A Change for the better! (Television and Film)

There have been great articles printed recently in “The Daily Telegraph,” highlighting the need to cast, “different flavours & different cultures,” that are representative of our Australian society today.

ACTOR Firass Dirani recently said, “There has to be a call for the networks to put on shows with these cultural differences because this is who we are in 2012…Hopefully, the networks start writing shows that cater for different actors and different cultural backgrounds.”
Jay Laga’aia, who was born in New Zealand and is of Samoan descent, who is a “Play School,” colleague, responded and backed the race call for television and allegedly stated that he was dropped from a television series over his ethnicity.

I then asked a friend who works in Los Angeles (casting) who states that, “The common roles for Asian-Americans are police roles and gang roles. The latter especially as it relates to stereotypical roles related to themes like Chinese mafia. Martial arts films have Asian-Americans casted, they play on popular stereotypes that non-Asian audiences will go see. There has been a slow change for more roles for Asian-American women, however there’s still a long ways to go before Asian actors are selected for their acting ability and not their race. There’s always a love story with the main characters and thus Hollywood won’t hire and Asian actor to star opposite a non-Asian actress. I think Asian-American women are advancing faster in leading roles, more so than in Australia.”

“On U.K. T.V. you see a lot of diversity and it’s not tokenism. People get a chance no matter what colour.” (Pete in U.K.)

The reason why I got into acting (“Play School,” “Belvoir St Theatre,” etc) was to break down the barriers and stereotypes and to be a role model for children of colour. I now realise that the future is in the hands of our writers and script writers and have therefore become one myself.

It’s great that this matter is now out in the open…let’s hope that a change will occur as a result of this.


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