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Colour-blind casting, non-traditional casting or integrated casting is the practice of casting a role without considering the actor's ethnicity. It derives its name from the medical condition of colour blindness. A representative of Actors' Equity has disputed the use of the term "color blind", preferring the definition "non-traditional casting." Non-traditional casting "is defined as the casting of ethnic minority and female actors in roles where race, ethnicity, or sex is not germane."
- In a 1944 production of the famous radio play The Plot to Overthrow Christmas, the Roman emperor Nero was voiced by Eric Burroughs.
- Eartha Kitt was cast as Catwoman on several episodes of Batman.
- I, Claudius cast Darien Angadi and Sam Dastor in key roles with Renu Setna and Roy Stewart in smaller speaking roles.
- A 1997 TV movie of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella contained a racially diverse cast, with Brandy Norwood as Cinderella, Bernadette Peters as her stepmother (with Veanne Cox and Natalie Desselle as Cinderella's stepsisters), Victor Garber as King Maximillian, Whoopi Goldberg as Queen Constantina, and Paolo Montalban as their son, Prince Christopher.
- Will Smith's portrayal of Jim West in 1999's movie Wild Wild West, based upon the 1960s television series of the same name, where the main character was played by white actor Robert Conrad.
- David Oyelowo's playing of Henry VI of England in the RSC's This England: The Histories cycle in 2000. Oyelowo was the first black actor to play an English king in a major production of Shakespeare and his performance won the Ian Charleson Award.
- Josette Simon playing Maggie in Arthur Miller's After the Fall at the London National Theatre in 1990. The role is widely supposed to have been based on Miller's former wife Marilyn Monroe. Simon's performance gained the Evening Standard's Best Actress award.
- The Batman film series, where Billy Dee Williams was cast as Harvey Dent in Batman (however, the character was later portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones and Aaron Eckhart), and Colin McFarlane was cast as Gillian B. Loeb in the Christopher Nolan films.
- Grey's Anatomy, during the creation of which none of the characters was assigned a race and the best actors were chosen, leading to a racially diverse cast.
- TV series Smallville has African-American actor Sam Jones III portraying Clark Kent's childhood friend Pete Ross, who, in the comic books, was Caucasian; Kristin Kreuk, of Dutch and Chinese descent, cast for the originally red-headed character Lana Lang; and Allison Mack, whose character Chloe Sullivan was intended to have a non-Cauasian ethnic background.
- The 2008 BBC television series Merlin employs several actors of colour in roles traditionally described in the Arthurian legends as white, most notably Guinevere and Elyan the White.
- The casting of Kwame Kwei-Armah as De Fourtnoy (Master-at-Arms) in "Who Shot the Sheriff?", the third episode of the BBC One 2006 television series Robin Hood.
- The 1973 film version of Jesus Christ Superstar cast African-American actor Carl Anderson in the lead role of Judas Iscariot, successive to Ben Vereen playing the role in the original 1971 Broadway production.
- Black British actor Pippa Bennett-Warner played Cordelia in the 2010 Donmar Warehouse production of King Lear starring Derek Jacobi in the title role. Her performance earned her an Ian Charleson Award nomination.
- In the 2011 film Thor, the role of Heimdall, based on the Marvel Comics character and commonly depicted as Caucasian, was played by Afro-Briton actor Idris Elba.
- In the 2005 movie The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Mos Def was cast as Ford Prefect, a move that puzzled many readers of the original book. Although Ford's ethnicity was not explicitly stated in the books, he was described as having ginger hair and the majority of readers assumed for various reasons that he would probably be white.
- In the 2013 Superman movie Man of Steel the role of Perry White, always previously portrayed as Caucasian, is played by African-American actor Laurence Fishburne. Fishburne also co-starred in the 2013-2015 NBC series Hannibal as FBI agent Jack Crawford, who was previously portrayed by various Caucasian actors for his appearances in the films.
- The Mahabharata cast men from distinctly different ethnic groups to play Indian brothers in the epic story of the nation's mythical founding.
- The 2003 movie Daredevil cast African-American actor Michael Clarke Duncan as Wilson Fisk, AKA Kinpin who has always been portrayed in the Spider-Man comics as a portly Caucasian.
- The 2015 version of Fantastic 4 had African-American Michael B. Jordan as The Human Torch despite being traditionally portrayed as white.
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show is set to be remade with black actress Laverne Cox playing Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a role originated by white actor Tim Curry.
Non-Traditional Casting Project
- Eisenberg, Alan (1988-10-23). "NONTRADITIONAL CASTING; When Race and Sex Don't Matter". New York Times.
- Fiachra Gibbons, "RSC casts black actor as English king for first time", The Guardian, 19 September 2000.
- Hugh Quarshie, "Black kings are old hat", The Guardian, 20 September 2000.
- Kate Kellaway, "My kingdom for a part", The Observer, 8 July 2001.
- The latest British Theatre news for 04/01/01
- Louise Jury, "Colour-blind casting finds new stars for Billy Elliott", The Independent.
- Evening Standard Theatre Awards, 1990
- Matthew Fogel, "'Grey's Anatomy' Goes Colorblind", New York Times, 8 May 2005.
- "Robin Hood (2006) - 1x03 - Who Shot the Sheriff?" Episode World.
- Tim Walker, "Black actors are 'forced to leave Britain for America'", The Telegraph, 17 June 2011.
- Jensen, Sharon. "The Non-Traditional Casting Project". National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
- "Actors' Equity Association Benefits: EEO & Diversity". Actors' Equity. Retrieved 2009-07-01.