Coming soon to a theater near you is the new Marvel Comics movie “Thor”. Thor, the Norse ‘God of Thunder’ will be portrayed, inaccurately, by a clean shaven blonde guy. Well, to be fair, that is how Marvel Comics has always done him in the comics. In actual mythology, Thor was a fiery red-head with a flaming beard. In fact, Thor was forbidden to cross the rainbow bridge, Bifrost, for fear that his great heat would destroy it. Instead, Thor had to swim across to Asgard. Some things are just going to be ignored in movies and comics.
The current gripe is that the part of Heimdall will be played by a black man. Well, I am about as non-racist as I can be, but this annoys me. The Norse people had no concept of a black man, and certainly wouldn’t have put one in their pantheon of deities.
But that is only a myth, you say? Myths are not fiction, as many people seem to think. Myths were belief systems and a way of explaining the world around the people who believed in them. You know, like Christianity?
Another thing that bothers me is the imbalance in this sort of thing. If ‘Harlem Nights’ was remade with white actors in place of Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor (which, admittedly, would be a monumentally stupid thing to do) people would be up in arms. Make a movie about African gods and slip in a white guy, you would have a riot in the works! Percy Jackson slipped in a black god in the Greek pantheon. Nobody worried about offending the Greeks, I guess.
Look, Norse gods would be damn near fish-belly white. That comes from being worshipped by people with the same complexion. Try doing “The Passion of the Christ” where Jesus is played by a black man and you’ll never hear the end of it. The same should go for other pantheons. Gods worshipped by white people would naturally be white. Gods worshipped by black people would naturally be black. We tend to make our gods in our own image (well, the Hindu Gods are a bit different, ummmm…)
There are plenty of parts for black actors in and out of the Thor movie. Let’s not re-invent the gods just to be politically correct. And let’s be clear, I would be just as much against casting the part of Shango, the Yoruba god of thunder, with Bruce Willis or Arnold Schwarzenagger. That’s a part for Christopher Judge (Tealk from Stargate SG1.)
I just want things to be faithfully represented in the movies.
This was a Wolf Rant.