Fake accents

screengrab: observer_'allo 'allo?

I saw a few casting directors tweeting the above article about a shift in the casting of speaking roles.  It highlights how actors are increasingly expected to be culturally aligned with the characters they play.  It has a lot to do with ‘cultural appropriation‘ – a contentious topic.

“An actor’s automatic licence to fake an accent is now increasingly in doubt.” – Vanessa Thorpe

As a South African actor, I’m aware that mainstream South African roles are almost exclusively played by non-South Africans who for the most part fail to accurately deliver the accent.  Even so, they’re working with recognised names, are handsomely rewarded and in a position to elevate their careers.

If they weren’t allowed to play those parts, would it also mean I could only ever play South Africans?  Bit of a double-edged sword that one.

 

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