Take An Eyeopening Stroll Through Hollywood’s Uncomfortable History Of White Actors Playing Other Races

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01.31.16 54 Comments

Let’s face it. Hollywood has never had a stellar track record when it comes to race and representation. Well, unless you’re like super into white people. If you are, Hollywood’s bent over backwards to give you the white folks you crave. Heck, the film industry has even plunked white actors in non-white roles over and over again to ensure MAXIMUM whiteness. Thrilling news for David Duke, not so much for the rest of us.

As #OscarsSoWhite has shown, Hollywood still has a long way to go when it comes to showcasing and celebrating non-white performers, creators, characters and viewpoints. This week, ScreenCrush performed a valuable public service by whipping up a video supercut exhibiting the movie industry’s tendency to cast white actors in non-white roles. It’s a queasy ride through history complete with tons of film luminaries (like Katherine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier) attempting to embody another ethnicity on the big screen. If you think that phenomenon is just a thing of the past, be prepared to get bummed out by the number of 2010s clips that made it into the final cut.

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