OY VEY! DOUBLE OY VEY! Helen Mirren has been cast as Golda Meir in an upcoming film on the late Israeli Prime Minister, and people are beefing about it. About ten years ago this wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow, but now the Pecksniffs are tut-tutting about the choice because Mirren isn’t Jewish. I vehemently disagree.
Now sometimes there is a need for authenticity—and authenticity without insult. While Mirren required extensive makeup to look like Golda, I would not sanction a white man playing, for example, Martin Luther King, Jr. The history of blackface is too pernicious and racist to allow that.
But can a black woman play Golda Meir? I don’t think so, for it would affect the “suspension of disbelief” essential in watching any such movie. There has to be a degree of versimilitude to make the reader immerse himself in the movie’s reality. Could the Robert Redford of old play Truman Capote in the movie “Capote”? I don’t think so, for we know what Capote looked and acted like. Those images are burned too deeply into our neurons to make a Redford performance credible. Could a black man play Richard III? I’m not opposed to that simply because, although we know the King wasn’t black, we wouldn’t be preoccupied with the trope of “blacface” during the movie.
Can Helen Mirren play Golda Meir, even if she’s not Jewish? OF COURSE! So long as she looks sort of like Meir, and tries to adopt a sort-of Israeli accent, why should we beef? She is, after all, a wonderful actress. Does knowing that Helen Mirren isn’t Jewish (she may be an atheist, for all I know) really detract from the movie? Only to the Pecksniffs. Yet they are here infesting the Guardian: click the screenshot to read:
Here they go:
Maureen Lipman has criticised the casting of Helen Mirren as Golda Meir in a forthcoming film about the former Israeli prime minister, saying that the character’s Jewishness is “integral”.
In comments reported by the Jewish Chronicle, Lipman said she “disagreed” with Mirren’s casting. She added: “I’m sure [Mirren] will be marvellous, but it would never be allowed for Ben Kingsley to play Nelson Mandela. You just couldn’t even go there.”
But there are good reasons not to go there, and it involves external appearance, not internal religious beliefs. Richard Burton, after all, played Thomas Becket in the eponymous 1964 movie, and Burton wasn’t a Catholic or an Anglican, but an atheist. So what? It was a good movie.
Here’s why the Pecksniffs object, but with the inervention of sanity:
The Jewish Chronicle’s piece cited a number of controversial instances of “Jewface”, including Tamsin Greig’s recent suggestion that she ‘probably’ should not have been cast in the sitcom Friday Night Dinner and the row over a stage production of the musical Falsettos in 2019, which contained no Jewish cast or crew members. It also quoted actor and comic Sarah Silverman’s comments on the mooted casting of Kathryn Hahn as Joan Rivers in a TV series: “Right now, representation fucking matters. It has to also finally matter for Jews as well. Especially Jewish women.”
In contrast, the playwright and director Patrick Marber was quoted in the Jewish Chronicle article as objecting to the primacy of “lived experienced” in casting decisions, saying: “I fucking hate that expression. Because ‘lived experience’ is sort of a denial of what creativity is and denies the actor the fundamental challenge and right to become someone else to impersonate another human being from another time, from another culture from another religion and another sexuality and other gender.”
Marber added: “I think a Gentile can play a Jew and a Jew can play a Gentile. I don’t like it when someone plays a Jew and gets it wrong. [But] I don’t like quotas.”
How can you “get it wrong” when you play a Jew? There are so many Jews on the world, many of them atheists, that I don’t see how someone can “get it wrong.” But kudos for Marber. His statement about “lived experience” is precisely right.
And Sarah Silverman objects! Seriously? It’s not as if Jews have been underrepresented in the movie industry! And remember, Dame Sarah, both Paul Newman and Sal Mineo, neither of them Jews, both played Jews in the 1960 movie Exodus I remember this scene well:
I’m a secular Jew, and I don’t think that “lived experience” is necessarily for great actors like Mirren. All that’s important is that they convince us they were the character. Here’s Mirren made up as Meir, unrecognizable as the actress.
