What if Hakeem Joffer, Eddie’s iconic role in Coming to America, was played by a white guy? Adam Sandler? Mike Myers? What white actor could take his place? (We all know he is irreplaceable in that role.) Now, reverse it. What black actor could replace Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump? Forrest Whitaker? Denzel Washington? What would “that” movie be like? Recently, Treebo and Drew from the podcast Common Uncommon touched on this subject in their episode “It’s Black, It’s White’. Alright. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.” The comedy duo came to five well thought out conclusions on some of Hollywoods biggest black actors being swapped out for white actors. Read their five major points below.
1. White Chicks with the Wayans Brothers could never be made as Black Chicks featuring Seth Rogan and James Franco. No one is buying that movie. I defy anyone to come up with one selling point to get someone to make that movie. It ain’t happening.
2. Will Smith and Tom Cruise roles can be swapped out in every movie they have made recently and it wouldn’t make a huge difference. Examples: Oblivion, After Earth, Vanilla Sky, I Am Legend, I Robot, The Minority Report. Exception: Ali. But, Tom Cruise would tell you that he COULD play Ali, because he is a crazy white man.
3.If the movie is a box office hit, they will make an equivalent geared towards the opposite race.
4. The white version of Friday would just be following a guy around doing errands.
5. Kids movies. You can swap out roles and it wouldn’t really make a big difference.
Check out Treebo and Drew full discussion on ‘The Hollywood Race Swap’ above and more episodes of C_Uncommon on SoundCloud or Common Uncommon on Itunes.