Is White Washing Really Still a Thing?

It’s uncomfortable, but everyone’s been talking about it. Is this really a bigger problem then we originally thought?

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About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.

383 comments

  1. The funny thing about white washing is that, say what you will of it in the past, it’s sometimes a necessary evil. The most notable bit of this is in anime dubs, where many different kinds of people voice act as seemingly Japanese characters. Of course this is to varying degrees of effect/success, but you get my point.

    Of course, it also depends on who you get to play the part and if said voice fits the character. And character is a key word when it comes to anime dubs. See, your mileage may vary on this matter, but being of a different nationality than the show’s origin is okay, so long as said voice fits the character being portrayed.

    Of course, voice acting’s not EVERYTHING when it comes to this. There’s also direction, writing, and whether the anime in question was able to be dubbed properly to begin with. A great example of this done right is with Funimation. Doing right where 4Kids did wrong, they’ve saved many potential dubs from going down the drain, including the formerly doomed dubbing of One Piece. Is there white-washing? A little, but only if you go solely by how Oda intended the cast’s nationalities.

    See, Eiichrio Oda had a certain way of seeing the nationalities of the main Straw Hat crew; Luffy was Brazilian, Zoro was Japanese, Sanji was French, Nico Robin was Russian, and even Brook was originally…either Swedish or Belgian, I forget which. The only one that remained more or less unchanged nationality-wise was Franky, whom was always American in Oda’s eyes.

    However, nationality and what a character is are NEVER the same. And in this case, it’s forgivable because the characters are often very likable (our leads, anyway. Your mileage may vary on the rest of the cast), and you get lost in who they are very quickly.

    Of course, like I said, your mileage may vary on how far a dub should go in this regard and this is just one example. The point I’ve been trying to make in all of this is thus:

    While you should avoid whitewashing if possible, it IS necessary in some circles to keep a franchise afloat in the U.S.

    • Christopher Mitchell

      I don’t even think it is an evil. I think it is just actors playing a part. I’m an American and yet every year during the month of December I get up on stage to play a British guy in A Christmas Carol. Is that evil? No. Some of our parts are being played by people of color. Is that offensive? No. Again we are just actors playing a part. It’s no big deal.

      Honestly I think Scarlett Johansson is going to be really good. I have faith in her abilities.

    • Voice acting is not the same thing as live action. It’s a different medium with obviously different expectations.

  2. the new review should have been the fourth one. That fucking sucked

  3. I think in the case of LOTR people with dwarfism wouldn’t have worked too well, since hobbits are supposed to have similar proportions to normal people, just smaller.

  4. Even if the character was Celtic I’d still be discouraged by the fact that Tilda Swinton is playing it – She’s not a good actress {Just look at Narnia!}.
    And casting Angel Coulby as Guinevere is just as bad as casting Harrison Ford as Othello would be! You don’t counteract white-washing by casting blacks in white roles just as you don’t counteract sexism in the workplace by giving women a leg up at the expense of men! {Two Wrongs do NOT make a Right!}.

    Ghost in the Shell however; I can understand because the Japanese are very well known for drawing Anime characters with Caucasian features.

    I think with Lord of the Rings Peter Jackson and co. couldn’t work out how to do the Dwarves alongside little people playing Hobbits – You’ve got two different species of under-sized people that look very different to each other {Dwarves are taller than Hobbits as well while being much shorter than the average Human or Elf.} and the likes of Warwick Davis or Billy Barty just would not look right as Dwarves.

    The Blind, Deaf etc. points you make are obviously taking things way too far – It’s the slippery slope fallacy at work.

    And Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury is in hindsight absolute perfection!

    I’ve long wanted Blake’s 7 remade and I wouldn’t be averse to both Blake and Tarrant being played by Black Actors because their race was not integral to either character and Adrian Lester would be good in either role.
    Su Lin was whitewashed originally anyway and these days casting a Chinese Actress should be pretty easy.
    However: I’d be very disappointed if Avon, Villa or Jenna were not white English! And I’d be just as disappointed if Dayna wasn’t Black!

    The Battlestar Galactica remake was an absolute atrocity!
    Let’s forget Starbuck, the missing Athena and Muffet the Daggit for now and just concentrate on the fact that Boomer was a Black Man NOT an Asian Woman! And Colonel Tigh was a Black Man NOT a White Man!
    Two Major {this being a long running series} roles for Black Actors going to a White Man and an Asian Woman!

