Talk:Charlize Theron

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African American[edit]

Isn't she African American? Shouldn't we note that she's the second African American to win best actress? --Golbez 16:36, Feb 8, 2005 (UTC)

she is NOT African American guys. She's a white South African which makes her Caucasian (a lot of South Africa is Caucasian). African-American refers to ancestry - it is a racial group (it is just conventional). There is no doubt she is African, but African-American implies colour. ~Similar to the way we refer to Asians as being not the people of Asia, but rather Orientals, such as Chinese, Japanese, Filipino etc. We usually don't refer to, say, Middle Eastern or Indian people as Asian, even though they are technically from Asia. ~Also similar to the way we refer to US residents as Americans. Although America refers to the whole of two continents (North and South America), the word 'American' implies someone living in the USA. These are common misconceptions which have made their way into everyday convention. Thus, saying that she is African American would just confuse the hell out of people and cause pointless debates over racial identity, even identity crises of celebrities, and we don't want to do that. google me (talk) 04:39, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Actually in the UK 'Asian' predominantly means South Asian (ie from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh), these terms vary in their use in different parts of the world. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.180.199.227 (talk) 15:33, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

We should do so only if she has citizenship in the United States. The article currently implies (but does not state) that she has South African citizenship and I'm unsure as to whether the U.S. allows dual citizenship with South Africa (it does not, for example, with the United Kingdom). In other words, she may not be the second African American to win best actress because she may not be American. If so, it is probably worth noting, however. --Yamla 16:55, 2005 Feb 8 (UTC)
Without trying to stray too far off topic, the US does not object to dual citizenship. Specifically, I am a UK citizen, born and bred in the UK with dual US citizenship. Your statement is dated and no longer correct (I believe the US changed its attitude to dual citizenship in the late 80s).
According to google, her citizenship is "pending". --Golbez 17:55, Feb 8, 2005 (UTC)
Assuming she did not have American citizenship when she won the award, I do not believe we should count her as the second african american to win best actress. As are you, I am slightly concerned that it would lead to a flame war anyway, but hey. So long as we stay factually accurate. --Yamla 19:37, 2005 Feb 8 (UTC)
After reading African American and discussing it a bit, I withdraw my objection. American English has chosen it prefers having a term where the words don't match the meaning. So be it; wikipedia's job is to use the labels we have. --Golbez 09:04, Feb 9, 2005 (UTC)
Fair enough, I concur. Obviously, African American, as used in the United States, doesn't actually mean what the words mean. Instead, it refers to a racial makeup. Additionally, it looks likely that Charlize was not American, at least not at the time she won the award. --Yamla 16:03, 2005 Feb 9 (UTC)
If and when Ms. Theron receives American citizenship, wouldn't she be "Afrikaner American" instead of "African American". Specificity of cultural heritage should always be encouraged. -Acjelen 22:28, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
I've heard that Ms. Theron self-identifies as African American. I'm currently looking for a citation. --Llewdor 00:27, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Anyone who denies that she is African American, legally recognized or not, is a colorist. NorthernThunder 16:29, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
The definition of African American is an American from African descent. Therefore Ms Theron is African American - if she has American citizenship. --Scotteh 16:16, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Does she have American citizenship? I think she is being slighted because she is White. If she was a Black African, I think no one would question calling her an African-American, even if she was not legally recognized as such. NorthernThunder 18:15, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

What!? I'm rather surprised at the number of people here who would have changed the article to 'African American' simply if she had American citizenship. Having looked over the African American article - and using my prior knowledge, the term African American is a politically-correct way of refering to a black person, or a person of color - clearly Charlize Theron is not black, neither a person of color - she is Caucasian (or white). This is similar to how the word Asian is used to refer to someone that looks like they are Chinese-Japanese-Korean-Etc (or yellow if you like). Caucasian is how we refer to white people. If you read the African American article, it refers to Americans with an African ancestory, just as Caucasians are "White-skinned, of European origin".
Please do not change the article to refer to Charlize Theron as African-American at any point, even if she does receive American citizenship.
Rfwoolf 17:12, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

can i just say 'Rfwoolf' not all black people are amercian so the term african-amercian is not refering to a black person, but a amercian with aficia desent. and another thing you said "neither a person of colour" well white is a skin colour and a race in it's own right so Charlize is a person of colour EVERYONE IS! but yes i think if you put afician amercian on there it might cause some confusion. But if she likes to be self-identified as afician-amercian then we should except that as really she kinder is and amercian with afician desent —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.31.178.60 (talk) 02:05, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

All right, so African American refers to Americans with African descent, in the same way that Asian American refers to Americans of Asiatic descent. To label Charlize Theron as African American would strongly imply that she's black, that her ancestors originated from Africa, that her grandparents' grandparents' grandparents' were born and raised in Africa. None of that is true. If you read African American it will describe over and over again about the black ancestry thing, and here's one particular quote from the article:
Since 1977, the United States officially categorized black people (revised to black or African American in 1997) are classified as A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
As you can see, that certainly doesn't describe Charlize Theron. As for the term 'person of colour', I do appologise if anyone is offended in any way, I am from South africa where the term does not have an offensive meaning, and even according to the US meaning (at here: Colored) it is only offensive depending on its context. It says colored generally refers to "everyone except white people" (at least in the USA). So you are almost correct that everyone is colored, but the term still takes on a meaning of non-white, and Charlize Theron is white.
Finally, since there are no references saying that Charlize Theron identifies as African American (I have read many articles on her and interviews and she never says that) we cannot call her that. Even if she did identify herself that way, it would be unfounded unless she has a black person in her bloodline.
In closing, nobody is denying that Charlize theron is originally from Africa, and as I am a South African I'm proud of her, South Africa is proud of her, and Africa should be proud of her - to think that an oscar-winning actress can come from South Africa or Africa is fantastic. But make no mistake, she did not come to America as a slave several hundred years ago, she was not previously disadvantaged. I hope this clears things up. Rfwoolf (talk) 06:36, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Personally, to use the term "African-American" simply to refer to black people (and I mean all black people.....whether or not they are even American at all or not....which I see happening all the time.....in the United States......ALL black people are commonly referred to as "African-Americans") is idiotic to say the least. It seems to me that all of these "-American" terms apply to any American from another land of origin regardless their color, except for "African-American." This idiotic oversight and rigidness is the reason I simply refer to people as black and white, etc. These new PC labels, when there really is no logic being used with regard to how they are applied, just show how idiotic they (the labels) really are (and I consider myself to quite liberal). I mean does the term "Administrative Assistant" make you any less a secretary? Not anymore than these dumb labels make you any less what you really are. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.244.30.189 (talk) 01:32, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Surely she is just South African, she was born and raised there. Not everyone who decides to move to the US has their nationality suffixed with American. Look at Kiefer Sutherland and countless other Canadians - or are they Canadian-Americans? Brylaw (talk) 14:40, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Not at all comparable. Sutherland lives in the U.S. but does not hold U.S. citizenship. Theron does. Also "Canadian-American" is a really, really weird term, as hyphenated American identity refers to ethnicity and not necessarily national origin, which is precisely why the article doesn't call her a "South African-America" or worse an African-American. CAVincent (talk) 05:11, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
So how do you explain the very widely used "Italian-American" or "German-American"? Neither are ethnicity descriptors. Roger (talk) 07:23, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Um, in the U.S. they certainly are ethnicity descriptors. All of the Italian-American and German-American people I know were born in the U.S. and if anyone described themselves to me as such I would assume they were simply American citizens using the term to describe their heritage. Where are these terms used, very widely or not, to describe anything else than ethnicity? CAVincent (talk) 19:03, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
German, Italian, Scottish, etc, are definitely not ethnicities, they are nationalities or languages. Can you distinguish, just by how they look, between a German-American and one of British descent? Roger (talk) 19:27, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Of course not. But let me underline in the United States German-American, Italian-American, Scottish-American etc. are unquestionably considered ethnicities. Since you refer to "how they look" I am guessing you are confusing race with ethnicity, but they are not the same. And, yes, in American history German-American were once the object of prejudice from English-Americans, as were Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans and others you couldn't tell apart from looking at them. CAVincent (talk) 20:23, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Re:African American[edit]

hey african americans are black , she isn't black but you could say souyth african-american

She qualifies as the first African to win the Best Actress Oscar then. I agree that the term African-American is a racial term applying to Negroids and visible decendants of that racial type. If you "look black" or, as I like to tell someone that down plays racial appearance, "you'd have been forced to the back of the bus in 1950's Alabama" then you're now called African American.

Ok, she's african, she's american. Don't put your color predujices on me man, she's african american. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.176.153.68 (talk) 21:45, 11 December 2007 (UTC)


1. Freaked out my university when people from South Africa showed up claiming African-American on the paperwork: one person had seven degrees and likely had financial assistance. My university is an activist university that believes no white man should be educated. It turned out the United States military sponsors lots of education and many white men were military, including me, who gained formal university in addition to military education. The impact in that so called multicultural environment of foreigners surrounded by millions of United States natives in the State was not lost. Labels do matter including the informal ones including the African-American label.

2. Any Black person looking for special recognition should understand that after a few generations in North America you are part of North America and the Western World and need to know your United States or Canadian citizenship. There is nothing wrong with pride of heritage, but beware of the labels you use.

3. Charlize Theron is a beautiful African-American from South America with the ability to make any white guy sit up and pay attention. 172.191.36.167 15:30, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Re: "Charlize Theron is a beautiful African-American from South America? with the ability to make any white guy sit up and pay attention." -- No, Charlize Theron is neither African-American, nor South American, nor black. She could be considered: Caucasian, South African American, American, or South African. Get it? Got it? Good! Rfwoolf 17:17, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

African-American clearly means American of African descent. And yes, I'm Black, and proud of it. But if you call me African-American, you're lying to yourself - The best I can do is point to Africa on a map; I - and most Black people - couldn't even tell you what tribe or village I descend from. It's all that political correctness that makes one want to call a Black person African-American, when they've never seen a grain of sand in Africa! I oppose that term for anyone who has never even been to the Continent.

