What We Missed

A racist casting director was fired from Lord of the Rings after placing a newspaper advertisements seeking extras with “light skin tones” and telling a prospective performer she was “too dark” to appear in the movies. Is it any wonder the production company is called Wingnut Films?

GWAR—shock rockers—recently disemboweled an effigy of Sarah Palin on stage. So not okay. GWAR may be all about the performance, but violence against women is very, very real.

Winter’s Bone won the top two awards at the Gotham Independent Film Awards. It was such a powerful film with a fierce feminist sensibility.

Beware of the pervy sorority stalker.

A new study on suicide among female veterans is devastating.

Happy, happy birthday to our dear Anna, who has contributed so much to Feministing. Have a ball, girl!


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  • http://feministing.com/members/azure156/ Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

    If Slymenstra Hymen did the disemboweling of Palin, does that make it ok?

  • http://feministing.com/members/feministheadbanger/ Ms Anthropia
  • http://feministing.com/members/dburb/ dburb

    “GWAR—shock rockers—recently disemboweled an effigy of Sarah Palin on stage. So not okay. GWAR may be all about the performance, but violence against women is very, very real.”

    GWAR have disemboweled LOTS of effigies over the years. Mostly males and plenty of well-known politicians. Last time I saw them they killed a policeman, Hitler, the Pope and a big Demon. I think reading a violence against women angle into this story is missing the point. The band’s just a joke, and they’ll “kill” anyone ripe to be laughed at. You might also note that the killing is mostly an anti-conservative thing.

  • http://feministing.com/members/numalum/ N

    Someone’s never heard of GWAR it appears. They disembowel effigies of people at every single show, and they’ve been doing it for years.

  • http://feministing.com/members/jollymeenahyena/ Meena H.

    Woot! Anna and I went to elementary school together; what a badass chica. Happy Birthday, Anna!

  • http://feministing.com/members/jaquelzilla/ Jaqueline

    Not to discredit the GWAR post, but they’ve been around for years disemboweling everyone. I don’t think it was a gender violence thing, it’s a mock-violence thing. Their performances are over the top and are not taken seriously, by anyone. Not even themselves.

    Really. They gave Joan Rivers a “hand” a million years ago:

    I’ve been to several of their shows and watched them “kill” a host of people, all of them someone political or in someway in the news.
    My personal favorite, when they slayed “The Regan-ator”, Evidently the Bush Administration had Regan brought back from the dead as a robot/monster type thing. Of course this machine was slaughtered spewing large amounts of mock regan-ator juice all over the audience.

    Oh, fans wear white t-shirts to the shows to see how much blood and goo they can get on themselves by the end of the show. So when they “kill” someone it’s over the top and “blood” squirts out of the stomach (if dis-embowed) or neck (if decapitated) reaching probably 40 or 50 feet.

    Again- I don’t think the GWAR thing is gender violence more than violence for the sake of entertainment. Of course this has its issues, but as a feminist having been to many of the shows, I’ve been more offended watching local news stories than I have ever been going to a GWAR show.

  • http://feministing.com/members/melatonin/ Jessica

    Eh, perhaps I’ll be in the minority here but I don’t really see how Gwar’s stage attack on Sarah Palin was perpetuating violence against women. They do that sort of thing with all kinds of celebrities, woman or not. I’ve always found Gwar to be one of the most enlightened of the ”shock rockers.” They’re well educated, can be witty, and are pretty liberal. It sucks that there’s people who take it seriously, but I maintain the idea that anyone who takes that kind of sensationalism seriously and then acts on it was probably mentally unbalanced and likely to commit those acts anyway. Should we ban stimuli/satire of all sorts because they may possibly spurn one person to do something stupid? If that’s the case we should all live in the same colored house with the same color cars and all wear uniforms for the rest of our lives.

  • http://feministing.com/members/franziakafka/ Franzia Kafka

    Mmm. I’m wondering if the disembowling was probably a response to a situation on Palin’s reality show where she went halibut fishing on a commercial boat and cut open a fish while it was still alive. And I believe laughed while she did so. While symbolically disembowling any human effigy is pretty disgusting, they may have chosen the particular “method” in the context of her recently disembowling an animal.

  • http://feministing.com/members/ohheyymonet/ Danielle

    As a huge lover of Lord of the Rings and Peter Jackson, I have to say that I do agree with the statement given that the casting director was not instructed to say that. They hired people of all kinds of skin tones for the trilogy. I just hope that people don’t start assuming things about the rest of the people involved because of this one asshole of a guy.

    • http://feministing.com/members/arrowmare/ Kellie

      Hi Danielle!

      I’m also a big Lord of the Rings/Tolkien fan, and have found this story very intriguing. TheOneRing.Net posted a video of said casting director addressing the hundreds who showed up to audition for roles as hobbit extras. He mentioned that they were only looking for people of a certain height and with fair skin. Several groups of minorities and tall folks peeled out of line then and headed home.

      As someone who works in Hollywood, I’m confused over why this story has received so much attention. If you don’t fit the description of what casting directors are looking for, auditioning will waste your time. The casting director in the video addressed the fact that people had already waited in line for a long time and would have to wait a lot longer to be seen, so he was warning them that if they didn’t fit the description of the role, they ought to head home and save themselves the trouble.

      I understand that if Wingnut never specified for actors to be light skinned in their ads but this casting director went ahead and demanded that anyway, there’s a problem and, apparently, a hidden agenda.

      What I do not understand, however, is why it would be a problem if the ad (hypothetically) specifically called for only light skinned people and was in concurrence with the studio’s wishes. Tolkien wrote the books as a mythological origin story for England. England’s native and aboriginal people, who the myth is about, are fair skinned. I know several Maori men played Uruk-hai and an Indian man and a Thai woman were hobbit doubles/scale actors, but other than that, I’m not sure how actors without “fair skin” were cast.