    Chiwetel Ejiofor, Adrian Lester and Idris Elba would all make decent Doctors! But casting a Woman as The Master was enough for me to simply STOP WATCHING DR WHO! A show I’ve watched since I was 6 years old! {Over 30 years ago!}.
    A show I bought book after book during the 90s and noughties!
    A show I put up with a tonne of cR@p from Russel T. and Moffatt and kept on watching despite them in the forlorn hope that one day things would get better!
    I’ve even watched the Movies multiple times {yes I own the two Dalek Movies with Peter Cushing from the 60s!}.
    But Now: I’m Done with it and will just stick to my DVDs of Classic Who!

    Women want a Role Model…There are plenty of characters in fiction to choose from and write movies/TV Shows for!
    Ellen Ripley and Princess Leia Organa are both incredible Role Models for Women, Clarice Starling {at least in Silence} is another very strong one!
    There are others that haven’t had that limelight!

    It’s completely unnecessary and frankly insulting {to BOTH SEXES} to re-cast Ghostbusters with an all female cast!
    But the worst thing in that film is the blatant racism involved in the recasting of Winston as a cliched stereotype character!

    • Except there’s nothing spficially caucasian about anime characters, unlike you refuse to acknowledge that japenese people have light skin tones.

      • Round Eyes! Anime Characters have Round Eyes! The major difference between Caucasians and Orientals is the Eyes! The Japanese draw Anime Characters with this Caucasian Feature for some reason so casting a Caucasian {Scarlett Johanssen} as an Anime Character is certainly in the realms of possibility and this is why when asked {shown in the video} Japanese people were perfectly ok with the casting! Oh and btw Spanish, Italian, Greek, Israeli, Arab and Persian are ALL Caucasian! The Majority of People from the Indian Subcontinent are ALSO Caucasian! Skin tone has nothing to do with it!

        • TerminalSanity

          The large eyes in anime are stylistic motif picked up from early American animation to make the drawing and conveyance of expression easier. You save a great deal of pencil mileage that way its doesn’t convey race at all in anime. In fact noses tend to be the bigger tip off there as European characters are often depicted with long noses in animes. In fact i chuckled at the whole reading as Keanu Reeves playing Spike as an example white washing hilarious because the character of Spike Spegal (as if the name wasn’t a tip off) is clearly depicted as being of European decent at least in part that and Keanu Reeves is part Asian. At any rate the white washing of ghost in the shell gets a lot of heat because the character still has freaking Japanese name (its like when a plainly Indian person working a call center self identifies as Dave) and the white washing in Dr.Strange got a lot of heat because Marvel cowtowed to Chinese political sensibilities in the stupidest way possible at if they could just freaking age the ageless character beyond the distinction of modern nationalities altogether to skirt the issue nope gender and race swap character because hollywood kind of lacks imagination

        • I’de be careful with the choice of words. Even if it’s not intentional, the word “Oriental” is still kind’a racially offensive.

  5. Oh god, the Ghost in the Shell crap again…. I knew he was going to bring it up, but I was hoping the Critic would actually do some research into the actual show before talking about it. Not only are anime character ethnicities super hard to tell because most of the time their features are just amplified due to the style, there’s nothing in Ghost in the Shell that actually tells us what ethnicity the character is or what ethnicity her parents actually were. In fact, the complaint is INCREDIBLY unfounded because not only is the series made so that detail’s ambiguous, it also takes place in a world where cybernetic technology has gotten to the point where anyone can pretty much pick and choose whatever features they want to have…. So even if she WAS a character born from a Japanese family with notably Japanese features, it would still be perfectly fine for a white actor to play her because the character lives in a world where she can choose to be played by whatever ethnicity she chooses as long as it resembles the actual ethnically ambiguous character.

    The whole controversy is literally only spurred on by pure nerd rage and shock value from people who have no idea what the heck they’re talking about and just freak out because “a non-asian person is playing an anime character? THIS TOTALLY HAS TO BE WHITEWASHING!!!” and the Critic also not looking into that topic before talking about it really is only hurting the film because now even more people are going to go into the movie with no idea about the source material just thinking “This is the thing the Critic said they whitewashed, right?”

