With the commercial success of Twilight, Hollywood is abuzz with agents molding, fitting, and pushing their celebrity actors to pass as Native Americans.
“The Twilight Series is one of few commercial films, a script, and a story with Native American roles.” said Lydia Ponce. “It is a sad day to see that the big power agents are marketing Filipino and Asian celebrity actors to play Native Americans. These are such rare opportunities. When films like Twilight knowingly and willfully select non-Native American actors to play Native roles, it sends the message that we’re not good enough to represent ourselves.”
Not so long ago Old Western films hired Caucasian actors who were painted a brownish-red and wore wigs to portray Native peoples. Continued insult and injury further perpetuating bias, stereotypes, and racism, was so very wrong and evil then and now. Hollywood is using the tan spray and hair extensions again.
Hollywood agents are instructing their talent to dig and find those ‘Native Roots’ and publicize their newfound Native American heritage in interviews conveniently in sync with current casting needs and trends.
Sam Uley’s character has been re-posted onto the Hollywood-casting breakdown, and it is obvious that Hollywood is now looking for a more marketable teen heartthrob celebrity actor to play the more substantial and very desirable part.
Given that this franchise’s upcoming sequels have two Native American female roles, it is concerning that there is only one female role currently open on the official breakdown casting. It is a very small role that never develops into a significant female lead.
Reports surfaced across the Internet yesterday morning that Vanessa Hudgens has auditioned for the other withheld major Native American role in the series.
It cannot be just mere coincidence that Chris Weitz, the new Director of the Twilight film series, shares the same powerful agent that is also representing Vanessa Hudgens and Taylor Lautner.
“Today Native American communities offer plenty of known and unknown talent.” said Lydia Ponce. “How can we accept that Filipinos and other ethnic groups, talented or not, are being packaged and sold to us as the redefined and new and improved Native American image? What about the social responsibility the casting of this film will once more have in terms of its power to re-identify and redefine an entire culture within the public eye? Hollywood is not trusting native peoples to portray themselves once again. It’s like we’re being ethnically cleansed from mainstream films.”
Also, please join us in solidarity by having your voice heard by calling, e-mailing and contacting ALL of the Twilight representatives listed below and urge them to honor Native Peoples by having us represent ourselves:
Summit Entertainment (Production Company)
Producer: Mark Morgan
1630 Stewart St.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Meanwhile, I've forwarded this bulletin to a lot of people on the Internet. And I'll keep blogging on the issue. I think I'll e-mail Mark Morgan and let him know about my Twilight postings.
Below: The biggest "Native" stars of 2009?