118 thoughts on “Helen Mirren attacked for portraying Golda Meir because Mirren’s not Jewish”
If Dame Helen Mirren withdraws, the part should be offered to Gal Gadot. I don’t know if she is an adherent of Judaism, but at least she’s from Israel. That should count for something, right?
The film is already in post production. If Helen Mirren were to withdraw (if she can withdraw, contractually), it would probably be sunk.
It will be interesting to see where “rules” lead to.
I mean, does it mean Jewish actors will be encouraged not to take on roles of Catholic characters, for example? Or gay actor encouraged not to take on roles of straight characters?
Yes, if we reversed the rule and say that only Gentiles can play Gentiles, that would create an employment problem for a lot of Jewish actors.
Silly boy, respect is a one way street in Wokeville. Come to think of it, ALL the streets in Wokeville are one way…
By coincidence (maybe), respect is also one-way in Trumplandia.
They made up Nicole Kidman to play Lucille Ball and it looked ridiculous, like a botched plastic surgery and yet Javier Bardem wasn’t augmented for his role as Desi Arnez, a Spaniard playing a Cuban. Kidman’s performance was stellar but I couldn’t get over the “puffyface”. Not a lot of outcry over it though.
Thry discussed this on Radio 4’s World at One – UK readers can hear it here -https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00132y2
Plays fine in NZ as well. Discussion starts at around 27 minutes, with Dame Maureen and David Baddiel. Much more nuanced than some of the discussion out there. Baddiel recently published an excellent thought-provoking book, “Jews Don’t Count” which discusses his feelings around this kind of issue.
Yes definitely a book Jerry would find interesting.
I probably should read this, even though or because I disagree with the (apparent) premise that identity politics is okay except for neglecting Jews. Attacking and arguing against the rampant antisemitism and the Pro-Palestinian bias among identity politics left activists is one thing, complaining that Jews no longer rank top in the victim hierarchy while accepting the basic tenets of identity politics (everyone is a victim except white Europeans who have privilege and original sin) quite another.
I believe Paul Newman’s father was indeed Jewish, though his mother was not.
Remember Adam Sandler’s line from his Hanukkah song?:
“Paul Newman’s half-Jewish,
Goldie Hawn is too
Put ’em both together
What a fine-looking Jew!”
According to The Rules, that means he’s not Jewish. Besides, he said he was an atheist!
I think Joanne Woodward may have been, too. I know the couple was close friends with out atheist Gore Vidal.
Only the ‘rules’ were never followed! https://razib.substack.com/p/under-pressure-the-paradox-of-the?r=u0rd&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
Any pushback on Denzel Washington playing a Scottish Thane?
That would work. Like all Scottish men (ahem), he’s a hunk. I think most Scots would just care that he did the accent right.
There was an anecdote about Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, known for his racial wrong-footedness. At a formal state reception, he found himself standing next to a very dark-skinned man in dress regimental uniform. The Duke asked him, “And what far-flung corner of the Empire do you hail from, my good man?” The response, delivered with a thick dock-side burr: “Glasgow, Sir!”
Maureen Lipman is Jewish and a fine actor in her own right. She should know that Non Jews can play Jews and vice versa. She’s done the latter herself many times. Often with great success.
She played a Jewish woman in The Debt.
And also in “The Woman in Gold”. I would submit that the “the character’s Jewishness” was even more integral in the role of Maria Altmann in that movie.
Apparently 2015 was a less enlightened time
And in the under-rated 2015 “Woman In Gold”, in which she was excellent, as usual. The film had a marvelous, semi-fantasy scene toward the end.
Ingrid Bergman successfully played Golda in a 1982 TV series and I can’t recall any controversy at the time.
Bergman’s last released performance.
I think it was wrong to cast Helen Mirren as The Queen in the 2006 movie. She’s not a queen! How can we accept a non-queen playing a queen?? Only queens should be allowed to play queens.
The only character Helen Mirren should be allowed to play is herself, in an autobiographical film! Isn’t that obvious?
Thanks, Coel, you made me smile! I love a good reductio ad absurdum! 🤓
Christopher Plummer played a late-blooming queen in Beginners — oh, wait, maybe that’s not the kind of queen you’re talking about.