    I know this doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of the video and the main topic still stands on its own, but it still just bugs the heck out of me that people can be so ignorant about this ‘controversy’ and still go out of their way to try and talk about it and spread misinformation about it without even looking up the relevant facts. It’s like if people got upset about Erin being played by someone not of Japanese descent in Attack on Titan even though the series specifically states that him and most other people in that world are not Asian.

    • Right, I’m sure a character named Makoto Kusanagi could be a white American. Her name doesn’t sound Japanese at all.

      Also, even if you can BS your way to some excuse for why she could totally be played by a white woman (But she could be half-Japanese, she is a cyborg, etc…) whitewashing would STILL be a problem because besides the obvious adaption failure, the movie industry is so full of white roles and actors that other ethinicities are terribly underrepresented. If we keep inventing excuses for putting white people in everything, even roles that were not originally white, then we will never break that trend.

    • I love when bigots refuse to acknowledge the main character’s name, setting and ethnicity to justify retarded white-washing.

  6. I have no inherit problems with white washing in anime as long as the film is good. MY main complaint is when they white wash the entire kingdom of Eygpt

  7. “Is this really a bigger problem then we originally thought?”
    *than

    So many native speakers here, how did nobody catch that?

  8. Nicholas Campbell-McBride

    I think i depends on weather we want a safe bet on a good performance from an actor or actress, playing a role that they are not racialy, sexualy or ethnicaly appropriate to play. Or anctor or actreess that may be an ok performance, but would be the appropriate race, sexuality or ethnicity. I would prefere to have the first, because the movie bussiness is an eintertainment industry first and foremost. And being a bussines it’s main motive is also to make a profit, which i cannot blame it for that atall. Though it is good to give a chance to people from different backgrounds and not white. We shouldn’t negate that for a potentialy bad or poor performance, because we want a good movie. Honestly their’s not allot of Peter Dinklage’s around to give great performances and be apppropriate. And maybe the sacrifice is worth making of the characters background for good movie. Call it white washing if you will, but the art of movie making, is creating an illusion, not true reality. And as long as the intent is of making people have a good time, and not discrimination, it ok by me. Despite my views, well done on Nostalgia Critic for bringing it up, interesting video all around indeed.

  9. I’m not that upset that we’ll see Tilda Swinton play The Ancient One in Doctor Strange, because she’s NOT the title character, she’s the TEACHER of the titled character. Also, being a comic book movie fan, I also wasn’t upset that they cast Michael Clarke Duncan as the Kingpin in 2003’s Daredevil, or Lawrence Fishburne as Perry White in the new Superman films, or Will Smith as Deadshot in the upcoming suicide squad. All I expect from these films and these actors is that they give it their all in their performances as these characters.

    HAHAHAHAHA! Boogers.

  10. stcerberusengel

    Comparing the casting of GITS and Cowboy Bebop is a bad example. Spike Spiegel isn’t meant to be Asian. The best signifier of this is in his name: Spiegel. And if he does have an Asian heritage, it is never a part of what defines him. Major Motoko Kusanagi is, however. And in the Major’s case, it is tied to her character. She is part of a setting where Asian nations are at odds with others and she’s devoted her life to the service of the government through Section 9. Nationalism is a part of her character.

    Also, I don’t know a single person who was “excited” to see that adaptation of Bebop…

    To quote Sage, “Can you imagine a live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop? Why, that would be absurd. I SAID IT WOULD BE ABSURD!”

    That was pretty much the same reaction most all fans of the series that I know had. “Do NOT want!”

    • isn’t Motoko’s ethnicity or background ambiguous at best?

      not to mention didn’t Section 9 recruit internationally?

      • stcerberusengel

        As far as I am aware, all of the Section 9 members are from the same country. Or at least the same general area. If someone can say otherwise, I’ll retract the argument, but Motoko has always been rather nationalistic. And all indications that I’ve ever seen indicate that there are pretty strong divides between nations in that universe.

        Her background is left ambiguous, but as far as her nationality…she’s definitely (at least) Asian if not specifically Japanese.

    • I liked the idea of a new Bebop adventure, but did not like Reeves for the role. I kind of wanted an actor who could actually act. Reeves would have been a good bad guy as the emotionless kung fu assassin, but I did not want him as the personable hero.

