The Age is this morning is reporting on a race row that has broken out in New Zealand over a casting call for hobbits, of all things.
British woman, Naz Humhpreys, a social policy researcher on a working holiday in NZ and who is of Pakistani descent, attended a Hobbit casting call for the forthcoming middle earth films, only to be told her skin tone wasn’t suitable – apparently Hobbits are fair skinned, who knew?
“It’s 2010 and I still can’t believe I’m being discriminated against because I have brown skin,” Humphreys told the newspaper.
“The casting manager basically said they weren’t having anybody who wasn’t pale-skinned.”
The newspaper (Ed. Dominion Post) said video footage showed the casting manager telling people at the audition: “We are looking for light-skinned people. I’m not trying to be — whatever. It’s just the brief. You’ve got to look like a hobbit.”…
…”I would love to be an extra,” she said. “But it just seemed like a shame because obviously hobbits are not brown or black or any other colour.
“They all look kind of homogenised beige and all derived from the Caucasian gene pool.” read more at The Age
Naz is said to have started a Facebook group called “Hire hobbits of all colours! Say no to hobbit racism!”
An example of institutionalised racism in New Zealand, or just a misconception on the part of one casting manager? To be sure you’d have to work your way back through hours of Lord of the Rings films and look for any Hobbits that have dark skins, if there aren’t any that suggests it may be the former.
Read an update to this story:- Booted Out Of Bag End
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