Friday, January 16, 2009

Depiction of Indigenous Peoples in Twilight Outrage Native Americans

Native Americans Outraged Over Twilight Fraud Action Alert

Hollywood, CA – Native Americans are outraged over what they hold as deceptions in and around the production of the Hollywood film series “Twilight.”

With the commercial success of Twilight, Hollywood is abuzz with agents molding, fitting, and pushing their celebrity actors to pass as Native Americans.

“The Twilight Series is one of few commercial films, a script, and a story with Native American roles.” said Lydia Ponce. “It is a sad day to see that the big power agents are marketing Filipino and Asian celebrity actors to play Native Americans. These are such rare opportunities. When films like Twilight knowingly and willfully select non-Native American actors to play Native roles, it sends the message that we’re not good enough to represent ourselves.”

Not so long ago Old Western films hired Caucasian actors who were painted a brownish-red and wore wigs to portray Native peoples. Continued insult and injury further perpetuating bias, stereotypes, and racism, was so very wrong and evil then and now. Hollywood is using the tan spray and hair extensions again.
Twilight Vampire Movie
Hollywood agents are instructing their talent to dig and find those ‘Native Roots’ and publicize their newfound Native American heritage in interviews conveniently in sync with current casting needs and trends.

Twilight’s lead actor Taylor Lautner, who allegedly just found his Native American roots, was given the extraordinary opportunity to play the lead in the film well after the “discovery” of his ethnicity.

In a recent MTV interview Lautner stated, “I am part Native American. We learned that through [preparing for] this film. I'm French, Dutch and German, and on my mother's side, she has some Potawatomi and Ottawa Indian in her.”

However, in a film with such a strong Native American theme, only two actors of Native American decent were hired. But due to reasons unknown, Solomon Trimble (Apache) who played and established the character of Sam Uley, has suddenly lost his role.

Sam Uley’s character has been re-posted onto the Hollywood-casting breakdown, and it is obvious that Hollywood is now looking for a more marketable teen heartthrob celebrity actor to play the more substantial and very desirable part.

Given that this franchise’s upcoming sequels have two Native American female roles, it is concerning that there is only one female role currently open on the official breakdown casting. It is a very small role that never develops into a significant female lead.

Reports surfaced across the Internet yesterday morning that Vanessa Hudgens has auditioned for the other withheld major Native American role in the series.

It cannot be just mere coincidence that Chris Weitz, the new Director of the Twilight film series, shares the same powerful agent that is also representing Vanessa Hudgens and Taylor Lautner.

“Today Native American communities offer plenty of known and unknown talent.” said Lydia Ponce. “How can we accept that Filipinos and other ethnic groups, talented or not, are being packaged and sold to us as the redefined and new and improved Native American image? What about the social responsibility the casting of this film will once more have in terms of its power to re-identify and redefine an entire culture within the public eye? Hollywood is not trusting native peoples to portray themselves once again. It’s like we’re being ethnically cleansed from mainstream films.”

Reliable insider sources, who preferred to stay anonymous, state Taylor Lautner’s Agent, was overheard in commenting during a conversation regarding Taylor Lautner’s Native American heritage, “Well, we had to work around that. We had to fudge it. No one will know the difference.”

Native or not native, in a recent television interview about his reception by the Native community while promoting the film, Taylor told the press how: “I actually had a meeting with Quileute tribal members yesterday! I interviewed them and just wanted to get to know them. One thing they do that I noticed is they don't need to be told to what to do. If the trash is getting full, they empty it out. They're always helping each other and are really nice. They are people just like you and me.”

Access Hollywood today confirms that Vanessa Hudgens (Filipino) from High School Musical HAS auditioned and is up for the role of Leah, the lone werewolf and main Native American female character:

Given that this franchise’s upcoming sequels has only two Native American female roles, it is shocking that the only female role currently open on the official casting breakdown is the very small role of Emily, a character that never develops into a significant female lead.

The stronger role of Leah, whose character will develop into a significant leading role for a Native American actress in New Moon’s sequel Eclipse and Breaking Dawn, is currently absent from the casting breakdowns and therefore not available to talent agents for submission.

The fact that the major role of Leah is NOT listed on the casting breakdowns, coupled with the fact that Vanessa Hudgens has auditioned for the part of Leah, is enough for any Native American actress to feel discriminated against in the sole right to be given even a chance or consideration.

It’s easy to find the information and cannot be just mere coincidence that Chris Weitz, the new Director of the franchised film sequel, shares the same powerful agent (William Morris Agency) also representing Vanessa Hudgens and Taylor Lautner.

Action Alert: Join us in solidarity--Thursday, Jan. 15 @ 4:00 PM sharp--in front of Summit Entertainment for a Peaceful Rally/Demonstration: A Prayer Ceremony (Address is listed below).

Also, please join us in solidarity by having your voice heard by calling, e-mailing and contacting ALL of the Twilight representatives listed below and urge them to honor Native Peoples by having us represent ourselves:

Summit Entertainment (Production Company)
Producer: Mark Morgan
1630 Stewart St.
Ste. 120
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Phone: 818-733-5410

Stephenie Meyer / author of the Twilight books
c/o Liddell Entertainment
606 N. Larchmont Blvd.
Suite 202
LA, CA 90004

Phone: 323-461-1103

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