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I’m Sorry

Zoe Saldana (left) has previously defended the decision to play Nina Simone.

The woman on the left is Zoe Saldana. She is an actress. The woman on the right is Nina Simone, a singer. The woman on the left apologized for playing the woman on the right in a movie in 2016. She wasn’t ‘black enough’ and should have realized that. Plus, she had to wear a prosthetic nose. She deeply regrets it.

Wasn’t. Black. Enough. I think what she means is then she wasn’t woke enough, but she is now. When will this end?

People are having to very carefully frame Shia LaBeouf’s role in ‘The Tax Collector’ so that we all understand that he’s not playing a Hispanic character, he’s playing a Hispanic adjacent character.

How about we just enjoy the damn movie? How about we admit why he’s in the movie in the first place. He’ll put buts in the seats (assuming audiences are ever allowed to go to the movies again). From a studio standpoint they would love to sub in Keanu Reeves, Bruce Willis, Will Smith, or Sandra Bullock. They make money, so they work. And they’re all bigger bankable stars than poor Shia.

Anyway, actors are tripping all over themselves to apologize for ‘taking work’ from protected groups. If you’re not black, you can’t play a black person. Does not apply to blacks playing whites in Hamilton, but that (fantastic) play is having its own special moment separate from this tragedy. Heterosexuals should no longer play homosexual people. I’m waiting for the backlash on Emmas Stone, for playing Billie Jean King. Only people actually switching genders should play roles of that nature. I’m not sure about Jared Leto in Dallas Buyer’s Club. (He played a transsexual. So, in this case the transsexual was a man who dressed as a woman and he is a man and he did dress as a woman, so, is that ok or not?) Even voice actors can’t ‘act’ outside their race without garnering intense criticism. I wonder where they’re going to find a snowman….

Here are a few updates from ‘tinsel town’. Brian Cranston has legs. Al Pacino can see. Ben Stiller is not ridiculously, ridiculously, good looking. George Peppard was not, in fact, a sea monster, or various sea monsters. Daryl Hannah is not a mermaid. And believe it or not Christopher Reeves was not from the planet Krypton.

In order to get out on top of all of this I have a confession to make. Several confessions, as a matter of fact.

  • I played a ghost in a play in high school. I am not in fact a ghost.
  • I played an old minister in another play. I am not in fact, a minister, and am not now as old as the character I played 35 years ago.
  • I have played characters of various races, with different sexual orientations than my own.
  • I have played people younger, and older than myself.
  • I have played people who were in vocations I knew nothing about and involved in activities which I find reprehensible.
  • I have played people with various handicaps, including stutters, physical deformities, and mental impairments.
  • I have not appeared in what is considered ‘traditional blackface’ but only because I was never cast in a role that required it.
  • I have worn makeup to alter my physical appearance, including skin color, facial features, body features, height, and weight.
  • I have even appeared in white face, as a mime, as a minstrel, and as a vampire, at least. I am not now, nor have I ever been any of those things.
  • I have worn Halloween costumes of all kinds. I was never actually any of those things. I didn’t have access to the irony of going as myself to a Halloween party. But now that I mention it…

And here’s the big confession: I’m not sorry. I love acting. If, in the future, I’m given the opportunity to act I won’t think twice about dressing up as a woman, a man pretending to be a woman, a person of a different race, a non-person of any kind (say a dog, or an alien, or a floating blob of gas or something), a homosexual, or even a combination of several of the above. Yes, I’ll play a black, homosexual vampire, and I’ll do my best to knock it out of the park. What I won’t do is wring my hands about all the poor black homosexual vampires who’s work I’m stealing. If they want it, they can spend more time working on their monologue and less time being offended.

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