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- The 1973 film version of Jesus Christ Superstar cast Carl Anderson (an African-American) as Judas, a role that could be played by any race.
- When the Made-for-TV Movie version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella was cast in 1997, the casting was colourblind, leading to a very diverse group of actors. There was a black queen (Whoopi Goldberg) and a white king (Victor Garber), and their son was played by a Filipino man (Paolo Montalban). In addition, the role of Cinderella herself was given to a black woman (Brandy). Cinderella's stepmother is white (Bernadette Peters) and her daughters are both black (Natalie Desselle-Reid) and white (Veanne Cox).
- Some people questioned if George A. Romero had any particular reason for choosing black actor Duane Jones for the lead role in Night of the Living Dead (1968), given that it came out in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement and having a black leading actor was unusual at the time. Romero said that no, Jones just had the best audition.
- Alien famously had its script written so that all of the characters were only referred to by their family names and with no physical descriptions, allowing the casting of anyone in any role (with the exception of the voice-over artist who played the computer "Mother"). It was only after the roles were cast that the script was tweaked so proper pronouns were used in dialogue.
- The script of Lethal Weapon never indicated Murtaugh's race. When the casting director suggested Danny Glover, her response to objections over race was "So what?".
- Much Ado About Nothing (1993): Don Pedro, prince of Spain, is played by black actor Denzel Washington, and his half-brother is played by half-Asian, half-white Keanu Reeves.
- Thor director Kenneth Branagh invoked this with regard to the casting of Idris Elba as the Norse god Heimdall, saying "If you have a chance to have a great actor in the part, everything else is irrelevant."
Live Action TV
- Grey's Anatomy is a great example. None of the roles were cast with an eye to race, leading to a very racially diverse cast. Miranda Bailey was originally envisioned by the creator as a tall blonde woman. Look who she's played by now! Also, Isaiah Washington originally auditioned for the part Patrick Dempsey has made famous. Sandra Oh's character's last name was changed to her more ethnically appropriate name only after she was cast in the part.
- Still Star-Crossed rather painfully shoehorns this in. It renders several original Romeo and Juliet characters (notably Prince Escalus, Romeo himself, and Rosaline) as blacks, which works well with diversifying the cast, but rather jarringly clashes with the setting of 16th-century Italy. It has met significant controversy for this reason.
- Deception was written with no races given to the characters. This lead to a cast led by a woman with African, Puerto Rican and Cherokee heritage with an ex who is Black and Cuban. The only change to the script was that Will's last name, originally Sakovitch, was changed to Moreno.
- Power Rangers has dealt with some mild controversy regarding Five-Token Band, but almost all of their characters are up in the air in terms of casting. It isn't perfect, with occasional slips (the Red Samurai Ranger was required to be white, due to already having cast his sister, and an actress was turned down from Power Rangers Megaforce, the only reason given being that they already had a black actor.) That being said, the show has always taken a small amount of pride in its diversity. In fact, most characters are originally written with no last names, only getting them after the actor has been cast.
- In Elementary, Dr Watson, usually a white Englishman, is played by Asian actress Lucy Liu. (Making this Watson a woman was something the showrunners had decided in advance, but she only became Asian when they cast Liu.)
- In season 1 of Daredevil, Ben Urich, typically a white man in the comics, is played by African-American Vondie Curtis-Hall, which doesn't have any impact on the plot in the least. In season 2, the casting of African-American Stephen Rider as Blake Tower is also a casting choice that has no impact on the plot either.
- In the TV version of Neverwhere, all the characters (except the Black Friars, who are required by the plot to be, well, black) were written and cast without specifying a race or ethnicity, with Paterson Joseph and Tanya Moodie getting cast as major characters. Averted with the casting of Scottish Gary Bakewell as Scottish-born Londoner Richard; this continued with the casting of James McAvoy as Richard in the BBC radio play version.
- In the Fox 2016 adaptation of Grease, a good chunk of the cast (including extras) are now played by actors of color, specifically Rizzo, Marty, Doody, Kenickie, Putzie, Blanche, Calhoun, Teen Angel (now split into three, as portrayed by Boyz II Men), Cha-Cha, and Vince Fontaine.
- Liv and Maddie has Parker, the youngest son who is clearly asian though his whole family is caucasian.
- Opera has been pretty indifferent to the race of the singers playing the racially diverse characters seen on opera stages for quite a while. If you can sing the role well, no one in the opera community cares if your race matches that of the character. In the old days, this resulted in white women playing every non-white role such as Cio-Cio San (a Japanese girl) or Aida (an Ethiopian princess). But with operatic knowledge having expanded beyond Europe, this means that many women of different races are cast as characters of any race as well. For example, Korean soprano Sumi Jo has sung roles like Lucia (a Scottish lady) and Violetta (a French courtesan). Likewise, world famous African-American soprano, Leontyne Price, has sung the roles of Leonora (a Spanish woman), Liu (a Chinese woman), and Tatiana (a Russian).
- This is frequently done in school and community theatre, as a limited selection of actors means that it's hard to cast for appearances.
- This trope applies to Broadway as well. Aside from race-specific shows such as Aida and Miss Saigon, non-white actors have been cast in major roles in virtually every Broadway show in existence, even when it might result in Black Vikings or create implausible situations such as an Asian child of two white parents.
- Director Peter Brook enjoys doing Culture Chop Suey casting for all his plays and famous productions.
- A rare theatre aversion in The Book of Mormon, where there is race-specific casting for both the Mormon elders and the people of Uganda.
- Played with in Hamilton. The only rule is that King George is the Token White; otherwise, anything goes. As long as the rest of the cast are people of color, their exact origins don't matter.
- Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? became the center of a big controversy in 2017 when the estate of Edward Albee refused to allow a director to cast an African-American as Nick. The Albee estate's argument was that references to his being white in the script, and the taboos against interracial marriage in the period when the play was written (and is putatively still set in), mean the casting has to be race-specific. This led to a backlash from many people, who felt that Death of the Author should apply.
- The 1999 Broadway version of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown had an Asian-American Linus and an African-American Schroeder. Charles M. Schulz had reservations about it but ultimately gave it his blessing. Since it's a community theatre staple, it undoubtedly has been frequently subject to this trope.