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Hobbit Casting Agent Fired…And For Good Reason!

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casting agent fired from the hobbit

This is seriously NOT COOL! We're glad Peter Jackson and his production company did the right thing and immediately fired this person.

A Hobbit casting agent was fired after placing ads in a regional New Zealand newspaper which said that they were seeking extras with "light skin tones."

Not only that, but the casting agent reportedly told potential extra Naz Humphreys, a Pakistani woman, that she couldn't play a Hobbit because of her skin color.

Here's what the casting agent told people at an audition:

“We are looking for light-skinned people. I’m not trying to be … whatever. It’s just the brief. You’ve got to look like a Hobbit.”

Here's what a spokesman for Peter Jackson's production company had to say about the casting agent's claim that they are only looking for light-skinned people:

“No such instructions were given. The crew member in question took it upon themselves to do that and it’s not something we instructed or condoned. It’s something we take very seriously.”

Poor Hobbit crew! It's been such a long, tough road and now they had to deal with this too!

We hope this is the last of the drama for them!

Do U think the casting agent deserved to be fired?

[Image via WENN.]

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56 comments to “Hobbit Casting Agent Fired…And For Good Reason!”

  1. 1

    I don't get how this is "not cool". In the movies, the directors/casting people have distinct features of what they want for their movie. Why waste their time inviting everyone and their mother to audition if they know thay won't fit the part? Shame on them for being so up-front with what they are looking for! (and I mean that in the most sarcastic way possible).

  2. 2

    this is so ridiculous casting is all about the looks and talent of someone and sometimes that includes skin color. This is very common. This poor guy was just doing his job and should not have been fired

  3. 3

    What? He was fired for that? He was only following the source material. You don't see any dark colored hobbits in middle earth!

    It would be like making a movie about President Reagan, and having an asian play Regan. You can't do that.

    He was fired unjustly

  4. 4

    If you read LOTR you see that there were 3 groups of hobbits including a "darker skin-toned group." I read the real article and I don't think it is fair the guy got fired without knowing the whole story. The books do describe what the hobbits look like so I wouldn't blame this guy. Sounds like a case of one person being pissed and pulling the race card. There are plenty of acting positions I have seen where is asks for "darker skin tones" or "racially ambiguous" there is no fuss on those.

  5. 5

    He could have chosen his words differently, but how is it wrong that he's being honest about what type of cast they're looking for? Why does everything have to turn in to someone being racist? Hobbits are "light skinned", so what's the big deal? If they were making a movie about Michael Jordan, would they cast a light skinned person to play him or his children? No. Why? Because they're not light skinned!!
    I don't think he should have been fired.

  6. 6

    yet when they do blackface on the white girls you scream and complain about them not getting an actual black person……………can't have your cake and eat it too mario………..

  7. 7

    Yeah, but are there any Maori actors in any of the Hobbit movies?

    Face it, Peter Jackson didn't have to make any explicit racist requirements, because his past Hobbit movies already set the tone.

    The Australian cinema is the same–no Aboriginal actors need apply. Hell, British movies are seldom integrated, including the whole Harry Potter franchise. And why is it that Hollywood's door has only been open to white South African actors–the minority in S.A.?

    This has been going on for a long time.

  8. 8

    This happens all the time, the few directors who stands up against it are the ones who are married or in a relationship with a black woman. JJ Abram is an exception, i guess his parents raised him right to not be stuck with racist views.

  9. 9

    How ridiculous.

  10. 10

    That's kind of harsh, but show business is cut throat and if you're not what they're looking for than you won't make it. I think it happens all the time in show business, but this time it was let out in the open.

    Directors and people creating the film know what they want. He didnt want to waste time (both his and the people auditioning) because he already has an idea what he's looking for. I dont think he was being racist.

  11. 11

    wow, i guess none of you posters have actually read the Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings. There are three types of Hobbits, the Harfoots, Stoors, and Fallohides. The Harfoots are described in both the LoTR and the Similarion as being of "browner" complexion.

