Goodbye ‘Hieroglyph’ – via Hollywood Reporter

Fox Pulls Plug on ‘Hieroglyph’ – Hollywood Reporter

Oh no! FOX cancels Hieroglyph before it’s fall debut! I was looking forward to checking this out, due to the diverse casting (though had qualms about it after learning the true lead was another white male), but looks like I won’t be checking it out after all.

The article mentions Kevin Reilly, entertainment chairman of FOX, and his initial decision to “end pilot season” before stepping down only a few weeks ago. I suppose only he was ready to revamp the way we greenlight shows, since this show is being cut. THR states some creative differences, but it makes me wonder if other shows from the Reilly era are safe before fall…

Fox Pulls Plug on 'Hieroglyph' - Hollywood Reporter

I could just stare at that promo poster featuring Condola Rashad all day; perhaps I’ll make a poster in memoriam of this series that was truly nipped in the bud.

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Quote: Co-Screenwriter of ‘Noah’ Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film | Shadow and Act

What we realized is that this story is functioning at the level of myth, and as a mythical story, the race of the individuals doesn’t matter. They’re supposed to be stand-ins for all people. Either you end up with a Bennetton ad or the crew of the Starship Enterprise.”

What’s wrong with the Starship Enterprise?! What’s wrong with some diversity?! In order to maintain the story that Noah and his family repopulate the earth, the casting directors went with all white actors. And People of Color have had enough with the whitewashing (Noah, as a resident of the Middle East, would not have had Russel Crowe’s complexion) but if you want to say race doesn’t matter, then why not have each member of the family come from a different part of the world? I know from the story that Noah’s sons had wives: why not have them be non-white?

White as the default is very strong, but especially in mythic stories even when the story doesn’t belong to white people. It was a relief when I learned that the new FOX show Hieroglyph isn’t cast with all white people, but actual People of Color (we haven’t gotten as far as casting people directly from or descendent of the region, though).

There’s the idea that if something in a character description isn’t relevant to the plot, don’t write it in. So if a character isn’t described as being Black or Asian or Indian, it’s usually thought of to be white, even though the race of the character has nothing to do with the plot, hence why it wasn’t mentioned, so the character should be able to be cast as any race. We need to get past white as default, because it leaves so many people with no representations of themselves in the media in places where they could have been or even should have been represented.

It’s awful that he said this. I don’t think he realized the problems with his words, but it’s certainly not earned him anything from People of Color. It is clear that he thinks that in order for a story to be accepted by everyone and to stand on a grand, epic scale, only white people can be in it. Asian people or Black people or Hispanic people can’t be epic or represent mankind. Again, I think a better, more diplomatic solution would have been to cast everyone as a different race, but I suppose that would have been too controversial for them.

via Co-Screenwriter of ‘Noah’ Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film | Shadow and Act.

Pilot Season Diversity Watch: Hieroglyph

EDIT JULY 1, 2014: Hieroglyph, despite it’s straight to series order, was cancelled by Fox. More here.

From TVLine:

Hieroglyph (Drama) — ORDERED TO SERIES [FOX]
EPs | Travis Beacham (Pacific Rim), Peter Chernin, Katherine Pope, Miguel Sapochnik
CAST | Reece Ritchie, Kelsey Chow, Condola Rashad
A notorious thief is plucked from prison to serve the Pharoah, navigating palace intrigue, seductive concubines, criminal underbellies and even a few divine sorcerers.

It seems FOX is committing to it’s diversity in sci-fi theme. After the success of this year’s Sleepy Hollow, FOX has ordered another supernatural drama with PoC in the lead role. Also for a 13 episode run, Hieroglyph has already been ordered to series, meaning we’ll see it when they air it.

As someone who loves The Mummy, I’m hoping it’s something in the same vein. I wonder if it’s airing in conjunction with Sleepy Hollow which is set to return next fall. Both series are supernatural shows with PoCs as leads and I think Sleepy Hollow’s success could mean pairing them together on the same night to give this new show Sleepy Hollow’s lead-in numbers. I could also see it as a summer series, perhaps in Sleepy Hollow’s same time slot. Either way, I’m excited to see what they do. FOX seems to be trying to make up for cancelling Dollhouse and Firefly (and causing other shows to derail because of executive meddling), so hopefully they keep it up.

for more, check TVLine’s Pilot ScoopFox Gives 13-Episode Series Order To Ancient Egypt Drama ‘Hieroglyph’ From Travis Beacham & Chernin Entertainment