141.154.59.188 11:25, 28 December 2005 (UTC) miyna

172.191.36.167 - She is from South Africa. God, idiot!--HamedogTalk|@ 14:59, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
Stop Your defamatory response, "God, idiot" is a personal attack, and is not in line with Wikipolicy. Even if the person was a troll, or if she was lying, etc, I still find your response inappropriate. Rfwoolf 17:18, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Jesus, you guys, who is the person who said Charlize was an "African American from South America"? lol People in "South America" are Amerindian, not black. Anyway, I would say leave her as being from South Africa, even if she is naturalized American, because it'll create confusion if it's changed. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Prophetess mar (talkcontribs) 03:38, August 22, 2007 (UTC).

I would just like to point out that Africa is a continent and that South Africa is a country. If you must label people, please be consistent. People that are wanting to say that she is South African-American, I say to you, then why do we not trace everyone to their exact country in Africa and call them accordingly? No, we combine the continent in which they came with the country in which they reside in now. If you are being consistent and equal, she is African-American. Ace Fool (talk) 04:30, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

I have changed it to say she is South African. We all know that African American refers to Black Americans. That is not negotiable, and people who try to make an issue about White Africans being from Africa is still incorrect, since all White Africans are decendents of immigrants/colonialists. Belgium, Dutch, Austrian etc. Thus they get to keep their decendent nationalities. Most black americans had their ancestories wiped out, thus they can't necessarily point out if they were decendents from say Nigeria or Kenya. You'd think by 2000 we would be beyond such trivial stuff. MPA 19:32, 20 June 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by MPA (talkcontribs)

Er, I am a white South African, and we do not keep our descendant nationalities. Unlike Americans, we do not place much emphasis on our European heritage. We see ourselves as South Africans, not descendants of the Dutch, British and French colonists who settled here 400 years ago. Charlize Theron is therefore African-American. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 41.145.121.225 (talk) 16:53, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

As someone who was also born is Africa and is a naturalized citizen I would call charlize african american. The term African american doesn't mean color Malcolm X and the black americans started this to get closer to what they call the homeland. Charlize knows more about Africa than any black american would ever know about and black americans know more about America that Charlize would every know about. The person who knows about africa and has been there, was born there, and speaks the language needs to keep the name "Africa" as part of their identity. Since Africa is a continent with white and black people. What gives black americans the right to tell white Africaans not to call them selves African american you cant take someones identity just because they are not black. You canT compare Asian Americans to black americans bc asian americans can identify with a country, and a culture black Americans identify themselves with a continent not a country (what other group does this), and they identify with american culture. Asians have a strong bond with their ancestry, and asians dont have a slavery history that stretches past 3 continents making it difficult to form an identity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.108.228.13 (talk) 01:07, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

All this conversation is ridiculous. It's incredible how the people of USA are so worried to classify this woman. She's hot, the rest doesn't matter. And to the person that said that south americans are native americans, i just say this, here in Brazil we have the biggest black population outside Africa. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 189.60.103.199 (talk) 17:57, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

U.S. citizen[edit]

Does anyone know if she is a naturalized US citizen? I removed the "American models" category because I am certain that she is not.

Theron is a US citizen, as of 2007. She stated so in her recent Vogue interview. See the link on her page for her comments.

She is not a US citizen. If so, indicate it somewhere in the article and put a reference right next to it. I don't see any Vogue magazine interview link where she talk about her naturalization. So please do not write such false information. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Shady19 (talkcontribs) 15:03, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Okay, holding my breath and assuming good faith here. Yes, she is now a US citizen. Add a fact cite tag if you want and maybe someone will find a decent confirmation, but please do not write such false information. CAVincent (talk) 17:35, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Go ahead and add the fact tag. Then we can do the really hard job of hunting for a source. May I suggest starting with CBS, Digital Spy, Reuters, The Courier-Mail, among other places? Tabercil (talk) 17:45, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Nationality[edit]

"Charlize Theron (born August 7, 1975) is an Academy Award-winning Afrikaner actress who was born in South Africa."

Should'n it read, a South African actress? ��Dr.Poison 20:39, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Sigh, it's a long story (just look through the page history). It always was "South African acress", until someone went and changed it to "Boer", which was subsequently changed to "Afrikaner", with the "born in South Africa" part tacked on. My vote is still for the original, simple "South African acress", since her ethnicity/country of birth doesn't really enter into it. At best, it can be a note in the introductory paragraphs. dewet| 21:07, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
I actually support this. Our good friend User:Alcatel, who really likes pushing this POV, originally changed it to Boer ... I changed it to Afrikaner and it further degenerated after that, which even caused one of my edits to be reverted ... first time that's ever happened to me ... hah ... Elf-friend 07:15, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

I thinkit's rediculous putting the words "Afrikaner actress" on a biography in the 21st century. Come on. The word Afrikaner only existed in the years of apartheid. I am sure Charlize cringes at the thought of being called that. Why not just say South African actress. That is what she is. Afrikaners shouldnt still be existing. Might as well put "Nazi actress" on some German womans bio. It's rediculous. Just correct it. PLEASE

I agree, she should be called South African, not Afrikaner Jamandell (d69) 15:06, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
Absolute nonsense. The statement: The word Afrikaner only existed in the years of apartheid. I am sure Charlize cringes at the thought of being called that. could only be made by someone completely unfamiliar with South Africa, apartheid, and Afrikaners. To compare the usage of Afrikaner with Nazi is completely offensive (However, this is probably intended - there is plenty of evidence to suggest that, for some reason, making racist or offensive statements about or towards Afrikaners is deemed acceptable by certain people who imagine themselves enlightened). I suggest the ignorant person who typed this load of unadulterated twaddle should educate him/herself before making such outrageous statements. Start by reading this book: http://www.upress.virginia.edu/books/giliomee.html

Then learn to read some Afrikaans, so that you can read the various interviews conducted in Afrikaans with Charlize Theron. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.183.157.160 (talk) 08:09, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

LOL "Boer". That term isn't even used anymore, and if it is used, it anyway refers to the male form of farmers, lol. --Scotteh 16:22, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Input from a South African: South Africa is a multi-cultural nation, and within its white/caucasian population alone you could categorise people into various groups such as: Afrikaners, English South Africans, Portugeuse South Africans, Greek South Africans, etc. These only refer to some of their inheritance, or in the case of Afrikaners the language they speak. So that is primarily why it is silly to categorise her as an 'Afrikaner' actress (which would indicate more that she has acted in a lot of Afrikaans things). Also, calling her only Afrikaans (and not South African) would exclude the fact that she's South African, whereas calling her South African, would technically include that she might be Afrikaans, understand?
In this case we all need to decide exactly what we want to communicate:

Charlize Theron is an Academy Award winning actress

She is South African

Charlize Theron is a South African Award winning actress

She is part of the Afrikaans culture

Charlize Theron is a South African Award winning actress [...] [...Later in the document...] Charlize Theron speaks fluent Afrikaans, and [and if absolutely necessary] can be considered culturally as an Afrikaans South African.

Rfwoolf 17:31, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

South African-American or African-American?[edit]

I think the former is considerably more precise and is of course verifiable. If there is a reason I am unaware of to use the latter, here would be the place to discuss it. --John 04:47, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Changing back to more formal African-American. Not all African-American are black. Soryy for being politically incorect.71.99.141.217 04:19, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
Changing back to the more accurate South African-American. Are you familiar with WP:POINT? It may be worth a read. If you continue to restore this incorrect description you will be at risk of another block. --John 04:27, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
Agree with John on this point. African-American is an ethnic group which she most certainly does not belong to, but neither is there a "South African-American" group which is the impression that the hyphen creates. The concept of American ancestry in the form of the Hyphenated American is complex. We only need to describe her nationality here and a fuller description such as South African (naturalized American citizen since 2007). --Deon Steyn 06:28, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
South African American? Yet I guarantee a black "South African American" would be simply "African American" - why do only blacks from that continent have a mortgage on the term? This whole discussion simply points out how absurd this PC term is.70.189.213.149 (talk) 05:57, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Can we just take all of the editors who want to label Theron as African-American and throw them all into pits full of hungry crocodiles? The world would be better off without these morons.CAVincent (talk) 08:25, 5 December 2007 (UTC) Okay, per Rfwoolf comments below, I was out of line on the personal attacks. I hereby replace the hungry crocodiles with flatulent poodles. CAVincent (talk) 03:59, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

CAVincent, please please believe me I strongly agree with the sentiment you expressed, but we shan't be using any form of personal attacks now can we? You didn't specify anybody in particular so that's why it should be okay. Everybody, look up, you'll see this discussion has been broached three times now. Charlize Theron is not African-American, nor will she ever ever ever be. Not when she gets American citizenship, not when she gets dual-citizenship, not when she identifies as African-American, never. South African-American would be problematic because of the hyphen, which leaves us with South African American which is also problematic. At the end of the day she is a South African-born American, or just South African. When her citizenship is verifiable we might consider her just American. Rfwoolf (talk) 11:59, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

I am learning more now about how racist this concept of American hyphenization is. Frankly, I always thought that since it was an American-centric issue that it doesn't belong on Wikipedia, at least not as categories. NorthernThunder (talk) 08:48, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

South African-born[edit]

She is no longer a South African citizen, so describing her as South African is inaccurate. It is more accurate to describe her as South African-born. MOS:BIO is a guideline, not a policy. Accuracy is most important here. 24.163.38.235 (talk) 02:24, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Actually she is still a South African citizen. When has dual citizenship, USA and RSA. Becoming a USA citizen does not automatically revoke her RSA citizenship. --NJR_ZA (talk) 07:18, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
The 'American' part of her identity needs to be removed, it is the birth nationality that is of essence, you may later introduce that someone has taken foreign citizenship but not in the lead paragraph, Theron is still a South African citizen and has no plans to deny her citizenship, removed.Twobells (talk) 14:05, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Manual of Style on nationality[edit]

WP:MOSBIO is quite clear: we use the nationality held at the time the subject became notable. If she became notable as a South African national, then later changes citizenship, she is still described as South African in the lead. No one is ever described using -born:

3.Context (location, nationality, or ethnicity);

1. In most modern-day cases this will mean the country of which the person is a citizen or national, or was a citizen when the person became notable.
2. Ethnicity or sexuality should not generally be emphasized in the opening unless it is relevant to the subject's notability. Similarly, previous nationalities or the country of birth should not be mentioned in the opening sentence unless they are relevant to the subject's notability.