  12. 12

    Re: TaylorTea – They didn't have "light complected" on the casting call for males.

  13. 13

    No, not if that is the look. It would be like casting a civil war movie and saying the extras had to be MALE AND WHITE and getting in trouble. Yes, there were SOME Blacks fighting in the war, but it was NOT COMMON. But, you do not see females, UNLESS they were disguised as a man and you did not see races like asian. WHY BOTHER WASTING SOMEONE'S TIME? If people have to take off from another job or skipped another interview, for that, IS IT FAIR THEN MARIO, if they have NO CHANCE of getting the job? Might as well tell the truth. But, of course, we must be politically correct, THEN NOT HIRE THEM.

  14. 14

    Re: caroaber – have you never actually seen a Harry Potter movie??? Yes, the three stars are white… but check out the rest of the student body.

  15. 15

    so casting light skinned extras becuase Hobbits are light skinned is 'not cool'?

  16. 16

    It's a double standard. If he were asking for "people of color" no one would be outrageously outraged.

  17. 17

    Stupid. If he'd used the word "pale" instead of "light-skinned", no one would have said a thing about it. It's his job to cast people who look the part - he's obviously not being discriminatory in the traditional sense.

  18. 18

    As a white male in his 30s I cannot wait to have the RIGHT to audition for the role of a teenage gang member in South Central LA! If they don't let me I'll get the casting director fired. Unreal…

  19. 19

    Utter bullshit. Would you call racism if they asked for all blacks to play slaves in a slavery movie?

  20. 20

    There is NOTHING wrong with him and or the casting people doing this. They want who they want and they have to have a certain look. Are they really suppose to dance around and entertain people they are not looking for just to be politically correct. F that shit. Our country is out of control with this type of nonsense. Time to return to times when people were not so sensitive. When you had little freedoms and calling someone a name didn't get you tossed out of school or a lawsuit.

  21. 21

    It's only "uncool" because they were looking for whites to play hobbits. Calling for any other race/skin color to play the part of hobbits in the film would've been perfectly fine.

  22. 22

    I guess with all the political correctness, I think we maybe watching a Black Snow White or a White Mandela or an Asian George Washington… but will people be paying money to see it in the big screen?

  23. 23

    I'm sure he didn't make those creative decisions himself, he's just the sacrifice to show that the higher ups "truly care". Poor guy. As for the issue itself - why are people so fucking sensitive? If the casting was for an all black movie, white people would be turned away. If the casting director wants hobbits that are pale, then this woman obviously was too dark. Could she be made pale with makeup? Sure! But heaven forbid a white person should put on makeup to be darker. Double standards. Fucking Hollywood bullshit, is what it is.

  24. 24

    IT"S CALLED CASTING. TYPE CASTING. Get over it people. The ad should have said: We're looking for white midgets with big feet.

  25. 25

    its a mythical place, its not like its an actual historical time period in a place with mostly white people so that restriction was unnecessary
    Re: caroaber – said it before and said it again: the worst poster on this site, you must be blind if you cant see black and asian people in harry potter. stop acting like america is some beacon of racial harmony: it fucking aint!

  26. 26

    would you cast a white person to play Martin Luther King, even if he was a fabulous actor? No.

    In the books Hobbits are described as fair skinned with curly hair. People need to get over crap like this. Its not racist. I'm sure white people with tans were rejected too.

  27. 27

    Re: Squirrel – Nope. People only get pissy if it involves white people. People LOOOOOVE to pull the race card as much as they possibly can. Freedom of speech isn't ok for whitey if it involves anyone other than another white person. Dont people understand? When they play the race card it just makes them look ignorant.

  28. 28

    Im actualy surprised that Perez who lives in Hollywood doesnt understand this subject. And Im surprised being a kiwi and not even hearing that this person was fired. That sounds like bull. Would you hire a black man to play G.W Bush????? Common, your an actor, u dont fit the bill, u dont get a job, durrrr!

  29. 29

    What's next? A man suing because he wasn't cast for the part of a pregnant teen? The very nature of casting is for a 'type' . World has gone crazy.

