Annie is Black!

I just heard that Annie is being remade and was very excited to watch the new trailer.  Although I think Annie is not the best or most interesting musical, it has a happy ending and the songs are easy to sing along to.  However, I was even more excited to see that Quvenzhané Wallis is playing the part of Annie!  She is an extraordinarily talented actress, especially at such a young age.  After a quick search on the internet, though, I found (unsurprisingly) that not everyone else is happy about Annie being played by a Black girl.  Here are some examples of comments that I found in Arturo R. Garcia’s article on the new film:

 

 

 

What?  First of all, racism does not work both ways.  Someone is racist if they benefit from the power differentials and structural inequalities based on race (aka if you’re White).  If someone remade Dreamgirls with an all White cast, the story would be totally different, probably not nearly as impressive, and would be the ultimate form of showcasing privilege and usurping an amazing story about Black women getting what they want and work very hard for.  Yes, Annie was a White character because being White is considered “normal” and having a main Black character in 1982 (when the original Annie movie came out) was not common (and still is not common).  Getting upset that Annie is now Black implies that being Black is bad, and it is not.  So yes, that is racist.

 

 

 

 

 

I want to start with the second comment.  I sincerely hope this was meant to be very sarcastic.  If not, though, here’s what I’d say to that person: straight hair, blue/green eyes, and light skin are all normative because White people generally have these features and have more privilege than people of color.  White people are not better than people of other races and should not be treated better or put on pedestals (although they are, they should not be).  Black women do not need to change their appearance or “improve” themselves by trying to look more “White.”  That’s ridiculous.  Whatever hair, eye color, or skin color a person is born with is natural and they should not be pressured to change it.

And I’m honestly not sure how to respond to the first comment.  I feel like this person doesn’t like that a Black girl is named Annie, which is wrong because that name is not reserved for White girls.  Anyone else have opinions on the comment about calling Annie “Shaquanda” instead?  Or about the recasting of Annie in general?

4 thoughts on “Annie is Black!

  1. Your damn right it works both ways you think because you know how to speak well that racism doesn’t work both ways then your sadly mistaken and are definitely what’s partly wrong with this world. Delusional thoughts

  2. What was said about the movie doesn’t surprise me. When I heard that she was going to be black I knew it had to come, nothing a minority does in this nation that gets notice, can go without racial implications and jokes to follow. What does bother me is how they suggested the name be changed, or that racism goes both ways. In movies like Tropic Thunder, or the current debate that everyone in a movie about Egypt is going to be white, or even how Noah was white in the last remake of Noah’s arc, we never hear whites say “well that’s wrong why didn’t they get a black guy, or middle eastern person, etc” In fact when the roles are reversed and its a white person playing a black part its acceptable. It baffles me honestly, people in our society and in our world still find ways to associate black with being bad (as you said) and then say it isn’t racist.

  3. Without doing any research on the topic, I wonder what the reasoning behind casting black female as Annie is? She could easily have been the best actress to audition and earned the role solely on talent, which would be awesome because it would really show that even though they knew Annie has always been played by a white female, they were prepared to cast the best actress regardless of race. The reason why I bring this up is because you sometimes here about productions, movies, cartoons, shows, etc. casting black people in main character roles as a way of saying “hey look we’re not racist over here!”. This can definitely be seen as an example of color blind ideology “we don’t see race” and also supports the claim that many Americans are desperate to not seem racist. There was a comic hero a while back called the Green Lantern who was a white male and had a ring that gave him special powers. At one point the ring, and the title of “Green Lantern”, was passed on to a black male for so called “diversity” reasons, as an attempt to avoid criticism that they were making all of their characters white and not seem racist to the public. Hopefully a black girl being cast as Annie is a step towards ending this type of racist behavior.

  4. I, like you, was not surprised by the comments about Annie. I saw multiple comments like the ones posted here and some even more disturbing ones. This happens every time a Black person plays someone that was originally written as white; ignorant white people talk to social media and either say overtly racist remarks or make excuses for why it’s “not supposed to be” like that. It’s ridiculous. I find it even more ridiculous that people call casting of a movie reverse racism because it really doesn’t work that way. These comments show how people really don’t understand terms or racial interactions that affect us every day.

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