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  1. Lujain
    Lujain at |

    Elvis Presley’s grandma was a cherokee. So he is half native american..

    Reply
  2. Adam
    Adam at |

    Last time I checked, Cuban wasn’t a race nor is Puerto Rican nor is Mexican, and Latino is a heterogeneous pan-ethnicity that consists of people of ANY race, so who’s the one doing the misrepresentation again?

    Reply
  3. SB
    SB at |

    The comment about Elvis is a bit unfair. His great great grandmother WAS Native American and there was a marriage between first cousins after that so it may be wrong to assume he had no knowledge or appreciation of the role. It’s part of his personal history. Thick black hair high cheekbones and a dark complexion its not like they even had to try very hard there are plenty of people who identify as Native American who fit the same profile…

    Reply
    1. shawn
      shawn at |

      TOP 10???

      Ridiculous! How could you forget Anthony Hopkins and Wentworth Miller (he’s a person of color) in ‘The Human Stain? ‘ OH EM GEE!

      Reply
  4. Blanca Perez
    Blanca Perez at |

    Actors make their livings portraying characters that are different from their own personal characteristics. Should an actor have to be a doctor to play a doctor?

    What’s racist is this article by someone who has nothing better to do than contrive a reason to be offended.

    Reply
  5. ozwald
    ozwald at |

    This list is a good demonstration of how to lose long time readers. Unsubscribing.

    Reply
    1. Shell Harris
      Shell Harris at |

      Ozwald, sorry this was so offensive to you that you felt you could no longer be a part of TopTenz. I do hope you reconsider. I try to pick articles that show many viewpoints and that can sometimes be hard with topics on which we all don’t agree. I personally don’t agree with everything on my site, but I do try to allow freedom of expression and I allow the other writers to provide different views on published articles, such as this article http://www.toptenz.net/10-non-white-actors-played-previosly-white-characters.php written in response to the article on this page.

      I value every reader and try to respond when they voice displeasure about that site. Hopefully you will give us another try.

      Reply
  6. Ronny
    Ronny at |

    The Benedict Cumberbatch inclusion is irrelevant to the point. The race of Khan was not specified in the series or original movies, therefore it didn’t matter who played the part.

    Reply
  7. Sunshine
    Sunshine at |

    Whoever wrote this article obviously didn’t do their homework. Both Johnny Depp and Elvis Presley are of Native American ancestry. Elvis was part Cherokee, as his great-great-great grandmother was said to be a full blooded Cherokee. Also, Johnny Depp’s great grandmother grew up in the Cherokee (or possibly Creek) tribe. Johnny Depp is part African as well. Just because people are perceived as one race doesn’t mean that they aren’t multiple races, and to assume that is ignorant. People should check their facts before chastising someone.

    Reply
  8. A
    A at |

    I find it amusing that you decry Benedict Cumberbatch playing a person of supposedly Indian ethnicity (I say supposedly because the character is genetically engineered so its kind of silly to assume he looked like a person of Indian ethnicity just because of his name) but you say nothing of the casting of Ricardo Montalbán, a person that while born and raised in Mexico was the son of two Spanish (as in from Spain ) immigrants therefore also white, nor of the fact that he originally played the character in black face.
    Also regarding Jake Gyllenhaal casting as a “Middle Eastern” Persian prince, I think persons of Persian descent, like Christiane Amanpour, might take exception to being called Middle Eastern, the two groups, Persians people, and I assume that by middle-eastern you are probably picturing Semitic people, Arabs and Israelis, have completely different origins and semblances. For starters, Persians have lighter features.

    Reply
  9. Rebecca Danis
    Rebecca Danis at |

    I agree with this, but I also think that sometimes the best actor is through personality and I think it would be interesting to see non white actors don white face for some roles. Why not? The whole definition of acting is to become other than what you are. Why limit actors of any race? Also, why define what race an actor has to be? If they can do the personality, just let them play the part. Unfortunately this philosophy has been used only for white actors. It needs to be extended to all. I know the film “White Chicks” was a comedy, but I think Shawn and Marlon Wayans looked really pretty as white females, although their voices reminded me of Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in “Some Like it Hot”. I could see Shawn and Marlon doing a remake of that film. I think they have been the best believable, at least facially, males doing females ever. I think the issue is, is that casting calls need to be more open to people of color and people should experiment with white face if need be. In the film “Cloud Atlas” many actors played reincarnated versions of their other characters and changed race. It was very cool, although I think the caucasian actor w/ asian makeup didn’t work out so well, but that is because of his overall face shape. The asian actress Doona Bae played asian females as well as wearing white face to play a caucasian woman with curly red hair. I thought she looked very good. So the main problem here is people of color are not getting enough roles. Also there are not enough good roles for people of color to play people of color. Plus why does race have to matter when telling most stories, unless they are biographical ? To say any actor cannot have a part because they are not that race is a racist stance. To be truly non racist, color or race should not be an issue, just hire more non whites. People are making money and everybody’s happy.

