That means that while an average of 75.2 percent of speaking roles already go to white actors, according to the 2014 University of Southern California study “Inequality in 700 Popular Films,” some of those parts are actually characters of color.
Over time we have come to expect a tsunami-sized wave of backlash when an actor of color is cast as a fictional character that audiences feel should be white ― see controversies over Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch or Amandla Stenberg as Rue of “The Hunger Games” ― but the outrage isn’t quite the same when white actors portray characters of color. Even when, often, they are based of off real-life people of color.
But these are just a handful of examples from a long list of cringe-worthy and shameless casting decisions in Hollywood. We could also talk about Emma Stone as part-Asian Allison Ng in "Aloha," Justin Chatwin as Goku in "Dragonball: Evolution," Fred Astaire in blackface in "Swing Time," Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily in "Pan" -- because it's a seemingly never-ending story. And what have we learned after all this time?
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misidentified the name of the USC study. It is "Inequality in 700 Popular Films," not "Inequality in 100 Popular Films."
This article has been updated to note that Neeson first appears in the role of Batman's adversary Ra's al Ghul in "Batman Begins," which was not originally listed here. Neeson also briefly reprises his role as Ra's al Ghul in "The Dark Knight Rises."