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Bill Maher Blasts the ‘Casting Police’ in Scathing Rant Over Appropriation in Movies

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Bill Maher Casting Police

If you ask Bill Maher, the increased scrutiny over which kinds of roles certain actors should be able to play has gotten out of hand. Recently, Netflix released a trailer for the Marilyn Monroe biopic Blonde featuring Cuban actress Ana de Armas starring as the Hollywood legend. After this casting choice drew backlash due to de Armas’ heritage, similar criticism was soon after leveled against James Franco following the news that he’d been cast to play former Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

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On the latest episode of Real Time, Maher spoke out against the “casting police” going after actors for playing characters who don’t share the same background in real life. Maher laments how something that was once celebrated not so long ago is now seen as a big offense. The Real Time host argues that the point of acting is to pretend to be someone completely different from who you are in reality.

Related: Alina of Cuba Producer Fires Back at John Leguizamo’s Criticism of James Franco Casting

In his rant, Maher makes the argument that casting directors should always focus on the best actor for the role. He points to the casting of de Armas in Blonde along with Franco’s Alina of Cuba casting, and jokingly suggests that perhaps the two should swap roles if that’s what makes the “casting police” happy.

Maher touches on comments made by Tom Hanks with the actor saying he wouldn’t accept his Philadelphia role, no longer feeling it’s right to play a gay character. He then makes the argument that it’s better for filmgoers to know less about the personal lives of the actors as that will help them get better immersed in the movie.

You can watch full episodes of Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO Max, and the rant in full can be seen below.

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