Just Why?: Tech Firm in Hot Water for Use of ‘Digital Blackface’

One tech company was scrutinized for using ‘digital Blackface’ after selecting white actors to play Black roles, BLACK ENTERPRISE reported.

The move was made in response to George Floyd’s death last May as an increasing number of corporations and companies have mulled over different ways to encourage workplace diversity, BLACK ENTERPRISE noted.

The corporate education firm,  Mursion, which provides human resources training to several of the world’s largest corporations, according to BLACK ENTERPRISE. The company is allegedly telling its clients to use virtual reality simulations to assist in teaching racial sensitivity. Mursion has allegedly produced virtual reality simulations for various clients where example scenarios are made between the participant and an “animated human avatar played by live human actors.”

White actors played the Black characters in all the scenarios, according to the article.

Mursion, which has some actors of color, said that it uses “open casting” and wants to protect employees of color from having to continually replay “the same cultural biases, microaggressions, and outright discrimination in our society that too many Americans suffer today.”

One employee of Mursion said that using white actors to play Black roles is a “tough thing for a lot of us to stomach.”

University of Michigan professor Apryl Williams, a critical race and digital studies researcher, said in the article that selecting white actors to voice characters of color is simply “blackface,” which is tied to historically using white actors in makeup to “caricature Black people in minstrel shows.”

Read the full story here.

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