Wanna-Be Film Extra Told She's Too Dark to Be Hobbit

Race row hits New Zealand production

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 29, 2010 4:09 AM CST

(Newser) – A woman who wanted to be an extra in The Hobbit was told by the casting crew on the New Zealand production that while she was short enough to play a hobbit, she wasn't white enough. "The casting manager basically said they weren't having anybody who wasn't pale-skinned," the woman, who is of Pakistani descent, told the Dominion Post. She waited for 3 hours with hundreds of other aspiring extras before being told there was little point in her being there.

"We are looking for light-skinned people. I'm not trying to be—whatever. You've got to look like a hobbit," a film company representative told the crowd. A spokesman for producer Peter Jackson said he was unaware of the restriction and described it as "an incredibly unfortunate" error. "All people meeting the age and height requirements are welcome to audition for The Hobbit," the spokesman said.

A sculpture of Gollum stands in front of a welcome sign, in Hobbiton Town, Matamata, New Zealand.
A sculpture of Gollum stands in front of a welcome sign, in Hobbiton Town, Matamata, New Zealand.   (AP Photo/New Zealand Herald, Christine Cornege)
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