Week 11 Secondary Blog: Whitewashing Characters (How is this still a thing)


#OscarSoWhite. Many people rallied against the usage of this hashtag by stating that it is hard to give Academy Awards to actors, for roles they just didn’t get cast it

Well they aren’t wrong. Most (correction re: all) of the characters in this years Oscar nominated films happen to be white. If there aren’t any suitable roles for Asian, Black or Native-American characters, how are they to even be nominated.

Well turns out Hollywood has a miraculous solution even for the above issue – simply by casting white actors in roles meant for POC characters. Simply brilliant, they succeeded in introducing new innovations to the degrees of racism and segregation.

Except this isn’t an innovation. This has been something that has been prevalent in Hollywood cinema for decades. The only difference is that back then they were more accepting of their own racism, in today’s times they will just flat out deny it.

Scarlett Johansson was recently cast as Major Motoko Kusanagi, in the live action remake of Masamune Shirow’s popular Japanese manga series Ghost in the Shell. Not only did the directors consider casting a completely white actress to play a Japanese character, they also deigned to retain the Japanese names of all the characters. That’s just….I don’t eve-….WHAT?

(Update: They used VISUAL EFFECTS to make the actors LOOK MORE ASIAN)


And it doesn’t just stop there.

Natt Wolfe as Light Yagami, in the live-action version of Japanese manga series Death Note

Tilda Swinton as Ancient One, as the mystical Tibetan hermit who teaches Doctor Strange about magic

Even Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone in her biopic, and the usage of what looks like actual blackface to make her resemble the musical icon more.

And countless more examples.

At this point I am too exhausted to even be angry about it (or even to write coherently)

This is racist. And its crazy it’s still happening.


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