leave.

It was a decision that shocked me because I am a massive fan of the series and one thing I always loved about the show is that they had two Asian characters, playing lead roles who were central members of the Five 0 task force. This was refreshing, particularly as we live in a climate where Asian characters remain underrepresented in the entertainment industry.

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Sadly, by refusing to even consider their demands the network made it seem that their characters and themselves are disposable in a time where choosing to listen would have made them seem like allies rather than neutral bystanders. Particularly when the cries of white actors, and white women for better pay have been heard loud and clear and met without complaint in the past.

Whitewashing is something that we must not be silent about because this isn’t just a black and white issue. It’s everybody.

 

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Interview: Mary Sarah

Hey Doves,

I recently got the chance to talk to country singer Mary Sarah for Ramona Magazine and  I am excited to share it with you!

Firstly, Mary, how are you? 

I love that that is your first question!! I am doing mighty fine!
What are some facts about you that your fans might not know? 
1. I have 5 tattoos
 2. I am pro at crossing my eyes!
 3. I can roll my belly like a wave (Yes, sounds weird but totally possible! LOL)
 4. My natural hair color is brunette
5. I was a Kidz Bop kid when I was 12!! (Not the CD’s, the tour!)
IMG_6873-2You were on season 10 of The Voice, what was your favorite thing about being on the show?
I’ve got to say the whole experience! It was like nothing I’d ever done before and I learned so much about myself and how far I could push myself! It was incredible.
Your new single ‘Without You’ is a powerful breakup anthem. Did you draw upon past experiences when writing the song? 
I did, yes. I was in a relationship that ended after 3 years of being together. It was tough. It happened at the worst time possible for my career so not only was it tough breaking up, it became an issue of, how do I move on and fairly quickly because it was the last thing I needed to keep my attention. Because of the situation, I was somewhat forced to make that choice which honestly, I am so happy that it did. It made me realize that it wasn’t so much about how much of myself I lost in someone else, but the excitement of finding myself again! And, that’s what Without You is about! It was never meant to be mean…it’s just saying, hey I’m good, Without You!
How do you feel about being a role model for young women? Who were your role models growing up?
It’s crazy for me to imagine. I am so thankful to have a platform to be a role model but it’s also something I hope I never take for granted. I am not a perfect person…I will make mistakes…but I will always do my best to do what’s right! I think as an artist, I hope my fans see that.
I’d have to say a couple of my role models growing up were Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, my mom of course, my sister, friends, family! I mean role models don’t always have to be the ones in the spotlight to count!<3
What advice would you give to young women looking to break into the entertainment industry?
It is tough. But, no one ever said life would be easy. I’d say the most important things are knowing who you are, loving and truly knowing why you do what you do, and surrounding yourself with people who believe in you more than you believe in yourself!! And of course, PRACTICE!
Do you ever see yourself experimenting with other music genres?
I do! I love all types. I have such respect for all types of genres and I also love to be challenged and get outside of my comfort zone. You can’t grow if you don’t try new things!
I read that you are an advocate for juvenile diabetes, can you tell our readers more about the cause and why it means so much to you? 
I am! I am also the National Ambassador for Caiden’s Hope Foundation. Both of these charities mean a lot to me because my brother was born at a pound and half, had a ton of surgeries as a baby, then had a liver transplant, and he now has diabetes. He is a walking miracle and the toughest man I know. He somehow, even as a baby, couldn’t keep the smile off of his face. Even through the hard times. I am so proud of him. Both of these charities help families and children in need and I couldn’t be more proud to represent them.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: @MarySarahMusic
Snapchat: MarySarahSnaps

Who are you in 25 questions?

Hey Doves,

It has been a while, I know… I’m sorry. I just needed a mental break from blogging for a bit and do a bit of soul searching if you must but I’m back and I’m better *Tiller voice*

Today’s post is inspired by a blog post I saw on this amazing blog where the author came up with 25 questions to get you thinking about yourself and who you are, I thought it would be a good post to resume writing with, especially considering why I took a break.

So let’s get started shall we?!

What does your ideal day look like?

Being the hermit that I am, an ideal day would consist of a nice nap because ever since I started working naps seem to be a thing of the past… I miss them. Also, the ability to eat as much junk food as I want without getting sick or putting on the extra calories lol and the obvious one would be binging on all my shows because a little Netflix and Chill never hurt anyone *not that kind of Netflix and Chill, you nasties*

What did you want to be when you were younger?

When I was younger I wanted to be an entertainment journalist, even wrote it in my year 5 faux autobiography project that one day I wanted to be as big as Ryan Seacrest and freelance for Teen Vogue *yeah I was that kid haha*… Well I still want to be an entertainment journalist and currently working in the industry pursuing my dream so it all worked out.