    Reply
  10. bdiz
    bdiz at |

    Samuel L Jackson, black man playing white guy.

    Nick Fury of SHIELD is a White Character in Marvel Comics.

    Reply
    1. Hulkamania
      Hulkamania at |

      Except he was playing the role of Ultimate Universe Nick. Fury, that is a black man and was designed to look like Jackson years before the movies.

      Reply
  11. Bertaummadome Jones
    Bertaummadome Jones at |

    The reason that Natalie Wood had to play was because a different races could not kiss on screen. Thats why even though Lena Horne had starred in Showboat on Broadway Ava Gardner played the character and they darkened her skin.

    Reply
  12. txon
    txon at |

    OMG!!! Who cares about this? All of these movies are fiction – made-up, make believe (except A Mighty Heart – which is a true story). All of these actors are acting – playing someone, not themselves. I think in most cases what drives casting is an actor’s ability to bring in bucks at the box office. After all, the goal is to make money and whatever needs to be sacrificed to make money will be done.

    Reply
  13. Yaz
    Yaz at |

    Er, I hate to tell the people on here this but, clearly, it’s a good hint of white privilege being sprinkled around.

    People of the Caucasian race. Somehow, this idea of people being offended because white actors are playing minority characters and some(I know I do) are irritated about this is strange. I don’t think you can understand because all you do see is white people. Everywhere. Magazines, models, commercials, I mean, I can’t even play my sims game without all the base families except for three out thirteen being white.

    I can’t play RPGs with character creation that get my skin tone because we’re all just four shades. Tan, Brown, black like night, and that little off-white tan that Southeast Asians have.

    Miniorities didn’t get their own cartoon until, what, Dora the Explorer( do you count Fat Albert? If a good chunk of all ethnicities watched it, then okay, there’s one)? Sophia?(so we crossed off hispanics and/or latinos, I think there might Doctor something-or-other so black people are crossed off, we did have that Asian cartoon but it was cancelled soooo, well, that’s some progress), Now, how many cartoons can you think up with white main characters versus all the miniorites. I’m not even going to make hard for you by dividing it into black, asian, middle-eastern, nah, all of them except for white. Which list is bigger?

    Surprise. Surprise.

    Like, seriously, what’s up with this whining? What are you even sacrificing for a few characters being played true to their history. You see white people literally EVERYWHERE. These are the few times, where miniorities, can go, “Hey, I wonder if they’ll be wearing blank blank. My mom used to.” Or “While they’re eating dinner, it would be so cool if they were eating blank blank or watching blank blank”. We can have a connection to these characters. We. It’s not about you. In fact it has nothing to do with you. We see your green-eyed, blonde, brunette, hazel-eyed selves all day, every day. I just saw some woman in a tropical commercial. No one knows her name. It doesn’t matter. But I bet you they were put in for casting, “Searching for young, attractive white female”. Just like the hundreds before her.

    To have a portrayal of a miniority in America. You’d think we didn’t exist by our television shows. Britain has more people of color. You reading? BRITAIN. THE BRITISH ISLES, where they still poke cruelly at their own people(Scots and Welsh). Miniorities have been an active part of the community in America for almost a hundred years.

    In all honesty, we know damn well most of these actors were chosen without a thought to looking for real people of that ancestry first.
    Actors or not, when a black man plays a white man are you looking at him as a white man? Do you think? “Hm. he reminds me of my dad. I could see him being a white man.” Or are you going, “They chose a black man. I can’t see it.”. Hm, it’s almost exactly our reaction to every single person in that list.
    (except for Khan. You might as well had just changed his name anyway. Really, I could die laughing if some white man came up to me and said his name was Khan Noonien Singh. I’d be like, “Adopted, huh?” You know he’s not getting any jobs with that name( Anybody going to try and deny this?”

    And then you got those who when it doesn’t matter what race they are. Like Nick Fury,(really. does no one know black history, it’s black history month and how much does anybody know about the Tuskagee airmen. The black mason banks? Hm? Can’t be a commander ’cause he’s black and it wasn’t “the time” for it. Jesus, you may not know anything about something serious like the airmen and the banks, but damned if you know a black man could be a commander or not. The things you see on the internet.)

    I don’t think you guys really understand what it’s like to be treated like you don’t exist everywhere you go or that you’re not a part of the community because the way you look. I can honestly say even my five year old cousin knows the difference and she’s surrounded by white people who remind her everyday that she’s a “little” different.