  11. KamenRiderHellhound

    in the case of the ANCIENT ONE… it’s actually NOT WHITE-WASHING!

    The Ancient One is a title given to the former Sorcerer Supreme once they retire and let someone else take the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme.

    I say this because at one point in his career in the Comics…. DOCTOR STRANGE TOOK ON THE MANTLE OF THE ANCIENT ONE!

    The Ancient One is LITERALLY the same thing as ‘The Dread Pirate Roberts’ …. anyone can fucking take up the mantle.

    So instead of having a stereotypical looking Tibetan man complete with a long white beard and talks in riddles and mysteries …. seriously this was a rather obvious Sterotype in the comics and they actually tried to update the look so it DIDN’T look racist as fuck.

    Making it Tilda Swinton… is not that big a fucking deal, it’s just people THINKING it’s racist when it’s really not.

    • Except that the Ancient One that first appeared in the comic and taught Strange was a Tibetan man. So they excised the character in favor of a white character. That is a form of white washing.

      You need to not get hung up on the mythology of the story, and more look at the movie as part of the industry. Inside the story such a change is unimportant, but in the context of movies overall such a change removes a role that could have gone to an Asian actor.

  12. Well… I think many of the examples shown are not whitewashing at all (actually Keanu Reeves in The 47 Ronin is pratically bleach towards these examples).
    And to be fair, I think the real problem lies on the performance being offensive towards some people/culture (such as Maya Rudolph on last SNL portraying Brazilian Dilma Roussef as ‘Mexican’ as if anything below Texas is automatically Mexico) than the ethinicity of whoever is portraying it.

  13. Very well said, Mr. Critic. Couldn’t agree more!

  14. MountCDOSgamer

    The issue of trans people in roles is a bit of a shakey one. One the one hand, having actual trans people play trans characters would be more inclusive, but on the other hand, having trans characters played by cis people gives the positive message that trans people are as much a part of the genders they identify as as cis people are. What is definitely a problem is when trans characters are played by cis people of the opposite gender, because that sends the message trans people don’t count as the genders they identify as.

  15. I think most claims of white-washing are just hyperbolic fans upset things aren’t being done the way they want to. The most legitimate case of white-washing I can think of was the casting of The Last Airbender, where they sent out a casting notice SPECIFICALLY saying they wanted white martial artists for the main roles.

    I think the bigger outrage regarding The Ancient One is that Marvel/Disney feel compelled to kiss Chinese butt to avoid getting their movie blacklisted in a communist dictatorship. China is basically committing genocide against the Tibetan people, which is why they’re so touchy about the subject. There’s a reason why the Reds in China released that human rights report. And that is to justify the crimes they perpetuate against Tibet. We shouldn’t be making changes to characters to appease a group of dictator thugs in the Chinese government. Every time an American company makes changes like this to make China’s government feel better, they become more and more emboldened in their goal to impose communism on the entire world and make everyone a part of their growing monstrosity.

    Tilda Swinton is an amazing actress, and I really think she’ll be great in this version of The Ancient One. I’m excited for Doctor Strange. But I’m disappointed in Marvel for refusing to stand up to China’s bullying tactics.

    • “Every time an American company makes changes like this to make China’s government feel better, they become more and more emboldened in their goal to impose communism on the entire world and make everyone a part of their growing monstrosity.”

      No they don’t. They can barely hold onto the control they have, and have all but dismantled anything that could be considered Communist. They are Communist in name only, in much the way the Modern Republican party is the party founded by Lincoln. Same team name, very different rhetoric.

    • You do realise that the CCP is “communist” in name only, right?

  16. “Obviously this is a subject everyone has a strong opinion on”
    I just don’t care. Cast someone that gives a good performance and go with it. It’s that simple.

    Why do people keep thinking Keanu Reeves can act? He’s as emotionless and unconvincing as Kristen Stewart.

    “Whaaaaaaaat?????”
    I don’t see how it’s any different. You say it’s obvious because of a history of intolerance. However my education says that the majority of society moved past that. So why should the history matter except to those who are still concerned with racial differences?

    “Fair and open to what the problem is”
    What was the problem? Was it that people are too easily offended by trivial things?

