These days there are those who make it apparent that even daring to think about questioning why some roles need to be gender or race-swapped is a blasphemous undertaking that marks one as a racist, a sexist, a bigot, or something just as equally negative. But as it’s already been seen a few times, changing things around isn’t always something that’s absolutely necessary or bound to be better than the original. The rumors that Keke Palmer has been picked out as the best person to play Rogue aren’t untrue, but it’s very easy to say that no, she’s not the person for the role, and it’s fair to state that a lot of people are still willing to stand by this sentiment. What can be said is that it doesn’t have anything to do with her acting skills since she’s already a proven actress and is able to turn in a role that’s just as good, if not better, than anyone else. But when it comes to the southern belle of the X-Men, there are still a lot of people who would rather see her portrayed by someone of the same skin tone.
These days it does feel as though gender race-swapping is being used simply because it can be, not because of equality.
The thing to note is that in cinema, there is a great deal of representation at this time when it comes to various skin tones, races, religions, and other matters, but many are going to remain willfully blind to this or are going to say that it’s not enough. It’s not paranoia to say that there are moments when it feels as though every role is up for grabs simply because of the need for equality, especially since a few prominent characters that were written in as one race or color are being changed up for reasons that feel like utter nonsense when equality is brought to mind. Rogue has been a Caucasian character since her inclusion into the Marvel Universe, and it feels as though she should be allowed to remain this way since there are various characters that can be brought in and given representation if that’s the desire, without changing a character around.
It is about more than resisting change, it’s also about respecting the story the way it was written.
What’s very amusing at this point and time is that calls for representation and making sure that a story is being told the way it needs to only appears to apply when it comes to various minorities that share the desire to see their history and truths depicted as they should be. In other words, Caucasian characters are often far more likely to be swapped in terms of gender or race to offer up some desired sense of equality. The truth is that some actors of color that take on various roles that were written in as Caucasian characters are improvements since they happen to be good actors and can fill the role in a very convincing manner. But in some cases, it’s a mistake to mess with the source material rather than create new heroes and villains and other characters that might be embraced if Hollywood gave them a chance. Sadly, Hollywood has been less about taking risks in the past decade or two and much more about taking what’s there and reworking it to their needs.
Like it or not, Rogue’s identity is bound up in her appearance since she’s been a well-known character for many years.
The problem with trying to change a character like Rogue is that there are a lot of fans out there who are going to have a serious issue with it since their familiarity with this character is deep enough that they won’t want to see someone else in her place, with her name and power set. It would be far more advantageous to actually take a risk and dig deeper into the archives to find a character from the X-Men comics that Keke Palmer might be suited for because of her acting ability and her appearance. Given the long history of the X-Men, it’s fair to say that she could take on the role of an obscure character that might be brought to life, or she could even take on the role of Storm in the MCU. That might work.
It’s not a desire to keep people out of roles, it’s a desire to see the source material followed.
In all honesty, there are so many different characters in the Marvel Universe that could fit into the MCU that trying to swap one character or another based on gender or race doesn’t make a bit of sense. My general attitude is that if an actor can pull off the role and make it work, then so be it. But there are times when characters need to be left as they are, especially if the way they are is already as perfect as it can get.
So no, as much as fans might want it, Keke Palmer should be given a different role, not that of Rogue.