May. 28th, 2016

shiori_makiba: Makiba Shiori in Kanji and Roman Letters (Default)
There is some controversy over Scarlet Johansson getting the role of the central protagonist of the American live-action adaptation of the anime series Ghost In the Shell which is currently in filming. A lot of people are saying it is white-washing.

I can't disagree. I like Scarlet Johansson but . . . .

Some people have made the argument that her casting wasn't white-washing, stating that nobody had problem with the idea of Keanu Reeves playing the central protagonist of an American film adaptation of the anime series Cowboy Bebop.

The problem with that argument is that the central protagonist of Cowboy Bebop's name is Spike Spiegel where as the central protagonist of Ghost in the Shell is named Mokoto Kusanagi. I think you could make the argument that Japanese show or not, Spike Spiegel isn't Japanese. You can't say that about a character named Mokoto Kusanagi – and since the role is listed as Kusangi on IMDB, unless they have gotten their information wrong or something, the character is still named Kusanagi and therefore at least still supposed to be least partially Japanese. Which Scarlet Johansson is not.

And don't say it's because the character is a cyborg with an almost completely artificial body.

Also don't cite all of the Hollywood remakes of Asian films where they recast the roles to be played by non-Asians like the adaptation of Akira Kurosawa's Shichinin no Samurai into the 1960 film The Magnificent Seven. Because the Magnificent Seven when it cast a white male actor as in the role of leader of the Seven, they didn't keep his name as Kambei Shimada.

And looking at the cast list, I'm seeing a lot of white actors attached to parts with Japanese names – there are couple of Japanese and other Asian actors but their characters either aren't named in this list yet OR they are supporting cast.

They probably wanted Scarlet Johansson for the role for the same reason they changed the sex and ethnicity of Dr. Strange's mentor – money. Scarlet Johansson is “big name” (through Hollywood has a good chuck of very high-grossing films starring people who weren't big names when the film was made). 18% of the projected movie revenue comes from China who automatically ban films where Tibet is protrayed as anything other than how the Chinese government views Tibet so Dr. Strange's mentor The Ancient One is no longer a Tibetian man but a Celtic woman played by Tilda Swinton.

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shiori_makiba: Makiba Shiori in Kanji and Roman Letters (Default)
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