Vaguely related to the whole Regina is Latin@ discussion – don’t forget that they cast a Latino kid to play Roland to make AQ more palatable (because in no universe can a woman looking like Christie and a guy looking like Maguire make a kid looking like Raphael Alejandro)














oh but Nonnie, don’t you know? Roland is Regina and Robin’s baby, and Rumpel made them forget, because Regina’s highest calling in life is to bear forest spawn. 

yes, you’re right, and it’s among the reasons i hate that fucking kid (character, not actor). though of course Lana and Maguire wouldn’t make a kid that looked like Raphael either, but never  you mind, Latin@s are all interchangeable, after all. 

Marian is latina as well that’s why Roland is Latino.

Roland could totally look like that from Marian/Robin. In fact, I might even say it’s likely.

First: Christie is mixed race herself. She’s Belizean and British (which means she’s got African, Latina, Amerindian, White, and possibly even some Asian blood given the history of Belize)

I’m assuming Nonnie thinks that she can only make a phenotypically brown or black/white looking baby? Nope.

As a black/white mix myself, I’ve spent a lot of time looking at the different combinations of kids I might create with a partner. Most recently a white partner. Let me tell you: variety is the only hard and fast rule. Genetics are fun that way. I mean, I am the same color as Christie and I could still have a phenotypically Emma-esque child—blonde haired and blue eyed—given my mother’s genes, and the fact that black heritage is so mixed (thanks slavery! thanks colonization!)

As a kid growing up in the diverse Bay Area of California, I knew kids from every permutation of racial combination. Some looked more ethnic. Some didn’t. Some looked like neither race of their parentage. 

I have 2 friends that are similar to little Roland: one has an AfroLatina mother and white father. She has dark, straight hair. She gets a solid tan in the summer, but looks passably white most of the year. The other is from a Jamaican/British father and an Eastern European mother. He looks straight up Mexican. Some people say Native American. I have another friend with the same parental combo as me who looks like an aryan wet dream. It’s all over the place (which is kinda cool, really).

So it can and does happen in this universe.

And honestly, I’m so desperate to have more people of color on this damn show, I don’t care how we start getting them there. I won’t quibble about the details they are bound to fuck up. Pull a Shonda Rhimes and mix that shit up already.

well, two things. first, yes, because race is actually not biological, the racial category/ies in which contemporary US visual classification would place the parents could be very different from how we’d make social sense of the child (cf mixed-race fraternal twins where one is “white” and the other is “black”). other countries have different racial logics, but that’s ours. 

BUT second, most people have poor understandings of both race and genetics, so they think of it as quite a bit more like mixing paint than it actually is.

so, in THAT context? casting a Latino actor as the offspring of a seemingly African-heritage mother and a pasty-ass father? when the pasty-ass father is supposed to be getting with your Latina lead? in a show where the casting is usually uncannily accurate to older/younger versions and family members? points to what Nonnie suggested, even if it’s technically inaccurate.

By saying “seemingly African-heritage mother” are you not erasing the Latina portion of Christie Laing as brought up by onceuponmyobsession in the prior post? This ignores the fact that AfroLatinas exist. She’s being seen as African-heritage alone based on how she looks, which is not dissimilar to when white people decide Regina is white instead of Latina because she isn’t ‘dark enough’.

AfroLatin@ actors are often ignored and forced to designate themselves as either Black or Latin@ in both Hollywood and within society. I don’t think it’s appropriate to say Marian, a character played by a woman who isboth African and Latin@ wouldn’t be able to biologically have a son who looks Latin@. It erases both the identities of Christie and young Raphael.

i am purely talking about how that actor’s body is likely to be popularly perceived. i don’t  have any interest in trying to get at a definitive classification one way or the other. indeed, we really can’t, because as far as i know we don’t know anything about what heritage Chrisie Laing has or how she may identify other than that she has ancestors from Belize where we know certain things about the population from which we might choose to extrapolate. certainly, Belize is a liminal nation in terms of Latinidad. 

granted, my first response agreed with the initial anon, but i don’t actually think that. i wasn’t really paying attention because it was late for me and the opportunity for snark was calling to me. 

I understand you’re speaking of how an actor’s body is likely to be perceived by the general audience and the population at large. Yet this is part of the problem. It’s taking away agency from those actors and suggesting they must look a certain way for the general audience to understand and recognize. This isn’t right. It’s nothing more than a way to make the audience more comfortable, appease them and serve them rather than recognize the humanity and identities of Actors of Color.