Yes, especially since queenness and centuries of aristocratic “breeding” was inherent to that role!
It’s disgraceful. There have been many queen roles in cinematic history, yet never once have any of them been played by an actual queen. In fact, the discrimination in the acting profession against royals beggars belief. Even Grace Kelly, once she married into Royal, never got another role after that.
I don’t much know what Meier really looked like, so another woman of approximately the same age and build is sufficiently good enough for me to suspend my disbelief.
PCC I think your point about Jews in show business is a very good one, and it seems to me to show an extremely poor self-awareness for Jews in the entertainment industry to be insisting that only people of religion X act for characters of religion X. That’s going to close a lot more doors than it opens.
Generally, the idea that actors act and thus can represent a wide variety of types of people that they are not is one I agree with far beyond just this example.
A big yes to all three points. Otherwise, it’s out with those non-Belgian British actors who’ve pretended to be Hercule Poirot and bring on Jean-Claude van Damme.
The Muscles from Brussels himself.
Shouldn’t the part at least require an actor?
He is an actor. He’s just differently abled in that department.
Gee, no one complained about this issue when Helen Mirren played Ayn Rand in a film. After all, [sarcasm] Ayn Rand is Jewish and Helen is not [end sarc].
There is much further nuance. Ayn Rand was Jewish. But not. Ayn Rand was a secular Jew. But not. She was also “Russian,” or “Russian-American.” But not. Ayn Rand was a sovereign human who chose her values and convictions, and to be a citizen of the United States.
A person is one’s volitionally chosen identity, ethical code, and actions.
I should add that the “representation” problem here is probably more about casting bias than whether the actor is like the character. IOW I have no problem with a company trying to broaden their casting and think through whether they are showing any -isms in the pattern of what actors they hire. But IMO that’s largely independent of character. If a production company is not giving parts to Jews or gays or blacks or what have you when they were the best choice for the job, that’s biased. One doesn’t need to only hire Jews to play Jews to either recognize that problem or start fixing it.
Minority representation is a problem when you get to Objectivism in the movies. Sure, there’s a few actors around that have the right amount of selfish narcissism, but how many of them also have the requisite amount of mental deficiency?
Eric, a grammar mistake: “there’s a few” is wrong because of singular/plural disagreement. I will refrain from describing my emotions when I saw that.
“There’s a few” is absolutely correct. A few is singular (‘a’ being a singular pronoun). ‘There’s’ is concatenation of ‘There is’, a singular verb. If you want to get upset about parsing a sentence, at least get your grammar right.
Could you please be more civil in your comments? It’s fine to correct someone, but not so fine to throw in a snarky zinger.
My characterization of Objectivism was all snark, so in this case I don’t mind taking a bit of what I dish out. 🙂
As we know from Objectivism, John will be shown to be correct in a deus ex machina finish where one of the ubermensch invents a perfect grammar engine, sending all us freeloaders scurrying.
If I may take a page from Mr. Donohue here, “a” is a singular article — a type of modifier, not a pronoun.
Pedantry apologies in advance.
I stand corrected. Not in the least offended.
There’re a word for people who point out errors such as that, John. 🙂
I can think of several words there. Your singular should have been a plural 😎
Ken, Kudos for correct usage of “there’s.” See my comment further down about my true intentions.
[that was more comedy. i got your jape]
And there’s further nuance to come. Helen Mirren’s father was Russian, and her surname was originally Mirinoff. So she gets a pass (I reckon) on the Russian part of playing Rand.
Well, not only did others not understand my subtext, but they posted wrong certainties against my droll comment!
1) Would you say “I looked in the door, and sure enough, there is a few students in chairs.”
2) all grammar sites I checked say “few” requires plural verbs. I assume “is” and “are” are verbs.
3) my top rated (and expensive) editor says “There’s a few…” (There is a few grammar blunders in the file you just sent me..” etc) is wrong, but mangled often. Part of the dumbing down associated with contraction overdose.
4) all you have to do is get rid of the contraction and see if it sounds right. No one should be comfortable with “There is a few … rotten apples in the barrel.”