  30. 30

    Hobbits are light skinned though? bet it was just someone who just really wanted the job and couldn't take being told no. There's loads of other roles out there for darker skinned people, just because this one is tailored towards being light skinned doesn't make it racist?

  31. 31

    Can no one see that this casting agent did something WRONG and ILLEGAL. His employer, the studio did not tell him to choose people based on their skin colour. He made that decision himself, not just that, he was stupid enough to get caught making those comments on the camera. I mean if I stole from work or did something illegal, I OBVIOUSLY will get fired. Why is he any different?

    The poor woman already said in her statement yesterday that she went to the audition for fun and was merely annoyed at not being notified of all the requirements for the casting in the published advert. I understand that the film and theatre industries have legitimate reasons to hire performers whose appearance matches their role and I support their right to do so. NZ Herald

    I would be cheesed off too if I went for job and drove to be told that I didn't have a chance because of whatever crap reason they made up. We should be supporting this woman, at least she stood for herself.

  32. 32

    LOOKS DO matter when casting. OK then… how about males start applying for females roles and vice versa? If they can't discriminate on looks they can't discriminate on gender. This will jam up the casting system so badly it isn't even funny. How about Verne Troyer (Mini-Me) apply to play Muhammad Ali?!

    Tell this lady to FUCK OFF next time!

    The only bigger JOKE to this story is the headline: '… and for good reason!'

    If that lady CAN'T read the REQUIREMENTS of the casting, how the fuck would anyone expect her to take DIRECTION whilst filming?!

  33. 33

    Re: Sweetness24

    Well he is being racist, because the directors or producers did not tell the casting people to use race as a selection process.

    They wanted short people of certain age. Fair enough but he was looking for hobbits that met the expectation of some of the audience i.e. white hobbits. This means that if he is introducing race as a criteria when it was not needed. As the studio people said, race was not specified for hobbits and they don't condone such behaviour. The casting guy was an idiot. I don't why people are standing up to defend him. If he did that to you, I am sure you will be pretty hacked off.

  34. 34

    Re: The Dude!

    Can you read or what? Read the comment properly first before you start yabbering on about stuff that is not related.

    The director or the producer DID NOT ask for white hobbits only. They say they did not say anything about colour.

    That casting guy couldn't do his job properly, the woman already said that the information about skin was not in the advert and she supports the right of film industry to choose actors based on the character.

    If you keep going on about hobbits are white because Tolkein based in rural england, well then why the hell are they shooting it in NZ and not the UK?

    Next time take the time to read before you start making comments on things you OBVIOUSLY don't understand.

  35. 35

    Re: Mancunian – With negative people like you in it it's no wonder there "ain't" racial harmony.

  36. 36

    Um…this is how casting is done. Gender, age and ethnicity requirements are listed and those meeting them audition. Those who don't - don't. Minimal time wasted, all around.

    If the agent went against the expressed wishes of the production team, then, yes, there's a problem. But I doubt the agency wanted 'light-skinned' people out of a white supremest plot - either the script breakdown indicated it or they took their cue from previous LotR movies.

    Jackson needed a scapegoat to keep his brand clean. Sucks to be the agent.

  37. 37

    It seems like this guy just watched the LOTR movies and thought "okay they are all white I'll cast white people". But the Hobbit has dark skinned characters.

  38. 38

    Re: viperbitex

    Well they used a white actor, Ben Kingsley, to play Gandhi!

  39. 39

    Re: viperbitex – no, they are not. The Harfoots are described as being brown of skin!!!
    Jebus you people show how little you know about this series. I suppose most of you never even read the books…..

  40. 40

    does this mean dark skin toned people will be cast? most likely… not .

  41. 41

    Just to set the record straight - the casting director for 'The Hobbit' was a woman.

  42. 42

    Seriously? Give me a break. He didn't deserve to be fired for that. He was casting a "part". Not every body type, skin color, or sex is right for a "part". Society needs to lighten up and quit being so quick to pull the racist, sexist, bigot card.

