Kent State Crosses Line By Casting White Actor As MLK

by
Joe Durbin
Why is it only a big deal if a black actor is cast in a "white" role?

Several weeks ago the social media world was completely set ablaze over John Boyega’s role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

black actor

Several months before that Michael B. Jordan’s casting in Josh Trank’s Fantastic 4 was the subject of yet another online firestorm.

Why all this outrage you ask? Both Jordan and Boyega are black actors, and some members of the online community did not take kindly to their casting in traditionally white films.

Jordan was cast as Johnny Storm, depicted in the comics as a blonde haired blue eyed white man. Boyega was not cast in a white role per say, but a vocal minority did feel that the addition of a black central character to a film series that has never had one before constituted some sort of war against Caucasian Americans.

These claims, while foolish, were discussed and dissected by almost every major news outlet.

So then why is it that when the situation is reversed there is hardly any mention of it in the mainstream media?

The Mountaintop is a play by Katori Hall that depicts the final night in the life of Martin Luther King Jr. The work has been critically acclaimed in almost all of its runs since its debut in 2009.

One production, however, has caught Hall’s attention for all of the wrong reasons.

Kent State University is producing a run of Hall’s play that features two actors in the titular role of King. One of those actors is a middle-aged, balding, white man.

white people

Hall is outraged by the casting decision, but her outrage is not reflected in the wider community.

When whites were outraged over black’s “supplanting” their roles the big outlets flocked to cover the story. Now that the situation is reversed, however, only a handful of outlets — many of them fringe — are covering the story.

Even when they are outrageous and racist, white people’s feelings are still given more value than black peoples.

The truly sad part is that this casting is actually offensive.

Banner Image Credit: @mbidwane on Twitter

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