    • You just said you didn’t care, while taking the opposing side. And whining about people being offended.

    • Then your education is inadequate, but so is most education when it comes to this so don’t feel bad about it. Nations tend to look at their history and themselves with rose-colored glasses and our education reflects that, pretending that the good parts were great, that the bad parts weren’t really so bad and that the awful parts that we can’t deny are over because we are all so much more enlightened now. Incidents of racial violence like Fergusson and the entire campaign of Donald Trump proves that we are not as “past” this issue as you would like to believe. In a perfect world miscasting ANY character would be equally as bad, but the fact is that the industry is disproportionally white right now and thus casting a white actor as a PoC is not the same as casting a PoC as a character typically seen as white. One is taking away from an already limited number of roles, the other is taking from the rich and giving to the poor.

    • Of course a stupid sociopath doesn’t care

  17. For the record the original manga and television series the movies of Ghost in the Shell are set in Hong Kong instead of Japan.

  18. 0:11 funny, there is a download button on your youtube page

  19. They way I see it while WhiteWashing is still a thing, the really bad cases usually appear in really bad movies. I doubt that if everyone in The Last Airbenders film was represented by their respective races would it make it a better film. Same with Gods of Egypt, having Egyptian actors would not save the film. Is it good they still had a lot of it? Of course not, but it looks whitewashing or at least the really heavy use of white washing is appearing in films that wouldn’t do the respective races Justice anyway

  20. DeTroutSpinners

    As I said last week, I don’t agree entirely with your analysis (or, frankly, your credibility to give it seeing as you’ve made repeated racist and sexist stereotypes about white men in the past, which is still prejudice no matter how you wish to describe it) but I felt this was handled well given how uncomfortable it is to talk about.

  21. This is, sadly, a topic no one can win due to the over-hyped politically correct society we live in. It’s the entertainment industry, and they only care to please the majority who have the money. I’m a huge fan of the Tartan Revenge trilogy. And while I despised the American version of Oldboy over the original one, it’s the director’s interpretation of the material and some things do not transition well between cultures. I’m amazed we don’t have people complaining our space alien characters are discriminating against real space aliens.

    My argument is this: if an actor or actress can look and play the part accurate without heavy prosthetics, let them.

  22. I may be in the minority here but I’ve never once felt bad about a race or gender change in media. I grew up with the mindset that an actor is someone who plays a part and I’ve always taken that seriously. So while I’ve seen white people get a ton or roles I feel as though my outcome would have been no different if it were any other race or gender.

    So yeah…simple as that. They are actors. Let them act and let the performance determine whether or not it was an appropriate choice for the intended role.

  23. Black washing is much bigger problem

  24. I’m just curious, but, what exactly is the problem with white washing? I don’t think you have explained it. How does it affect the real world in any way? Do I now hate asians more, since ScarJo was cast as the Major? I mean, I don’t get this response. If anything, it’s a symptom of racism, but not the root. So I don’t get fighting it. If you want to stop it, fight the Chinese view of Tibetans. But that would be too much effort. Easier to stay behind a keyboard and complain about casting decisions that don’t have any direct effect on anything whatsoever. And that’s the difference between a Social Justice Warrior and an actual Civil Rights advocate.

    Let the hate commence.

    • Because white washing puts those evil white people out there on display. Whites must be hidden and kept away from the rest of society.

    • You make no sense. If something is caused by racism, then it is racist. That’s literally what makes something racist.

      And he pointed it out. BECAUSE MINORITIES ARE BEING DISCRIMINATED AGAINST IN HOLLYWOOD BY NOT HAVING MAJOR ROLES.

      • “If something is caused by racism, then it is racist” Except the people that made the decision to have the Ancient One be Celtic aren’t racist, they responded to a racist China. The decision was a business decision. So though China is racist, that doesn’t make the Celtic woman in the movie a racist decision. Many things happen because racism exist. Martin Luther King jr. “I have a dream” speech was caused by racism: if there was no racism, he would not have given that speech. But as you might have noticed now, racism didn’t DIRECTLY cause his speech. Would you call the speech racist? The same goes for the casting decision: racism wasn’t directly responsible for it, so it is not racist.

