Friday, July 19, 2019

Furring Up

Instead of complaining about the weird-looking cgi fur used to try and make various well known performers look like felines in the newly released trailer for the film version of Cats, shouldn't people really be asking why none of them are played by actual cats?  I mean, I'd hoped that the days of human actors putting on fur suits and fake ears in order to pretend to be animals were long behind us - it's on a par with white actors 'blacking up': not just insulting to actual animal performers, but depriving talented cats and the like of work.  I'm sure that there are hundreds of cats out there who were more than capable of playing the roles of, well, cats in Cats.  But were they given a chance?  Were any of them asked to audition, even?  Of course not.  It's pure discrimination.  'Those cats can't act', they undoubtedly said.  'Those cats can't sing or dance, either', they undoubtedly also said.  But did they actually give them a chance?  I've seen real cats display some pretty fancy footwork, (usually when they've trodden on a hot plate), and they certainly have a set of lungs on them - their wailing when they want to be let in is no more discordant than, say, Ronan Keating, (and he still gets work).  They're also pretty accomplished actors: I've lost count of the number of times I've asked a cat whether it has been fed (even though I know it has) and it responded with a very convincing negative mew and pitiful look.

Yet still they don't get the work.  It is grossly unfair - are other animals treated this way when they are portrayed on screen.  Do westerns have two blokes in a pantomime horse costume instead of real horses?  Is Lassie portrayed by a bloke in a furry suit saying 'woof'?  I think not.  But they make a whole film about cats but don't cast a single real feline.  Bloody typical.  But do people get upset about it?  No, they instead focus on trivialities.  It's the same with that live action remake of The Little Mermaid - lots of people getting obsessed over the fact that a non-white performer has been cast in the title role and insisting that it is somehow not 'authentic', when what they should be up in arms about the fact that they didn't cast an actual mermaid.  There is no way that anyone, regardless of race, creed or colour, with two legs instead of a fish tail should be playing that role.  It's a bloody outrage.  It's no good saying that mermaids are mythical creatures - that's what Hollywood used to say about black people in order to justify casting white actors with soot on their faces.  Damn it, even dwarfs get a better deal from Hollywood - you never see tall blokes on their knees playing those roles, they always get in the real thing, (OK, sometimes they use children with stick on beards).  And dwarfs are just as mythical mermaids.  I think.  But to get back to the point, we really need to start a campaign to have Cats reshot with, well cats.



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