Merely playing a role??? Emma Stone as Allison Ng and Amy Jackson as Diya…

Looks like Cameron Crowe is in trouble  for not casting an Asian actress for the role in Aloha. Well, I find myself understanding his explanation about the character although I would have preferred to see the racial diversity in the casting of the lead role. I would say the Berenice_Marlohe is a lot like the character in the movie, she is part Asian but doesn’t come of looking very Asian. There must be plenty other actresses out there more credible for the role in terms of origins compared to Emma Stone. This brings me to compare the rest of the world to India. I know it seems far-fetched but let me explain.

Early this year a Movie entitled “I” was released. It was a rather well received film but my issue here is that the lead female role was played by Amy Jackson, a British beauty queen who became an actress. She portrayed a British woman in India in her first movie,  Madrasapattinam, a Tamil period drama. This was a perfect role for her and I admit it was very well done. But, for the movie “I” I see no reason for the director to have cast a non- Indian actress as the character is named Diya and is certainly an Indian woman. The director’s excuse was that he wanted someone who looked like a top model, but that isn’t a sufficient excuse for not looking harder for an Indian actress.

So, I am just surprised that there was a bigger reaction to Emma Stone playing an American –Asian character than there was to Amy Jackson playing an Indian character. I am not criticising the actresses, I have not watched Aloha and I thought Amy did a good job in “I”. It is the reaction of the audience that is taking me by surprise. Ok, maybe not.

Coming to my point, I would use this as an evidence of colourism in India, Amy Jackson got away with it because she is white. Fair skin has been equated with beauty in India for centuries. As you can see Bollywood is dominated by mixed race fair-skinned actresses: Ileana , Genelia and  Katrina Kaif.  Well, women and men are victimized by colourism although women are more often targeted. So, the attitude of the Indian audience is that, the women primarily have to be fair-skinned in order to play a character that is supposedly extremely beautiful. So, this goes to show that for a women her identity comes second after her skin colour and this is very true in India, a woman’s brains doesn’t matter, her personality is unimportant and her true self is non-existent to the world if she is dark skinned.

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