        “MINORITIES ARE BEING DISCRIMINATED AGAINST IN HOLLYWOOD BY NOT HAVING MAJOR ROLES.” Neither do amputees. Is that because people are discriminating against amputees? Technically, yes: directors and studios are differentiating between fully able people and disabled people. That is what discrimination means, to see a difference between two things. However, I believe it is a valid form of discrimination.

        It’s because amputees can’t do a lot of movement or actions in a movie, which is usually required. Now many of them don’t have jobs. Same here: the reason ScarJo was cast was because of her popularity and fame, not purely because she’s white. If there was an Asian that was similarly famous to ScarJo, it might have been considered racism. And despite what anyone, Doug included, might say, that plays a big part in making money. And that’s what it’s all about. Don’t like it? Change it by the roots, maybe change capitalism.

        Again, it’s in certain cases a symptom of racism, but not racist in and of itself. The studio didn’t think whites are superior to asians. Steven Spielberg didn’t think whites are superior to asians. It’s not racist, in and of itself, to cast ScarJo for that role. And “white washing” in 2016 is almost never racist.

        • – Non-racist motivations don’t make a thing not racist, just like curing cancer for selfish reasons ceases the goodness of that action

          – Love your false equivalencies

          • “Non-racist motivations don’t make a thing not racist” Do you even hear yourself? This is crazy. I have a problem with math. Am I being racist when I ask an asian, who actually happens to be good at math to help me, instead of the white person, who isn’t good at math?
            Because hey, motivation doesn’t matter, only that race is somewhat involved.

            I’m sure you’ll call this a false equivalency, but if that truly is the case, you should explain your point better, because right now it is not possible to interpret your statement in any other way.

            “just like curing cancer for selfish reasons ceases the goodness of that action” Uhm, no it doesn’t. It doesn’t make the person good, but the action is still good. Curing cancer is a good thing on its own, no matter if it was done by a person that was solely looking to get money. Ironic, considering you talk of false equivalencies. I noticed how that is usually a stop-sentence by SJW/feminists to avoid having to come up with an argument, especially when they don’t even explain how it is a false equivalency. I could defend my comparisons even more, but that would make this comment even longer. You still have to explain why my analogies/comparisons are false equivalencies: the “burden of proof” lies with you.

    • The reason why white washing is a problem is because there are already so few main characters that are non-white but there are a lot of white ones. Every single time you cast a white actor in a non-white main part, you are taking one of the few parts away that could have been played by non-white actor.

      This is part of why most people are okay with white characters getting race bend as there are already a lot of white characters so why not let a few be changed.

      Basically when a company chooses to white wash a character, that doesn’t necessarily make them a racist or out to make non-whites look evil (as you mention in most cases they are wanting to make money), it just means they are taking away a part that was supposed to be a guaranteed case for a non-white actor to lead in the role.

      • “The reason why […] non-white actor.” Okay, so the problem is, asian actors get less big jobs than white actors? Besides this being a very ‘1st world problem’ (oh noes, this well-paid actor doesn’t get to play the lead very often!)

        “This is part of why most people are okay with white characters getting race bend as there are already a lot of white characters so why not let a few be changed.” Citation required. I’m generally not okay with that. For the record, I also dislike when a non-white character is changed to a white character. I just don’t think it’s racism. I also don’t think it’s as big a problem as some seem to think it is. Now, racist China, that’s a problem. But keyboard warriors don’t want to fix that. They want their well-paid asian actor to get EVEN bigger parts!

        Okay, we’ve established it’s a first world problem. Here’s the thing: it still isn’t racism in the majority of cases. The most famous example of all, John Wayne as Genghis Khan. It’s star power at work. Not race. ScarJo as the Major is exactly the same thing. So, yes asians get less jobs in leads in triple A movies, but that’s because they generally have less starpower. We can cry over it, but that’s how business works: if you aren’t qualified you don’t get the job. And qualified in the entertainment industry means: having starpower.

        The question becomes, why do asians accumelate less star power? I don’t know. But to claim it’s racism, you would need some proof. Hollywood is in the USA. They share their culture very strongly. The USA is also known for a long history of racism against blacks. Yet somehow, there are about as much black superstars as there are white superstars, maybe a little less (might have to do with a significant part of black people being born into the poorer layers of society compared to white people). So how come a very racist country (historically, which carries through until this day) has got a significant amount of black superstars?

