Michael Chugani 褚簡寧 - Get into hot water|又中又英
Many Asians are obsessed with their skin colour. East Asian women in places such as China, Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong often use umbrellas on sunny days to prevent their skin from darkening. They also use skin-whitening creams. Skin colour in places like India ranges from almost white to dark brown. Many South Asian women with darker skin go to extreme lengths to lighten their skin with creams. Skin-lightening in Asia is a multi-billion-dollar business. Movie directors often get into hot water when, for example, they choose white movie stars to play the part of Asians.

Netflix is now in hot water for choosing a mixed-race actress, who is mostly black, to play Cleopatra for its new four-part drama series. Cleopatra, an Egyptian queen, died more than 2000 years ago but Egyptian experts are furious with Netflix for choosing a black woman to play her. They insist Cleopatra was white with Greek features. To go to extreme lengths means to try very hard to achieve something. If you are in hot water, it means you are in a very difficult situation. Elizabeth Taylor, a white Hollywood actress, played Cleopatra in a 1963 movie. Cleopatra was born in Egypt of Macedonian descent. People of ancient Macedonia were considered white, but many historians say Cleopatra was of mixed-race.

Netflix said Cleopatra’s ethnicity is not the focus of the TV series. It chose a mixed-race actress to play her because its research showed Cleopatra was likely mixed-race with Egyptian blood. For me, it’s just a drama-documentary which I plan to watch. It is puerile (childish, silly) to argue about the skin colour of someone born in 69 BC.
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許多亞洲人都很執迷於自己的膚色,在東亞例如中國、日本、南韓和香港等地的女士,在陽光普照的日子常會撐傘避免曬黑。他們也會用美白的乳霜。在一些地方例如印度,膚色由接近白色至深棕色不等。許多膚色較深的南亞女士會傾盡全力(go to extreme lengths)用乳霜去讓自己的膚色變白。在亞洲,美白這門數以十億元計的生意。假若電影導演選用白人電影明星去飾演亞洲人,便常會惹上麻煩(get into hot water)。

Netflix現在於其最新的四集電視劇中,選了一個混血、主要是黑人的女演員,去飾演埃及妖后,就惹上大麻煩(in hot water)了。埃及妖后克麗奧佩特拉死了超過2000年,但對於Netflix起用一個黑人女人去出演,研究埃及的專家們都勃然大怒。他們堅持,埃及妖后是帶有希臘特徵的白人女性。To go to extreme lengths就是不顧一切、竭盡全力的去達成某事。若你是 in hot water,意即你在困境中,遇上大麻煩了。荷里活的白人女演員伊利沙伯‧泰萊,就曾於1963年的電影中飾演埃及妖后。克麗奧佩特拉出生於埃及,有着馬其頓血統。古代馬其頓的人被認為是白人,但許多歷史學家都說克麗奧佩特拉是混血的。

Netflix說,克麗奧佩特拉的種族並非電視劇集的焦點。它起用一名混血的女演員去飾演,因為研究顯示克麗奧佩特拉很可能是有埃及人血統的混血兒。對我來說,它不過是一齣我準備會看的劇情紀錄片。要去爭拗一個生於公元前69年的人的膚色,實在幼稚(puerile)得很。 中譯:七刻 [email protected]
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