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What's the hardest casting choice you've had to make in your showrunner career?
Hardest casting choice?
Not sure what that means in context. Like we had two people and couldn't decide which one to pick? I can't even think of an example of that.
We've had some roles that were hard to cast. Goliath and Elisa come to mind, but once we found Keith and Salli, respectively, the decision was easy.
There have been roles where my first choice was over-ridden by TPTB, but it's always worked out pretty darn well, anyway.
I am a lifelong fan of all of your work! Especially gargoyles and young justice. I wanted to ask 3 questions that I didnât see waiting to be answered already.
1 did you intentionally include props from gargoyles in young justice season four at the Tower of fate? A.k.a. the Phoenix gate, The eye of Oden, grimorum arcanorum.
2 are there more gargoyles Easter eggs throughout YJ?
3 I have recognized the voices of many of the actors on young Justice, as actors who also voiced characters on gargoyles. Do you like to work a lot with the same people?
I think itâs pretty fantastic, but sometimes when I hear the voices I think of their character from gargoyles instead of who they are in young justice.
1. If I said it was an accident or coincidence would you believe me?
2. Here and there.
3. I do. Very much.
Greg, are you aware that you can have a Muslim character without making their entire identity about being Muslim? You realize weâre regular people, right? Most of us arenât religious zealots. We donât think about being Muslim 24/7. Itâs just part of our identity. You donât really need to mention it, just like you have never mentioned the religion of any of the main white characters. Or is it more that you feel the need to remind the audience that youâre so inclusive for including Muslims? Whatever it is, you need to stop. This is clearly a blind spot of yours. And donât reply that some org youâre working with says youâre fine - they donât speak for all of us and you canât hide behind that to dismiss criticism.
I'm not hiding behind anyone. But I also feel just fine saying that an organization like MPAC likes what we're doing and encouraged same. As did the Muslim writer who wrote the episode and the Muslim actor who performed the role. My point is - and always has been - simply this: JUST BECAUSE YOU PERSONALLY THINK SOMETHING DOESN'T WORK, DOESN'T MEAN THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY AGREES WITH YOU. PERIOD. You don't get to decide for all Muslims what does or doesn't play. I had plenty of Muslim fans thrilled over our depiction of Khalid. Doesn't mean you have to be, but stop trying to tell me that you personally represent an entire religion, when I have a list of people who are also of that faith disagreeing with you.
And, yes, of course, Muslims are regular people. Just like Khalid, for example, who didn't talk about his Muslim identity at all in five out of the six episodes he appeared in this season. So he did talk about it in one episode. One episode that happened to specifically be about a crisis in faith. That doesn't make him a zealot, as you so kindly labeled him. His faith is part of his identity, just as Zatara's Catholic faith is part of his - putting the lie to the notion that we've never addressed the faith of any "white" characters. (Or do you think Zatara is a zealot, as well? Or does he not count because he's not YOUNG?)
In any case, Khalid's faith matters to him. And we're just fine depicting that. For some characters, their faith (whatever it may be) is a big part of their lives. For others, it isn't. That's the way the world works. Why wouldn't our show reflect the world?
Take the excellent ABC sitcom Abbott Elementary, for example, where the character played by Sheryl Lee Ralph (our Amanda Waller) is constantly expressing her faith and her belief in God, even though none of the other characters do. (At least not that I've seen so far.) This is life.
The funny thing is, I had other Muslim viewers tell me I couldn't hide behind MPAC to justify Khalid being a practicing sorcerer. To which my answer was much the same.
And on the other hand, I had some fan write me asking why I had gone into depth on the faith of a Muslim and a Christian and hadn't done the same for a Jew. If I did a Jew next season, I'd have someone else ask me why I hadn't done X religion or Y.
So, yes, for these reasons, I am dismissing your criticism. Not because I'm "hiding" or "blind" but because it is LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE for me to please everyone. So whom should I listen to? One "Anonymous" fan? Or an organization of human beings who are standing up to see that their people are treated well in Hollywood media. What makes you an expert over them? Why would I do what you want? So that I can "hide" behind you instead?
