a_files06 (a_files06) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,

Tyler Blackburn of Roswell/Pretty Little Liars fame "oops, I may be white?"


-Tyler Blackburn recently was a guest on the Pretty Little Liars Wine Moms recap podcast hosted by Lesley Fera (Veronica Hastings), Holly Marie Combs (Ella Montgomery), and Nia Peeples (Pam Fields). Each episode features a special guest from the series, varying from actresses to crew members.

-In said podcast Tyler talks about his two most notable roles Caleb Rivers on PLL and and Alex Manes on Roswell New Mexico and how he almost lost out on the roles because they wanted the characters to be ethnic and how he ultimately won them because he believed he was part Native American.

-In the podcast he reveals the following:
Tyler Blackburn (TB): No actually I didn’t get the role at first [of Caleb] because they were like ‘we really think he needs to be like eth— like really ethnic. We need some ethnic diversity.’
Lesley: Oh, okay
TB: Um, and I was like
Nia: But what are you?
Holly: And you’re not?
Lesley: But you’re like… Hello part Indian.
TB: Well…
Lesley: I mean part Native American I mean.
TB: (chuckles) No, I’m actually not. I’m actually not, I found out.

-Tyler goes on to say that his father had told him that his great grandmother was Cherokee, but a 23 and Me test results indicated that he didnt have any Native American in him.

TB: Do you know when I found out that I wasn’t is when I, when I got Roswell. My character was also supposed to be Native American.
Holly: Right.
TB: And I was like — ½ Native American — and I was like, great! Like, I mean, because it, it, the pool is like, so small.
TB: You know and I was like this is great, you know? Um (smiling) I’m shooting season… I’m shooting season 1 of the show and I do a 23 & Me
Holly: Right
TB: And I have literally not even 0.1% Native American.
TB: Even though it’s not up to her, you know, but anyway…but then they told me ‘thank you so much for the read, it was so good, but we want more ethnic diversity.’ They came back, I don’t know, maybe three weeks later and they were like, ‘what is your background?’
Holly: Who the fuck (Video cuts out)
TB: and I was like ‘I don’t even know?’ I call my, my dad, he tells me ‘I don’t, I don’t even know.’ He’s like, call grandma.
Holly: Right
TB: I call grandma and she tells me her side. And then my dad’s dad, passed away before I was born. I don’t know his side of the family at all.
Holly: Right.
TB: And, uh, so my grandmother talks to me about his side of the family and says, you know, it was, it was, uh, Harold, was my, my grandfather’s name, Harold’s great grandmother was Cherokee, Indian.
Nia (cheers)
Lesley (Laughs)
Holly: Yup. Tyler, we literally —
TB: And I was like ‘Really??!’ I was like ‘This is good!!’ (claps hands) (Video Cut)
TB: So then I told, I told, casting, you know, I’m Native American. And so they thought that was enough to cast me, as, you know, ethnically ambiguous or whatever.
Lesley: That’s awesome.

Tags: actor / actress, pretty little liars (freeform), television - cw

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ok elizabeth warren
hdu she is 1/64 to 1/1024 cherokee
what is this word vomit
Seriously my dog eats a letter noodle soup and poops more coherent stuff.
...why admit to this like it’s a cute fun story
the thing about ancestry tests is that while they can tell you a lot about your own personal genetic makeup, there's a lot about your family history that they can't. so while his story sounds pretty typical of spicy white people, it's possible for you to have a great-grandparent from a certain region, but it doesn't reflect at all in your ancestry/23andme report, meanwhile your full sibling takes the same test and can read as 34% of something you have nothing of.
OMG that is so confusing. What is even the point of taking those tests if they can't actually tell you everything?! (I'm cheap.)
it's testing gene expression, so simpified, that sibling can have the cherokee genes while you have more scottish genes
but it can be helpful for getting a general picture if you don't know anything about your family background
i think it has value if you're interested in finding out about your potential heritage, but it's more helpful if you have a lot of family members who also take it, so you can track your actual ancestry. my cousins and i were able to figure out who our great-grandfather's father was, and we discovered our grandmother had a half-sister she (probably) never knew existed. it's been really eye-opening!


October 18 2020, 05:11:46 UTC 6 months ago Edited:  October 18 2020, 05:12:17 UTC

It's because the chromosomes you get from your parents are randomized among the 23 pairs (among other factors like chromosomal crossover where a pair of chromosomes can exchange portions). So you aren't guaranteed an equal amount of genetic information from every grandparent (and thus every ancestor onwards).

It's still very useful, like the others said, if you have multiple data points (i.e. siblings and family).


