August 24, 2017

Report: Deadpool 2 producers may have cost inexperienced stuntwoman her life by wanting race and gender to match character

StaffRebel Columnist

Earlier this month, stuntwoman Joi Harris lost her life while filming Deadpool 2 in Vancouver and political correctness may be to blame.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film's producers had been exerting pressure to have to have Harris, who had raced professionally but never worked on a film, to perform that day's stunt.

The report states that as an African-American woman, she was a believable stand-in for Zazie Beetz's character Domino. The stunt went on despite crewmembers warning producers that Harris wasn't ready, according to a production source.

The stunt was described by The Hollywood Reporter as being relatively straightforward. “It called for a rider sitting astride a Ducati 939 Hyperstrada motorcycle to exit a building, descend a ramp over three small stairs and stop on a nearby landing. For a stunt professional, it would have been a cinch,” the report indicates.

However, a crash occurred after the first take proving the concerns of crewmembers to be accurate. Veteran stunt coordinator Conrad Palmisano put the blame on the producers wanting to be racially correct. “The producers put pressure to have somebody of the same sex and ethnicity in a position she wasn’t qualified to be in,” he said.

“The stunt coordinators caved to the pressure. All the stunt people could do was take it to their higher-ups. They’re going to follow their chain of command,” he added.

Some people are putting the blame on a “lack of diversity”. Darnell Hunt, the dean of Social Sciences at UCLA said, “If the movie’s producers had to go outside of the normal stunt community to find someone who was both qualified and resembles the actress, that speaks to a problem of lack of diversity of stunt performers.”

Let us know in the comments what you think.

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commented 2017-08-25 15:30:21 -0400
I don’t mean to take anything away from Joi Harris, this is a terrible tragedy. The problem might be lack of diversity. It also might not be; a stuntperson’s face/body has to be hidden or altered anyhow to match the star, and that seemed convincing to me in movies I’ve seen.
It’s clearer to me that the solution should not be to increase diversity with racial/ethnic contracts over skill and experience.
commented 2017-08-25 10:56:23 -0400
Skill and ability to survive the stunt is the all important issue. As Stephen E has pointed out, filming technology has come a long way; no vaseline on the lens needed! What a moronic statement Andrew!
commented 2017-08-25 02:58:26 -0400
Andrew and Sarah if you love diversity so much , go volunteer in Quebec to serve all those refugees. Put your damn money and your effort where your mouths are for once.
commented 2017-08-25 02:57:28 -0400
I demand Wonder Woman be made a man.
commented 2017-08-25 02:57:02 -0400
Andrew Stephenson you are right about lack of diversity , gays are far over represented on movies and TV.
commented 2017-08-24 22:43:12 -0400
The fact that they black washed Domino, who is named after a Domino, which is a white thing with a black dot on it; all to fill a stupid quota pisses me off. I didn’t watch the new spider man cause they made MJ black: so i’m not going to rush to watch this one either. And here i thought that Marvel Cinema was doing good.
commented 2017-08-24 22:39:46 -0400
But if “lack of (racial)diversity” with in the stunt world was a problem, which forced them to hire a unqualified rider to attempt the stunt; then wouldn’t the problem be compounded even more, if the stunt community forced gender and race quotas to hire more unqualified riders, just make up for the lack of experienced riders of desired race and gender? It amounts to the same thing, which would be IRONIC.
commented 2017-08-24 20:54:14 -0400
Its PC to recast white characters as black, but never use a white stand in/stunt person for a black character.

If the stunt included wearing a helmet, who cares? Even without a helmet, makeup would work, or replace the head/face in CGI.

“Lack of diversity” in stunt people was never a problem five years ago. Maybe diverse people don’t want to be stunt people.

Yea, being PC kills.
commented 2017-08-24 17:58:14 -0400
So… what? You replace a black woman with a white man for the stunts, and hope nobody notices? Perhaps the old Star Wars style vaseline-on-the-camera-lens trick would do?

It’s hard to spin this as “PC”. If you can’t find a qualified black stuntwoman that at least vaguely resembles the character (because there aren’t any), then yes, “lack of diversity” is the problem.
commented 2017-08-24 17:56:30 -0400
Diversity means anti white , - ok - we are getting used to that
But when it’s a life on the line , common sense must take over

Diversity kills !!!
commented 2017-08-24 16:01:36 -0400
Here the best qualified person…period!
commented 2017-08-24 15:15:34 -0400
Identity politics and political correctness – what a bunch of f**kin’ bullshit!
commented 2017-08-24 14:17:56 -0400
More stupid people who value perceived political correctness over safety and ability; then blame others for their stupid/deadly decision. Massive lawsuit should be filed immediately.
commented 2017-08-24 13:44:48 -0400
So it’s WHO’S fault there aren’t a large number of a specific group pursuing a specific career? The members of that group who aren’t doing it, or some other group that some pathetic snowflake wants to scapegoat this fictitious “problem” to?
commented 2017-08-24 13:44:23 -0400
I hope the producers are being sued for this!
commented 2017-08-24 13:44:06 -0400
Yeah, lack of diversity. That’s the problem. It couldn’t possibly be choosing pc over common sense.
commented 2017-08-24 13:28:10 -0400
I was wondering about that accident. Being a top female racer does not mean you have the skill to do stunts. They are two very different skill sets.
‘a lack of diversity in stunt performers’…. and there is good reason for that.