    Seriously, it’ll probably continue going this way because for every Kerry Washingtons and Idris Elbas you have five DiCaprios, Brad Pitts, Charlize Therons, Jolies, and the list goes. . .

    So, take a breath. And chill, because white people’s feelings being ignored, I know, it’s a deal-breaker all around the world. Here, have the pleasure of knowing when you turn on the TV all you’ll see is white people with the occasional black man. Or, maybe, even an Asian. But there will always be a white man with his pretty white woman by his side.

    P.P.S
    You guys can have Cleopatra. I heard she had a genetic disorder that disfigured her face? Hm.

    But Egyptians are black because religion, language, food, and culture(the basis for any analysis) were similar to African cultures in that area rather than the Greco-Romans who like most caucasian-based cultures liked to say they owned something without actually owning it. (was that a burn? )

    They whole reason they started wearing wigs is just like how black people where weaves today. They couldn’t grow their hair long and take care of it effectively.

    And. Moors are generally black aka North African. My ancestors were bedouin Moors. I mean, this is proven fact. They were brown. Dark. Brown. Berbers. Moors. Black and/or middle-eastern but they certainly weren’t of “caucasoid” ancestry if we’re getting technical. No light skin, hair or eyes and their hair was certainly not thin or pin-straight.

    Reply
    1. chanel
      chanel at |

      THANK YOU!!!!!! These people have no clue what they’re talking about.

      Reply
  14. T.J. Thomas
    T.J. Thomas at |

    …But then Fox news anchors get all uptight when somebody suggests a non-white Santa Claus…

    Reply
  15. Black Hippie
    Black Hippie at |

    What annoys me, is when people of color are cast to play WHITE people!?! Case & Point: Jessica Alba, Wentworth Miller, Rashida Jones, Maya Rudolph, Jennifer Beals. Or worse, Carol Channing who knew she was biracial and never told anyone until she was in her 80s because she didn’t want to “hurt her career”. SERIOUSLY!?!

    Love yourself for who you are & respect who you are enough to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH HOLLYWOOD! If you want Angelina Jolie to star as the leading lady of your film, don’t try to portray her as a afro-cuban lady, cast an actual afro-cuban woman, or better yet, save Jolie for a film that calls for a white woman.

    Reply
  16. Suzanne Rosenorn
    Suzanne Rosenorn at |

    If someone is good enough to portray someone so different and does a good job and is believeable, so what? They are a good actor. What I find offensive is that SNL purposely hired a black woman because of race. Now I find that insulting.

    Reply
  17. max
    max at |

    You completely left out John Wayne as Genghis Khan

    Reply
  18. Movie guy
    Movie guy at |

    Author is trying too hard. It’s called acting. Sure Rooney and Brando playing Asians is stupid and a casting fail. White actors have been playing Othello for ages. I’ve seen Latino’s who look like Natalie Wood and Affleck, bi-racial women who look like Jolie and Greeks who look like Taylor. Actually Elvis and Depp look native American too. Again, it’s acting. Quit being so sensitive or at least so desperate for a article.

    Reply
  19. Hossein Diba
    Hossein Diba at |

    WTF!!!!!!!!! it seems people don’t know the fact that for example in Iran, there are white, brown,yellow and black people living together,making a country. when you say Persians, it doesn’t mean they are all from the same race. I am Iranian, I have white skin, brown eyes. but I have a friend in our neighborhood who is brown. Just get the fact that middle eastern is not a race and you can find different races in middle east,white,brown,black and……………

    Reply
  20. CRB
    CRB at |

    Maybe you should have done your research first because both Depp and Presley had Native American ancestry. Also while the Cuban portion is not true with Angelina Jolie, her character was of African descent, which has nothing to due with being black because a good portion of the population in Africa is white. Also Khan, in the original show/movie, was darker but it was more along the lines of a darker skinned white person, and being quite a time elapsed he could have easily just darkened up. My father is very dark now despite being a very light skinned teen/early 20 year old. I agree many of these are true but you also have to take in to account who they find at the time who could play the role. Yes, maybe someone of Persian descent could have played as well as Jake, but maybe they didnt audition.

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  21. breezin
    breezin at |

    Elvis had Cherokee heritage.

    Reply
  22. corkey
    corkey at |

    Johnny Depp is half Native American, so he had every right to play Tonto if he wanted too.

    Reply
    1. Juz moore
      Juz moore at |

      LOL.. Depp doesn’t have a hint of native American in him.
      http://www.eurweb.com/2013/07/ancestry-com-reveals-johnny-depps-african-american-heritage/

      Reply
  23. Juz moore
    Juz moore at |

    OK, since white people – in the comment section – feel this ‘white actor portrayal of colored roles’ is a non-issue (so do I) then they should have no problem accepting a African-American Johnny Storm for the new Fantastic Four movie.

    Reply

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