Can We Hold Actors Accountable for the Roles they Choose?

Last night Paul [aka Sparky], Tami and I got together to do our weekly podcast on the latest in urban fantasy.  This week we ended up with yet another tangent, [I blame Paul and Tami of course] where we ended up discussing the fact that much of the images we see of marginalized people in the media perpetuates isms.  I happen to agree with Paul and Tami that marginalized people have a tough time in Hollywood getting work and that speaking out could come at the cost of being labelled “difficult,” thus making it harder to continue to work; however, at the same time I think we need to consider what their work really means. Not all representation is good representation.  That being said, I would like to discuss whether or not we can hold hold actors and actress accountable for taking on roles which perpetuate harmful isms. We absolutely need to hold producers, writers, directors and casting agents responsible, but I think that excluding the fact that without these actress and actors willingness to play useful fools, at least some of the perpetuation of isms would be forced to come to an end.

Okay there you have it folks. Yes, actors and actress have to eat and no they should never be forced to be a credit to their marginalization, but at the same time, I think that those of us who must live with cost of their individual choices pay a price.  How do you feel about this suggestion?  What do you think of the actors and actresses who continually take on stereotypical roles or who work on shows that continually oppress historically marginalized people?

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