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Yesterday, Big Hero 6 actor Ryan Potter dropped a viral video that showcased his fighting abilities, in hopes of securing the role of Robin in Ben Affleck's Batman film. However, that's not the only reason the young actor made his aspirations to join the DC Cinematic Universe known. In addition to putting himself out there to become the feature film face of Tim Drake, Potter wants to start a conversation about breaking the racial mold in DC's comic book casting.
Jumping into the fray, The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision spoke with Ryan Potter about the impact his Robin audition has had on the internet. More specifically, Potter's reasoning for putting the video up was basically to get people to react in the two usual modes the internet splits into. He explained his endgame thusly:
This was really just to start that dialogue, and it's clearly done so. In the [YouTube] comments, I see time and time again, 'I don't want to see an Asian Tim Drake,' and other people go, 'Hey, he's also half-Caucasian.' On the other end of the spectrum, I see people say, 'Oh my God, he looks just like him. We need him as Tim Drake.' That's exactly what I wanted to happen.
After some spurring on by an unnamed colleague, Ryan Potter googled the character of Tim Drake, as he was told that he bore a strong resemblance to that variation of Robin. Flash forward to today, and Potter is now bringing his message, and his wishes, to the public forum of the internet, with his dual purpose fulfilled. Though if his amazing physicality doesn't spur DC Comics and Warner Bros into casting him as Tim Drake, then perhaps his remarks about Marvel being ahead of the game when it comes to diversity.
Ryan Potter continued to bolster the case for DC Comics to branch out in their casting practices with the following praise for their major competitor:
Marvel has done a really amazing job lately of adding a lot more diversity to their universe. One thing I noticed about the DC universe is it's very one note at the moment in terms of age and diversity. I thought it would be absolutely amazing to see an Asian-American face in that cast.
Overall, the aim isn't controversy or slinging mud against DC Comics' image. Rather, open conversation about the casting practices of Hollywood, and the encouragement of bold casting choices is what Ryan Potter is trying to encourage, so don't go setting the internet afire in a flame war just yet. Rather, start talking about the matter at hand in a way that would encourage companies like Warner Bros. and DC Comics to get creative with their hiring practices, in the name of providing you with better quality entertainment.