Peter Jackson's forthcoming 'Lord of the Rings' movie 'The Hobbit' has come under fire after a casting manager working on the film told hopefuls they were only looking for actors with 'light skin tones', reports the Uk's Independent newspaper. Naz Humphreys, a British actress of Pakistani origin, travelled 80 miles to the auditions only to be told her skin was too dark.
Ms Humphreys joined a crowd of 700 hopefuls responding to a casting call placed in a local New Zealand newspaper. However, after three hours of waiting she was turned away because of her skin colour, she said, "The casting manager basically said they weren't having anybody who wasn't pale-skinned". A spokesman for the movie's director said yesterday (30th November 2010) that the casting manager did not have permission to make such restrictions and that the incident was "an incredibly unfortunate error". Humphreys went on to speak about her disappointment at the casting policy, saying, "It just seemed like a shame, because obviously hobbits are not brown or black, or any other colour. They all look kind of homogenised beige, and all derived from the Caucasian gene pool".
Video footage of the casting session reportedly shows the casting manager telling the crowd of extras, "We are looking for light-skinned people. I'm not trying to be ... whatever. It's just the brief. You've got to look like a hobbit". The film, which is set to be released in two parts, begins filming in 2011.