Out of the Blue Ep. 82: Amir Talai

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Another actor in the “been in everything you’ve ever seen” series. But in addition to Amir Talai’s long resume (ranging from NCIS to Agents of SHIELD), he is also a vocal proponent for diversity & equality. He recently wrote a blog for Buzzfeed that quickly went viral and helped address a conversation that most of us didn’t think to have. Let’s have an open and honest conversation about what it means to be “equal.”

Amir’s Buzzfeed article: http://www.buzzfeed.com/amirtalai/when-a-brown-actor-plays-a-white-character-who-really-wins

Don’t forget: Out of the Blue has a Facebook page! Also, be sure to let David know what you thought of the show at @DavidBlue and @GeekNation. While you’re at it, spread the word about the podcast if you dig it!

  • ldypayne

    I am definitely glad I waited a day to listen to this podcast, I was way too out of it (me and being out in the sun for half a day…don’t mix well) to really focus on this podcast. Today, the focus was there and it was a very interesting and thought provoking podcast. Amir brought up many points I wouldn’t have considered for casting people in scripts such as something as simple as a name may be interpreted in many different ways. It is an interesting look on both sides of the coin it does make one think how best to view characters in a script.

    Canada and the US are pretty much multicultural countries where generations of people from all ethnic groups have been born here and it doesn’t mean they are any different than the ‘white guy’ and the average person is likely to have a friend or classmate/peer who’s black, brown, of Asian descent etc. unless they live in very isolate communities which isn’t diverse at all. In my youth the town i was raised in didn’t have any blacks at all, it was pretty much white and First Nations. There was the Asian family who owned the Chinese Restaurant and that’s it. My classmates all had typical ‘white’ names, though sometimes they also had a more culturally appropriate name. So looking at my class list you wouldn’t think they were First Nations people…with names like Randy, Wayne, Rhonda, Cindy. The family names would give it away in some cases..if one was familiar with how the local first nations had their family names changed to be more ‘English’ way back when. It was only when I want to College in another city that i met First Nations people who used their Ojibwas names, had access to cultural information and their native language etc. This was also where I met people who were from other more diverse cultures…blacks, Hispanics, Indians etc. I loved it. I loved meeting these people as most seemed friendly and I was curious about them as people and all their differences. I just saw them as interesting people and many became friends.

    In my view I feel anybody can give their opinion about even touchy subjects like racism and sexism etc and those who support the fight against discrimination should definitely show their support and speak up. Nobody’s going to know everything about every situation with those who are suffering from some form of discrimination. I just suggest be sensitive and considerate and honest. You can say ‘I am definitely against discrimination against women (or blacks etc) but I don’t know much about their side of things. I just feel everything should be equal’ or something similar. I believe same sex marriage should be legal and permitted but I wouldn’t say I understand what it is like to be gay and being unable to marry the person you love legally.

    I like movies and tv shows with a nice diversity of ethnicity spread through it’s cast. Oddly enough Star Trek the original series was nice in this way. It was unprecedented given not only did it have a black woman on it, that woman was an officer and not just a maid. There was also a Japanese helmsman, a Russian Ensign (though Chekov wasn’t in the pilot if I recall correctly) a Scottish Chief Engineer and an Alien first officer. (good old Spook). We did have your typical white Americans in Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy but overall I loved how diverse the show was in its main cast.

    Definitely a podcast that gets one thinking and looking at the world in a slightly different way.