Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Mighty Faux Pas

One might be blinded by the flashbulbs and all around fabulousness of La Croisette in Cannes but when Brad and Angelina came out to play with the other stars in the South of France, there was for me at least, more that met the eye. The golden , at the glitzy Film Festival to promote “A Mighty Heart”, the story of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, cowardly murdered in Pakistan 5 years ago, made a mighty faux pas.

In the Film (produced by Brad Pitt’s company), Angelina plays Mariane, Daniel Pearl’s wife. In reality, Mariane is biracial. By casting Angelina, here’s are the messages one could read:

A. There are no good enough Black actresses on Planet Earth, to play that role;
B. They have so little respect for her ethnic background they simply decided to dismiss it.

I understand that not everything is about race but even if Mariane Pearl’s biracial ethnicity is irrelevant to the story, it is still part of who she is. The Sopranos is about an Italian-American family and the actors are, guess what? Si si, Italians. The Godfather, Goodfellas: Italian-American actors. It’s a simple question of authenticity and respect to the depicted. Angelina Jolie playing Marianne Pearl makes as much sense as Queen Latifah playing Nancy in a Ronald Reagan biopic.

Brad and Angelina dropped the ball on this one (and I’m not just talking about Angelina’s “Little House on the Prairie-like” ridiculous wig). It’s that black and white.

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