Yworo (talk) 02:40, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

To any editors who wish to discuss this issue, I repeat: MOS:BIO is a guideline, not a policy. Guidelines do not trump consensus. The issue here is accuracy, not dogmatic adherence to a guideline. And I also repeat: there is no a policy against describing someone as South African-born, especially if it is accurate. 24.163.38.235 (talk) 02:44, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
  • My opinion. MOSBIO seems to suggest that "South African-born" is inappropriate per point 2. Therefore she should be either "American", "South African" or "South African-American". I would normally favour the latter, but if she indeed no longer holds South African citizenship then the only option which is not misleading is "American". Basalisk inspect damageberate 03:13, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
"South African-born" is in no way misleading and in every way accurate, just not a rigid adherence to a guideline so that accuracy can be achieved. 24.163.38.235 (talk) 03:23, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Agree with the above. Anyone with long experience with Wikipedia knows that guidelines are not policies for the simple reason that no guideline can possibly apply to every case, given the infinite variety of human circumstances. Given the specific particularities of this individual case, "South-African-born" seems the most apt and accurate. --Tenebrae (talk) 04:16, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Please review this thread at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Biographies/2009 archive. The issue of the construction xxx-born yyy was discussed. It was decided that it should be avoided, and the language ""Previous nationalities and/or the country of birth should not be mentioned in the opening sentence unless they are relevant to the subject's notability" was added specifically to discourage this construction. Yworo (talk) 05:15, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Then you should call her simply "American", because that's what she is now. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:33, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
First, naturalization does not require the giving up of previous citizenship. She has not changed from a South African citizen to an American citizen. She is a South African citizen who has added American citizenship. WP:MOSBIO clearly states "the country of which the person is a citizen or national, or was a citizen when the person became notable." Check her credits, she has 12 years of notability as a South African national, and only four since adding American citizenship. Yworo (talk) 05:47, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Nowhere in the article does it say she retained her South African citizenship. And her being South African-born has nothing to do with her notability. She's notable as an actress in American movies. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:53, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Nowhere in the article does it say she gave up her South African citizenship. We in fact do not know. The lead sentence is the nationality of the subject, not the nationality of the works she appears in. From 1995 to 2007, she was a South African actress who appeared in American films. She achieved notability for doing this as a South African. Yworo (talk) 05:56, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
So you can't say she's South African, because you don't know. You do know she's South African born, and you do know she's American. You also know (or should) that you've broken the 3-revert rule. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:59, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
My last edit was not a revert, it was an attempt at a compromise which had not yet been tried. Yworo (talk) 06:01, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
It's still edit-warring, and I've reported you for it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:01, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
So becoming an American citizen allows you to simply vanish her 12 years of notability as a South African actress? That's exactly what the wording of WP:MOSBIO was meant to stop people from doing. Yworo (talk) 06:03, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
You need to stop edit-warring, and search for consensus here. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:05, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
And you need to stop nationalizing people to your country of preference who achieved notability as a citizen of another county. Try changing all the Irish-born Americans to say they are American if you want to see why WP:MOSBIO says what it does. Yworo (talk) 06:09, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
She's South African born and is American. If you have evidence to the contrary, let's hear it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:12, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
It's always been this way, because its not appropriate to "Americanize" someone who achieved notability as a foreign national. Take it up at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Biographies - if you're not afraid of being proven wrong about the intent of WP:MOSBIO. Yworo (talk) 06:09, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Her notability was due to being an actress in American films, not due to being of South African birth. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:15, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Boy, are you in for a surprise. It ain't that way. I'll let other knowledgeable editors apply the cluestick to the appropriate area of your anatomy. Yworo (talk) 06:26, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Why are you so hung up on this? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:29, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Maybe I'm South African. Yworo (talk) 06:30, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
And maybe I'm from Shangri-La. But I'm more interested in common sense than in "rules"-that-aren't-actually-rules. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:32, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
You are really missing the intent and spirit of this one, but I'll be back in a day or two and I expect it will have been explained to you. Yworo (talk) 06:34, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:37, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

"No one is ever described using -born." Er, yes they are, in many biographical articles. Just to take three examples at random: John Mahoney, Anna Wintour and Jerry Springer. There are countless other examples. Contrary to claims above, it was never decided that this construction should be avoided. Some supported it, some opposed it. And as stated above, taking another nationality does not necessarily mean renouncing your previous nationality. Most people retain dual nationality. So she is probably (unless explicitly proven otherwise) still South African as well as American. Therefore she should probably be described in the lead as "a South African actress who has also taken American nationality" or something similar. -- Necrothesp (talk) 09:23, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

I have updated the first paragraph to read correctly, wiki readers are confused by the opening paragraph thinking that Theron is of joint South African and American parentage which she is not. I have edited it to read as per the facts, that Theron was born and is of South African nationality who later became a dual national South African and American citizen. This should stop the fight over who 'owns' her.Twobells (talk) 14:18, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Application of WP:MOSBIO and WP:OPENPARA[edit]

I believe the intent of WP:MOSBIO and WP:OPENPARA is that the nationality a subject held at the time they became notable is important and shouldn't be glossed over. In this particular case, the subject was a notable South African actress for 12 years before becoming an American citizen. Shouldn't she be described as a South African actress who became an American citizen rather than with the inaccurate monstrosity "South African-born American"? Yworo (talk) 06:42, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

I really do not see the issue here. Is there any evidence that she is not longer a RSA citizen? As far as I am aware she holds dual citizenship [1] (as do many other actors) and the article should reflect that. Though she will always be thought of as South African by South Africans, Charlize herself will be Americanized by now. Most of her working career was spend in the USA and naturally her life and the article will reflect that. Call her African-American if you like, or Afrikaner-America if the color of her skin excludes her from being Africa-American. --NJR_ZA (talk) 07:31, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
This article is even older than her US citizenship - it is even written in SA English. She achieved the primary "notability criterion" - the Oscar - before she became American. That being said, the real issue here is about the principle in WP:MOSBIO, not just this single article. Many other BIOS of people who changed citizenship after achieving notability will also be affected, so I think this discussion should be "taken upstairs" to be pursued at a MOS level. Roger (talk) 07:48, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Yworo has received official admin approval for his edit-warring over this trivial issue, so he wins, and he can chortle all day long at this hollow victory. One thing we don't want to do is make wikipedia look stupid: As you well know, she did all her filming in South Africa until she became an American citizen. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:13, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

The fact she is South African is obviously of primary importance. It's where she was born, it's where she grew up, and it's the only nationality she held when she first achieved fame. She is not "South African-born" (although I see nothing wrong with that construction and it is used in many other articles where people emigrated at a young age and are overwhelmingly associated with their adoptive country), since, as far as anyone knows, she still retains South African citizenship and is still considered by many to be a South African (c.f. Jerry Springer, for example, who was born in Britain but has lived in America since he was a child and would not be considered by most people to be British in any way); she is still therefore first and foremost "South African". However, the fact she now also holds American nationality is significant and should be included in the opening paragraph.

A similar situation may be found with British actor Anthony Hopkins, who has also taken American nationality. Despite this, he is still British (and Welsh), and attempts to describe him as an "American actor" ("Welsh-born" or otherwise) have justifiably been reverted. He is not American; he has dual nationality. He was born in Britain, grew up in Britain, sounds British, achieved prominence in Britain, has spent most of his career in Britain, was knighted by Britain, and is still primarily associated with Britain. Nevertheless, the fact he now also has American nationality is (and should be) mentioned in the opening paragraph. Theron is in exactly the same situation and should be dealt with in exactly the same way. -- Necrothesp (talk) 13:24, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

I think she should be called South African born. It dosn't seem like that big of a deal to me either way.Elmmapleoakpine (talk) 23:20, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

South African seems consistent with WP:MOSBIO. She retains South African citizenship and was South African when she became notable. However, she was only 16 when she came to the U.S. An alternate way to deal with this would be to call her "South African American." A similar approach was taken with Robert Goulet, who, like Theron, held dual citizenship (Canadian American). Sunray (talk) 07:54, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