Clearly, my posting of a grammar correction was comedy. It substituted for my (self-redacted) vicious flame against Eric for his lowbrow snicker against Ayn Rand. Our Host did the contra-Eric work.
I assume “is” and “are” are verbs.
No they is one verb: “to be”.
I am prepared to bet with 10 to 1 odds (i.e. I might win $10 but ‘you’ might win $100) that both hold:
1/ Helen Mirren has at least one Jewish ancestor; and
2/ any person replacing her has at least one non-Jewish ancestor.
May I again refer to the title of the initial chapter of a certain book, the title being “Mobile and Horny”. May I also remind that I am not referring to merely 4 or 5 generations back, and so anybody taking me up will have an impossible time trying to disprove 1/ or 2/, both of which follow almost by pure logic from Rutherford’s assertions in the book. Actually both are virtually special cases of general assertions made in that book. ‘Being Jewish’ goes back well over 2500 years.
Now maybe the accusations of Mr. and Ms. Pecksmith are merely that good old Helen will do a lousy job of acting. But I seriously doubt they have much sense of acting skill. In which case, this stuff is a crock of shit, as many are also pointing out.
When are those knuckleheads going to insist that only spiders can portray Spiderman?
Sponges must play SpongeBob Squarepants! Only a certain ice cream can play Rocky (see what I did there, referencing the other day?)
And they got a fake shark for Jaws. Sad!
Spiders don’t have the “man” part, though. Clearly only a teenaged boy who’s been bitten by a radioactive spider can play Spiderman.
Sometimes the casting of a big star in a role like this one can be distracting. If viewers spend half the movie marveling at the transformation then it is detracts from whatever else the movie had to say. It also sends the message that star power was a big reason for the casting. Although Mirren made up for the role looks amazingly like the real Golda Meir, it’s hard to believe there wasn’t some other actor that would be a closer match.
The fact that Mirren isn’t Jewish doesn’t matter a whit. An actor is likely to differ in a number of respects from the real-life person she’s playing. Why make such a big deal about her religion?
“If viewers spend half the movie marvelling at the transformation then it is detracts from whatever else the movie had to say.”
Yes, there are dumb viewers all over the place, especially celebrity-soaked idiots. Could Kardashian be taken (mistaken?) for a Jewish name? The ‘best’ kind of celebrity is maybe the one who has never accomplished anything worthwhile except perhaps to be one.
It’s not really so dumb. Obviously people commenting here are interested that Helen Mirren was chosen for the role. If I watch the movie, which is doubtful, I’m sure I’ll take note of the miracle transformation.
>Here’s Mirren made up as Meir, barely recognizable.
I take it our host means “barely recgonizable” as herself. As Meir she’s unrecognizable as anyone else. Honest, if I had seen that photo, not aware that there was a movie, (and I wasn’t until I read the story), I would have just assumed without a second thought it was an old photo of Prime Minster Meir.
Agree, the important thing is suspension of disbelief. Dame Helen and her make-up crew certainly accomplished that.
Can white men sing the blues?
Can blue men sing the whites?
The blues has a long history of cultural appropriation: the main instrument is of Spanish origin and appropriated without permission by displaced Africans. The shock! The horror!
Dunno. But Blue Man Group can sure play percussion.
I am waiting for a Jesus film to see if people will quibble about who gets to play Jesus. Should it be a Jewish actor? Or Catholic? I don’t recall any such controversy associated with The Passion of the Christ, but that was a while ago. Also, I don’t know much about Jim Caviezel’s lineage. His Wikipedia page says that he is a devout Catholic.
How many (Jesus Christ Superstar)s have there been? For that matter, (Jesus Christ Nutjob)s? Wokebiblicaliteralistvirtuesignalers must be going bananas!
(One of) the first to play the title role in Jesus Christ Superstar was Ian Gillan, who found fame as a singer with Deep Purple.
What a fun nose tweak to tell the Evangelicals that for Hollywood’s remake of Jesus Christ Superstar, “the character’s Jewishness is integral”.
