The actor, still probably best known for playing Michael on "Lost," is father to Aurora Perrineau, who plays bass guitarist Shana in the new movie "Jem and the Holograms." Aurora has been facing backlash from fans who think she's not black enough to play a live action version of the cartoon character. Here's a video for reference, with this particular fan saying Aurora didn't look black to her, and the fact that she had to Google the actress's ethnicity showed that the casting department did a bad job, going for a "racially ambiguous" person instead of a dark-skinned woman with more natural hair.
Here's a portion of Harold's blog response to all the critics:
Read the full post here. He said his hope is to reach the people pointing their fingers at young artists like his daughter and get them to use that creative fire to create characters that look, sound, and feel like themselves.
...The reason I'm so angry right now (and I'm sure that many people will be able to understand this) is that I feel like my daughter — MY CHILD — is being attacked. She is being harshly and unfairly judged during a time when she should be relishing her accomplishments. You see my daughter, Aurora Perrineau, decided to become an actor like her old man.
And while I know the many pitfalls that she may encounter, my wife and I have tried to shield her as much as we can. We've taught her to work hard and to respect her gifts by training and making her art important to her. We've taught her to respect herself and others. The road of the artist is long and arduous.
Nevertheless, when she was cast in the film "Jem and the Holograms," something she worked extremely hard on, she suddenly became the target of a lot of people's anger. Aurora is the product of a Caucasian mother and a black father and is therefore not qualified or not "black" enough to play a black character from an animated series, according to some people. Her blackness or lack thereof is so offensive to some that they've written articles about it. They've gone onto social media and spewed their vitriol directly at her. Some went so far as to suggest that she "kill herself" for taking the role. All, without ever seeing her work in the role. All this anger based solely on the color of her skin.
Dr. King's "I have a dream" speech continues to play in my head. "I have a dream that my four little children will one day grow up in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Guess that day still has not come.
As you can guess, this all makes me pretty F*#%#n mad but, now I can see pretty far beyond my face. I can see a much bigger picture and it leads me to ask myself: "What is it I want to create here?"
I create for a living and that's my sword against injustice. How am I going to use that sword in this instance? Do I create more division by arguing with people that have the same problems as I do? Arguing that my daughter is "black enough?" Well ... That seems silly to me."
Harold Perrineau happens to be a well-known actor, but it's worth keeping in mind that every person criticized is someone's child. It doesn't mean the criticism isn't fair, but you can't be surprised when it's taken very personally.
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