That, however, suggests she was born in America of South African descent. -- Necrothesp (talk) 08:42, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Which is precisely why MOS:BIO is written the way it is. Nationality, for purposes of the lead sentence, is usually the nation in which the subject was raised and in which their intellectual development occurred. If notability is attained while still a national of the country in which the subject is raised, there is no real doubt that this is what should be used in the lead sentence. In such a case, becoming a citizen of another country while already notable is simply one of many events in the subject's life. If this event is summarized in the lead section, then it should be placed more or less in chronological order if the lead is more or less chronologically organized. If the adopted citizenship is especially significant to the subject's notability, then mention of this event could occur as early as the second sentence or maybe even at the end of the first sentence, if there is a consensus to do so. Yworo (talk) 09:34, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Hey, how about an application of WP:COMMONSENSE, since it seems to be in seriously short supply here. Point one: WP:MOSBIO is a guideline not a hard and fast policy which must be followed come hell or high water. In this case, "South African" is not an ethinicity, it's a nationality. Since Theron was born and grew up in South Africa, it's appropriate that the article indicate where her origins were. At the same time, as a person who has since taken American citizenship -- which precludes any other citizenship -- she is now an American. To ignore that is not providng our readers with all the information available The description of her as a "South African-born American actress" covers all those bases properly, without misleading our readers, the way "South African" or "American" would. (Remember, we're here to serve our readers, not to serve our own political or social prejudices). I suggest that we leave that description as the best compromise between the various parties. Beyond My Ken (talk) 09:41, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
I'd also suggest that the lede could refer to her simplye as an "actress", and the details of her birth citizenship and subsquent change of citizenship can be introduced later in the article. Beyond My Ken (talk) 09:45, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
The problem with that idea is that she became notable while she was still a South African actress. In fact she hasn't won a single significant award (which is the specific qualifier for notability of actors) since taking US citizenship.
I am concerned that we are busy discussing this matter as if the issue pertains to only this one article. In fact there are numerous articles about people who changed their citizenship at various stages in their lives - before or after becoming notable. I really feel we should be discussing this as a possible ammendment of the rule in MOSBIO itself, not as a single isolated exceptional case. Roger (talk) 09:50, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree with this and suggest that what I have written just above be proposed as guidance in this particular sort of case. The issue of people who moved as children or changed their citizenship before becoming notable will of course require a different approach and different guidance. Yworo (talk) 09:59, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Beyond My Ken, American citizenship does not preclude holding other citizenships and has not for a long time. Dual citizenship is common. It was ruled by the Supreme Court in the 1950s and 1960s that dual citizenship is a "status long recognized in the law" and that "a person may have and exercise rights of nationality in two countries and be subject to the responsibilities of both. The mere fact he asserts the rights of one citizenship does not without more mean that he renounces the other". Yworo (talk) 10:06, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
That is true of people born with dual citizenship, but for people who have been naturalized "People who go through US naturalization are required to state under oath that they are renouncing their old citizenship, and conduct inconsistent with this pledge could theoretically lead to loss of one's US status."[2] Beyond My Ken (talk) 10:15, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
It is not enforced, based on the Supreme Court rulings just mentioned. And the source you cite is certainly not a reliable one. And you are reading it selectively, see point 2 "However, most of the laws forbidding dual citizenship were struck down by the US Supreme Court in two cases: a 1967 decision, Afroyim v. Rusk, as well as a second ruling in 1980, Vance v. Terrazas." Yworo (talk) 10:17, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Actually, it is you who are reading it selectively, and not recognizing the difference between those born with dual citizenship and those who are naturalized. The United States has every right to set up whatever conditions it feels are necessary for those who want to become American citizens (since there is no right to become an American citizen), and they have decided that those who want to be U.S. citizens must give up any other citizenship. You may not like that, but those are the facts on the ground. Theron, having become an American citizen, is no longer a South African citizen, having renounced it to become a U.S. citizen. Your unwillingness to accept this appears to be what's behind your totally unreasonable unwillingnes to accept a commonsense compromise, and as such, I leave the discussion to you and other bureaucratic pettifoggers with more gumption than sense. Beyond My Ken (talk) 10:34, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
@Dodger67: It does not matter in the least when she became notable. Our encyclopedia is not stuck in the past, it represents (we hope) the state of knowledge of the world right now. Before she took American citizenship,. it is indisputable that Theron was a South African actress, but things have changed, as things in the world are wont to do, and it is our duty to our reader to present them with the best verifiable information about the world at this moment. Right now, Theron is no longer a "South African actress" she is an actress who was born in South Africa who has taken up American citizenship -- that makes her a "South African-born American actress" or whatever other construction can be agrees on. If WP:MOSBIO doesn't support that, than (dare I say it?) MOSBIO is flat-out wrong and needs to be updated. In the meantime, we should not kowtow to an incorrect guideline simply because it is a guideline, we should use our God-given ability to think to do what is right for4 the article in question. If the guideline needs to catch up with reality, that's an entirely different question, but to be held back by a badly conceived guideline is very bad for the project, since it suggests we're not interested in mirroring reality', but in following bureaucratic rules for their own sake. Beyond My Ken (talk) 10:07, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
MOS:BIO correctly intends that we attribute nationality to the culture in which the subject was raised and became notable. It does not say we use citizenship, which is a much different concept than nationality. Yworo (talk) 10:12, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Really? What's the difference? Beyond My Ken (talk) 10:17, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, one example is in the UK. People born in the UK are British citizens who may be of English, Irish, Scottish or Welsh nationality. Or you could just use Wikipedia, the article on nationality explains it in the lead sentence "Nationality is membership of a nation or sovereign state, usually determined by their citizenship, but sometimes by ethnicity or place of residence, or based on their sense of national identity." Citizenship is a strictly legal concept, nationality is a broader cultural concept. Yworo (talk) 10:35, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
@Beyond My Ken - I'm sorry but in this case you are flat out wrong. MOSBIO specifically and explicitly states that citizenship or nationality when the person became notable is what we are required to state in the first sentence. Changes of citizenship after achieving notability are mentioned later. This is in fact was has been done in this article. As it stands now the lead of this article is in full and complete compliance with the letter of MOSBIO. I repeat my position that deviation from this would require that we ammend MOSBIO itself. That is why I propose that we move this issue to the MOSBIO talk page and discuss a possible change to the guideline itself rather than getting bogged down in nationalistic chauvanisms and other personal biases. The principle applies to many other articles, Charlize Theron is not the only notable person in the entire history of the known universe to have changed their citizenship.
Wikipedia is absolutely not concernened exclusively with the "here and now" - to make such a claim is patently absurd. We have thousands of articles about dead people, countries, languages, nations, civilisations, animals, even entire continents - that no longer exist. Roger (talk) 10:47, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
So let's do that then. here Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 11:02, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Please note that whatever the United States may like to say about taking American citizenship, people who do so have not automatically renounced their "former" citizenship - that's not how it works. To do this requires them to formally renounce their citizenship to the government of that country, and most do not do this (and, as has already been established, the United States does not bother to enforce it as a condition of citizenship, whatever may be written into the rules and the declaration). Therefore, whatever the United States may claim, most naturalised people do retain their previous citizenship and hold dual nationality. You may be surprised, Beyond My Ken, to know that just because the United States says something is true does not necessarily mean it is true outside the United States! Since we have no proof that Theron has formally renounced her South African citizenship to the government of South Africa, we must assume she retains it and thus under international law (if not US law) has dual nationality. -- Necrothesp (talk) 13:05, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

As an update, it appears that, unlike many countries, South Africa does consider its citizenship renounced automatically if citizenship of another country is adopted. However, this can be waived if a dispensation is obtained. We do not know whether Theron obtained such a dispensation, but if she did not then I would support "South African-born American" as entirely accurate. As long as we do not know either way, then I believe the status quo should be maintained. -- Necrothesp (talk) 13:23, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

I see no problem with "South African-born American." It's accurate. ScottyBerg (talk) 14:38, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Agree. --Tenebrae (talk) 15:19, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Agree with South African-born American This seems to be the most accurate statement on the topic.Coaster92 (talk) 23:56, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Theron is however known to hold dual citizenship, as reported here. It is all over the web, you can't miss it, but this seems to be the original source article. Plus WP:MOSBIO says we use citizenship at the time the subject became notable, which would apply even if she did not hold dual citizenship. Yworo (talk) 00:23, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
It was also discussed in an interview with David Letterman as reported here: "Charlize Theron appeared on Letterman last night and announced some big news. No, she's not pregnant. She's now an official U.S. citizen. Charlize is originally from South Africa, so she had to take a test in order to grant her dual citizenship." Yworo (talk) 00:26, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Here's a third, more reliable, source, with more in-depth coverage: [3]. Yworo (talk) 00:30, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Question to the people who says she is no longer a South African: Kirsten Dunst recently got German citizenship. Is she now an "American-born German actress"? Nymf hideliho! 07:39, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Good question. I knew there had to be a reverse example, but couldn't think of one offhand. Yworo (talk) 07:58, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Great example. The MoS is clear. The rationale for such is clear. There is no reason we cannot mention here American citizenship later in the lead, but it doesn't need included in the first five words. Can we nip this in the bud now, please? Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 09:55, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Actually, it's not. Pretty sure Kirsten Dunst doesn't live in Germany, make it her home, and do the vast majority of her work there. --Tenebrae (talk) 04:24, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
WP:OPENPARA doesn't take any of those things into account. Just what nationality the subject was when they became notable. This is not the place to pursue any change to that guideline. Take it to Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Biographies if you have a problem with the current guideline or its application. The intent is to give credit where credit is due, to the country which was home to and nurtured the subject to notability. And to minimize edit wars, with a clear guideline that makes sense based on both the subject's sense of nationalism and the nurturing country's sense of pride. Take that away and the edit wars will be endless. Now, there is an end. Yworo (talk) 05:03, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

The US recognizes but does not encourage dual citizenship [4]. Nobody Ent (Gerardw) 21:24, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

  • Notability, please! Kirsten Dunst is known (notable) as an American actress. She's to be denoted as an American actress who recently obtained German citizenship. If Marion Cotillard tomorrow takes up American citizenship and continues to be notable for her work, as an Amercin actress, she would still be referred to, in Wikipedia, as a French actress. Because that's how she became notable. Charlize Theron became known for her work as a South African actress working in the United States - and, later on, obtained American citizenship. She is a "South African actress, who became an American citizen in [date X]." -The Gnome (talk) 08:21, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Currently she is a SA born American, if she moved to Canada or Mexico it would change to SAb Mexican or Canadian. When she dies we should change it to South African woman that x'd in x and then moved to x and x'd. But for now it's an accurate term. If South Africans find the wording annoying it could be changed to South African-American or something like that.LuciferWildCat (talk) 18:01, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
Agree with South African-born American This seems to be the most accurate statement on the topic. Furthermore, this issue is just not worthy of this much time and effort. Please conclude it and move on. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (talk) 00:09, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Agree with South African-born American - Ironically I recently inserted this phrace into the lead, completely unaware of the discussion which had taken place above! I think we can agree that Theron has fair claim to be called BOTH South African and American. The lead should state that simply. NickCT (talk) 15:23, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

