90 Miles From Tyranny : ‘The Stand’ being attacked for casting a NON-DEAF actor in a deaf role is proof ‘acting’ is a concept the PC world can’t grasp

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Sunday, December 20, 2020

‘The Stand’ being attacked for casting a NON-DEAF actor in a deaf role is proof ‘acting’ is a concept the PC world can’t grasp

In the latest in a long line of ridiculous such controversies, an adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ has angered the deaf community and social justice warriors over the casting of a non-deaf actor as a deaf-mute character.

CBS All Access recently unveiled one of its most ambitious projects to date: an adaptation of Stephen King’s epic novel ‘The Stand.’ While one might have predicted controversy around unleashing a story about a flu epidemic practically wiping out civilization during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the real issue critics have found is with a casting decision.

Actor Henry Zaga portrays the deaf-mute character of Nick Andros in the limited series, and it’s not his performance that is triggering criticism, but rather the fact he has no hearing impairment.

More than 70 signatories put their name to a statement issued this week that called for a boycott of the series over this casting choice.
“We will not endorse, watch, or support your miniseries on CBS All Access. We will share our displeasure of the casting decision and airing of the miniseries on CBS All Access with our Deaf community, signing community, friends, and family of Deaf individuals; together we make up 466 million worldwide,” the letter reads. 

Those protesting the series include Hollywood professionals such as Antoinette Abbamonte, director Jules Dameron, and actor James Caverly.

And, of course, social justice warriors have jumped at the chance to snowball the controversy on social media.

Not everyone has jumped on the bandwagon, though, with some pushing back at the idea that an actor shouldn’t work in a role that requires them to, you know, act.

One of the protest letter’s understandable gripes with CBS is that “not one deaf professional actor was called in to audition for the role.” The company is reportedly now meeting with the artists who released the statement.

‘The Stand’ controversy is just the latest casting debacle of 2020, which has seen actors criticized for portraying characters with different sexual orientations and others losing roles for not sharing characters’ identified gender. The worst and most inexplicable flash-in-the-pan firestorm came with the release of ‘The Tax Collector’, with critics claiming accusing white actor Shia Labeouf of “brownface” for playing a Latino character. The trouble is he was actually playing a white character based on multiple real people, so those gripes simply didn’t stack up.

While the pushback against ‘The Stand’ is more understandable than these other instances of outrage, much of the anger comes from the same knee-jerk feelings that have little nuance and even less care for context. Zaga is a fine actor who is capable of portraying a deaf-mute character, one that was and remains an incredibly important step forward for inclusion in storytelling. Andros is not treated, either in the novel and in the television adaptations, as less capable, but rather as someone who overcomes setbacks to...

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1 comment:

Mathman54 said...

At least he is missing one eye, right?