  43. 43

    I'm gonna laugh when the film comes out and all the Hobbits are white.

    I can't help but feel like something is missing from this story though.

  44. 44

    This is SO STUPID. You have to cast people for the type of movie you are making. If you are making a movie about Europeans in the 17th century or something then you have to hire LIGHT SKINNED people. If the movie had called for dark skinned people, no one would think anything of it! RIDICULOUS.

  45. 45

    Re: Tootlefox

    Ben Kingsley is actually of mixed Indian and European descent.

  46. 46

    WTF. Why are you celebrating the fact that a guy got fired for not being politically correct enough? Even if what he did was inappropriate (I don't believe it was), it's pretty harsh to say he deserves to lose his job for it. Personally, I hate having to worry that anything that comes out of my mouth will offend someone. I'm a nice person, like most people, and if I ever did say anything offensive or racially insensitive, it would be unintentional. People, including you Perez, need to get a thicker skin and stop looking for things to feel righteously indignant about.

  47. 47

    I must agree with many of the others who have posted on this topic. The entertainment business is known for the importance of the looks of the characters. We tolerate reversed discrimination all the time. Would Diane Keaton or Nicole Kidman have been considered for the roles of Ms Celie and Sophia in The Color Purple? I'm disappointed in you for promoting reversed discrimination.

  48. 48

    Re: Mancunian – I don't really care how many times you state your opinion: It's only your opinion and I certainly don't share it.

    If you have a complex, that's your problem, not mine. At least I've visited your country. Have you ever bothered to visit mine? Because you seem spectacularly uninformed about life in the U.S.

  49. 49

    So now you can't cast people who look the part? What should all the Hobbits be Mexican now? Of course he was told to cast a certain look, but his mistake was saying it to the wrong person and now the cowards won't back him up. RIDICULOUS!!!!!

  50. 50

    Re: Chinwe Okorie Ŧ – It is not racist to cast a white person for a white person role. Maybe Robert Pattinson should play Martin Luther King in an autobiography if we are going down this rode.

  51. pj88 says – reply to this


    I'm a white male actor, and probably couldn't get an audition for one of the great Tyler Perry movies.. and I get that. It's not being racist, movies have a specific image sometimes. People are not always hired for their talent,.. it's their looks. They may not say "black only.. or white only".. but descriptions of roles will imply what they are looking for. No.. this casting director should not have been fired and Jackson is getting all PC on this

  52. 52

    doesnt make any sense

  53. 53

    Films are meant to be convincing, actors need to look the part. He shouldn't of got fired this is stupid and he put it nicely as well. as an actor you have to take critiscm as well as accept not being what they're looking for. I hope this women doesn't make a huge thing of this because i will just laugh.

  54. 54

    Re: caroaber – ive spent 2 weeks every summer in florida since i was 6 and ive visited other places in america, you just piss me off the waqy you think you speak for all americans because you dont! none of my american relatives think like you and a good job too!

  55. 55

    Example: We are casting for extra Vampires for the new Twilight Saga. We are looking for very pale and light skinned… WAIT, can’t say light… can’t say pale also. OK, looking to cast non tanned, wait I’m sure I can’t say that also. One more try, looking to cast white….. OOOH SHIT, I’m know I can’t say that. Fuck it, how about everyone shows up. I have all the time in the world. Next week we will be casting for Martin Luther King…. Hopefully we get a bunch of Asians… Wait, can’t say Asians.

  56. 56

    Re: tbizzle – Example: We are casting for extra Vampires for the new Twilight Saga. We are looking for very pale and light skinned… WAIT, can’t say light… can’t say pale also. OK, looking to cast non tanned, wait I’m sure I can’t say that also. One more try, looking to cast white….. OOOH SHIT, I’m know I can’t say that. Fuck it, how about everyone shows up. I have all the time in the world. Next week we will be casting for Martin Luther King…. Hopefully we get a bunch of Asians… Wait, can’t say Asians.