Interesting article. I agree that placing the blame solely on Michelle Williams is unfair, however it is unlikely that she had no ability to refuse to participate in a racially insensitive photo shoot - unless her contract directly stated she was going to be in redface. I think this was an error on behalf of many parties, not just Michelle Williams. Most of the press that I have read has asked for an apology from the magazine, not Williams herself. One element that is strikingly absent from this article is the historical context of white actors playing black/red/yellow face as a means to degrade and humiliate other cultures and reinforce notions of white superiority. This places a modern photo shoot like this in a different context, does it not? I'm surprised that this was overlooked. This is why I consider the Michelle Yeoh comparison to be false - unless there is a history Malaysians committing genocide and cultural oppression on the other peoples she represented that I was unaware of. And there may be members of the Asian community who are offended by this as well - the Michelle Yeoh example does not justify this photoshoot, however it might point to the problem of an overall lack of opportunity for Asian people in the entertainment industry. In the last sentence of this article the author makes the assumption that everyone who is critical of or offended by this photo is also completely fine with the undertones in these literary examples, which may not be the case. Just because some mainstream films/books are problematic does not vindicate the perpetuation of this problem. I am by no means an expert on these matters and I welcome any corrections if my above opinions are misinformed.
Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 11:19