Are Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert Downey Jr white enough to star in a Hollywood biopic of medieval Muslim poet Jalaluddin al-Rumi?

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What do you mean?

Robert Downey Jr isn’t white!


My hero - beat me to it. Not enough like for that. :+1:



Never go full poet.


More Political Correctness run amok! It’s getting to the point where white people can’t play everyone anymore! #notmy13thcenturypoet*


  • Trump 2016!

Well, it does help perpetuate the circular reasoning that there’s no bankable non-white actors because we never let non-white actors get famous enough to be bankable.


I just don’t get why Hollywood would even contemplate a film like this, sure Muslims make up a good chunk of the Earths population, but the the whole concept is going to offend the target audience before it even begins production.


Oh Hollywood


And at the same time, people are freaking out because Hermione Granger is going to be black.


Are Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert Downey Jr white enough to star in a Hollywood biopic of medieval Muslim poet Jalaluddin al-Rumi?



How is it the world seems so clueless to the fact that the name Iran translates into English as “Aryan” because…that is what they are. It was the ancient Greeks whiich used the name Iran. The country was called Fars and the language is still called Farsi. The name Fars got twisted to be Pars by others…hence the word Parsian = Persian also became a name for the people. To this day there is a population of Parsi given sanctuary in India when they fled the Arab invasion that was forcing them to believe in Islam or be put to death.

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Well, in the U.S. lately, it’s because “Arab terrorists” are the new enemy conjured up by the powers that be to justify efforts to profit from and expand the current de facto empire. People of Arab descent used to be categorized as “white” in the U.S.


Rumi was born into a Persian-speaking, probably Persian ethnic family in what is now northern Afghanistan. A part of the world that has a large minority of blue-eyed, pale skinned, pale-haired people. Having a ‘white guy’ cast as Rumi is not particularly racist. You might get a better, more nuanced performance from an actor native to the Indian subcontinent. But, if you did go to, say, Bollywood for talent, you’d probably need to tap a man whose skin and hair are darker than Rumi’s ever were.

Pissing and moaning about this piece of casting takes away from this: “they go right to back to doing just that, because they just don’t get it.” It is a true statement. It’s true about race; it’s even more true about sex. That it is untrue about casting for a character who came from the northern reaches of the Mughal empire is a bit beside the point.


Yet, there seems to be a fair number of Persians who do not identity of “Aryan” and who embrace Islam as their faith… But let’s ignore that, right, because there are some Ay-rabs who need a bashing, AMIRITE? Let’s not forget THE REAL ENEMY!!!

Go peddle your anti-Arab crap elsewhere please. It’s not going to fly here.[quote=“hmclachlan, post:14, topic:79285”]
Rumi was born into a Persian-speaking, probably Persian ethnic family in what is now northern Afghanistan.

Maybe they could cast a modern day Persian instead of a person of European ancestry?


Precisely. Why does it come down to European American or Arab? As if Persians don’t have a film industry or actors, or even known professional actors already living in the US. Hollywood is within driving distance of LA, last I checked. LA is full of Persians. You mean to tell me none of them is looking for a shot at a major production and none of them have talent?

I’m generally of the mind that when it comes to acting, the need for ethnic authenticity is less than whatever is necessary for verisimilitude and budget. If I’m running a community theater production of Othello in whitest part of a small town in central Kansas, there might not be a black person around to play Othello, and that’s okay. But for an industry like Hollywood, it’s really inexcusable to have it effectively shut out talent because only white people of European descent are allowed to have the juicy roles when the roles exist besides Terrorist #3 and Thug #6 for darker skinned people out there. And shit, I like RDJ and DiCaprio.


That’s how I felt when they had the Ethiopian restaurant on The Simpsons. They had to know that the actual restaurants are right down Fairfax from Hollywood.


yep , keep on casting European on those heroic / center of the movie roles
and find any Arabic looking guy to cast as the villian

i’m sure we will get an EVIL ARAB who all the time in the movie will try to kill or screw with Jalaluddin but fails
Because the white hero can’t fail unless its a white villian


I suspect they would get a more complete, nuanced portrayal if they did. But, I don’t know of any Persian movie stars with the kind of name recognition they’re clearly looking for. If they were to go beyond the Hollywood elite for talent, they’d probably need to look to Bollywood. It has the necessary breadth and depth of talent. English fluent talent. Big name talent. London might be another place where they could find a leading man with the desired cultural acumen, who is also a known quantity with name recognition.

They have a legitimate interest in making use of a big name as a draw.