1. I have never written a central female character who was described as thin other than Lindsey Lee Wells. Also, Margo and Q are two of the only white-identified people I’ve written, so I don’t really know how to respond to that part of your statement.
2. I do not cast the movie adaptations of my books. I am a novelist, not a casting director. I did not choose who would play Margo anymore than I choose where the movie will be filmed or what the budget or soundtrack will be.
3. That said, I think Cara will do a wonderful job as Margo. As I’ve learned in the past few hours, a lot of people who don’t know Cara have extremely strong opinions about her as a person, which is weird, because they don’t know her. They have a lot of opinions about her body, too, especially its supposed inadequacies. Cara is living, on a much larger stage, the Margo Roth Spiegelman experience: She receives massive amounts of attention but she’s more a mirror than a window. The way people respond to her seems to be a reflection of one’s own experience and worldview more than it has anything to do with the actual person Cara is. I think this is part of why Cara’s audition was so powerful: Her understanding of Margo is deep and profound and about a lot more than the shape of her body.
But, John, you were so involved in tfios. You were on set, which makes us assume that you talk with the directors and kind of educate them on the story. You’re an executive producer on Paper Towns. You can make suggestions and sure, there’s a good chance they won’t go with your suggestions but you can still make them, even just here on the internet. Even reblogging a fancast where not everyone is thin and white would show us that you have an issue with all white casts when you didn’t read them as such. What we need is you acknowledging that you didn’t write anyone but Margo and Q as white.
Hell, I’m pretty sure you can personally go up to Jake Schreier and go “Hey man, just wondering about casting and what the casting calls sound like. Just making sure that the call for these characters here *hands list* isn’t just for white people because as I’m sure you know because you read my book, I never classified a race for them. Also, as you know because you read my book but just in case you forgot, Margo is written as being on the heavier side. You’re the director, you can do whatever, I just wanted to reinstate how I personally wrote these characters. Just so you know.”
Because the issue I’m having here is that you were so involved in one movie and now are saying you have no say in anything, when I’m pretty sure that’s not true. We know how Hollywood works, we know that you have no CONTROL over anything. I just have this horrible feeling that you saying “I don’t have a say in casting” is a cover up for “I didn’t even send a single unsolicited email talking about casting, I didn’t even bring up Margo’s weight anywhere NEAR Hollywood, I haven’t talked with anyone about anything.”
Because you have a duty, John, to speak up for your community. Throw your hat into the ring, you know how the people who love your books, who are going to see this movie, will react.
Do you know you can totally distance yourself from this project? You can.You don’t HAVE to support this. You can take a stance and say “I’m disappointed the movies based on my books don’t have the same amount of representation my books have.”
I’m sure Cara is great. She’s talented and kind, I love her a lot. She’s beautiful and I am not poking holes in her appearance and it’s terrible that people are. I haven’t seen anyone actually attacking Cara as a person (but I’d love if you sent me towards them so I can give them a good verbal beating). Here’s the thing with your response to this comment, though: It’s not about Cara at all. It is about representation in Hollywood. We had a chance at a heavier female lead and that was taken away. If we can’t even get representation in a movie based on (what you claim to be) a diverse source material, how are we ever going to get representation?
Some fans of Paper Towns are going to be so hurt that one out of the two YA book to movie adaptation characters that they connected to in terms of looks was taken from them and yes, they might lash out at Cara and I do not endorse that. It’s going to be the same if Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor is cast as a blonde thin woman.
Your response sounds a lot like “Stop skinny shaming! Your just angry with your own bodies!” and I trust you can see that. Here’s the thing: “Skinny shaming” is nothing compared to fat shaming. Saying that we HOPED for representation and diversity is not ”having opinions about her body and her supposed inadequacies.” I don’t have an opinion on Cara’s body, other than thinking she’s beautiful. I do have an opinion on Hollywood’s white-washing and um skinny-washing.
I wish your responses would be less accusatory. I know it’s hard to get tone over text but it sounds like your trying to make this OUR problem. Like “how dare you ask why they cast a white skinny person for a non-white (?), non-skinny role? Cara is perfect and we are both upset that you would even say something like this.” Representation is Hollywood is AN ACTUAL ISSUE and we were just hoping that this role would give us a crumb of diversity. You got it right that it’s a reflection of our own experience and world view. My experience is seeing no curvy/chubby characters as “romantic leads” (of which I know Margo is not technically). My experience is that I’m a punch-line. Don’t make this into a “it’s just about you.” You are educated in social justice, John. You KNOW that this is an actual issue. Don’t try and turn it into a “sexist trolls on the internet are at it again they don’t think Cara looks right for the part, they are just so angry so they troll” thing because you KNOW that’s not what’s happening. You know it and you’re trying hide it.
YESTERDAY EVENING I WAS WONDERING WHY REMUS LOVED CHOCOLATE SO MUCH WHEN I REALISED
CHOCOLATE IS POISONOUS FOR DOGS
WHAT IF YOUNG REMUS STARTED LOVING CHOCOLATE BECAUSE HE THOUGHT IT KILLED THE WOLF PART OF HIM
just once I want a Lupin headcanon that doesn’t make me want to set myself on fire