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josie's avatar

Shouldn't Will Smith have known this in the first place?

Asked by josie (30931points) March 5th, 2019

I’m white. And my perspective on race has been pretty simple, maybe naive, for most of my life: are you mission capable or not.
My girlfriend is non white. But she doesn’t talk about race, plus she is mission capable.

So, I won’t begin to pretend that I understand any of this.

But Will Smith is black. So, wouldn’t/shouldn’t he have known it was a problem, and refused the role?

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13 Answers

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Will Smith is a damn good actor and a box office draw. He’s a good choice.
I think it’s going overboard to say an actor needs to physically look like a clone of the person they are portraying. A passing similarity is enough.
The acting is far more important.

cookieman's avatar

I won’t pretend to understand any real or imagined nuance amongst African-Americans regarding specific skin tone, but he is a black man, and a generally good actor.

I know Chinese actors have played Japanese, Vietnamese, and Korean characters (and perhaps vice versa). Is that an issue?

Are all Caucasian actors the exact shade of cream/beige/peach as the real life people they play?

Seems a bit nit picky to me.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I mistook the film. I thought that it was about Will Smith playing the purple Genie in the remake of Aladdin. I am not up on the new movies.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I find the whole thing ridiculous!!! WHY does everybody insist on being offended about the simplest things??? I didn’t have the same skin tone as my Moth & father, yet that didn’t make them any less of my parents!!!

I don’t know the history of Mr Williams but I know he will be well represented by Will Smith!!! Since we now have the technology to lighten the skin of black actors so they will be more accepted, do we not have the same ability to darken them for a specific role??? Will puts himself deeply into any role he has undertaken & I have NO doubt that he won’t do the same in this movie.

I’m wondering IF this isn’t just hype to promote the movie 7 it’s FREE as long as it’s headlines in the news!!!

josie's avatar


Always slow on the upload, I didn’t even think it might be promotion. That would explain a lot.

LadyMarissa's avatar

@josie If you pay close attention, there is always some form of FREE press when a new book or movie is coming out!!! When I was growing up the saying was “The only bad press is NO press so people were hired to spread rumors to keep the press rolling!!! Whenever an actor isn’t as popular as they once were, there is some bad press to get viewers motivated to think about them…It’s a very effective concept!!!

Dutchess_lll's avatar

This wasn’t an issue of whether he’d be a good father @LadyMarissa. It was whether he looked sufficiently physically like the actual father.

Hell they should just hire old angry ass…what his name??...Samuel Jackson. He’s nice and dark and pretty similar IMO.
Of course I would be more likely to watch a movie starring Will Smith than Jackson.

kritiper's avatar

I don’t understand why so many people act like it is a crime to talk about differences in skin color. If Will Smith wants to take the role, then he should and then let the people talk.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We had a Scandinavian dude playing the part of a Middle Eastern dude for a couple thousand years. People seemed to be fine with it.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m white, so my opinion maybe doesn’t count.

I find black people (some black people) seem to have issues with darker than a brown paper bag black (their term, which I think is awful, and I never use it, but just making a point how some of them talk about it). I never hear white people making a big thing about it. Maybe black people see all white people the same, while some whites see blonde and blue eyed different than olive skin and dark hair? I have no idea. I remember once in Oprah, this woman (a black woman) got preggers by a very dark black man, and she hoped and prayed her baby wouldn’t be that dark. Well, he was. The kid was a teenager on the show, and his mom’s concerns had killed this kid’s self esteem. I couldn’t believe it. He felt like he would never be able to accomplish anything because if his color. I was quite appalled.

In my opinion, and again I don’t think my opinion really matters. I think it’s fine for Smith to play the part. They can make his skin a little darker, but probably then everyone will freak out about that. Smith possibly protects his skin from the sun, while Willians maybe doesn’t. That could account for a few shades darker. I used to work with this black girl who in the summer used to love to get really dark. She was from the islands, and I think the darker color was how she was used to seeing herself maybe?

My guess is, very dark African Americans feel they are discriminated against, and want a fair shot.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I dunno, but if I was that dude I’d be more bothered by the fact that it’s Will Smith playing me than by Will Smith’s skin tone. I’ve never really been convinced of Will Smith’s ability to play anything other than Will Smith.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, Will Smith plays an excellent Will Smith. No one, no one, plays Will Smith better than Will Smith. But he seems to have a somewhat limited range.

cookieman's avatar

He also plays A very good William Smith and Bill Smith. His Billy Smith however needs work.

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