Wednesday, May 17, 2006

White Guys Unite!

News item:

Movie Bosses Warned To Accurately Portray Albinism
7 January 2005 (WENN)
Movie director Ron Howard is being advised to tread carefully when filming the movie adaptation of novel The Da Vinci Code this year, by not permitting albino stereotypes. The National Organization For Albinism And Hypopigmentation (NOAH) has asked film bosses to make sure the upcoming movie doesn't portray its albino character as a red-eyed psychopath. NOAH president Mike McGowan says, "One huge problem with (author Dan Brown's book) The Da Vinci Code is how (the character of) Silas is described with red eyes. That's a myth. Most often in people with albinism the eyes are light blue or even hazel. Ron Howard can make a big difference for people with albinism by continuing the trend away from a hack device if they adjust the Silas character to not be an evil albino. Over the years the stereotyping and misinformation foisted on the albinism community by film-makers does real harm to real people."

I decided to investigate this for myself. As readers of this blog know, my home is Squirrel Central. And one of those squirrels is an albino.

All I had to do was set out a couple of tulip bulbs ...

"I totally agree," said "Whitey," after I'd read him the piece. "Ron Howard has some nerve. Does he have any idea how tough things are for us albinos? Look at me, I'm always filthy. No matter how many times I lick myself. And white fur is gorgeous when it's clean. If I were human I'd have drycleaning bills up the yingyang. Do millionaires like Hanks and Howard give a damn? Not on you life. Mmm. These yellow ones are my favorites."

"What about this bit about albinos having red eyes?" I asked. "You can't seriously object to that, can you?"

"Of course I object! Look at my eyes. Are they red?"

"I guess I'd call them pink."

"You're damn right you would. They might be red-rimmed but the irises are a lovely pink, thank you very much. Speaking of pink, you got any hyacinths around this place?"

"Not today..."

"Don't make me raid your garage, lady."

"OK, OK! There are two left. Over by the rosemary plants."

"Hm. Rosemary, huh?"

"Please. Please, I'm begging you. Not my rosemary!"

"It'll cost you. I'll come looking for a new hyacinth bed next week."

"You squirrels are so evil."

"Sure we are. But not because I'm an albino, you got that? All us rodents are bastards."

[Hat tip: ComicKoz]


Yvette said...

This is NOAH doing what they do best, that's for sure. I in fact am an albino and a member of the organization myself (if you can't view my picture it's on my blog at I'm not very active in it, but I've remained a member because there can be interesting articles about medical advancements in the newsletters from time to time. I think the organization really started out as a way for new parents of albinos to get educated about albinism. About the red eye issue, this is present in albino animals but not humans.

I get pretty weirded out though by NOAH's over-reactions every time a book or movie comes out with an albino character. I think they almost see it as equal to black actors only getting roles as butlers or maids. Give me a break! Who cares? This isn't a civil rights issue, and I think these people need to take it easy and have a sense of humor about this sort of thing. I was teased as a child just as they were, but come on.

What gravely concerns me about the Da Vinci Code isn't the albino sniper (a bit of an oxymoron considering our terrible eyesight), but that Dan Brown and his fans believe his absurd claims about the Catholic Church.

Sue said...

Yvette- where've you been, girl?? In all the DVC stuff I've read and /or posted this is the first time anyone has pointed out Brown's gaffe on the "sniper" bit!! That is hilarious!!

Yvette said...

Yeah, I wonder why I didn't think to mention it before. It's too bad NOAH has no sense of humor otherwise they could have made a big joke out of it at Brown's expense! Maybe I'll have to do that. Our local paper here in Madison ran an article just yesterday with more albinos whining about "discrimination." Talk about a silly excuse for self-pity...