US in Lead Sentence[edit]

Who the heck keeps on reverting the lead sentence to remove all mention of the US? "Charlize Theron is a South African actress" gives the impression that she has worked as an actress in South Africa. This is misleading. She only started acting after moving to the US, and her entire career has been based in the US. The lead sentence should either state: "Charlize Theron is a South-African-born actress", or Charlize Theron is a "South African actress who works in the United States". It should not give the false impression that she has a South African acting career. FurrySings (talk) 10:06, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

It is stated in the very next sentence, so there is no "false impression" of anything, or whatever. Look at the discussion above. Nymf hideliho! 10:11, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
The nationality stated in the lead sentence is the nationality of the subject, not the nationality of the works they appear in. Yworo (talk) 15:34, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
It does not state in the next sentence that she has never worked as an actress in S. Africa. Which is, as I stated, very misleading. I'll fix that in the second sentence since you insist. FurrySings (talk) 14:03, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Nationality II[edit]

WP:OPENPARA is quite clear that the nationality of an individual is the citizenship which they held at the time they became notable. If a subject changed or added a citizenship after they became notable, we do not put it in the lead sentence, but rather later in the lead or in the article body itself. But thanks for playing. Yworo (talk) 03:33, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Hey Yworo. Thanks for the comments. Note that over a year ago you started the section above trying to address this question. If you read through it you'll note consensus seemed to be for "South African born American". I'm happy to discuss alternative wording, but you probably shouldn't unilaterally try to revert to the wording you supported in the previous discussion without demonstrating that consensus has changed.
On your WP:OPENPARA point; I think that's a good and relevant cite. But there are several potential issues here; 1) OPENPARA says the at the time they became notable rule applies in "most" cases. 2)OPENPARA is applied pretty sporadically across WP. 3) Theron's notability may have started in SA, but it now seems largely based in the US. Using both "South African" and "American" as a descriptor seems like a fair way to communicate that. NickCT (talk) 14:53, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Please see the discussion in progress at MoS Biographies. One thing we can simply not do to a living person is to relegate the country of their upbringing and identification which nationality they held at the time they became notable to a misleading phrase like "South African-born" which makes their association with their natal country seem incident or accidental. Yworo (talk) 17:16, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
You will also want to note that consensus can never override proper handling of BLP issues, which is what we have here. I am willing to compromise on the presentation of both nationalities, but only using the word "and", as any other presentation discounts the subject's country of upbringing and her strong identification as a South African national. Yworo (talk) 17:22, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Hey Yworo, thanks for the comments. Unfortunately we determine "proper handling of BLP issues" through consensus. If we didn't do that, there'd be a bunch of obnoxious little people trying to feel self-important by running around playing BLP police. Thank goodness that's not the case.
I'm not actually all the against "South African and American". It seems relatively fair and accurate. Here are a couple concerns though.
1) I think my chief complaint about "South African and American" is just that it sounds darn awkward. The problem is the "and". It's sorta rare that you use "and" in dual-national identifiers. For instance, it's "Mexican American", not "Mexican and American", or "Canadian American" not "Canadian and American". Is there another wording we can come up with that avoids the "and"? Obviously "South African American" wouldn't work.
2) Despite the fact that I'm for a compromise here, I'm a little concerned about changing consensus wording without more input. I'd prefer to do this by RfC. If we come up with some potential wordings, I'd be happy to set the RfC up. NickCT (talk) 13:35, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
If we actually follow what WP:OPENPARA says, we have no problem. It says to use the nationality held at the time the subject became notable. That was only South African. The intent of OPENPARA is that for most people, we list just one nationality. We also don't use "Mexican American" or "Canadian American" on articles because they are ambiguous. They are interpreted by many American readers as meaning a person born in America who has ancestors from Mexico or Canada. We can't use ambiguous terms on a BLP, thus the intent of WP:OPENPARA. I know what that intent is, I helped write it. You will also note that WP:BLP issues such as this are exempt from WP:3RR. If you think I am wrong about this, then start a conversation about it at WP:BLPN, but don't continue to reintroduce BLP issues into the article. Nowhere does OPENPARA say "list all of the subject's citizenships", it states very clearly, use the citizenship held at the time the subject became notable. It refers throughout to "nationality" in the singular, nowhere does it refer to "nationalities" in the plural. The intent is to choose the longest-standing nationality held at the time the subject became notable. Nationality has to do with the subject's personal national identification, not with the nationality of the works they appear in or how other people than themselves might want to classify them. Yworo (talk) 16:21, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
I sorta feel like you're not reading what I've written. I said I was happy with the compromise solution. I just wanted to see if we could reword it. And re "can't use ambiguous terms on a BLP" - If that's true we shouldn't use any national identifiers because national identifiers have an inherently ambiguous nature to them. NickCT (talk) 17:45, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
And I feel the same way. There's a discussion about this at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Biographies#Nationality and the wording of OPENPARA and I can point you to the previous discussions in the archives at the same page which expressly explain the problem. Per WP:BLP, while there is an ongoing issue regarding a living person, we leave the contested material out until a resolution is reached. If you want to assert that Theron herself identifies as "South African-born American" or "South African American", you will need to provide a reference which quotes her so identifying, just as required for ethnicity in WP:BLPCAT. I do not see any reference in the article that supports the fact that she self-identifies in that manner. Yworo (talk) 20:18, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
You'll also find discussions about the problem with ambiguity, Wikipedia:Ambiguous words and Wikipedia:Please clarify. As to needing to source the national identification to the subject herself, see WP:BLPSOURCES and WP:BLPCAT and for the need to avoid partisanship or cultural appropriation (i.e. appropriation or "claiming" of an individual for reasons of misplaced American nationalism), see WP:BLPSTYLE which states, "Articles should document in a non-partisan manner what reliable secondary sources have published about the subjects, and in some circumstances what the subjects have published about themselves." (emphasis added). Which of multiple nationalities a subject identifies with is left to the subject, just as is the sexual preference and ethnic identity of the subject. Yworo (talk) 20:45, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
@Yworo - When I respond to you point-by-point, that is an indication that I am listening and responding to your ideas. When you ignore what I'm saying to repeat your same idea over and over, that is an indication that you are not listening.
Here is my point-by-point response to your comments.
re "There's a discussion about this at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Biographies#Nationality and the wording of OPENPARA" - Ummmm... It appears as though you started this discussion, and one other person commented in passing. Would you characterize that as "a discussion", or more of you ranting at no one?
re "If you want to assert that Theron herself identifies as "South African-born American" or "South African American"" - Ok. So stop. Breath. Let's think about this because I think we can find some common ground here. I definitely agree with you that "self-identification" is a big deal in situations such as this. Do we know what Theron self-identifies as? I mean, do you have a reference with Theron saying "I consider myself to South African. I don't think I'm american" or something of such nature? If you do, then I'll concede this whole debate.
"Which of multiple nationalities a subject identifies with is left to the subject" - Hmmm.. Again, do we know Theron identifies expressly as "South African". We could have avoided a great deal of this debate had you simply cited that to begin with.
"misplaced American nationalism" - I'm pretty far from an American nationalist FYI. I just think that given the fact Theron has 1) lived in the US since age 17 and 2) has spent the large majority of her professional career in the US, it's pretty fair to think she might be called "American". NickCT (talk) 13:30, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
I've been willing to compromise from the start, using the word "and", which is plain English and not at all "awkward" as you assert. Please provide a source that proves that any phrase "nationality1 and nationality2" is considered "awkward" by a majority of grammarians if you intend to continue that patently false assertion. You would seem to be edit warring over a personal opinion about "awkwardness", while I am striving for accuracy and the elimination of ambiguity. Yworo (talk) 15:03, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

There is only one editor reverting and one editor responding on this talk page. Only one editor seems to object to using the word "and". Therefore, that editor does not have any kind of consensus to continue reverting. Consensus has changed and I respectfully ask that the editor NictCT stop reverting unless he can show that there are other editors who strongly object to using "and", a common English conjunctive which is in no way awkward. You've got no support. Yworo (talk) 14:21, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

@Yworo - I asked you multiple times whether you had a source for what Theron identifies as. You didn't address that. Are you willing to admit that you are not either reading or simply not taking the time to respond to my comments?
re "plain English and not at all "awkward" as you assert" - Hey listen, I completely accept that assessing whether something is "good" English (i.e. not awkward English) is completely subjective. You may see something as being well-written whereas I might not. I guess my initial basis for suggesting this language was "awkward" was because I've never heard someone described as "South African and American" before. Americans who are also British are usually called "British Americans", not "British AND American". Americans who are also Austrian are called "Austrian Americans", not "Austrian AND American". Obviously, as I said earlier, calling someone a "South African American" probably isn't the right solution here. Can we think of another? If the answer is no, I'm not actually all that opposed to "South African and American", but I'd like to think about it. Maybe "American South African"?
re Consensus has changed - Yworo. With respect, you seem to like to imagine that your opinion is somehow consensus. You changed the initial consensus language. Per WP:BRD, I reverted and now you are obliged to discuss. Please cease battlegrounding and discuss. NickCT (talk) 13:32, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
No, you are now abusing BRD. Right now, there is no consensus. No other editors are coming to your support or even reverting me in the many hours before you respond. Only you. I've asked you to prove your claim that the use of the word "and" is considered awkward in this context. My first preference, follow the intent of OPENPARA and omit American entirely. It's that reason the the sentence detailing acquisition of American citizenship to the lead section was added - initially in chronological order in the lead which was at the end. My second choice is the word "and". As a student of linguistic, I know that language is infinitely generative, but I don't know of anything that's accurate that's not also more awkward than "and". Awkwardness is not completely subjective, which is why I asked you for sources for the awkwardness of "and". For example, there is broad agreement that a sentence like "There was in the pond a duck" is grammatical but very awkward. Garden path sentences that cause one to go back and re-parse are also generally considered to be awkward, for example, "They are pumping lemmings" forces one to go back and realize pumping is not being used as a verb. These judgements of awkwardness can be found in the literature. It's actually more likely that you will find complaints of awkwardness about the phrase "South African-born American" than for "South African and American". Despite the fact that you can point back at the page and show a point that at one time the former was consensus, I can point back to subsequent complaints about the wording which were completely ignored and are not being counted by you as post-consensus !votes at all. Shall we count up all the post-consensus complaints that I am trying to resolve? Plus me, against apparently only you. It is you who are mistaken, an editor who continues to insist on an old consensus when no other editor is inclined to oppose a minor edit in wording is the one who is editing disruptively. Even if you revert only once a day, without support, you are being disrupting. It I was bold, you reverted, I discussed. BRD is done. Now you either show that the consensus still exists, or chose to back down from continued disruption. It's up to you to propose an alternate wording which avoids the problem I've pointed out while being less awkward than "and". BRD does not grant editors any privilege except a single revert before discussion has started. Once discussion has started, BRD is no longer applicable. Nothing in BRD gives any editor the right to repeatedly revert another editor without support from other regular editors of the article. Yworo (talk) 15:13, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Self-identification as South African sourced[edit]

