Why does it make no sense to shout against politically correct in the comments to Billy Porter as the Fairy Godmother in the musical on Cinderella?
If you hadn't understood from the introductory text, let's start this article by putting the record straight.
No, this is not an article outraged that Billy Porter plays the role of the Fairy Godmother in the new Cinderella-inspired musical film. No, we will not cry out for the "dictatorship of the politically correct".
In this article we will see a little how and why Billy Porter plays the role of the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, and why the disordered reactions of many Italian people are ridiculous when it is good, and homophobic when it is bad.
If you want to know the meaning with which we use the term "politically correct", you can consult this article. If you want to know what we think of journalistic hysteria about the "dictatorship of the politically correct", you can see this article.
Who is Billy Porter?
Billy Porter is an African American American actor.
In his career, he has won a Tony Award (Best Actor in a Musical), a Grammy Award (Best Theatrical Musical Album) and a Primetime Emmy Award (Best Actor in a Drama Series). He starred in plays on Broadway such as Kinky Boots and in television series such as pose.
Porter is also well known for his very elegant attire and that breaks stereotypes and gender roles. In fact, the actor often wears traditionally feminine skirts and dresses at gala events, as well as artistic ensembles of great impact. At this link you will see a gallery of her best outfits. In general, Billy Porter sees his clothing as both an artistic and a political statement.
Billy Porter is also known for being the first black and gay actor to win a Primetime Emmy and is very active in the field of civil rights and anti-racism. In the past few days, Porter also has revealed to be HIV positive, recounting how the homophobic environment in which he grew up, during the years of the spread of HIV (perceived by many as the divine punishment for homosexuality), had led him to hide his illness, for fear of stigma.
What movie will Billy Porter play the Fairy Godmother?
Billy Porter is part of the cast of Cinderella, a musical genre film due out in 2021.
Cinderella is directed by director Kay Cannon, who has already directed other musical comedies, such as Pitch perfect. The film is produced by Columbia Pictures and will be released on Prime Video this September.
His cast it is very varied and is made up of both novices, such as Cinderella's interpreter, Camila Cabello, as well as famous names. We see in fact Idina Menzel (Elsa's voice in Frozen) as the Stepmother, Pierce Brosnan (James Bond performer from 1995 to 2002) as the King and, of course, Billy Porter as the Fairy Godmother.
An honorable mention also goes to stand-up comedian John Mulaney and comedian James Corden, as the two mice who will be transformed into Cinderella's lackeys.
We don't know a great deal about the plot of Cinderella. From what they say, it will pick up on Perrault's classic fairytale and thus have the plot of basically any other Cinderella movie. The interesting thing, though, is that it will be a musical.
What did Billy Porter say about the Fab G character?
In an interview with CBS News, Billy Porter said a few words about the role he will play in Cinderella, Namely Fab G. If you want, you can see this clip Thu.
Meanwhile, I bring you the words of Porter:
You know, it hit me when I was on set last week, how profound it is that I am playing the Fairy Godmother - they call it the Fab G.
Magic has no gender.
We are presenting this character as genderless - at least that's how I'm playing it. And it's really powerful.
You know, this is a classic - this is a classic fairy tale for a new generation. I think that the new generation is really ready. You know the kids are ready, it's the grownups that are slowing stuff down.
You know, I realized last week while on set how profound it is that I'm playing the Fairy Godmother - they call her Fab G.
Magic has no gender.
We're presenting a genderless character - or at least that's how I'm playing him. And it's a very powerful thing.
You know, this is a classic - this is a classic fairy tale for a new generation. I think the new generation is really ready. I know that the boys / girls are ready, it is the adults who slow things down.
The role of the Fairy Godparent
So, in Cinderella Billy Porter will play the role of the Fairy Godmother, but giving a re-interpretation of the character, thus making him genderless. In English, in fact, the role is called Fairy Godfather, which is practically impossible to translate into Italian while maintaining the total gender neutrality that it has in the original.
It would seem that Porter and the production of the film focus more on the idea of the Fairy Godmother as a benign magical force, therefore not linked to the concept of Godmother or Godfather per se, but to a more generic magical help that can be counted on.
Why is it important to re-imagine these stories?
Honestly, the fact that Billy Porter plays a retelling of the Fairy Godmother in a retelling of Cinderella isn't such a thing out of this world. Nor is it an extremely revolutionary gesture, which will forever change the history of cinema.
Certainly, however, it will be a gesture that will be of great importance to many queer people. Especially for those who are fond of the Cinderella story, and would like to be able to see her in a little less white sauce and a little less straight.
And why would all this matter?
Representation in the media: the words of Junot Díaz
Well, because being represented in the media and in the stories we tell is important to people. Junot Diaz writes:
There's this idea that monsters don't have reflections in a mirror. And what I've always thought isn't that monsters don't have reflections in a mirror. It's that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.
There is this idea that monsters are not reflected in mirrors. And what I've always thought is not that monsters don't reflect in mirrors. It is that if you want to make a human being a monster, you have to deny this person, on a cultural level, any reflection of himself.
And yes, having a children's literature and cinematography that mostly tells the stories of white and straight people helps make anyone who is different feel like a monster. If you want to know more, there is a great video of Alex Grisafi who talks about it to this link.
The re-imagination of fairy tales and stories
The re-imagining of classic stories is anything but a new phenomenon. L'Odyssey it is a reworking of oral histories. L'Aeneid is a reworking in an imperial Roman key of theOdyssey. The Comedy Dante is a reworking of other stories about journeys to the afterlife and revisits and revisits the classical legacy.
