With heightened attention on diversity and culture, you would think major Hollywood films would take notice. The newest film by Paramount Ghost in the Shell with lead actress Scarlett Johansson is the newest culprit in whitewashing films. The original character from the source material is Japanese and fans made their voices heard by using the films own marketing promotion. The film created a meme generator for fans to create their own creative content; many used it to promote Rinko kikuchi who fans thought should have been casted as the lead role.
Even in our modern time, Ghost in the Shell is not the first film to whitewash Asian culture. The Great Wall staring Matt Damon received great criticism for casting a white male, in a role that could have easily been cased for an Asian actor. Marvel’s IronFist, which has been slammed for its racial dynamics, was the target of internet’s scorn for casting a white actor in an Asian roll. Marvel’s Doctor Strange, also famously cast Tilda Swinton as a character who is Asian in the comics, and many fans quickly took note.
As the United States continues to expand in diversity, films need to represent that in how they cast films. It is also very important to stick to the diversity that is already in the films and help amplify those backgrounds and stories.