MovieChat Forums > The Wiz (1978) Discussion > Should have used some white actors/actre...

Should have used some white actors/actresses!


I was flipping channels and came across this movie today. I must say I was actually entertained. I thought it had decent production values. The costumes were excellent. The music wasn't bad. After the movie, I decided to come here to IMDB for more info about the movie and was surprised to see such a low rating. Although not the greatest movie, I don't think it deserves the low 4.7. Not understanding the hate, I decided to take a peak in the forums...

One complaint I keep hearing on this forum is the lack of any white actors and actresses in the film. And I agree! This movie could have and should have had some white actors. I think this movie could have been a great platform for social commentary via satire.

In other words, they should have cast white actors and actresses as the wicked witch and the villains. Then ofcourse cast one or two token white actors here and there who would eventually die a horrible death or betray Dorothy, The deceptive and cowardly Wiz himself could have been a possible candidate. Or maybe cast tin man white and have him be the clutzy comic relief cracking one liners throughout the movie. This would have been comedy gold! Ofcourse we all know some people would not have understood and would not have been laughing if this had actually happened.

This kind of satirical comedy is done quite often these days, and most people can laugh about it. Back then it would have been controversial. The same people who saw no problems when the exact roles were reversed as was so common back then(and even still today), would no doubt have cried and screamed foul and labelled it as racist, never understanding the irony of it all.

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I think the original stage version didn't have white actors either. Not every play in the world has whites. Look at August Wilson's plays.

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*whoooosh*

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Thank you! Applause!

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Okay, look, the point of the original stage show of 'The Wiz' was that it had an all-black cast and a funkier, pop-based soundtrack, and it was all produced by Motown, one of the biggest record companies at the time, who were famous for all the black talent they had signed on.
So even though I'm white, I think adding white people to this film is a terrible idea. The entire point is that everyone in the film is black, in the same way that it's why Oz looks like a gritty urban pastiche, it's updated to a modern (at the time) setting.

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Nope.....doesn't need white actors....the director was white... what more do you want...the original stage version on broadway....black...it was planned like that...Personally I think they could of had black people in "The Wizard of Oz" and Im sure there were....WORKING SOME WHERE IN THE BACKGROUND....BUT I DID NOT SEE ONE BLACK PERSON ON THE SCREEN PERIOD...IF THERE WAS, SOMEONE POINT IT OUT FOR ME PLEASE.....


BUT THAT IS THE POINT I AM TRYING TO GET MANY OF YOU TO UNDERSTAND......
THIS IS ABOUT CAPITIALISM, CLASSISM, AND MOST OF ALL RACISM....


AND WE AS BLACK PEOPLE CAME TOGETHER AND BUILT SOMETHING POSITIVE FOR US
TO SHOW OUR TALENTS TOO....AND IT RAN ON BROADWAY FOR YEARS......

AND WHEN THE MOVIE "THE WIZ" CAME ABOUT.....WHITES AND BLACKS CAME TOGETHER....TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN
THERE WHERE WHITE PEOPLE IN THE WIZ AND THEY PLAYED A GOOD ROLE....BUT THEY WERE NOT ON THE SCREEN...

JUST LIKE THE BLACK PEOPLE..WORKING IN THE BACK GROUND..... FOR THE WIZARD OF OZ....

SO DON'T BELIEVE HYPE

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I don't see why it needs white actors. There isn't many Broadway plays even now years later, that have an all or even mostly an all black cast. Currently there are only two out of all of the plays on Broadway right now that have a mostly black cast.

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They did use white actors however, that version is called The Wizard of Oz. Check that one out of you want to see white actors. I mean after all, in fairness there aren't any blacks in the white version but nobody's griping about that, are they?

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"They did use white actors however, that version is called The Wizard of Oz. Check that one out of you want to see white actors. I mean after all, in fairness there aren't any blacks in the white version but nobody's griping about that, are they?"

And there you have it.

Don't eva let nobody tell you you ain't strong enough

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I'm white. I love The Wiz. Many movies, in fact probably most movies in the 120 odd years of cinema, have entirely or predominantly white casts. If anything, there ought to be more movies with entire or predominantly black casts.

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are you trolling or are you sincerely unaware that the point of this film is to have an all black cast? it is an all black version of the wizard of oz. how did that escape you?


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They did, it's called The Wizard of Oz.

It's immortality, my darlings

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Meron and Zadan have always cast all races in their re-imaginings of classic musicals. Notoriously casting the great Audra MacDonald as the Mother Superior in an Aryan Austria for their "The Sound of Music."

I just wondered if they had a double standard. Guess they do.


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"The Wiz" with White people negates the piece's reason for being.

Having White women playing Dorothy, Glinda, Evillene or Addaperle in "The Wiz" would be like casting Miley Cyrus as Deena Jones in a new version of "Dreamgirls." It wouldn't make sense.

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Having a black woman play a position of authority in a White Supremist society negates the historical danger and racism faced in "The Sound of Music."

These producers have ignored the dramatic reality of these pieces before in favor of re-imagining them for a politically correct contemporary view that revises the reality of the setting.

Even the premise that" It's only a musical, no one believes people burst into song anyway" is a feeble excuse for denying the conceits of the surroundings.

I think a fairy tale is a better avenue for this re-envisioning, like what these producers did to "Cinderella."
But, yes, I am being flip. The production should be all-black.

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