Monday, March 03, 2008

This really ticks me off

Check out this article on the Washington Post's website. "Saturday Night Live" is taken to task. What was their offense, you ask? They picked a white cast member to play Barack Obama.

I don't like the fact that too many reporters and politicians use race as a convenient brick bat with which to beat their enemies. I think most of America is tired of it, too. Witness the high negatives of black leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Shartpon.

I thought Obama was the candidate who "transcends race". If that is the case, why does it matter the race of the actor who portrays him? Also, Obama is half black. What is the other half? Blue?

Let's consider the question of who should play Obama from a practical standpoint. Here is a link to the cast members' bios. Look at the photos of the cast members. They have one black male cast member: Kenan Thompson (of Nickelodeon's "Kenan and Kel"). Not only is Thompson considerably darker than [the half white] Obama, he is also considerably heavier and at 5'8" tall almost half a foot shorter than Obama. In short, he looks nothing like Barack Obama. In contrast, Fred Armisen, the cast member who was chosen to play Obama, looks considerably more like the candidate.

The article reprints several criticisms of other columnists for SNL's move. When they do address the issue of Thompson's lack of resemblance to Obama, this is only done so as to highlight the dearth of black cast members on SNL.

Oh, of course.

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