Who are you most inspired by? Why?

I am inspired by a multitude of women, the most notable being my mum, Selena Gomez, Michelle Obama and Yara Shahidi. However, I am most inspired by my mum because she taught me the importance of being a strong, empowered woman in a world where women aren’t always respected. She gave me a voice and always inspires me to pursue my dreams. She is the strongest woman I know and a benchmark to being a real woman.

Who would you love to meet? What would you ask?

Selena Marie Gomez and Michelle Obama- both women inspire me throughout my endeavours and career goals.

What habit would you most like to break? What habit would you most like to start?

I have a terrible habit of not wanting to talk about things I’m going through and it has often made my mental health extremely low so I would love to break out of this habit. I would love to start drinking more water, rather than keep on saying how bad I should do it.

Think of a person you truly admire. What qualities do you like about that person?

Selena Gomez. Her grace. Her heart. Her beauty. Her soul.

How do you like to relax?

Listen to music, either country or old Disney Channel.

When was the last time you did something you were afraid of?

I started working looooooool

What are you most proud of?

Getting my dream job at the age of 19 and straight out of sixth form.

What are you most afraid of?

Death.

If life stopped today, what would you regret not doing?

Falling in love

Travelling more

Appreciating my family more

Who would you like to connect (or reconnect) with? Why?

What qualities do you admire in others?

Honesty

Loyalty

Adventure

Warmth

Passionate

What practical skills do you wish you had?

I wish I was good at anything STEM related.

Imagine you’re in your 90s. What memories would you like to have? What stories do you want to tell?

What is your favorite book/movie/song? Why?

Favourite book? The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare and When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalinithi

Favourite Movie? The Princess Bride

Favourite Song? Brad Paisley ft Alison Krauss- Whiskey Lullaby

If you could make one change in the world, what would it be?

Peace. Just peace.

What do you love to do for, or give to others (not an object – something from you personally)?

My heart.

What excites you?

Falling in love *gawd I really am a saddo*

Being successful

Travelling

What do you wish you did more of?

Laugh more and love more.

Pretend money is no object. What would you do?

Travel, start charities for homeless youth and LGBT teens, build schools in low GDP countries, source a new water and energy supply for those in poor countries and create affordable housing for those in the welfare system.

Let’s jump forward a year. What would you like to have achieved in the past year?

All I want in the next year is to grow in confidence, get cuter, interview a ton of celebrities and become a better blogger.

How do you want to be remembered in life?

Always an activist, never a pacifist.

Artist to watch: Marian Hill

Marian Hill are an American duo composed of Jeremy Lloyd (music/lyrics/production) and Samantha Gongol (music/lyrics/vocals). The multi-talented act released their debut album Act One on 20th June, 2016, since its release the album has gained over 200 million combined global streams. They are also regarded as the most shazam’d band thanks to their jazzy tune ‘Down’ which also featured in an ad for Apple’s wireless earphones AirPods.

If you haven’t heard of Marian Hill before, I can bet that by the end of the year you will have. Marian Hill_MG_9826_re_HIRES

  • Marian Hill get their name from the musical The Music Man and is influenced by two characters from the 
  • The music video for their song ‘Down’ has over 14 million views
  • They met each other in High School 
  • ‘Whisky’ was the first song the duo wrote together and was all about femininity and a woman’s sexuality. 
  • Their upcoming London gig has been upgraded from XOYO to Scala due to popular demand and their ever growing profile. 
Marian Hill are a duo that are shaking the music industry. Why? Maybe because they aren’t afraid to be themselves and take risks. Their aesthetic is bold and it is likely that the songwriters will continue pushing boundaries.
Marian Hill hi-res 02 (Cred Miller Mobley)
Check Marian Hill out on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook/Youtube

A note to the haters

Hey guys,

Today’s post is more or less a career rant, it is a rant about something that I have experienced often when I tell people, specifically those in the creative industry that I want to become an entertainment journalist.

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For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be like Ryan Seacrest, I didn’t just want to be like him… I wanted to be him. My passion for entertainment journalism started at a relatively young age, 7 to be precise and my love for the industry has only grown as I have got older and seen just how much the media, particularly the entertainment industry and ‘celebrity’ culture shapes our identity and influences how we see ourselves.

*Disclaimer: Some of you may be thinking, why was a seven year old watching E! News and not Noddy or something, well I had an older sister and she controlled what we watched a lot of the time so those of you that have older siblings can relate. Blame her for getting me hooked, my mum certainly wasn’t impressed, she used to force me to watch ITV News with Trevor McDonald so I could see it ‘from both sides’ and be more socially aware.*

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But, back to my rant, my issue is that so many people in the industry often turn their nose up at entertainment journalism for not being serious enough, important enough, or even socially active, which is both ignorant and a indication of the lack of diversity within newsrooms and the industry.

