Seth Rogen is one of the most beloved comedy actors in Hollywood at the moment.
He's been praised for being funny, an activist, and incredibly socially aware.
That last bit is being called into question thanks to an incident on the set of a new film he is producing.
TMZ released images from set showing a stunt-double wearing body padding, a wig and makeup to make his skin tone darker than it naturally was. The boy was a stand-in and stunt-double for child actor Keith L. Williams, who is heavier and has a darker skin tone than the stand-in.
Both boys are black, but Keith's skin is darker. According to sources, Rogen was not actually on set that day and was not personally involved in darkening the stand-in's skin.
But Rogen still released a statement and took personal responsibility for the incident.
"I should start by saying this shouldn't have happened, and I'm terribly sorry it did. I won't give excuses for why it happened."
"I'll just say that as soon I was made aware of it, I ensured we put an end to it – and I give my word that on any project my team and I are involved in, we will take every precaution to make sure something similar does not take place again. I'm engaging in conversations to make sure I find the best way to do that."
"It's on me to be proactive. Reacting isn't enough."
The rapper Common got involved in the fray, criticizing Rogen for the incident. He told TMZ:
"C'mon man, it's 2018, when is that acceptable? I ain't with it. If I'm a black person on that set, I'm offended."
"And honestly, I think a white person should step up and say they feel uncomfortable and it's not appropriate. Black and white people gotta stand up when they see some bulls**t going on."
Interestingly, plenty of people in the industry do not see an issue. Industry insiders say matching skin tones between stunt doubles and actors of the same race is common and necessary. You can't guarantee a stunt actor will have exactly the same skin tone as the actor they're standing in for.
Often times you can't even guarantee they'll be the same gender. You cast as closely as possible based on the needs and abilities, and make adjustments from there. They say stand-ins and stunt-doubles are chosen because they resemble the actor as closely as possible and then have makeup and costuming done to help make the shot more believable.
The child's father also happens to be a long-time stunt double who was on set. He says he's offended that anyone is making complaints regarding his son and nothing was done outside of what is standard.
According to industry insiders, that often includes changing the skin tone, wigs, and padding to match body types. Someone on the set filed a complaint about it, though.
Here is one of the images TMZ released.
Twitter can't figure out if this is a problem or not.
@MiaFarrow This is being picked at. Meanwhile, blatant racism is running rampant in this country right now. And not… https://t.co/buGAzAUpcf— FTorres (@FTorres)1533318424.0
@HeyThereBrenna @MiaFarrow Please, white lady, whitesplain further. As a brown person involved in cinematography, I… https://t.co/I3sEAD6wU2— Andy Genova (@Andy Genova)1533341345.0
@HuffPost He means take every precaution to make sure it isn’t caught happening again.— Bud Davis (@Bud Davis)1533335252.0
@HuffPost Who makes an issue out of stage makeup? It’s a working kid, give me a break.— Jill Newton (@Jill Newton)1533300021.0
@gehrig38 @BreitbartNews @Sethrogen No other fat black kids around? C'mon. I agree with Common. Gotta change this… https://t.co/b8cApoABtd— The Truth Teller (@The Truth Teller)1533230517.0
@HotNewHipHop Jesus Christ lol.. people will cry about anything these days.. clearly this is popping up more becaus… https://t.co/8vnRqbof0W— 396 Shane-Ø (@396 Shane-Ø)1533238412.0
@Essence Ok Seth... that's a good start. https://t.co/qwpllg8j6Q— 🗽NewYorker928🗽 (@🗽NewYorker928🗽)1533387766.0
This debate is unlikely to see an end any time soon.