The “How Is This Still A Thing?” segments on “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” are usually brief little jabs at funny observations, like how interviewees on “60 Minutes” always repeat what the interviewer says, or the prank calls C-SPAN seems to always get. But on Sunday night’s show, the segment went hard on a more serious, current issue circulating Hollywood.
The Oscars are happening this Sunday, and the #OscarsSoWhite discussion is still ongoing. People are outraged by the lack of diversity in the nominations, and many believe it’s because there aren’t enough good roles for actors of color.
In “Last Week Tonight,” the show suggests that isn’t the actual problem — those roles exist, it’s just that white actors have been stealing them for decades. The segment highlights a number of famous roles that should have been played by non-whites.
There’s the recent example of Emma Stone playing a part-Asian character in the 2015 movie “Aloha,” or movies like 2014’s “Exodus: Gods and Kings” and the upcoming “Gods of Egypt” using white actors to play Egyptians.
But the show also points out that everyone from Marlon Brando to John Wayne have played non-White characters in movies.
And the kicker is, when actors of color take on traditionally white roles, there’s an uproar. The first shots of John Boyega as a black stormtrooper in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” had people up in arms, and Michael B. Jordan cast as Johnny Storm in “Fantastic Four” upset some fanboys.
Watch the humorous and all-too-true segment in full below: