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What do you think of Hollywood whitewashing Asian characters?

by Jennifer Muirhead (follow)
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma ~ Eartha Kitt.
Dreamworks (2)      Race (2)      Racism (2)     
The news that Dreamworks' live action remake of the 1995 anime Ghost in the Shell will star Scarlett Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi has angered many fans who felt that a Japanese actress should have been chosen for the role.

Other examples of characters being "whitewashed" in movies include The Edge of Tomorrow (2014), The Last Airbender (2010) and Speed Racer (2008). Does the practice of whitewashing bother you?



Rinko Kikuchi, Japanese actress, Ghost in the Shell
Rinko Kikuchi, just one example of a talented, Academy Award nominated Japanese actress who would make a great Major Kusanagi if given the chance. Image from Wikimedia Commons.


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In animation, I don't think it particularly matters as long as the actor can do the right accent/voice.
None of the movies I was talking about were animated though. The original Ghost in the Shell movie was but the remake is live action so it's pretty obvious that a supposedly Japanese character with a Japanese name is suddenly white.
In that case it is completely wrong. That sounds so stupid. They are not doing themselves any favours because it creates such a dissonance.
It's "acting", why can't any actress or actor do it.
Because representation matters.
If there was absolutely no choice. I am not in favour of giving the part to a pooly talented actress for diversity sake but when there are talented actresses let them have the part.
by Gia
It's all about who's going to bring the most money into the 'box office'.

If that's a 'white' actress in the role of a Japanese person, so be it.
This has happened forever & a day in movies & theatre.

Remember our own exceptionally talented Sir Robert Helpmann who played the part of the Chinese, Prince Tuan, in movie '55 Days at Peking'?

He even choreographed (as he would do!) the dance scene in the Temple, with Charlton Heston(Maj Matt Lewis) & Ava Gardner(The Baroness). And that was 1962.

So the situation is NEVER going to change because of the almighty $$$$$$!
People should be used to this by now! All the PC'ing in the world's not going to fix it!

Actually I think a fair bit of progress has been made already. I don't think Hollywood could slip through an out an out racist caricature like the Micky Rooney character in Breakfast at Tiffany's now and not have people up in arms and boycotting the film. I think it will change, but people need to speak up about it.
I don't like this practice at all. Nor do I like it when one "ethnic" actor or actress becomes popular and then pops up in any film that has an "ethnic" character in it. There are many talented actors out there, why not choose an appropriate one for the role?
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