Shock horror, movie casting people on looks

This sounds awful.

At 1.5 metres (5ft), Naz Humphreys has the essential requirement to be a hobbit extra, but the British Pakistani has been told she’s not white enough.

“It’s 2010 and I still can’t believe I’m being discriminated against because I have brown skin,” Ms Humphreys said.

She travelled from Auckland to Hamilton last Tuesday to an extras audition for The Hobbit. “The casting manager basically said they weren’t having anybody who wasn’t pale-skinned.”

Reading the whole story, it seems that the casting director might be being a little too zelous.

However, in one sense it’s a bit hard to complain. Changing one’s skin colour might be hard, but height is also hard to change. I doubt anyone would ever suggest that a tall thin person should be selected to play a hobbit.

Ms Humphreys isn’t exactly a logical person either.

“In 2010, a movie company should be representing all its viewers,” Ms Humphreys said. “It’s not just going to be white people seeing The Hobbit, but people from all over the world.”

Bizarre – so now movies should reflect the audience rather than the time they are set in (LOTR is a fictional European distant past). I’m just waiting for the demand that a movie of say, the work of David Livingstone* apply the same principles. Come to think of it, LOTR doesn’t represent it’s viewers well at all – for starters, I didn’t see a single car anywhere.

*That is, a story about one European walking around Africa pre white settlement.


Update: The agent in question has been sacked. Good.

A spokesman for Jackson’s Wingnut Films told AFP the contractor had now been dismissed.

“No such instructions were given, the crew member in question took it upon themselves to do that and it’s not something we instructed or condoned,” AFP reported.

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