I've now sourced Theron's self-identification as South African. I also searched to find any example of her being quoted as saying "I am an American", "I am a South African American" and "I am a South African-born American". As far as I can tell, she has never said any such thing. Of course, I am perfectly willing to have "and American" added just so long as the editor who adds it back provides a citation as strong or stronger than the one I have provided for her South African self-identification. Please respect and observe our verifiability policy as well as the even stronger sourcing requirements of our biography of living persons policy. Yworo (talk) 17:56, 28 February 2013 (UTC

I put "charlize theron us citizenship" into Google and the first match was:
Charlize Theron: Glad To Be A U.S. Citizen
CBS News www.cbsnews.com/2100-207_162-3932852.html Feb 11, 2009
She was born in South Africa, but Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron is happy to finally be a U.S. citizen. "You're stuck with me now," she ...
So as not to mislead readers (many of whom may not read past the lede), I believe that we should be referring to her US citizenship in the lede. Something like the "and" solution would be suitable.
GFHandel   08:17, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
It is in the lead. The last sentence of the lead begins: "Theron became a US citizen in 2007..." Roger (talk) 08:51, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but it is obviously important enough to the subject to now warrant being elevated to be next to her birth citizenship (which is what this discussion is about). We are all entitled to our opinion here, and that's mine. GFHandel   09:04, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the opinions and the source. I've added it. Hopefully with two cites, one for each nationality, no one will try to use such monstrosities as "South African-born American" again. It's not really fair either to the subject or to South Africa. Yworo (talk) 13:48, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
I have reverted the edit which clearly violated OPENPARA. Discussing this issue here in isolation is utterly pointless and futile as the issue relates to many articles, not only this one. The only legitimate way to change it is to FIRST change WP:OPENPARA. Roger (talk) 17:07, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────OPENPARA: "In most modern-day cases this will mean the country of which the person is a citizen, national or permanent resident, or if notable mainly for past events, the country where the person was a citizen, national or permanent resident when the person became notable."

She is currently a South African *and* a US citizen, so mentioning both in the first para of the lead seems to be entirely in line with OPENPARA. In fact, if she had dropped the South African citizenship, only the US one would be mentioned in the opening para.

OPENPARA again, "Similarly, previous nationalities or the country of birth should not be mentioned in the opening sentence unless they are relevant to the subject's notability."

She has no previous nationality, because she currently is a citizen of both countries, apparently. (Hohum @) 17:48, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

She became notable when she won an Oscar - that was several years before she became a US citizen. "...the country where the person was a citizen, national or permanent resident when the person became notable." Roger (talk) 18:08, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Indeed. But she is still notable, and of dual nationality. The specific exclusion in this *guideline* if for past nationalities - she has no past nationality, only current ones. (Hohum @) 18:17, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Passes torch to Roger for a while. I agree with him that just using the subject's primary and most longstanding citizenship under which they became notable most closely follows the intent of OPENPARA. However, I believe OPENPARA needs to be seriously reworded to convey its intent much better. Other editors can hardly be blamed for not understanding an intent that is so poorly described. I started a discussion Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Biographies a few days back, but it doesn't seem to be getting much attention. Yworo (talk) 20:06, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Since there is so much disagreement and contention about this issue, I have removed the national descriptor. Once there is consensus about which version to use, something can be added -- but as long as there is edit-warring about it it should stay out. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 20:07, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

re Nomoskedasticity - Probably the right thing to do. I'm still a tad confused what all the fuss is about. Seems like Theron has claim to be both American and South African. Tad confused as to why we can't write the lead to reflect that. I think at this point, an WP:RFC is really the proper way to move forward. If anyone wants to second an RfC, I'll work one up. I'll get others to weigh in on the outline before launching it. NickCT (talk) 13:32, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
This issue has been the subject of a large pile of RFCs - all ending more or less inconclusively. I believe the only sane way out is to adress the matter at the MOS level - Theron is not the only notable person in the entire history of the known universe to have changed nationality, so please please please take this matter to the MOS. The only way it will ever be resolved is to change OPENPARA and related guidelines. Roger (talk) 13:39, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Please have a little more clarity in your description so as not to confuse others - she did not change nationality. She added a citizenship while retaining her original nationality. Completely different things. Yworo (talk) 16:13, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Adding a second nationality/citizenship is a type of change of nationality whichever way you slice it. My main point is that the issue needs to be discussed at the MOS level, as it affects more than just this one article. Roger (talk) 16:41, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
re Roger - To a certain point I agree. At the moment OPENPARA is terribly worded and difficult to apply; hence all this debate. We do need to rework policy. At the same time though Roger, I've been involved in countless ethnicity/race/nationality/sexuality debates of this nature, and I can tell you, there is always some clever person like you who says "Hey! Policy should be clearer on this point". As much as I agree, in practice these things are often resolved on individual talk pages. NickCT (talk) 17:50, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
This issue has been discussed here for almost as long as the article has existed and we are no closer to a resolution than we were back in 2005. I really am absolutely convinced that we need to edit the MOS to be more specific and excplicit about this issue. Even if by some miracle we manage to arrive at a local consensus it is inevitably fated to be temporary as the "slow burning war" between "arrogant American cultural imperialist scum" and "reactionary South African nationalist xenophobes" (Note: These are intended as humorous caricatures used to illustrate the point, I'm not actually labelling any past, present or future participants in the debate with these descriptions.) will unavoidably flare up again sooner rather than later. The ability to cite an explicit statement from the MOS which clearly and unambiguously provides a satisfactory and authortative solution for a situation like this, is IMHO the only lasting solution. Roger (talk) 18:19, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Again, I'd absolutely agree that MOS change is desirable here, I just think the possibility of it happening a next to zero. On the other hand, there is some possibility we could setup a well worded RfC that would demonstrate consensus. In generally, if consensus is pretty clear, RfCs can be effective at putting a matter to rest.
For the record I consider myself an "Arrogant South African-born American nationalist cultural xenophobe". NickCT (talk) 18:59, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I've drafted an RfC. Take a look at it here. Unless anyone has serious objection to the wording I plan an launching the RfC imminently. NickCT (talk) 15:58, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

New Image of Charlize Theron in 2013[edit]

There's a new images of Charlize Theron in 2013:

I think you could replace the picture in infobox with that picture. These images better than the current image, in terms of colors and lighting and in the year 2013. --Oz Steps (talk) 21:54, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Better color and lighting? But the photographer doesn't know any better than to try to photograph someone while they are speaking (or something)? Sorry, frankly, they suck. Yworo (talk) 03:49, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

RfC: Charlize Theron's Nationality?[edit]

Closed in favour of Option C. See "Closing summary" at bottom for reasoning Manning (talk) 09:04, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


A debate surrounding the way to describe Theron's nationality in this article's lead has been simmering on for some time.

Previous discussion regarding this issue can be seen in these sections -

African American
Re:African American
U.S. citizen
Nationality
German citizenship application
South African-American or African-American?
South African-born
Manual of Style on nationality
Application of WP:MOSBIO and WP:OPENPARA
US in Lead Sentence
Nationality II
Self-identification as South African sourced

A number of proposals for solutions have been put forward to solve this debate. Here are several which have been proposed.

Solution A - Describe Theron as "South African" only in the lead.
Solution B - Describe Theron as "American" only in the lead.
Solution C - Describe Theron as "South African and American" in the lead.
Solution D - Describe Theron as "South African-born American" in the lead.
Solution E - Do NOT mention Theron's nationality in the lead or infobox. Discuss it in the body of the article.
Solution F - Do NOT mention Theron's nationality in the lead. List "South African" in the infobox and discuss it in the body of the article.

Please weigh-in, indicating the solution(s) you support using the example format below. Include a brief explanation of your rationale. Or, alternatively, if you have some idea which hasn't previously been put forward, let us know!

Example format:

  • Support C or D - She's clearly a mix of Yank and South Afican. ISupportStuff (talk) 20:35, 18 February 2252 (UTC)
  • Support A - America owns this woman! ISupportStuff2 (talk) 21:35, 18 February 2252 (UTC)
  • Support E - Too hot an issue to touch. Just don't mention it. ISupportStuff3 (talk) 21:35, 18 February 2252 (UTC)

Thanks in advance for everyone's opinions/comments/suggestions!

Standard RfC Disclaimer - This RfC should not be construed as a vote rather than an attempt to measure consensus. As always let's keep the conversations civil.


