Liberals point to Eric McCormack playing a gay guy in Will & Grace (see ‘Will & Grace Revival’ is Proof Some Shows Should Stay Dead and Buried…) as a turning point in the public’s perception of gay people. Though today, McCormack would now be shamed as a white cisgendered straight male by the thought leaders of Wokelandia. Keep that factoid in the back of your mind. Because there’s a new trend: actors being criticized for playing something they aren’t. If what the role they sign on to play is someone from the left’s Pound-for-Pound Most Marginalized Rankings (see also Dear Victims of Internet Outrage Mobs: NEVER Apologize). The latest target is The Rock.
In his new movie Skyscraper, The Rock, aka Dwayne Johnson, plays an amputee. An actress who is an actual Paralympian is very upset at this. And would prefer he turn down roles like this in the future.
While I am thrilled that a film about a kick-ass veteran and father (who is a unilateral below-the-knee amputee) got greenlit in the first place, the problem is this perpetuates the fact that we’re not given the agency to tell our own stories.
This very week, Scarlett Johansson has been getting a lot of heat from the LGBTQ community for portraying a transgender character in Rub and Tug. Rightfully so, as there are many talented trans actors out there who could be portraying that role instead of her. Actors that would bring beautiful and complicated authenticity to the project without having to reach outside themselves. The outcry is about inclusion. TRUE inclusion.
Later in the letter…
I was quite young when I saw Forrest Gump. I didn’t know who Gary Sinise was then (sorry, Gary) and for the first time IN MY LIFE, I saw another human being whose body looked like mine, a double above-the-knee amputee (don’t get me started on the fact that he was a man — lack of female perspective is a separate letter altogether). Then I found out that Gary was able-bodied, wearing long green socks on his lower legs, and they erased them out of the film. And in that instant, I felt erased too.
Here’s the rub. Let’s say “inclusion” is your cause this week. If The Rock and Scarlett Johansson don’t take these roles, the movies don’t get made. The ScarJo movie mayhaps would have helped trans people get the recognition they are looking for. Now because of the outrage, the script will sit under a pile of treatments for a sequel to The Emoji Movie. We’ve entered a strange time. Thinking it’s okay for an actress to play a transgender man in a movie is now considered a “conservative opinion.” No, it’s considered acting.
Leftists should avoid Shakespeare. Just don’t go there. DON’T!
Skyscraper only gets made with The Rock because Skyscraper was specifically developed FOR The Rock. If he turns down the role, it’s not like producers are going to audition for the lead. Is there a paraplegic actor that can carry a $100 million action movie? No. You don’t give huge movie roles like this to unknown commodities. This isn’t Johnson’s first role. His first role was playing Flex Kavana and wrestling in front of Bob’s Used Car Lot in Memphis. And again, if The Rock turns down a movie that was developed FOR HIM, the movie doesn’t get made.
Movies are not about validating world views. They’re about entertainment with the aim of making tanker loads of cash. If there’s not a star helming the lead, the film doesn’t make tanker loads of cash. Ergo what’s the point in making it?
This shouldn’t be hard.