Bill Maher slams ‘casting police’ in scathing rant about appropriation in movies

If you ask Bill Maher, heightened scrutiny of the kinds of roles certain actors should be able to play has spiraled out of control. Recently, Netflix released a trailer for the Marilyn Monroe biopic. Blond starring Cuban actress Ana de Armas as the Hollywood legend. After this casting choice caused a backlash due to de Armas’ legacy, similar criticism was leveled soon after against James Franco after it was announced that he had been chosen to play the former Cuban leader. Fidel Castro.

On the last episode of Real time, Maher spoke out against the “casting police” who prosecute actors for playing characters who don’t share the same background in real life. Maher laments that something that was once celebrated not too long ago is now seen as a big offense. The Real time the host argues that the point of acting is to pretend to be someone completely different from who you actually are.

“Appropriating sounds like an unforgivable sin until you remember that this is what comedy is. This is why acting jobs are called roles. Sean Penn won an Oscar for playing gay civil rights martyr Harvey Milk. At the time, it was seen as a brave act of solidarity for a straight movie star to play a gay man. Now it’s the opposite. Eddie Redmayne played a transgender woman in The Danish Girl but now calls it a mistake because “a lot of people don’t have a chair at the table”. Well, actually, in movies now they do. And what does that have to do with playing trans? Does it work the other way around? Can trans actors only play trans characters? Because it won’t be a good deal for them. And isn’t the best acting always to make us feel our common humanity beyond separate identities?

Ana de Armas will play Marilyn Monroe as a blonde

In his rant, Maher argues that casting directors should always focus on the best actor for the role. He talks about the casting of de Armas in Blond with Frank Alina from Cuba cast, and jokingly suggests that the two should maybe swap roles if that’s what makes the “casting police” happy.

“Why not just go on merit and let the best actor win?” Which sounds like what happened when Ana de Armas was just cast to play Marilyn Monroe, even though she’s Cuban with an accent. Hey, maybe she should play Fidel Castro and James Franco can play Marilyn Monroe, and then we can all stay in our lanes. Is this what diversity and inclusion looks like now? Everyone stays in their lane? »

Maher Addresses Tom Hanks’ Comments With The Actor Saying He Wouldn’t Accept His philadelphia cream role, no longer feeling right to play a gay character. He then argues that it’s best if moviegoers know less about the actors’ personal lives, as it will help them better immerse themselves in the film.

“Great actors, Tom being one of them, try hard to keep their personal lives private so that we don’t think of their real life when we see them in a movie that tries to transport us to a different world… What is it? what Daniel Day-Lewis really likes? I have no idea, that’s why he’s so great, because when he plays Lincoln, I only see Lincoln. I don’t think, ‘Well, there’s a British heterosexual. »

You can watch full episodes of Real time with Bill Maher on HBO Max, and the rant in full can be seen below.

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