I support the effort reported here. If it works out, future Jesus films would be interesting to watch as well as historically accurate, with much less pandering to silly religious sensibilities.
“Can I Play That?” – a satirical sketch from Saturday Night Live. Enjoy.
Idris Elba usin’ his Stringer Bell accent in that one. 🙂
Ironically, just a couple of weeks ago Maureen Lipman complained about cancel culture: https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2021/dec/22/cancel-culture-risks-wiping-out-comedy-claims-maureen-lipman
Prediction for wokeism in the year 2032:
Casting call for role to play James Dean.
Looking for a White-American male who was born in Marion, Indiana, U.S., whose father belonged to a “line of original settlers that could be traced back to the Mayflower”, went to Brentwood Public School and McKinley Elementary School, whose mother died of uterine cancer when you were nine years old, was sexually abused by a minister approximately two years after your mother’s death, went to UCLA and played Malcolm in Macbeth……………………..
Must fit the above description in order to audition.
ps, must be <= 24 years old.
Though it’s probably better if he doesn’t drive a Porsche.
Helen Mirren is an extraordinary actor. Her role as DCI Jane Tennison in the British series, Prime Suspect, was flawless. However, she didn’t have any “lived experience” as a policewoman so I guess she wasn’t qualified for the roll? I look forward to seeing her in the role of Golda Meir. The other actor I believe, who would likely have done the part well, would be Meryl Streep. Also not Jewish. On another note, Debra Messing would have made a great Lucille Ball, and she is Jewish.
Maybe Mirrin could convert to Judaism for the duration of the production. Of course afterward she’s have to switch back or suffer attack by anti-Semites.
As far as religion itself goes in this matter, Mr. Wiki tell us of Golda Mier:
“She strongly identified with Judaism culturally, but was an atheist in religious belief. She is famously reported to have stated: ‘I believe in the Jewish people, and the Jewish people believe in God.’ ”
Perhaps all Helen Mirren needs do is to ‘convert’ to atheism, if she isn’t already an atheist.
Ideally that quote above is right there in the film. And for the thickheads watching it, maybe they could add a fake extra sentence: ‘From the way I phrased that, you should deduce that I do not believe in God.’
>‘I believe in the Jewish people, and the Jewish people believe in God.’ ”
That’s up there with “What we have, we hold.”
“Perhaps all Helen Mirren needs do is to ‘convert’ to atheism, if she isn’t already an atheist” – According to Wikipedia:
Perhaps they have a sort of temporary Jewish visa for occasions like this. Just kidding.
I didn’t read all the comments but didn’t Ingrid Bergan play Golda Meir?
I wonder what these people would say if the converse was proposed – Why see a movie about some Israeli woman if you don’t share the lived experience of being one? What could you possible gain?
Does it matter that Ben Kingsley is only *half* Indian?
Esther Rantzen, a distinguished British journalist who is Jewish herself, has a letter in The Times today. It will be behind a paywall for most readers, so I take the liberty of reproducing it in full:
“Sir, We live in the most exciting theatrical times when Glenda Jackson can play King Lear and Sir Ian McKellen, at 82, can play Hamlet. How sad, then, that Dame Maureen Lipman objects to Dame Helen Mirren being cast as Golda Meir because Mirren is not Jewish (“Mirren shouldn’t be playing Israeli PM, says Lipman in ‘Jewface’ row”, Jan 6). As a Jew myself I would be disappointed if Lipman’s views prevailed. Omid Djalili, who is a Baha’i, delighted audiences in Fiddler on the Roof as Tevye, whose Judaism is intrinsic to his character and the plot. Sir Ben Kingsley is a Quaker who was nominated for a Bafta for his role as the Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern in Schindler’s List. And Lipman herself triumphed as Joyce Grenfell, even though Lipman is Jewish and Grenfell was a Christian Scientist. The crucial criterion is that they all created authentic characters rather than racial caricatures. Mirren has shown many times how convincingly she can portray powerful women; surely she should be judged purely on her performance as Golda Meir, not on her own ethnic background.
Dame Esther Rantzen”
I should have added that there has been pushback across the board, including from many other prominent British Jews. It seems that Lipman is in a minority of one on this issue.