  • Solution C. Subject clearly identifies as both nationalities. GFHandel   18:49, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support C or D or E - Reason clearly exists to call Theron both American and South African. The lead should reflect that, or it should say nothing about her nationality at all. NickCT (talk) 18:50, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support C. Options A, B, and E are obviously not acceptable. D is not acceptable because it implies that she was always an American who just happend to have been born in South Africa - as if her parents were just visiting SA when she happened to be born. It could also imply that she became American early in life before achieving notability. Roger (talk) 19:45, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
An observation: It is unquestionable that she achieved notability (WP's definition of notability) when she was only a South African citizen (this fact must be in the lead). She is the first South African (and in fact African - meaning a citizen of any of the 50+ African countries) to win one of the major Oscars. (AFAIK the only other African Oscar winner was for something technical like lighting design). If one looks in isolation at her career only since she became American she would in fact not be WP notable, as she has not won a single sufficiently significant award as required by the notability standard for actors. US citizenship has been bad for her career! <joke!>
I have high hopes but unfortunately low expectations for this AFC. I'm afraid it's result will only "stick" for a short while until someone comes along to enforce "the letter of the law" in the form of (the unfortunately deeply flawed) MOSBIO & OPENPARA. Roger (talk) 19:45, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
What is the letter of the law? I just read those, and it doesn't say anything about national origin except not to mention it in the lead. It can still be mentioned in the infobox. Abductive (reasoning) 19:57, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Point 3 of WP:OPENPARA is the source of most of the conflict - specifically the phrase "the country where the person was a citizen, national or permanent resident when the person became notable" (my emphasis). She was not a US citizen when she won the Oscar - the event that made her suffciently notable to cause this article to be written. This is the reason why I remain convinced that the only possible lasting solution for this issue is to fix OPENPARA. Roger (talk) 20:41, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
No, the lasting solution is to recognize just how jarring that sentence about her citizenship is in the lead. Abductive (reasoning) 22:51, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support F This RFC was poorly formed, presenting Soln's A–D which all require ignoring long-standing consensus and a Solution E which correctly requires nationality to be left out of the lead, but incorrectly disallows it from the infobox. The "Examples" given on how to respond are written in a non-neutral way, so I have removed them. Abductive (reasoning) 20:03, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
re "This RFC was poorly formed" - Ah well. I try my best.
re "all require ignoring long-standing consensus" - And what was that long-standing consensus in your view? If there was a clear long-standing consensus, I'm a tad confused as to why there are many paragraphs of debate in the sections directly above.
The long-stading consensus on all other Wikipedia artices and at WP:MOSBIO, of course. Abductive (reasoning) 22:44, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
re "which correctly requires nationality to be left out of the lead, but incorrectly disallows it from the infobox" - You are free to suggest your own solution. I don't understand why you'd want to make it one thing in the lead, but another thing in the info box.
Because the lead is not the place to mention anything about ethnicity, natinality or switching citizenship. Abductive (reasoning) 22:44, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Isn't it? Whether or not it's a good thing, many people quickly identify people by their nationality (or in some cases, skin color). Mentioning said nationality seems to me to be one of the most pertinent facts about her. Why wouldn't we mention it in the lead? We do it for tons of people. (In fact, for many people, it's the very first thing the article says about them. (Simon Cowell is an English executive....) Jsharpminor (talk) 17:10, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
re "The "Examples" given on how to respond are written in a non-neutral way" - Examples restored! Please don't alter other's comments on talk pages. Apologies if you feel the "examples" are non-neutral. If you'd suggest a way to make them more neutral, I'd be happy to try and incorporate your suggestion. NickCT (talk) 20:35, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
This is laughable. Do not return such biased examples. There is no need for examples in RFCs anyway. Abductive (reasoning) 22:44, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Do you have an argument as to why they are biased? Look, I'm happy to try to change them to address whatever issue you seem to have with them, but having them there helps standardize peoples answers. Seriously though, don't edit them Wikipedia:TPO is pretty clear that that is a no no. NickCT (talk) 00:57, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
@Abductive - I accidently removed your reasoning F. I was going to re-add it, but I was a little confused by what you meant when you said "add it to the infobox". Add what to the infobox? We're trying to figure what the nationality should be. You can't say, "add the nationality to the info box", and not give an opinion on what the nationality should be. Very confusing. NickCT (talk) 22:04, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
At present the infobox nationality field says South African, and citizenship says when she became a US citizen. The lead does not and should not mention her becoming a US citizen, it is a minor issue. Abductive (reasoning) 22:41, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Ok. So I guess by "it" you mean "South African"? I've clarified that in your solution. NickCT (talk) 00:53, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Prefer A but also Support C per rationale of Roger. Yworo (talk) 23:24, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Solution C or Solution F. Icarus of old (talk) 18:49, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • D. South African-born USer. Listing nothing just invites someone adding it in. Jon C. 13:40, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Prefer A, but would also support C. B and D would be unacceptable, because both would imply that she is no longer South African. Nymf talk to me 13:55, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • F. Proposal F best addresses the concerns that have been exhaustively and repeatedly discussed here. (Summoned by RFCbot.) Andrew327 19:22, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support B and F : While technically an "African-American" if one looks at other well-known African-American Actors, (which is the main theme of the article - the Actor Charlize Theron), - you will find that most of them simply refer to the individual as "An American Actor" with their place of origin noted in the info-box. Her various citizenship statuses can be placed in the text somewhere at the appropriate locations. Patriot1010 (talk) 22:09, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
Proposal F would make show her nationality as "South African" in the info box. I'm a little confused as to why you'd support calling her, "American" in the lead or "South African" in the info box. NickCT (talk) 02:05, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Because she is an actor in America (not an actor in another country), but a South African National. Although - one could argue putting citizenship as South Africa and United States - check out another actor in a similar status - Arnold Schwarzenegger has both countries of Citizenship in the info-box.Patriot1010 (talk) 02:18, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Ah, ok. So I guess you really support B AND F, not B OR F? NickCT (talk) 15:07, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, thank you, I will clarify my post from Support B, "Actor," then F to simply B and F. Patriot1010 (talk) 22:17, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support C. No matter what we choose, there will probably be countless editors boldly changing the lead to their preferred style. C, as the compromise choice, is most likely to avoid these minor edit wars. A comment should probably be inserted into the lead, noting the consensus, if such exists. It won't stop opinionated editors, but it will give pause to those who are genuinely trying to be helpful. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 12:40, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support D - Seems most informative to readers. D and C are both okay, but C doesn't read very well, and D would paint a fuller picture for readers that limit themselves to the lead. --Noleander (talk) 09:39, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
Comment - Option D is unacceptable because it denies everything notable that she did while she was only South African - like winning an Oscar, which is the entire reason why this article is even allowed to exist. In fact if her career had only started the day she became American she would not be sufficiently notable for an article at all. It also denies that she still is South African. Roger (talk) 11:57, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support A. I like the way it reads now (South African in the lead and citizenship in the info box). She became notable as a South African and it's not even close as to whether or not she was an American citizen at the point of becoming notable (she was definitely not). If at all necessary, talk of her American citizenship should happen in the body of the article. RogrMexico (talk) 21:34, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support D and F. Describe Theron as "South African-born American" in the lead. List "South African" in the infobox and discuss it in the body of the article. KhabarNegar (talk) 09:20, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Support C or D. A looks acceptable, but is insidiously wrong. B seems rather untenable a position, per RogrMexico, Dodger67, and others. E and F suggest throwing out one of the most pertinent facts about a person -- whether or not it's objectively relevant, it's true that most people think that it is, to the point that it's often the very first thing a Wikipedia article says about them besides their birth/death dates. Jsharpminor (talk) 17:14, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
Looking now at the facts behind A, I see that this lady basically built her career as an American resident. True, she was only naturalized as an American in 2007, but a few facts: 1) You can only be naturalized after living here for several years already. 2) Her main roles occurred after she emigrated to the United States. True, it was before she was naturalized; but her Oscar-award-winning performances happened after she moved to the US. Saying that her citizenship is bad for her career, even as a joke, is misleading at best. Jsharpminor (talk) 17:20, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Support D. Wording expresses reality and this info should definitely be presented in the lead section of this article. Cheers! RichardMills65 (talk) 16:24, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Prefer A but I would also tolerate C, D or E. She identifies herself as a South African rather than an American, so it would make sense to list her as a South African actress. Find interviews and use them to support her national identity. Maybe it would be a good idea to look at the pages of other popular South Africans who have found success outside their country of birth such as Neill Blomkamp or Johnny Clegg. Aleksandar Bulovic' (talk) 11:51, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
re "She identifies herself as a South African" - Can you support that with a recent reference? I looked for something post-2007 with Theron saying "I consider myself South African", and came up empty handed. If you can show that Theron recently explicitly identified as South African, that might change the debate. NickCT (talk) 12:18, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
I cannot find anything post 2007 saying she identifies as South African, but on the other hand, I have difficulty finding anything at all where she identifies as an American... Aleksandar Bulovic' (talk) 12:30, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
I think that observation would push me towards solution E. NickCT (talk) 12:49, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
  • "E is best" (got a random invite from the RFC bot) "A" and "B" violate guidelines (the lead shold summarize the article, and so it should not contain things which are not in the article. Since she has dual citizenship, any short characterization by nationality is not very informative. Alternatively, explain it a bit in the lead (e.g. She was originally from South Africa, and now holds US and South African dual citizenship." instead of doing the problematic act of trying to condense it into an adjective or characterization. North8000 (talk) 20:53, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
    I don't understand how A would violate guidelines. Her recenty acquired American citizenship is mentioned a couple of sentences later, in the lede. Nymf talk to me 18:30, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
    I was speaking generally. Whenever you say "put XXXX only in the lead", that means that XXXX is only in the lead and not in the body of the article, and the guideline is that the lead should summarize what is in the body of the article. These are just my thoughts; it would not bother me the tiniest bit if others do not agree or this goes counter to them. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 20:36, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
    This RFC actually only refers to the first sentence in the lede when it says "describe as X/X only". It does not mean that we are going to leave anything out of the body of the article. Nymf talk to me 06:07, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
  • D is the obvious choice, and is consistent with other American actors/actresses who were originally from other countries. For example, see the page on Desi Arnaz, who came to the US when he was 18, about the same age as Theron when she came to the US. About those who say that "she was South African when she became notable", note that she became notable as an actress in the American film industry, while she had South African citizenship. She was not an actress when she was in South Africa, and never acted in any South African movies. She became notable as an American actress. Calling her a "South African actress" is completely misleading. FurrySings (talk) 10:12, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
    She did not become an American citizen until late in her career, her most notable achievement, the Oscar, happened before she became American. By your logic all American actors who have ever worked on a film shot in Fooistan should be called Fooistanian actors. Working in Hollywood does not make someone automagically become an American. This !vote and others like it are perfect examples of the American cultural imperialism that I've argued against in previous rounds of this discussion. Take a look at any of the British or Canadian actors who have worked in Hollywood. The "nationality" of the movie does not rub off on everyone who had a part in making it - that notion is patently absurd. Until 2007 Theron was a South African actress working in the US - since 2007 she is a South African and American actress. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 10:53, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Looks like I came to this discussion to late, the subject of this RfC carries dual citizenship. If there is contention in the lead wording, perhaps it is best to exclude it entirely, and go into the subject later in the article. I would support solutions C, D, or E.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 00:05, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Badly timed archiving?[edit]

