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Friday, April 15, 2016

New from Hollywood Whitewash Chronicles: GHOST IN THE SHELL

In case we needed another reminder that Hollywood does not care about minority characters or actors, yesterday brought the news that Paramount Pictures and Dreamworks Pictures thought it would be a cool idea to cast Scarlett Johansson as the famous Japanese heroine Major in the film adaptation of Japanese writer/illustrator Masamune Shirow's Kodansha Comics manga comic series, GHOST IN THE SHELL.

Here's a little more about the adaptation:

Based on the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi property, “GHOST IN THE SHELL” follows the Major, a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology.

You hear that? That's the sound of about a million Asian and Asian American actresses rolling their eyes at this news, rightly so. First of all, Johansson doesn't need to do this role because 1) she's a white actress; she can have any role she wants (apparently including non-white roles), and 2) she already plays a superhero in The Avengers. And I'm a Johansson fan. She's badass, and if Major was a white character, I'd be all about it. 

But, there are literally countless Asian and Asian American actresses who should have gotten the opportunity to bring this character and series to a larger American audience. Hollywood, yet again, has ignored all of them, in their persistent need to perpetuate the ignorant notion that white characters are more universal, even in stories about minority characters. Seriously, f**k them. 

And this is from a town of "experts" that like to think that there just "aren't enough great narratives about minority characters." There are clearly plenty, you're just whitewashing all of them. This has been happening for years. Enough with the lies, and enough with marginalizing Asian characters in stereotypical roles that are considered to be more digestible to American audiences. It's insulting. 

They've also got the nerve to hire an all-white male directorial and screenwriting cast in a further effort to erase most all minority talent behind the scenes. They couldn't even put a woman into the mix? Major is a female heroine! Guys, I can't.

GHOST IN THE SHELL is in production in New Zealand, and slated for a March 31, 2017 release. 


Brittani Burnham said...

I'm still trying to figure out what would possess Johansson to accept this role in the first place? I wondered the same thing about Rooney Mara in Pan. At some point, doesn't your conscience go "bad idea?"

Daniel said...

It's a real shame they didn't whitewash that story, I'm not very sure it'll even be a pretty good movie in the end.....

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