Scarlett Johansson just took a DNA test, turns out she’s 6% Asian and will be starring in next summer’s Joy Luck Club reboot.
The casting comes following a partnership between Warner Bros. and 23AndMe to provide mandatory DNA tests to all SAG members to ensure actors cast as minority characters are sufficiently that minority. The requirement was initiated after it came to light that Julia Roberts was actually, for realsy considered for the role of Harriet Tubman.
“Hollywood hasn’t always been sensitive when it comes to casting,” said Warner Bros.’s CEO Ann Sarnoff, who it turns out is a sliver Ashkenazi Jew. “But oy, gavalt, we’re trying to make things less, how do you say it? Verklempt.”
For actors and their representatives, basing a casting decision on an actor’s unique genetic makeup presents both challenges and opportunities.
“It’s really bad optics to cast someone outside of their race,” said four 25-year-old junior CAA agents while outside of the Coffee Bean at Century Park. All of their names are Connor and they all went to Dartmouth. “But now that we know Billy Bob Thorton is .05% Cherokee we can cast him in Disney’s upcoming Sitting Bull biopic without everybody freaking out.”
As the Connors sat around the table looking at the genetic breakdown of Hollywood’s biggest stars, one of them, let’s call him Steve, questioned whether it really was progress to look to an actor’s distant relative as justification for casting them in a minority role. “Is 6% Asian really Asian enough to represent oneself as an Asian?” Steve asked the other Connors.
“Bro,” said a Connor. “That’s super racist. Who are you to deny someone’s identity?”
As Steve the Connor contemplated the question he started to panic. The issue of race and how it impacts art and culture confused him. He had hoped to get some insight on the topic by examining his own genetic history, but the DNA test he took said he was 96% German and 4% Argentinian, and we all know what that means.
“I wasn’t trying to be racist,” Steve Connor finally answered.
“As a cisgender white man you should be more sensitive,” said a Connor.
“Well,” said Steve, “my family is actually partially from Latin America.”
“Oh my god, good for you! I had no idea,” said a Connor. “You should apply to CAA’s Latinx Future Leaders Program.”
“I think I will,” said Estephan. “Creo que lo haré.”