Racism on Hobbit movie?

British actress Naz Humphreys, who is of Pakistani descent, claims she was turned away when she went to audition for a role in The Hobbit, because of her skin color. She told New Zealand paper The Waikato Times, “It’s 2010 and I still can’t believe I’m being discriminated against because I have brown skin. The casting manager basically said they weren’t having anybody who wasn’t pale-skinned. I would love to be an extra. But it just seemed like a shame because obviously hobbits are not brown or black or any other color. They all look kind of homogenized beige and all derived from the Caucasian gene pool.” A representative for director Peter Jackson admits the casting crew made “an incredibly unfortunate error.” He claims that Jackson never issued an order to casting bosses to hire only pale-skinned people, adding, “It is not something the producers or the director of The Hobbit were aware of. They would never issue instructions of this kind to the casting crew. All people meeting the age and height requirements are welcome to audition.”

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Comments & Discussion

  1. J.B. • November 29, 2010 @ 4:49 PM

    NEWSFLASH: Peter Jackson and his crew did not create the Hobbits. If one has racial issues with the film, talk to one of the descendants of J.R.R. Tolkien.

  2. ugh • November 29, 2010 @ 8:02 PM

    I don’t remember reading the Hobbits as being “caucasian only and not EVER having a tanned skin tone”

    Don’t be naive….

  3. L1feless • November 29, 2010 @ 11:47 PM

    If I recall there were colored photos included in several copies of The Hobbit (J.R.R. drew sketches of his characters). I also know that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote the Hobbit as a fantasy novel for his son as he was growing up. There are extensive notes which J.R.R Tolkien kept documenting his vision for the characters which I am sure along with the film rights out of respect for the original author were adhered to. Furthermore and perhaps more importantly the Lord of The Rings has already been released and as Frodo and Bilbo are meant to be related I think casting Caucasians for the main/ lead roles makes a lot of sense. You need to have consistency between the two films as they are meant to line up in a series.

  4. Jim • November 30, 2010 @ 12:31 AM

    I hate to say it but this shouldn’t be up to the politically correct folk. Hobbits are white. It may be racist by our standards today but so is the bible. If they redo the Moses epic would we not do a face palm if the role of Moses went to Chow Yun-Fat? Or maybe they should make an action adventure about Jason and the Argonauts starring Ice-Cube, LL Cool J, and Mr. T (as Herakles)!?! Or maybe they should redo the first lord of the rings and cast Aragorn as a woman and Arwyn as a dude. PC is lame… a little racism (sexism), ironically, adds colour.

  5. Joker • November 30, 2010 @ 2:18 AM

    everyone and anyone should be welcome to audition for roles….its 2010….hollywood needs to get with the times

  6. Gren • November 30, 2010 @ 9:44 AM

    Wow, I would totally watch a remake of Jason and the Argonauts starring Ice Cube. Who can i call?

    PS – agree, you want to see what reverse racism does to movies, go watch the last airbender, and see if you think that was any good :). Maybe they could follow suit there, and change the main characters names too!

    Sorry guys, changing anything to accomodate people’s inner child is stupid. This ain’t radio, and that far back in history (myth or no myth), people weren’t in mixed neighbourhoods. Don’t be sheltered and pretend it was any different…

    (PPS, Arwen was lame, and she wasn’t on the frigging horse, example #2).

  7. C-Dub • November 30, 2010 @ 8:42 PM

    They have a black Jesus out there, they thought about the Rock playing superman, so why not? The only constant in the world is change. We need to roll with it. I don’t know much about the books, but I saw the movie and I really couldn’t care if they are Black/White/Orange/Yellow/Brown or Redish-green in colour. Aren’t they in a version on earth? And Earth has sooo many different creatures of shapes and sizes..look at Smeagle (spelling) or those ogly dark creatures. Let’s move on people.

  8. ugh • December 1, 2010 @ 4:11 AM

    It never said she was auditioning for a leading role…… just “a role”.

    What cowardice… “Tolkien was the racist, not the producers”. As if the integrity of the story would suffer if you saw a tanned-skin Hobbit in the background.

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