Hollywood is in the midst of a major push for more diversity and representation, which is very much overdue. It wouldn’t be untrue to say that ever since the moving picture was patented, the realm of cinema has largely rested in the hands of a bunch of white dudes, which doesn’t reflect the melting pot of race, creed, gender, inspiration and influence that we live in today.
However, there’s been a pervasive element of so-called ‘white guilt’ that many people find to be pandering at worst and self-serving at best, which ultimately doesn’t contribute anything to the conversation in the long term. Forbes writer Scott Mendelson is the latest to throw himself on his sword, dismissing Golden Globe nominee and rumored cannibal Armie Hammer as an expendable generic white guy, as you can see below.
Fair or not, Armie Hammer is expendable. Talent notwithstanding, he is also a classic example of the kind of "generic handsome white guy" that Hollywood spent the last 20 years trying to turn into the next Tom Cruise only to now wonder why they have no new movie stars.
— Scott Mendelson (@ScottMendelson) January 13, 2021
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Completely ignoring the fact that he may or may not have a craving for human flesh, it isn’t Armie Hammer’s fault that he’s a handsome white guy. Not only that, but Mendelson’s entire statement is baseless when the industry is populated by countless major stars from many backgrounds. And Tom Cruise has been one of the biggest draws in the game for almost 40 years because he’s worked his ass off to keep it that way, risking life and limb in the name of our entertainment, not because he’s a white dude with a megawatt grin.
Let’s not forget, either, that the highest-paid actor in the industry (Dwayne Johnson) has a black father and a Samoan mother, Denzel Washington and Will Smith are two of the very few talents in Hollywood who can open almost anything at the top of the box office based on their names alone, and Jackie Chan’s huge global reach almost always ensures that he’s ranked among the biggest earners in the business. The point is, Armie Hammer happens to be a tall, handsome, Caucasian actor with a very ‘white guy’ name, but that doesn’t instantly make him expendable for those reasons alone. The whole cannibalism thing might, though.