6 months ago

i did a 23andme because my dad is adopted and it was amazing to actually find part of his birth family, but the ancestry composition part was truly useless in my case. as if i couldn't have guessed from my entire pasty body that i'm "broadly northwestern european"
In addition to what others have said, these commercial tests (like many things!) simply aren't as good at figuring out the non-white genetic content. So not only is there a significant chance that after a couple generations you have no genetic heritage from one certain ancestor, the tests in general are less able to pick up on say, Native American DNA, because their original sample database was Very White to begin with. However over time as more people use them they may improve somewhat.
Yup. My mom and I both took the Ancestry tests and my results are 100% boring (literally 97% Portuguese and 3% French lmao). My mom's results were a lot more varied than mine. My mom also bought tests for her parents and their results are closer to mine than my moms. It's interesting.
This reminds me. I've always wondered how me and my brothers ancestry results would turn out. He's a spitting image of our white mom while I also look like her but more like our dad (brown latino) than he does. I'm a little darker, have darker hair, things like that.


6 months ago

This is why I want to do one with both of my brothers. My oldest brother is a clone of our white dad, my other brother got all of his looks from my mom's Mexican side, and I'm somewhere in between.


6 months ago


6 months ago

But even if his great grandmother actually was Native American, that would make him what like...1/16th or something? Surely not enough to get cast off for a character that was supposed to be 1/2?
Tbh, when I first read about it, it sounded like pll was looking for any percentage of native ancestry. And he believed his grandmother and didn’t argue or try and find out for sure.
Considering what Hollywood is like, 1/16th is probably exactly what they mean when they say, quoting the above, "very ethnic" rather than the usual "spicy white."
1/8th, right? but yeah
The mess of this all. A white man claiming to be Native American on the basis of 1/16 ancestry to take a job from an NA actor and using genetics as the barometer of indigeneity instead of the culture you have absolutely no knowledge or experience of.
Why is there even a Wine Moms podcast??
Probably so Holly can complain about something
I truly don't get how Pretty Little Liars has been able to suck every last drop out of its fanbase
Yeah, I wa thinking, isn’t this like 4-5 years late??
It's perfect timing. People have nothing to do right now and the show is getting revived.


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October 18 2020, 03:08:56 UTC 6 months ago Edited:  October 18 2020, 03:09:31 UTC

I—hm. This is not a funny anecdote
TB: And I was like — ½ Native American — and I was like, great! Like, I mean, because it, it, the pool is like, so small.

uh what pool is so small? am i reading too much into this? because the reason people with actual native ancestry aren't cast is because brown haired whites like this dude are being cast

23 and Me test results are not wholly accurate. Rely more on your family history.
What about Ancestry?

How was 23 and Me inaccurate?
I think genetics only really touch what they have on record, but also, a set of siblings can take the test and pick up different ancestry because genetic are weird.


October 18 2020, 11:07:41 UTC 6 months ago Edited:  October 18 2020, 11:11:09 UTC

I don't mean inaccurate I think in the sense you mean. The other commenter who mentioned what they have on record explains it well.

The site itself has to always keep learning. If you've done them, then you'll see that your results get updated once in a while. Your results are going to be broad until the site gets more information to narrow it down, and as they look at different parts of your DNA. And so DNA they know less about might not even show. Just because something doesn't show on one of these sites doesn't mean you don't have ancestors from that region. I used to just get broad results for European (as one percentage) before it narrowed down to specifically Polish as part of my results, and that part of my family history is not that far back. My mom knew them. That took three updates.

But he obviously shouldn't be playing a Native American role if he has to go that far back, if he can't even name the person who it is.
So this white dude should believe his father in claiming his native American ancestry? Or..

Like I get your comment to a point, but history gets muddled, especially with people wanting to believe certain things about their family history.
So he as spicy white felt entitled to take a role from an actual Native American actor? And not only does he lack shame, but he feels like the casting people were wrong for not wanting to let his white ass have the role? And he thinks this is a cute story to tell, and not a terrible offensive thing he should be keeping to himself????

1/16th, my actual fucking ass.
The Entitlement of The White.
i'm mestiza and i would never ever claim native american, wth is wrong with this man?? this is not a cute story, at all.

so many non-natives love to claim they have a great grandma who was a cherokee princess or some shit 🙄
Blake Lively’s Loreal ad will never fail to amaze me
To his credit, if he's been told that his entire life by family, why wouldn't he believe them?
The podcast This Land has an episode that answers your question but to give a brief answer from that there’s a history of white people claiming Native American ancestry (especially Cherokee) based on “family lore” while the family has no knowledge of the basis of this “lore” and no meaningful connection to Cherokee Nation. This isn’t some innocent miscommunication, it’s a pattern of racism.


6 months ago


6 months ago


6 months ago

To add to what the comment above mine says, it is diabolical for him to go through life as a white person until he wanted to get a role intended for a POC. Clearly that family lore wasn't just part of a larger pattern of racism and white domination, but something that didn't matter to him until he wanted to steal a role.


6 months ago

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