'Noah' screenwriter Ari Handel explains why there weren't any black people or people of color in 'Noah.'
“From the beginning, we were concerned about casting, the issue of race. What we realized is that this story is functioning at the level of myth, and as a mythical story, the race of the individuals doesn’t matter. They’re supposed to be stand-ins for all people. Either you end up with a Bennetton ad or the crew of the Starship Enterprise. You either try to put everything in there, which just calls attention to it, or you just say, “Let’s make that not a factor, because we’re trying to deal with everyman.”……”
This is how racism works. The idea that diversity is distracting. That representing cultures as they are is somehow distracting. That straight cis whiteness is the default.
On the ground here in LA we’ve heard people not wanting to include the “token black character” into their productions so they have no black characters at all. This is the new racism. A liberal racism, a racism that feels built on a consciousness.
When we talk about trans representation we run into the same problem. Could the characters walk into a coffee shop with a trans barista? Is that too distracting. Can a date montage contain a trans woman without it being a joke? Too distracting. Can a trans man be in an ad selling soap, too distracting?
Diversity isn’t a distraction, it’s a cultural necessity. Diversity is the default.