This idea that a young person can’t talk about One Direction and White privilege or the economy is a reflection of the backward ideologies that have dominated the media industry for far too long. It’s time for a change!

Just because I want to write about Selena Gomez’s latest single or Harry Style’s new girlfriend, does not mean that I am lazy or absent minded… I have always been vocal about human rights and socially active, I will continue to do so within my career. Even within entertainment, one can hold others to account and stand up for those deprived of a voice.

I truly believe that if you are passionate about standing for something, you can do it all.

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I don’t just do this for myself, I do it for my family, I do it for my friends who have supported me since day 1, I do it for the young people from working class backgrounds who have dreams but need purpose, I do it for my future, but most importantly I do it for those who don’t have a voice, who no matter how loud they shout never get heard.

I need you to know that I hear you and I am here for you, we will do this together and one day we will ride together. I just need to fight for us.

There is a common misconception that us millennials do not care about things that matter, what is it they call us… the ‘snowflakes.’

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We only care about selfies, avocados, coconut water and Buzzfeed right?

Some of us do, some of don’t, some of us love all of that and can school you on just about anything you throw at us.. the good thing about us ‘snowflakes’ is that we are socially intersectional and will continue to break barriers and plough through ignorance and hate.

How many of our elders can look in the mirror and say the same?

Before I leave, I just want to say Happy Pride Month to all my LGBT readers. Let’s all spread the rainbow and just love each other because at the end of the day- love wins!

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Until next time,

Savannah

xoxo

INTERVIEW: Hayley Orrantia

*This interview was conducted by myself, on behalf of Celebmix*

Hayley Orrantia is both an actress and a singer and is best known for her role as Erica on The Goldbergs where she stars alongside personalities such as George Segal, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Jeff Garlin, Hayley, Troy Gentile and Sean Giambrone. However, she was a singer long before she was an actress and is starting a journey to cement her position in the country music hall of fame.

Orrantia’s latest single ‘Give Me Back Sunday’ details her experience with homesickness. After leaving home at 19 on a journey to pursue her dreams, the star found that it wasn’t as easy she thought.

I got the chance to catch up with her and talked about the single, The Goldbergs and her fingers crossed eventual CMA performance. Check out the interview below!

Hey Hayley, how are you? 

I am good! Been living in Nashville over the hiatus between seasons of The Goldbergs and absolutely loving it!

What are some facts about you that your fans might not know? 

I can talk with my mouth closed, I love making dream-catchers (that’s why it is my symbol) and I have gotten really involved with interior design and recently looked into going to school to learn more.

You play Erica on the hit ABC show The Goldbergs. Did you always want to get into acting? 

Honestly, I never intended to become an actress. I have always been a singer first and acting kind of fell into my lap in a weird way. Now that I work on The Goldbergs, I love it and it’s a fun challenge for me every day.

Your new song ‘Give Me Back Sunday’ details your experience with homesickness. How hard was it to leave home at such a young age?

Being an only child and having never lived anywhere, other than my childhood home, it was difficult moving out, to say the least. I had to learn a lot about doing things on my own, being an adult and having roommates for the first time. I missed my parents, my friends and the familiarity of my hometown. However, I learned so much and met so many amazing people that I don’t regret any of it.

Do you have any advice for young people considering leaving home to pursue their dreams? 

I would say if you have thought of all the logistics of moving away from home then you should do it! But you have to be sure it is logical for you financially and emotionally. You should always chase after your dreams, but be sure you’re ready to take such a big step. Finally, never be afraid to ask for help and guidance from family or friends back home! They will always be a safe place to land.

You attended the CMA AWARDS last year, and looked incredible, might I add! Could we expect to see you taking the stage, sometime in the near future?

Thank you! I had such a blast presenting this past year. I would love to perform one day, as nerve-wracking as that sounds, but that’s up to a lot more people than just me!

Any plans to tour? 

Right now touring just doesn’t make sense for me. For one, there just isn’t enough time between seasons of The Goldbergs to make it happen, as well as recording and writing new music. My goal is to write as much as possible and keep putting new music out there. But I want to tour one day!

Lastly, can you give us an exclusive on whether you have any cool acting jobs lined up for this year!

No other acting gigs quite yet, besides The Goldbergs! The day after we finish a season of the show, I usually pack my bags for Nashville and focus fully on music. Until that right project comes along, you’ll only be seeing me on the show.

