Home > The News > In Middle Earth, Must All Hobbits Be White? (The Atlantic Wire)

In Middle Earth, Must All Hobbits Be White? (The Atlantic Wire)

November 30th, 2010

The Atlantic Wire – This week, the casting director of “The Hobbit” was fired for turning away a woman of Pakistani descent for being too dark to play a hobbit. The agent also placed an advertisement in a New Zealand newspaper seeking extras with “light skin tones.” “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,” said the agent in video footage captured during auditions. After the person in question was fired, producer and director Peter Jackson distanced himself from the casting director, who remains unnamed.”The crew member in question took it upon themselves to do that and it’s not something we instructed or condoned,” said a spokesman from Jackson’s production company. “No such instructions were given.”Considering the film’s origins as a book series rooted in Anglo-Saxon, Northern European lore, should the casting director have been fired? Bloggers debate whether this was an instance of racism or political correctness:This Is Heated, writes the staff at Movie Web: This has caused quite a bit of controversy, with both sides of the issue giving their reasons for why the decision is right and wrong. While some see no problem whatsoever with casting according to what has come before in the franchise, [the dismissed actor] stated, “It’s 2010 and I still can’t believe I’m being discriminated against because I have brown skin.”

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