The solution is not to play into the hands of people who don’t want to take the time to educate themselves about identity and instead want to be able to go down a check list of ethnic choices an Actor of Color might fall under. It isn’t to theorize that a young Actor of Color was cast to attempt to direct the audience to feel more connected to a possible romantic relationship. It certainly isn’t, whether jokingly or not, hate a young Character of Color. That’s far too common and never needs to happen.

The solution is to instead recognize mixed race identities, not shoe-horn them into what makes US comfortable and take away their voice and agency. The solution is to demand the audience better themselves and listen to People of Color – actors, fans or those whom wish to speak on it regardless whether they watch the show – when they discuss their identities and how they often come under the wide brush of erasure at the hands of a white audience and fandom. The solution is to hold a white audience (of which I am) and primarily white studio with primarily white writers and a white cast accountable and demand better of them. Demand we educate ourselves, acknowledge and respect the identities of others.

It is not to put Actors of Color and People of Color into convenient boxes of identities which only serves to make it easy and convenient for white people.

absolutely. but you do remember that we’re talking about Once Upon a Time, right? there are shows that can do this, and all shows SHOULD. but the people making this one are absolutely incapable.

and to clarify, i hate Roland in the sense that every time i see him on screen i am filled with rage about the transparent (and successful) manipulation that he represents. i hate the bad storytelling that gave us that character and not an actor of color in some meaningful role.

Yes, I know we’re speaking of Once Upon a Time. Whether intended or not I don’t care for being patronized. I’m fully aware the show is run by vile people.


Saying they’re incapable is an excuse and it leads to moments where you express Raphael Alejandro, a young Boy of Color, couldn’t exist with parents who look like Lana and Sean while also initially agreeing he also couldn’t be the biological son of Christie and Sean. These are words you wrote out and a sentiment you expressed. Whether you recognize it was wrong or are backtracking as people point out how problematic and racist this statement of erasure was, I’m not sure. But the words remain and now it’s being discussed why that’s harmful and needs to change in all areas. You contributed to the erasure of mixed race identities. This must be acknowledged instead of explained away.

Yet I would point out again saying the show runners are incapable, and thus by extension the audience as well, absolves not only them of accountability but yourself as well in this situation. Especially in terms of your commentary in how you hate the character of Roland. You said initially said you hated the character rather than saying you hated the perceived purchase for which the show runners created and used the character. You put the hate on the character. A young character of color. Young characters of color are hated on simply for existing and being of color all the time. They are loathed and despised. Which is unacceptable. Your original comment in this regard is harmful and continues the theme where young characters of color are to be hated and questioned as to their existence. This is not okay.

and now we have reached the point in the conversation where you are deliberately misconstruing me, but that’s certainly your prerogative. freedom of speech and all that. have fun, but i won’t be playing along. 

You realize that your intention means very little if actual people of colour are telling you that you’re screwing up? They’re not misconstruing anything, you are very blatantly trying to push the blame for the things you’ve said off on showrunners/casting what have you. And worse, you make assumptions about what casting or the audience will think so as to justify you perpetuating erasure of mixed race people.

You’ve been given explain action after explanation as to why what you posted was wrong but instead of acknowledging that, you continue to try and justify yourself which clearly shows that your real intention here isn’t to understand what you’re being told but to just convince yourself and everyone else watching that you’re in the right.

Reblogging for the added commentary because this is pissing me off more than the usual fandom bullshit has in the past. If people of colour tell you that you’ve fucked up, listen to them. Don’t use increasing amounts of pseudo-intellectual and academic jargon to justify arguments that sound remarkably similar to the sorts that my 13 year old students might make (and actually that’s unfair, because most of my students will listen if a person of colour tells them they’re being racist).

Jesus Christ.

yes, one should listen when people of color tell you you’re being racist. and if i had in fact said what the people in this thread beleived that i did, i would indeed have made racist statements. however, words have been put in my mouth repeatedly over the course of this conversation, and i do not accept your condemnation or anyone else’s on the basis of things i did not actually say.

was my initial flippant response in error? yes. i was in a rush to make fun of the underlying assumption and didn’t give the other part the care it deserved. but everything else? nope. 

But the initial response can’t be passed off as mere flippancy. Your first reply gave a double-take moment when I first saw it. What you initially said comes off as problematic (and a bit racist, I’m not gonna lie) no matter which way I read it, and subsequent replies haven’t erased that.


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