Casting appreciation gif.
This seriously pisses me off because TWO men of the “correct” ethnicity/race were asked to play the role of Khan. I don’t remember their names because this back when Into Darkness was in casting yo but they BOTH DECLINED.
So there’s a HUGE difference between “well, we asked the best in the business and they both said no, so we should go with another actor of the ‘incorrect’ race who is also very well suited for the role” and doing what the Hunger Games did which is literally only let white girls audition for Katniss.
When actors decline there is fuckall you can do. It’s shitty, no doubt, that Khan ended up being white, but BC did a great job in the role, while knowing he was third choice. I won’t begrudge him for taking it, and I won’t begrudge the casting crew for going with him after their best actors declined.
I was not aware that actors of other races were offered the role first and then declined, actually. This is literally the first time anyone has ever talked about it where I can see it? It really changes a fair amount of my opinion on the matter.
Oh my god!
They asked two Indian actors, guys!
TWO WHOLE INDIAN ACTORS
Racism is over
We all know there’s only two good Indian actors in the whole world
They just HAD to go with the white guy after depleting that finite resource
I am totally cool with the whitewashing now
I want to see a source too, because this story is way too vague. For all we know, they settled on Cumberbatch from the start and never considered anyone else.
If the story is true, though, let’s be Spock and run this down logically. You start off trying to do things right, by finding an Indian actor to play the famously Indian Khan. But your first two picks, you get turned down, both times.
Why did you get turned down? The role will pay well and Star Trek is a big deal. Maybe the Indian actors you asked had other commitments.
But why do you give up after two? Maybe it was that the Indian actors both cited the same reason for turning you down. Maybe the Indian actors do not want the role of Khan, as made famous by… a Mexican.
That’s the huge issue with the role of Khan, that it’s already been tainted by the ignorance of white men. Forty-six years ago, when looking to cast an Indian superhuman dictator, white men looked at a Mexican and said, “Eh, that’s close enough.”
Perhaps that is still a sore point for the Indian acting community? I don’t know, has anybody asked them?
If that’s the case, now you’re stuck with a huge dilemma. Indian actors don’t want to play Khan, and you definitely don’t want to cast another minority in the role, lest you compound the insult of Montalbán being cast in the first place. What’s left to you? A white guy, because the whitewashing is better than specifically insulting Indians again by saying anyone of their general skin tone can play them.
Again, this is all just theoretical based on a suspicious story. It is equally if not more likely that J.J. Abrams is just an asshole who fixated on having Cumberbatch and never even considered an Indian actor.