By Max Musson:
Having never read either J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ or ‘The Hobbit’, I cannot write as a great authority on this subject, but I am a fan of director Peter Jackson’s portrayal of these epic sagas in his recent films.
An interesting aspect of the few criticisms ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy received was that there were no parts for non-Whites, and that the portrayal of evil characters such as Orcs and the Ringwraiths as predominantly black introduced ‘racist’ undertones to the film in terms of its subliminal impact.
There were also accusations of racism aimed at one of the production companies involved in the recruitment of extras, following claims by a lady named Naz Humphries, who complained that she had been rejected for the part of a female Hobbit because she is of Pakistani origin and was not considered sufficiently pale skinned. The casting agent involved was subsequently sacked.
In the light of such criticisms, I was developed a certain respect for Peter Jackson for staying true to Tolkien’s original stories, which had a fictitious, medieval Norse setting, in which there were various ‘races’ depicted, all of which were essentially northern European in character, with the exception of the more bestial evil characters such as the Orcs. Indeed, it would not have occurred to Tolkien, who was famously at one time a supporter of the National Front, to depict the good and heroic characters of his stories as anything other than White.
Readers will understand my disappointment therefore, having just watched ‘The Hobbit – the Desolation of Smaug’ and the fifth of Jackson’s films based on Tolkien’s novels, to find that several of the extras featuring in crowd scenes in the lake town of Esgaroth are black. Not just swarthy in appearance, but fully negro in appearance and another extra is oriental.
It would seem that Jackson has finally bowed to pressure from the PC lobby and found some parts, albeit minor parts, that can be offered as a sop to those obsessed with what is known in the media as ‘blonking’, i.e. getting BLacks ON Camera at all costs. Indeed, the camera pans over those parts of the crowd containing the black extras quite gratuitously, in order to make sure that no one misses the fact that the black and oriental characters are there.
Film fans with an eye for detail will have also noticed that several of the Orc characters are portrayed in this latest film with pale skin, a measure taken quite obviously to head off further accusations of ‘racism’.
It is very sad that even a director as accomplished as Peter Jackson has felt the need to include black people in the most improbable of roles in order to receive the approval of the PC lobby and when one considers the enmities that exist between the various fictitious ‘races’ of Middle Earth, the enmity between the Dwarfs and the Elves for example, it is frankly ludicrous to pretend that negros would go unnoticed and unremarked upon within a town inhabited by men all supposedly decended from common ancestors, the Edain.
Despite these regrettable concessions however, the film remains most enjoyable and is well worth watching, which is more than can be said about three other films currently doing the rounds; ‘Twelve Years a Slave’, ‘The Butler’ and of course ‘Mandela’, all of which are thinly disguised pretexts for the promotion of negros and for the denigration of White people.
By Max Musson © 2014
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