I was going to mention Lipman’s playing Joyce Grenfell. But Ether Rantzen, bless her,. did a much better job than I could have, with no rancour whatsoever.
Part of the argument is that whilst it is becoming increasingly rare – if not virtually unthinkable – for straight actors to be cast in gay roles, white actors in minority roles, etc. ad infinitum, yet somehow “Jews don’t count” as reflected by the decision to cast Helen Mirren as Golda Meir. Personally, I think actors should be allowed to just get on with acting, but I see that there’s a potential double standard at play here.
I’m going to protest any actor who portrays a Serial Killer who hasn’t at least some lived experience
of serial killing.
I’m sick of all this “pretending to be someone you aren’t” in the acting business.
Another zinging reductio ad absurdum, thanks!🤓
I wish that they had asked Lipman if she felt that since she feels that only Jews should play Jewish characters, does the converse apply, in reference to Jews portraying members of other faiths?
Given her acting history, I think she sees no conflict there.
The whole point of acting is to compellingly portray someone you are not. There are some actors who mostly play the same sort of character in different settings under different names. But even Tom Cruise played a (Jewish) Les Grossman wonderfully in Tropic Thunder.
It seems like most people complaining about this stuff are people who expect to gain personally from enforcing such rules, and those who expect praise for being outraged on behalf of groups they have appointed themselves spokespersons for.
In the case of appropriation, if the proposed rules were carried out evenly and to their natural conclusions, nobody would be able to do or eat much of anything.
In acting, are we supposed to have a hard rule about heritage, and stop there? Of course not. People are already complaining about this in regards to sexual orientation, physical disability, and so on. Carried to the logical conclusion, the only sort of thing we could watch would be films like To Hell and Back (1955).
I heard someone explain, when speaking about members of a particular group and their use of group identity to gain advantage for themselves “Their (group identity) is either fundamental to their identity or irrelevant, depending on whether it gives them an advantage in that particular situation.”
Yes, but pity poor Robert Downey, Jr., who was a dude, playing a dude, disguised as another dude. Never go full a-dude-playing-a-dude-disguised-as-another-dude, man. 🙂
Golda Meir was an atheist! Still a Jew therefore?
Maureen Lipman claims cancel culture could ‘wipe out’ comedy: ‘Sooner or later the cancellers will win’
Maureen Lipman: Cancel culture could wipe out comedy
I just want to state; Helen Mirren was and still is, delicious.
Chris Hemsworth is by no means an Asgardian, but he played Thor. Brent Spiner is not actually an android, but he played Data on Star Trek TNG. And it goes without saying that none of the people who’ve played The Doctor are actually Time Lords (Okay, maybe Tom Baker…).
What about those who have played Death? God? The Devil?
What about biopics about Larry Flint and Hugh Hefner? Surely only billionaire playboys, either crippled or pipe-smoking, respectively, need audition.
To be fair, perhaps Asgardians, Androids, and Time Lords are terrible actors or, even more likely, offer their services at too high a price.
Oh, yeah, Imagine trying to get an Asgardian to work for scale…
So many reductiones ad absurdum, I’m in Paradise! 🤓
There should be no problem with Mirren playing Meir. Playing someone else is what the profession of acting is all about.
Fretting about who represents us in a motion picture risks inciting people to think that Jews are asking for special status as an aggrieved group. We don’t need that special status, and seeking it without good reason can only contribute to the antisemitism that already exists. Mirren is a wonderful actress, and I have no doubt that she will represent Golda Meir very well indeed—despite not being Jewish. It’s not necessarily the case that a Jewish actress would be a better choice simply because she is Jewish.
Maybe in a comedy. Reading the idea above made me laugh out loud.
Chrissake, what’s next? Ms. Streep gonna get cancelled for playing Ethel Rosenberg in the film adaptation of Angels In America?
Have the Woke attempted to cancel an actor for playing someone detestable? After all, wouldn’t the choice of playing Hitler indicate at least some tolerance for his ideas? It has to be the next step in Wokeness.
