Scarlett Johansson and Tilda Swinton got cast in Asian roles and people are pissed
With Lucy Liu, Constance Wu and Maggie Q all too busy, Hollywood chose white woman Scarlett Johansson to play the lead role of Motoko Kusanagi in the forthcoming live action movie Ghost in the Shell, based on the comic series. While we knew this news as of January, the trailer for the movie just dropped and the controversy has stirred anew.
Here's what Ming-Na Wen, who voiced Fa Mulan in Disney's Mulan, had to say:
Nothing against Scarlett Johansson. In fact, I'm a big fan. But everything against this Whitewashing of Asian role.😒 https://t.co/VS6r6iish9
— Ming-Na Wen (@MingNa) April 14, 2016
Ghost in the Shell is not the only offender — there have been many more in the past year alone.
The trailer for Johansson's project comes only a few days after the trailer for Marvel's latest, Dr. Strange debuted, which had Tilda Swinton channeling her best guru. Not only is Swinton's character originally an Asian character, it's actually an Asian male character.
Photos of Scarlett Johansson before her rise to fame:
People were quick to point out the problems with Swinton's casting as the Ancient One, who usually looks like this.
Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One is fine (character was borderline racist to begin with), but full white washing Ghost in the Shell is BS.
— Jimmy Wong (@jfwong) April 14, 2016
no one is forcing Tilda Swinton and Scarlett Johansson to do this. They knowingly said "sure, let me take this role from a person of color"
— Joseph Fink, 👻🎃healthcare is a human right🎃👻 (@PlanetofFinks) April 14, 2016
That #doctorstrange trailer really got Tilda Swinton in Yellow face in 2016. Come on man! pic.twitter.com/QQBdwpyBhW
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) April 13, 2016
While most people may think yellow face is a thing of the past — think Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's— in 2015, Cameron Crowe's filmAloha featured white actress Emma Stone as Alison Ng, an Asian character.