Just to start with, I honestly don’t think anyone expected to see Scarlett Johansson mercilessly gunning down Asians in two separate movies:
Lucy (2014) – “You speak English?” *BLAM*
Ghost in the Shell (2017) – Well, at least they’re armed this time.
That’s a bit of a tangent, but still relevant as this was sparked by the live-action Ghost in the Shell adaptation, which premiered in theatres across the country today. It’s also worth starting things out with a diversion, if only because I didn’t want you to get into a breakdown of the title a split second after reading it.
FACT: All Asian Americans are Asian by definition, but not all Asians are Asian Americans. The truth is that most Asians aren’t. While they may share an ethnic heritage, as well as many cultural similarities, Asian people who were born and raised in and reside in an Asian country have vastly different wants and needs and priorities than those who were born and raised in and reside in North America [and other non-Asian countries].
For the purposes of clarity I will be referring to the former as “Asians”, and the latter as “Asian Americans”.
With all of that being said, it should be obvious that Asians and Asian Americans also have very different views when it comes to their shared representation in Western media. Continue reading
Posted in America, Asia, bizarreness, film, race, television
Tagged Asia, asian, Asian-American, casting, demographic, Ghost In The Shell, Japan, Japanese, Lucy, opinion, opportunity, perspective, race, representation, Scarlett Johansson, whitewashing
I don’t think there’s anyone here who’s unfamiliar with the term “whitewashing” at this point.
It’s been a frequent topic of conversation here on Culture War Reporters, and while certainly not a new issue, it has been gaining wider and wider attention in recent years…
Most recently, the problem reared its ugly head in the form of Scarlett Johannson being cast in the live-action remake of anime classic Ghost In A Shell. Once again we’re seeing a traditionally non-white (in this specific case, Japanese) role being given to a white actor out of fear that audiences won’t watch movies with non-white leads. And if that were the only issue, I might have stuck with my usually political tirades and left this topic alone. But in the past few days, a shocking development has emerged in the story. Allegations have surfaced that the remake’s producers (and I quote) “Tested Visual Effects That Would Make White Actors Appear Asian“.
Or, as my best friend and this blog’s editor recently put it on Facebook:
“We think so little of you that we’d consider changing a White person’s appearance before entertaining the thought of casting an actual Asian.”
So yeah, I’m feeling compelled to write about this…
And let me tell you what really convinced me to submit the following rant. Continue reading
Posted in America, art, Asia, bizarreness, celebrity, film, race
Tagged appropriation, Arab, asian, bigotry, casting, CGI, Ghost In The Shell, Japan, Japanese, Nancy Ajram, Naveen Andrews, preconceptions, race, Racebending, racism, Rami Malik, Scarlett Johansson, stereotype, The Simpsons, white, whitewashing, Yasser Azmeh