Lack of diversity is among one of the most deep-rooted – and oldest – problems in the film industry. While ethnic minorities constitute nearly half of the US population, only 13.9% of leading roles have been played by POC actors.
While this lack of representation has received several nods in recent years through movements like #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite, ethnic minority actors to this day are often asked to play stereotypes – from maids and immigrants to thugs and prostitutes – and struggle to get cast in complex, layered, and authentic roles.
Typecast is a satirical portrait series focused on typecasting practices in the entertainment industry. We made stereotypical portraits of POC actors embodying the roles that they often get typecast in and made alternative portraits of them embodying their ideal roles.
Through this project, we hope to:
1) challenge negative stereotypes of ethnic minorities reinforced by mainstream film and media
2) offer an alternative imagery of POC actors in nuanced protagonist roles
3) advance conversations about how racial stereotypes can shape public opinion and inform policy.
Griselda San Martin is a Spanish documentary photographer currently based in New York City. She is a graduate of the Documentary Photography and Photojournalism program at the International Center of Photography (ICP) and holds a masters in Journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
San Martin’s work challenges popular assumptions about immigrants and offers an alternative perspective―a marginalized community demonstrating resilience and resourcefulness amidst trying situations.
Her photography and video projects have been exhibited internationally and featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New Republic, and California Sunday Magazine as well as other publications.
Haruka Sakaguchi is a Japanese documentary photographer based in New York City. She was born in Osaka, Japan and immigrated to the US with her parents when she was three months old.
Haruka’s documentary work focuses on cultural identity and sense of place, and has been published on The New York Times, TIME, The New Yorker, British Journal of Photography and Buzzfeed. Her recent project 1945 was on display at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo in 2018.