As Sayed and Waleed and the others describe their various demises, it strikes me that the key to making a living in Hollywood if you're Muslim is to be good at dying. If you're a Middle Eastern actor and you can die with charisma, there is no shortage of work for you. Jon Ronson in GQ on the Muslim-American actors who earn virtually their entire livings pretending to hijack planes and slaughter infidels. [Via.]
It's a white industry, writes Chris Rock on show biz, from the lowliest focus-group testing gig to being a film executive. [more inside]
Hettienne Park writes a thoughtful response to recent events in Brian Fuller's Hannibal (link to Nerdist Writer's Panel podcast), specifically the most recent episode, Takiawase (link to AV Club Review). Spoilers ahoy in all links.
Beloved anime classic Akira (previously) is in the process of getting a live-action adaption courtesy of Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. In fact, they're currently trying to assemble a cast. Oddly enough, despite keeping the leading characters' names Kaneda and Tetsuo, all the actors approached are white. This hasn't gone unnoticed, and Racebending.com is preparing a campaign to protest. Just last year M. Night Shyamalan's adaption of The Last Airbender (previously) drew massive criticism for having an all-white cast in an Asian setting. [more inside]
You can love him or hate him but Transformers made $250,000,000 last week. To some, Michael Bay is a genius. To others he's a racist hack. Or just a hack. He may even be both a hack and a genius. Is this evidence of an auteur? Or does dude just like really big explosions? Plus: a character driven Bay film?
Call her Madame. Among the old-timers, the story went like this: a woman known to everyone as Madame came to California from Kentucky with her children and her husband. But once they were in the Gold Rush State, her husband left her. Desperate to find work, she introduced herself to a movie director named D. W. Griffith. He not only cast her in his movie, but the two became friends for life. And with this woman, called Madame Sul-Te-Wan, what we now call Black Hollywood began -- as a new book by historian Donald Bogle explains. (more inside)