        Yet there are only very few Asian superstars. Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Bruce Lee. I may have missed a couple, but those are all that have great international fame (i.e. if I were to ask my friend that doesn’t know much about movies). Maybe we can add Toshiro Mifune (not a lot of international fame due to being pre-Internet) and Brandon Lee (rising star), but those are all that are/were on ScarJo’s level.

        I gotta wrap this up, this is getting too long. My point is, maybe asians are generally pushed towards STEM fields by parents and/or their original culture, so less go into theatre and acting? This would logically result in a smaller sample size of succesful actors and therefore less superstars. I could name other possibilities besides racism, but like I said, I gotta wrap this up.

        TL;DR If you want to argue that racism is a (significant) factor, you need to have specific, valid proof.

  25. TragicGuineaPig

    About The Last Airbender: the guy who was responsible for that garbage wasn’t white. So don’t pin that one on us.

  26. What I thought was weird is that everybody freaked out because Johnny Storm was played by a black man and his father as well. It was like no one cared that Susan Storm, the sister of Johnny was white.
    For me, that was the biggest problem, because it showed that fox could even consider the fact that a black woman (the possible Susan Storm) could mary a white man (Reed Richard)

    • Why would anyone care? She was white originally. She’s not a black character who was turned white. She’s just white.

      People who were upset over the black guy are upset because something changed. Sue didn’t change. The people who aren’t upset over a black Human Torch are going to be okay with a multiracial family. Still nothing to get upset about.

      You honestly seem to be reaching for a reason to get upset. And I rarely ever say that.

  27. Tilda Swinton is a woman? I never knew that before.

  28. Richard Anderson

    I think a lot of people tend to forget that the movie industry is about making money and of course they would choose if they could a huge star they might think will give them a better chance with more success at the box office. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for them choosing based on ethnicity, but they clearly wanted to try star power in this movie other than taking a risk like George Lucas did with star wars. Also its a anime movie we will be lucky if they even try to base it off the original series or manga. We all saw what happened with dragonball evolution a white dude playing what should have been a semi buff asain man lol.

  29. I’m not against Scarlet Johansson has Major Kusanagi, I’m just disappointed that it’s not played by an Asian actress. I mean, her name is Kusanagi, which is clearly a Japanese name, which should mean it should be played by an Asian actress. But then again, I have a cousin who is half Asian, half-Caucasian and he’s like a brother to me, so I’m kind of on the fence on this one.

    I originally wanted to be an actor because I love to do stuff like this, but America doesn’t have much call for Asian actors. I mean, black people are offended because not many African-American actors/actresses aren’t nominated as much as the other greats? How do you think I FEEL? The only big name Asian actors in Hollywood are mostly martial art stars, and that’s the only thing Asians mostly get. Either that or being cast in a Fast & Furious movie, or an extra in a Harold & Kumar movie. But with shows like Fresh off the Boat out, it gives me hope that Asian actors are finally getting the recognition they rightfully deserve. I just hope we get big roles as the others, and hopefully the John Cho meme becomes a reality as he can finally play a starring role, just like other Asian actors.

  30. ‘Shows Goku.
    Goku is an alien, doesn’t count, no one on Earth would actually be able to portray his ethnicity as he isn’t human.

    ‘Shows Spike’
    I don’t think a single main cast member from Bebop is Japanese, People actually confused Spike’s last name and his hair as Jewish. (Turns out the hair they modeled after Yasuka Matsuda and the name…..cause it sounded cool.) But still, Spiegal ain’t a Japanese name. Faye looks like she may be from Singapore based on what i read, Jet……..i couldn’t find anything, and apparently people think Ed may be Turkish.

    so………yeah.

    as for Ghost in the Shell, it can easily be explained away as “She’s using a different body.” cause her entire body is synthetic and she has changed bodies before. If she wanted to she could be in the body of an Egyptian Man if she wanted to cause that’s how that series works. So really that one doesn’t matter that much either. If they REALLY wanted to they could have her switch bodies and identities like Cloud Atlus the entire movie.

    • In universe explanations don’t excuse out-of-universe problems. They have a Japanese character. They chose to have her be Japanese but played by a white person.

      Even if she were explicitly white-looking in the anime, it would still be a Japanese character being played by a white person.

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