[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through VDARE.com]
A British TV channel is producing a costume drama about Anne Boleyn, who was the second wife of King Henry VIII of England back in the 16th century. Henry’s first wife, Catherine, had not been able to give him a male heir, so he had his marriage to her annulled in 1533 and married Anne. The issue of the annulment was what drove Henry to break with the Pope.
When Anne likewise failed to produce a male heir after three years of marriage, Henry had her charged with adultery and executed. The charges were most likely bogus, but that was the end of Anne; although, in a nice instance of generational revenge, her daughter later became Queen Elizabeth the First, a much better monarch than Henry.
Well, this TV channel is producing a drama about Anne, to be aired at some future date not specified. The actress playing Anne will be Jodie Turner-Smith, a full-blood negress. [Jodie Turner-Smith plays Anne Boleyn in new Channel 5 drama that seeks to ‘challenge conventions’ by casting black actress as Henry VIII’s executed wife and ‘shine a feminist light’ on her story Daily Mail, December 18, 2020] And no, they’re not making her put on white-face makeup.
This is of course historically preposterous. Anne Boleyn was a white English lady—we have contemporary portraits of her.
This is real slap in the face for actors from the limb different community.
Everybody knows that Anne Boleyn had six fingers on her right hand. https://t.co/jH4bdhttay
— Laurence Fox (@LozzaFox) December 15, 2020
The producers of historical dramas—including this one, I’m guessing—go to great pains and expense to make everything look authentic: costumes, furnishings, weapons, transportation….We want the illusion of reality. No producer would have the Duke of Norfolk drive up to Henry VIII’s hunting lodge in a Lamborghini and carrying an AR-15.
The classic Henry VIII TV biopic was an earlier British production: The Six Wives of Henry VIII, aired in 1971. Keith Mitchell played the part of Henry, and he played him with red hair. Why? Because Henry VIII had red hair, duh. That was fifty years ago, though, when we still had some common sense.
So what’s the point of this gross, glaring anachronism—a negress playing Anne Boleyn? Let the producers tell us, quote from the news story:
“Producers Fable Pictures say the drama challenges all the conventions of who we think Anne Boleyn was and shines a feminist light on her story.”
They’re challenging conventions, see? Down with conventions!
What they are actually challenging, of course, is historical truth.
So: Down with historical truth!
“Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” If you’re in any doubt about who controls the present, try starting an online protest movement against this casting decision. Then watch your PayPal account close down, and your Twitter account, your Facebook account, your bank account, your credit-card accounts, …
“Hold on there, Derb,” I hear you cry. “Didn’t you cover a similar story back in November, about a black actress playing Agent 007 in the new James Bond movie? And didn’t you say you were fine with it?”
Yes and yes. However,
- that’s fiction, where you can make stuff up. In historical dramas you should cleave to the historical truth as closely as you can.
- there is nothing implausible about a present-day intelligence agency having a black female operative; and if, as seems to be the case, James Bond is retired in this movie, or dead, or otherwise indisposed, there’s nothing implausible about giving the lady his agent number. So yes, I’m fine with it.
I am not fine with lies and hypocrisy.
Of course, the charge of hypocrisy there is presumptive. I’m presuming that these producers, in their private lives—in their residential and educational decisions—stay as far away from big concentrations of black people as everyone else does that can afford to.
If it can be proven to me that this is not the case, I shall make a modest donation to The United Negro College Fund.)
Previously on VDARE.com on blackwashing white characters, and other casting atrocities:
- CBS Reality Shows to Be 50% “People of Color”—Why Not Just Ban Casting White People?
- Who? Whom? In Casting: Wonderful To Give Black People White Roles, But The Reverse Is Monstrous
- “Olivier’s Occupation’s Gone”—When White Men Were Allowed To Play Black Roles, Olivier Tried Harder
- An Italian-American Objects To Spielberg’s One-Sided Ethnic Casting In WEST SIDE STORY
- Meg Murry is White: In Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME Film, Black Director Deliberately Casts Black Actress in White Role
- A WRINKLE IN TIME Bombs While BLACK PANTHER Succeeds Because Blackface Doesn’t Work—Blacks Want the Real Thing
- Homer Said Achilles Was Blond—Netflix Hired An African To Play Him In TROY: FALL OF A CITY
- MISS SAIGON: White Actor Denied Immigration Visa for Not Being Asian
- Tim Burton Denounced for Only Casting One Black in Movie Set on a Welsh Island During WWII
- “Hamilton” Musical Violates Job Anti-Discrimination Law By Advertising For “Nonwhite Men And Women”
- “We Wuz Kings!”Afrocentrism And The Collapse Of White Civilizations, From Egypt To Atlanta
- NYT: Blacks Don’t Get Enough Oscars For Playing Nonblacks
John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by VDARE.com com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.