Basically, Brandon and I go with our gut while following the advise of people who work hard to see representation flourish in this industry, which in and of itself we see as important and necessary and as better storytelling. This isn't new territory for me either. I've been doing this kind of thing since Gargoyles.
There's no blind spot. I'm doing this on purpose. And I like it.
Why did you stop casting child actors for the roles of child characters in Young Justice?
We haven't stopped. Amistad, for example, was played by a child actor. We're just admittedly inconsistent about it, for a variety of factors. Usually, the reason is budgetary. If a child character only has a couple lines, and we think we have someone from the existing cast - in that specific episode - who can cover those lines, we may elect to save some money, so that we can spend it later on another actor. And then once we've cast someone, we rarely recast, unless (a) we have to because the original actor is unavailable or (b) the character has aged so much that the original actor is no longer appropriate.
Dear Mr Weisman i have some Young justice questions for you 1.How old is Jason Blood and how long have he and the Phantom Stranger known each other? 2. I noticed some vary familiar looking artifacts in Mr blood's home that he told Mary not to touch. Have he or Etrigan ever traveled to any other universes outside of Earth 16 and the Dc multiverse including a universe where '' One thousand years ago superstition and the sword ruled'' to claim the artifacts ? 3. How long have Zatanna and Etrigan known each other ? 4. Did you consider hiring Dee Bradley Baker for the role of etrigan before hiring David Shaughnessy for the role instead ? P s thank you for giving my alien theory about the driver and kids on that school bus that Zatanna and her students avoided in the previous episode some footing
1. Jason Blood was born @500 A.D.
1a. Long time.
2. I doubt it. But you never know.
3. A while.
4. Not that I recall. Love Dee. But I thought David - whom I worked with on Star Wars Rebels - would give us an amazing version of both Blood and Etrigan.
How did L-Ron have access to the Krolotean database?
Why didn't Despero speak in "Corned?"
By the way, Keith David, the voice of Mongul here, previously voiced Despero in Justice League.
1. I dunno. Does it matter?
2. It was beneath him to communicate directly with inferiors.
3. Keith's a talented guy!
Did you hold auditions during the pandemic? If so, how did that work?
We didn't hold in person auditions. We did have performers submit tapes of them performing the part for certain roles, e.g. Amistad Ervin. It's not as good a system - in theory - as you can't see how an actor takes direction. But fortunately, it all worked out for us remarkably well. Of course, we didn't hold a ton of auditions for roles this season. We mostly just cast new roles without auditioning. And some that we did audition for were done pre-pandemic. But again, I can't complain with the end results.
Forgot to ask: how did you cast Logan Browning?
I'm pretty sure Jamie suggested her for the role. Brandon and I listened to her voice in other things, and we agreed. I don't think we held auditions for Onyx. But it was pre-pandemic, and my memory is fairly fuzzy of those days.
This season has some great new voice actors!
Can you tell us how you cast Carl Lumbly, Usman Ally, Erika Ishii, D.B. Woodside?
1. Not that anyone was arguing with me over the choice, but I really wanted to cast Carl as M'gann's father. In part, as a tribute to his work on Justice League as J'onn J'onzz. But also cuz he's truly great, and I've been a fan of his going back all the way to Cagney & Lacey.
2. We held some auditions for someone who could play both Khalid AND Muhammed Nassour. And Khalid won the roles by being great at both.
3. We held auditions for someone who could play both Mary Bromfield and Child. Brandon and I had seen Erika perform an amazing stand-up routine about playing the violin and being frustrated by the ending of Game of Thrones, so she was one of the people we suggested as a possibility. And she killed it as both characters.
4. Brandon wanted to make Phantom Stranger Black, so he and Jamie Thomason and I began brainstorming who might be a good choice to play the role. I believe Jamie may have suggested D.B., and I was immediately enthusiastic based on his work in Lucifer and Buffy and 24 and other stuff that I've loved him in forever.
Does Zatanna watch Lacey Chabert Hallmark movies?