Interview: James TW

James TW was discovered by Shawn Mendes on Youtube, who soon organised a meeting with his record label that led to James being signed to UNIVERSAL/Island records- a label that has signed talent such as Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Mike Posner and Shawn Mendes.

James was the sole opening act on the sold out Shawn Mendes World Tour and even performed on Ellen in January. He is a rising British star and I got the chance to interview him this week just before his gig at Bush Hall, Shepards Bush in London.

I spoke to James about his album, touring with Shawn Mendes and who he would most like to vs in a game of Basketball… watch the interview below to find out everything he said!

 

 

Katie Cassidy is engaged

Katie Cassidy kicks ass on TV, but the star is also kicking ass at love too!

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The Arrow actress and Supernatural alum announced her engagement to beau Matthew Rogers on Instagram, this morning. The star can be seen flashing her rock as she kisses her bae in a love filled post.

“I can’t wait to spend forever with you my darling!! I’m the luckiest girl in the whole world,” the beaming bride-to-be gushed on Instagram. “I [love] YOU to the moon and back @mattyice432.”

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“Thank you for a magical evening I will forever remember,” she added.

The couple has been staying at The Oberoi Mauritius, a five-star hotel on an island in the Indian Ocean, after hitching on a private jet last week, just days after Cassidy appeared at Heroes and Villains Fanfest in London where she appeared alongside her Arrow co stars.

Send your congratulations to the star by tweeting @Mzkatiecassidy and commenting your thoughts below.

 

Snow White and the what now?!

A new Snow White parody film, starring Chloe Grace Moretz has been causing controversy on social media, after it’s promotional poster was released, earlier this week.

The film has been criticised for promoting an unhealthy, body shaming message which suggests that curvier girls are not beautiful. The poster is extremely problematic and demonstrates what it is so wrong in society.

For years, society has demonised the bigger, curvier girl denouncing her as ‘lazy’, ‘unloved’ and ‘unattractive.’ It has penalised them for not looking a certain way- a way that only seeks to attract the male gaze and has never been in the best interest of women.

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Plus size model *oh how I hate the term plus size* Tess Holliday has criticised the poster saying “How did this get approved by an entire marketing team? Why is it okay to tell young kids being fat=ugly? @ChloeGMortez

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Chloe Grace Mortez was quick to respond to backlash.

She tweeted, “I have now fully reviewed the marketing for Red Shoes, I am just as appalled and angry as everyone else, this wasn’t approved by me or my team.”

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The poster has also received backlash from parents who feel the film will make their children feel insecure. How can this be allowed, one parent asked.

To put it simple, this is allowed because let’s be honest Hollywood is still so male dominated and patriarchal, that when they make or cast female characters, they think about it with their second brain rather than the one they should use.

It is the same reason why actresses like Mila Kunis and Megan Fox are always portrayed as the sex symbols and love interests, whilst talented actresses like Melissa Mccarthy are always seen as the joker and just a friend in films.

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*Disclaimer- all of the women I mentioned above are sexy in their own right, I have girl crushes on them all haha*

Don’t get me worry, the last few years has seen a progression in the way women are treated and portrayed in the media, with models like Ashley Graham catapulting in the fashion industry, However, there is still a long way to go.

Ladies, never stop fighting for equality and always stand up for what you believe. You are beautiful beyond words can say, never let anyone tell you different.

Watch the trailer here: 

Until next time,

Savannah x

Gina Rodriguez has opened up about her battle with anxiety

Gina Rodriguez opened up on Instagram about her experience with anxiety and how it has impacted her, in a make up free shoot with her friend.

The video shows a bare-faced Rodriguez, wearing a Yankees hat, smiling for the camera.

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“My beautiful friend @antonsoggiu came to visit from Norway and he included me in his magical art. TEN SECOND PORTRAITS. It’s always great to be in front of his lens but this time it was just me. Bare and exposed in the streets of la. No makeup. No styling. Just me,” she began her Instagram caption, accompanying the clip she shared on Friday.

The hit actress and activist, 32, admitted that she suffers from anxiety, and encouraged acceptance.

“I suffer from anxiety. And watching this clip I could see how anxious I was but I empathize with myself. I wanted to protect her and tell her it’s ok to be anxious, there is nothing different or strange about having anxiety and I will prevail. I like watching this video. It makes me uncomfortable but there is a freedom I feel maybe even an acceptance. This is me. Puro Gina.”

Rodriguez stars alongside fellow stars Jamie Cahill, Brett Dier, Yael Groblgas and Justin Baldoni in hit CW show Jane the Virgin. The third season of the show recently wrapped-whilst the show has also been renewed for a fourth season.

Are you a fan of Gina, suffer from anxiety or just want to talk… drop me a comment! x