Here we go again. We have another person who chose accuracy over decency when it came to cosplaying a character. Let me introduce you to Mamoru Cosplay. This actor/director with a whopping 1.7 star rating has decided to grace us with new pictures of this amazing photo shoot he has done of him dressed as Ruby Rhod, played by Chris Tucker, from The Fifth Element. All seemed well. He kept it moving. He took his paint off and went about his life like nothing happened, until the comments section began to blow up. Some showed their concerns about just how accurate he needed to be to portray the flirtatious Ruby, while others praised him for how well he did on changing his complexion. Two days later he came out with this statement with this picture that’s he is just so proud of:
In his statement, he begins to educate the masses by letting us know what the true definition of “racist” means. After his google copy and past, he goes into detail about how people on his page are being racist. He’s not, I mean come on! He has black friends and they’re totally cool with it, so all black people should be chill about this. After reading his lengthy duck and dodge, I’ve decided to rank my three favorite excerpts from his comment addressing his public’s concerns over his cosplay:
“Don’t forget, too often in the movie adaptation of the comic book character with white skin played actor with black skin. This infringes white people. This is racism to the same extent as the blond wigs infringe the rights of brunettes.”
I totally get it! Like Mickey Rooney doing yellowface in Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Wait, no. Then how about Yul Brynner in The King and I? Nope, I don’t think that’s right either. Okay, I got one! Laurence Olivier from Othello. Still no?
“I’m sorry that you perceived my cosplay as an insult to ur address. I don’t understand how cosplay can hurt your feelings, to humiliate you. I’m doing cosplay for people. I invest the whole soul in it . You say that I am a racist. Do you know the definition?”
That’s the point. You don’t understand. Instead of trying to understand you came back and said you’re doing it for the people, when in reality, you’re doing it for yourself under the excuse of ‘accuracy’. There is a huge backlash that a ton of black cosplayers face when cosplaying white characters, myself being one of them. That being said, this double standard where people can perform blackface and be applauded while actual people of color are faced with name calling and often times insults is why I’m addressing this.
“You ask for special attention, and you have been belittling my rights as a white person. (I speak only of those who leave comments here. To my black friends is not the case). Who among us RACIST!!!! ????”
So, instead of people trying to talk to you, to educate you on this matter, you say they’re asking for special attention. I don’t think someone calling you out on something you’re doing wrong is asking for special attention, it’s trying to tell you that you paid way too much attention to your own goals and left your good intentions on the side of the street in the middle of nowhere Kansas and never looked back.
Mamoru, you had the opportunity to have some words, and now I will have mine. Not only do you not see what’s wrong with this, but you have other people that are equally incorrect, saying that it’s okay and encourage you to keep doing it. Reading through those waves of emotional comments, I heard the same typical things from these enablers I hear every time someone else decides to put on blackface for a cosplay.
‘That’s not his intentions’- that’s why we try to educate, but he’s not hearing it folks.
‘Other black people find it okay’- because one black person can speak for all black people, right? No.
‘You shouldn’t be offended’- Got it. Thank you for letting me know how I should feel. Then you shouldn’t feel butt hurt from the backlash you’re getting from this.
‘He has black friends’- Cool story bro. Please re-read ‘Other black people find it okay’
‘He’s from another country so he doesn’t know better’- Russia doesn’t know about blackface or racist acts in general? I don’t think so. Google is your friend.
You gave the definition of racist, so let’s continue with some more definitions!
BLACKFACE- “the makeup used by a nonblack performer playing a black role. The role played is typically comedic or musical and usually is considered offensive.”
BIGOTRY- “intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.”
Feeling the sting of anger from this one shoot upset you so much that you had to put a side-stepping post about how other people need to feel about it. You’re not listening to how they feel. You’re just telling them about how they should feel.
You used someone else’s race to achieve your idea of perfection, yet there are people who are discriminated against because of this skin color. People have been denied rights because of this skin color. People have been ripped away from their homes and families have been separated because of this skin color. People have been forced into slavery because of this color. People have been beaten severely because of this skin color. People are dying because they have this skin color. People are being murdered because of this skin color. You took the weight of what people of this color must bare every day and turned it into a costume. You dance in your ignorant bliss, making sure you stay oblivious then had the gall to wonder what the big deal is.
We explain this over and over again about why it’s wrong, but it’s not going to stop until people realize that to wear someone’s skin color as an ornament is taking it too far. It’s cosplay: costume play. Someone’s skin color is not a costume. I hope you got the attention you wanted Mamoru.
By the way, read the reviews on his page. They’re priceless.