Marvel’s Black Panther premiered Monday evening to a parade of A-List celebrities with a noticeably higher percentage of African American actors. The red carpet was replaced with a regal purple carpet for a respectable homage to African culture. It sounds absurd to believe that a Marvel movie could herald the birth of a new world and yet every aspect of the event seemed coordinated to make a statement that the world would indeed be a very different place after tonight. As Angela Bassett wept on The Purple Carpet, it felt less absurd to believe that perhaps the world will look different moving forward. Perhaps the stories we tell will be more inclusive and if we are lucky, even the clothes we rock will unapologetic-ally celebrate our diversity. Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o, Mike Colter, John Kani, and Janelle Monae, were trendsetting standouts in glorious spectacle of fashion that would foreshadow an evening of transcendent story telling. The early reactions to the Black Panther movie indicate that Marvel jettisoned it’s familiar templates and story arches to create a film filled with authentically African spirituality, a timely discourse on identity, a legitimately compelling villain and special effects of unprecedented quality. If the early reactions are to be trusted, the Black Panther movie sets a new standard for depth, visual beauty and action in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We have posted a few of the early reactions from the Twitter-verse.
The media, including established outlets like CNN have blasted Hamilton-the musical for it’s recent casting call requesting NON-WHITE actors. Hamilton is a hip hop based musical that casts black and Latino actors to play the roles of founding fathers in a retelling of the nation’s history. The internet has been set ablaze with cries of reverse racism and a stoking of white grievance as this explicit call for blacks and Latinos ONLY clearly discriminates against whites. While most major media outlets could not get enough of stoking the notion that whites are being disadvantaged by Hamilton, WORTHY MAGAZINE decided to be real journalists and conduct actual research. What we “discovered” was that MOST casting calls specifically in TV and Movies specify the race of the actors REQUIRED! And more shockingly, MOST of the casting calls available to the public REQUIRE WHITE ACTORS. The listings generally specify Caucasian actors and represent a difference between Broadway and Hollywood. In specifying a need for actors of color Hamilton was not engaged in some egregious and unprecedented act of discrimination. They were in fact simply abiding by the best practices of the acting industry and these practices have NEVER warranted attention from the major media outlets. While these practices have been a source of concern for minority actors, the broader public has never been concerned for the minority actors specifically uninvited by most of the available casting calls. It is also worth noting that merely stating an openness to all ethnicity as Broadways shows are accustomed does not make it so. Further, according to some actors we interviewed there is quite nearly a separate casting season in Hollywood for African American actors who are added into scripts often as an after thought. The incredible hypocrisy of outrage over one of the few minority lead Broadway shows being maligned for requesting minority actors when the vast majority of Hollywood castings specifically discriminate against minority actors is a continuation of the sense of privilege and entitlement that recoils when the discrimination that is persistently practiced against others is visited upon the majority. Furthermore, a brief review of Broadway’s top shows will suggest that the “openness” to “all ethnicities” is largely rhetorical as minority actors seem to be concentrated in shows thematically and culturally targeted as such, while most shows are overwhelmingly homogeneous in their non-minority makeup. If we are to be outraged by Hamilton’s casting call, why are we not offended by Hollywood’s common practice or by the circumstantial apparent practices of Broadway’s largely homogeneous casts. We have traditionally given the acting industry great latitude in preferring races and many have expressed annoyance when minorities demand access to greater roles, why then has the cast of Hamilton been attacked for inverting the practice. We have screen shot a few publicly available Casting Calls! It should be noted that these are not obscure productions. One of the castings we have posted are for NBC, a major network!