by G. Brown,
San Diego’s Comic Con dropped a boatload of trailers, teases and sizzle reels to whip fans into a frenzy over upcoming movies and TV shows. A long awaited DC project was the live action adaptation of the animated series the “Titans”. While other DC movies like Jason Momoa as “Aquaman” and “Shazam!” were unveiled to applause and cheers, the upcoming web series “Titans” has been panned as a dismal disappointment. One reason for the fail, is the dark, brooding reimaging of the “Titans” falls back into the oft lamented “too serious and depressing” criticisms.
The other big complaint among fans is the casting of actress Anna Diop who plays “Starfire”.
You’ve probably seen her on “Lincoln Heights”. “Touch”, “Quantico” or “Greenleaf”. But these days she must feel like she’s in a bizarre rewrite of the show where she got her start-“Everybody Hates Chris” that’s been retitled ‘Everybody Hates Anna’.
It’s not everybody, just racist fans who claim the Senegal born beauty is too dark to play the comic book character Starfire. One fan posted in regards to casting Diop, “I also don’t care for her skin color I just wish she was cast as a prettier person than Anna Diop…Starfire is supposed to be beautiful even if she is a different color.” It wasn’t long before others chimed in …
The superhero and comic book fandom are among some of the most passionate fans you’ll ever run across. But guys, let’s look at the whole page here….you’re bickering about a woman being too dark to place a fictional, cartoon character who is orange in the comics. This isn’t ‘nerds holding true to comic book canon’….it’s once again people claiming to be fans who are hiding behind their real problem.
Sadly, we’ve been here before. We saw it when Michael B. Jordan was cast to play the Torch in “Fantastic 4”; we saw it when John Boyega was cast in “Star Wars”; how can we forget the absolute mental melt down of “fans” when it was only rumored that Idris Elba was going to be the next James Brown. Those who claim they are ‘purist’ to the art say it’s racebending to make a character Black who was White in the original work. ‘Racebending’ is one of those new phrases that will hopefully die a sudden death (along with “Trump derangement syndrome” which so isn’t a real thing).
It’s bewildering how people are willing to expand their imagination to believe in a comic book hero who can fly, run faster than the speed of light or shoot fire out of their hands, but they’re are intolerant at the concept of changing a White fictional character into a Black one. We could call it narrow-minded or parochial. Or we could call it racist(…which it is) with a side of colorism thrown in.
Too say that Diop is ugly because she’s dark is as horrible to claim that she’s too dark to play a fictional character. The very nature of acting is to pretend to be somebody else. People want to believe in the magic of moviemaking, but only if it’s coated in real world prejudices and restrictions.
Diop shutdown threads on her IG because of all the negative and horrible things people were saying to her about the role. Fortunately, a few real life heroes stepped in to let her know not everybody hates Anna Diop.