I have reverted the "conveniently timed" archiving of most of the content of this page. This page has never before been archived but it is suddenly archived on the same day that this RFC is started? I'm sorry but it looks like an attempt to influence the RFC. Roger (talk) 09:06, 9 March 2013 (UTC) Redacted - see below Roger (talk) 12:01, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

I'm sorry. Exactly how is archiving the talk page an attempt to "influence the RFC"? As you may have noticed, the talk page was getting a tad lengthy. If you were really trying to assume good faith, don't you think you would assume my archiving was an attempt to address the page length? Really Roger. You're assuming bad faith, and more than that, you're assuming bad faith with essentially no basis to do so. NickCT (talk) 21:09, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
The archive removed a large amount of material to do with this RfC (material that would allow editors commenting to catch up with the debate). I'm not going to level bad faith claims, but do you believe it was the right thing to do to remove historical information relating to this RfC – during this RfC? Anyhow, all back to normal (but perhaps the archive could wait until the conclusion?). GFHandel   21:31, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
I have to note that it would have been relatively easy to fix the links in the RfC to point to the archives rather than simply revert the automated archiving itself. Yworo (talk) 23:58, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
@GFHandel - Ok, so maybe I inadvertantly removed a "large amount of material to do with this RfC" when I archived (for which I apologize), but to suggest I did that because I was maliciously trying to hide information is grossly speculative, and assumes I must be really really stupid as an archive isn't a particularly inconspicuous place to bury info. Frankly, I think Roger could apologize for the baseless accusation he's made. NickCT (talk) 05:26, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
I have moderated my earlier post. I retract the allegation of bad faith, but IMHO it was definitely not a good idea. Due process must not only be done, it must be seen to be done. I must also place on record my concern about the unusually short period allowed for comment and input into the drafting of the RFC. Less than three hours passed between the anouncement of the existence of the draft inviting input from others and the posting of the RFC as a fait accompli. The more usual period allowed for such input is on the order of three days and certainly not less than one full day. Roger (talk) 12:01, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Ok. Well thanks for moderating your post. Regarding the "usual period", I realize I didn't wait very long, but I'd been tossing the idea of an RfC around for a couple days, so I don't think this was really a "bolt from the blue". Anyways, do you think the RfC was crafted in a "fair and balanced" way, or do you have complaints about its structure? NickCT (talk) 19:02, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
(Uninvolved editor comment.) For what it's worth, editors responding to RFCs do know where the archives are located. I recommend never manually archiving, however, since the bots do a good job of it and the settings can be changed depending on talk page volume. Andrew327 19:19, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
@Andrew - For the record, I didn't manually archive. I setup the automated archive. NickCT (talk) 11:57, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

RfC Close[edit]

This RfC has been around for a while now, I'd like to ask that it be closed. By my reading, options C and D seemed to garner the most support, with F in third.

I see C and D as being relatively similar in that they both call for American and South African to be called out in the lead. I'd be happy if either of those were the outcome of this RfC. NickCT (talk) 12:28, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Structural problem and solution[edit]

There is a structural problem in the RFC in that each choice contains a particular combination of answers to three or four questions. As a remedy, may I suggest that the closing attempt to determine consensus on these separate questions. (and I think that it is implicit that her nationality be covered at least in sentences in the body of the article)

  1. Should her nationality be covered in the lead?
  2. Should her nationality be covered in the info box (could only be done if the answer to #3 is "yes") ?
  3. Should her nationality be summarized anywhere into a few-word description? (vs. only sentences which tell the whole story)
  4. If the answer to #3 is "yes", what should the wording of that summary be?

Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 12:43, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

I partially take North's point. The RfC might have been more clear if it had broken down in several questions; however, I would point out re "Should her nationality be covered in the lead?" that if a respondent felt her nationality shouldn't be covered in the lead, they could have always supported E. NickCT (talk) 13:12, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes. And also make comments, as these aren't a vote. I guess I was recommending to, in this case, for the closer to look particularly close at the comments, and keep in mind that there area a few different questions in play here. North8000 (talk) 14:19, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Closing summary[edit]

I am closing this RFC in favour of Option C (Describe Theron as "South African and American" in the lead.)

I have two solid reasons (and one slightly flaky reason) for this. Firstly, that is the apparent consensus position. D is a close second, but it possibly implies Theron is no longer a South African citizen, which is misleading (if interpreted as such). Hence on balance, C is the better choice.

Secondly, it is the option most consistent with the MOS-BIO. For reference this reads: Context (location, nationality, or ethnicity) - In most modern-day cases this will mean the country of which the person is a citizen, national or permanent resident, or if notable mainly for past events, the country where the person was a citizen, national or permanent resident when the person became notable.

Theron was indisputably a South African citizen (exclusively) when she became notable, so it is inaccurate to describe her solely as an American.

Conversely, let us pretend that Theron had no career prior to her acquiring US Citizenship. Her body of work since then would have clearly earned her notability entirely on its own merits (eg. her 2011 Golden globe nomination). Hence the "notable mainly for past events" element does not apply and it would inaccurate to describe her exclusively as South African.

So conveniently, my second reason leads me directly to the original consensus position anyway.

The final (flaky) reason is that Theron apparently self-identifies as such. As per the Nicole Kidman dispute of *many* years ago, the self-identification of an individual is a valid factor in deciding such matters. (This reason is flaky because I have not personally verified that Theron actually self-identifies this way.)

Finally - I have deliberately not addressed the structural questions raised by North8000. No disrespect is intended, the questions are both valid and of interest. I did not address them because I felt it was just too far beyond the remit of a closing admin. Such a discussion should be held in a wider context than the article of a single actress. Manning (talk) 09:04, 1 May 2013 (UTC)


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Drawing in the article[edit]

There is a single-purpose account that insists on adding a drawing in the article (with doubtful copyright, to boot), and has done so tree times now (1, 2, 3). The user claims that it "illustrates her gay activism". I disagree. It is a drawing with doubtful copyright, nothing more. What do others think? Nymf talk to me 18:10, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

In fact, I believe it is the person who drew picture himself that keeps adding it. Looking at Commons, the user named "Juanbastos" (Juan Bastos, the artist who drew the illustrations) uploaded this image at 18:33. 17 minutes later, at 18:50, Thparry (the single-purpose account, only adding drawings by Juan Bastos), adds it to an article. Nymf talk to me 18:20, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
I love it random folks try to upload their own bad artwork to WP. Strikes me as a pretty sad form of self-promotion. NickCT (talk) 19:04, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
And of course, as his own work, he has the right to license it was he will. If he's uploaded it to the Commons, it is available for our use, it's on the cover of a magazine notable enough to have a Wikipedia article. I see no problem with including it on this article. Yworo (talk) 19:06, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Few problems with that. 1. Wikipedia is not a place for self-promotion. Edit warring, pushing whatever content that you have authored, is even worse. 2. We have no way of knowing if it based on a copyrighted photograph, which would make the drawing a copyright violation. 3. (re: the magazine part) It is a drawing, and not the cover itself. Nymf talk to me 19:22, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Also, I am not so sure that the magazine is notable, either. Even that article is self-promotion, created by the magazine's founder here. Zero reliable sources, too. Considering that the notability of it was questioned 5 years ago, and nothing has been done about it, I believe an AfD may be in order for that article. Nymf talk to me 19:34, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
If the article is nominated and deleted, then I'd agree that the drawing should be removed. I have no opinion on whether the magazine is notable and will leave that decision to LGBT editors who would have some clue about it. Yworo (talk) 19:37, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
A work usually belongs to the entity that commissioned it, not the artist, unless the commissioning contract specifies otherwise. Look at the description on the file page - thus the copyright of this image is not clear at all. Roger (talk) 19:46, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
No, actually authors and artists usually retain their copyright and only license it for use. That license may be exclusive for some period of time for major works such as books, but not typically for magazine content. Yworo (talk) 19:52, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

General American pronunciation of her name[edit]

The article says this: "General American pronunciation: /ʃɑrˈliːs ˈθɛrən/." I have NEVER heard an American pronounce her surname like that. It's always pronounced with the accent on the second syllable. The final consonant in her first name is generally voiced, too. A more accurate representation would be /ʃɑrˈliːz θəˈrɑn/.--63.138.95.34 (talk) 06:28, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Prominence of father's death[edit]

What factors are weighed in determining how prominently the killing of her father should be placed? Is it an obscurity in the media? Neutralphrasing (talk) 04:39, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

@Neutralphrasing - I've just scanned over it, and it the prominence strikes me as reasonable. Generally parents only receive a few sentences in an "Early Life" section. I realize Theron's father's situation was somewhat notable, but it seems as though the couple sentences covering him provide due coverage. NickCT (talk) 13:17, 7 January 2014 (UTC)