Denzel plays Macbeth in Joel Coen’s recently released movie adaptation, The Tragedy of Macbeth, opposite J. Coen’s wife, Frances McDormand, as Lady Macbeth.
Posted before I saw that CR already made the point in comment #6.
“How hypocritical of Maureen Lipman – she once played Margaret Thatcher who was a Christian. So why does she resent a Christian actress playing a Jew? Bloody ridiculous,” said one.
Another added: “Didn’t Maureen Lipman once play a Reverend in Vicar of Dibley? Should that part not have gone to a Christian?”
In early Hollywood talkies, Jews often played Italian gangsters (Muni, Robinson). Later, Jewish gangsters were played by Italians (De Niro) and WASPs (James Woods) on Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in America.”. I think Lipman is at least in part making a statement about the excesses of Wokeism.
Isn’t that what acting is, playing someone you’re not?
Weird. I just watched the SNL clip above (#19 by Peter) and the guy says what I just said. I guess it’s the obvious response.
Shame Sammy Davis, Jr., isn’t around to play fellow Jew David Ben-Gurion.
That woulda made everybody happy.
Ms. Lipman is a tiny bit younger than Ms. Mirren. Despite the pushback, if the former continues with her unreasonable objection, she may have an opportunity (to get subtle revenge?) by starring in an upcoming movie based on the spectacular career of the latter, including of course a few snippets about an earlier movie now being discussed. It would be a courageous producer who arranged such a movie with that leading actor.
Of course exactly the reverse roles could also occur.
I didn´t see this kind of complaint when Anthony Hopkins played the part of Odin when he´s clearly not a space god and not even Scandinavian… William Dafoe also played Jesus when he wasn´t born from a virgin girl impregnated by some kind of ghost. Do those morons even understand the concept of acting??
THIS IS LUDICROUS! Helen Mirren has played a Jewish woman in other films. What’s the point? Should we restrict actors’ roles to those of ONLY their ethnicity? Religion? Nationality? Ludicrous doesn’t even cover this idea. Let’s just applaud her fine acting skills and pass the popcorn!
The only reasonable response to this nonsense is to paraphrase Tracey Ullman’s brilliant skit about that overly-woke support group and say “Fuck off, Maureen!”. 🙂
I suggest the author does not truly object, but wants to advance the topic; the outlet doesn’t truly believe there is a problem this time, but it’s a typical fringe opinion hot take that generates clicks and ad revenue and is “relevant” for a checkbox on some spreadsheet (need a culture story for an upcoming film); and it’s really a brainchild of the film studio’s marketing department looking for ways to gin up attention and interest about an upcoming film. The whole thing is probably a native ad.
I think we are in a rare moment of history where it is right to shoot the messenger.
The real danger of clickbait has shown up in the British Red Tops that put things out to get people fired up. Maureen Lipman hoped that female Jewish actors had also been considered before deciding to cast Helen Mirren, who she acknowledged was a gifted actor for the role. The same would apply to any part, but as she said, it would be stupid to be too prescriptive as it would mean only a Jewish woman, born in North Finchley & in the street she was born in could play her in a drama. We have had some casting which I doubt would occur now. For example, Ben Kingsley playing Gandhi in Richard Attenborough Film Gandhi. While he played the part beautifully, there are many excellent actors from India who could play the role perfectly if it was to be remade.
Sarah Silverman seems dangerously naive. “Representation matters now” — really? What would it mean for Jews if ethnic or religious representation “mattered”? Quotas in professions next? Should we really start dividing up Jews and Gentiles again? Last time I looked the people counting Jews and non-Jews in the Biden administration, journalism etc and agreeing that Jews should not be seen as representing whites (or vice versa) were fringe right wing antisemites.
Me thinks Lipman jealous.
Can we all spare a moment here to think of our host, who is undoubtedly curled up in a ball, sobbing, as he contemplates Sarah Silverman’s fall into the cesspool of identity politics?
A piece by David Baddiel in The Guardian arguing that the issue is at least worth discussing. https://www.theguardian.com/film/2022/jan/12/helen-mirren-golda-meir-maureen-lipman-david-baddiel-row-jews-bojack-horseman?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other