Booted Out Of Bag End

What’s all this then, we’ll have no trouble here. The casting agent involved in yesterday’s Hobbit ‘skingate’ scandal has been terminated from the job, according to a report in Stuff:

…The agent, an independent contractor, had also placed a newspaper ad saying female hobbit extras should have “light skin tones”.

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.

In The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien described three races of Hobbits inhabiting the Middle Earth fantasy world which is the setting for the movies, including harfoots, who “were browner of skin” than the others.

However, Wingnut said anyone who met the height and age criteria was free to audition, regardless of skin colour.

“The crew member in question has been dismissed from the show,” he said. “It’s something we take very seriously.”…read the full report here

Hopefully Naz Humphreys will now be able to re-audition and realise her dream of getting a part in the films.

But yesterday we asked how many dark skinned extras had been chosen to play Hobbits in the ‘Rings trilogy?

If the answer is zero then doesn’t that suggest that there’s long term and institutionalised racism in New Zealand?

If so, Wingnut’s ‘sacking’ of the contracted agent looks like little more than a knee jerk reaction, due to the embarrassment caused and the risk of other countries boycotting the films.

We’re looking forward to seeing Hobbits of all races in the forthcoming films.

New Zealand’s Human Right Act 1993 prohibits discrimination on the grounds of

c) Religious belief:
(d) Ethical belief, which means the lack of a religious belief, whether in respect of a particular religion or religions or all religions:
(e) Colour:
(f) Race:
(g) Ethnic or national origins, which includes nationality or citizenship:

Wronged parties can lodge a complaint with the tribunal for an award of damages to be made against the offender.

for background to this issue read:

Racial Discrimination Allegation Hits Hobbit Movie Casting Call

and posts tagged Racism in New Zealand which include:

3 thoughts on “Booted Out Of Bag End

  1. Well said Diana. I am sick of this politically correct rediculousness! I am white and I’m sure if I auditioned for a role as an Aboriginal in Australia I would not have got it… Does that mean I can cry “racism”??? Of course not!!! Does that mean it’s discrimination to tell someone who can’t read that they can’t be a school teacher… NO!!! Apply for roles you fit the requirements for. This is a quality production and any compromises to the original story will make it a joke. The film is costing millions of dollars to make and the casting agents have every right to get what they’re paying for. I think this lady has probably applied for the role especially to try to catch these people out. Most sensible people would not think of applying for a role they didn’t suit… mmm, I’m a white female, I think I might just audition for the role of Obama when they make a movie about his life! (Ludicrous I know!)

  2. I’m 6’3 and they said I was too tall to be a hobbit…that’s blatant heightism and a fundamental breach of my basic human rights to be a hobbit, albeit a tall one. I told them I could think and act short but they didn’t seem to listen or care.

    This is a big blow to me after being rejected from auditioning for the lead in Ali on the grounds that I am not Afro-American and then rejected me from the lead role in Memoirs of a Geisha based on my gender/ethnicity.

    Finally I was rejected from a role as a Na’vi in Avatar, the reason given “I simply wasn’t ‘digital’ enough”.

    I hope being 36 won’t prevent me from auditioning for Home Alone 7.

  3. I do hope the young woman gets over herself and accepts she is bigoted and precious. She was not right for the part and needs to accept that. She would do well in a bollywood film but not as a Pygmy or giant Blackman so needs to get real about her nature.
    It would be good to see the fired agent reinstated with an apology from her, for doing his job and trying to create an authentic situation based on the authors vision, not the spoilt indignation of a girl who did not get a part in a film…. This time, simply because she did not meet a brief.

    It is time for us all to accept our own uniqueness that might exclude us all at some time from a part of life we desire or fancy, and to stop being so petty and precious.
    I am older, blonde and white. There is NO way, I would be a suitable hobbit, Indian woman or Maori. I accept that and that I would not get a part as a blue eyed doll if I had Chinese features. The whole idea is ludicrous.!

    Rehire that person and also praise them for having the guts to be real and not kiss the ego of a silly little lady who missed the post!
    She is not what was required and I do hope she is not given any part in the series as it will create f

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