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?