Our history is full of transformative works, although our relationship with this phenomenon has significantly changed with the introduction of the concept of copyright, as seen in the case of fanfiction.
And what about the other reinterpretations of Cinderella?
And just as Disney reimagined the story of Cinderella in its 1950 animated film, then reimagined it again in the 2015 live-action, similarly there have been so many others. transpositions and re-interpretations of Cinderella. This article by EW will already give you a list of 10 film transpositions of Cinderella, spanning between 1914 and 2015.
And yes, among them there is not even one in which Cinderella is a black girl! We are obviously talking about Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, from 1997, in which the Fairy Godmother was played by Whitney Houston and the prince's mother was none other than Whoopi Goldberg.
And if we want to talk about Cinderella movies that replace the Fairy Godmother, we want to talk about Ever after (In Italian The legend of a love - Cinderella), of 1998? Ever after it is my favorite film adaptation of the Cinderella story, also because it presents us with a Cinderella who is awake and full of initiative. Ah, and that replaces the Fairy Godmother with the figure of Leonardo Da Vinci.
Ever after it was a very progressive film for the time. But if her own story had been revived today we would be here to hear people whimpering because "they made Cinderella a feminist in a forced way!".
For those who want to recover Cinderella (1997) and Ever after, you can find them both on Disney +.
When the world is so full of reimaginations of the Cinderella story, maybe we should really calm down, when we talk about Cinderella
The shame of the comments of the Italian community
But, as often happens, this time too the Italian audience gave its worst when the first photo of Billy Porter as Fab G.
Commentators and commentators vented their indignation on the Facebook pages of newspapers, news sites and public figures.
I'm not going to be here to bring you the endless jokes about whether Billy Porter's Fab G now has two wands or a bigger wand. Honestly, I am bad taste and I do not understand why everyone is so ready to immediately think about the pain of people, even when they immediately scream at the scandal of politically correct.
So let's move on.
The fearsome "politically correct" that "ruins our fairy tales"
In fact, sadly the internet is full of comments that evoke it apocalyptic specter of the "dictatorship of the politically correct". Some even manage to insert the “cancel culture” into the discourse, fearing between the lines the cancellation of whites in the media.
Still others fear, more or less ironically, that someone will come and burn their tapes with the Disney animated film, thus taking that version as the true original from which the "politically correct" would be out of line, thus ignoring that the fable was not invented by Walt Disney.
1) Luckily I have all the DVDs of the Disney classics to pass on to my possible offspring ... As long as they don't come and confiscate them to burn them in the square
2) In the name of politically correct is it necessary to throw diarrhea on everything by force?
3) This is certainly more misleading than the original. This thing like that is getting out of hand, they are pathetic, ridiculous, bigoted and morons.
4) I am politically correct a cultural deletion is degenerating, the culture of its originality and its profound morality is being robbed in order to be the first moralists
5) In this case, I agree this overturning everything to do good (in this case senseless) has a little nauseating. And Dumbo, and then the Little Mermaid and Snow White with her stolen kiss and now Cinderella. But enough that more than fighting racism it has become a joke !!!!!!!
6) Welcome to the cultural havoc of single thought .. Who will not be homologated outside society
"Blacks and gays have no place in fairy tales," according to some
More generally, it seems that many and many have gods problems with hiring non-white actors and actresses in stories that, in their multiform reworkings, can easily be interpreted by anyone.
Instead, the choice of Billy Porter as an actor has become, for some, "ostentation". And, according to others, it would not be suitable for children.
1) However, they broke with this story that they have to put gays and blacks on all sides to recover the past, in my opinion it is a double offense, because in some stories like this a gay has nothing to do with it!
2) This showing off so much makes you nauseous. Enough of this "politically correct". Correct for whom? I want the fairy to be old, short and plump for example. This necessarily has to distinguish and above all want to stand out. But by whom then? Bha.
3) enough! I don't see the reason! Sn fables! But leave them alone!
4) So are you telling me we should show this stuff to the kids?
5) It's not normal, you can't change the past ...
And it also comes to the language of hate
Finally, we also see some real hate speech.
Because you know: we must not miss anything!
1) That is, that one expects a good fairy and a transvestite arrives from the ring road? Disappointing I must admit.
2) No .. there are many of us ... I don't know where we will end up ... A world that has changed radically ... and it's not over ... The icing will be when pedophilia is legalized ... as another sexual orientation ... So better throw the atomic bomb and to end this abomination all at once !!!
Two concluding words about Billy Porter in the role of Fab G
As far as I'm concerned, Billy Porter as Fab G is beautiful. She is the Fairy Godmother I wanted in my childhood.
I get older I go on, the more I realize how important it would have been for me to have such an evidently non-heteronormed reference figure in my life, both in the media I consumed and in the people I frequented.
Fab G will, thankfully, be this figure for many queer people. And it's a beautiful thing.
Regarding the comments seen above, I will just mention Sasha Velor, a non-binary drag queen (from 4.19 minute of this video):
Some of the most homophoc voices are afraid of gender fluidity, because they're scared of what it might mean for their identity.
I'm not scared of what dressing like any which way means for my identity, 'cause I know that it's possible to contain multitudes.
I hope that they put on the lipstick that they're afraid of wearing and feel beautiful. 'Cause it's a life changing experience.
Some of the more homophobic voices are afraid of gender fluidity because they are afraid of what it might mean for their identity.
I am not afraid of how the way I dress affects my identity, because I know that it is possible to contain multitudes.
I hope these people will wear the lipstick they fear and feel beautiful. Because it is a life changing experience.