Research Blog 3

Rose, Steve. ” Ghost in Shell’s whitewashing: does Hollywood have an Asian Problem?” Guardian News and Media, 31 March 2017

Pictured above is Scarlett Johansson, a Hollywood actress playing the role of an Asian anime character, Motoko Kusanagi in the movie “Ghost in the Shell”. When the movie was released, thousands of people signed the petition that the role of Motoko Kusanagi should have gone to an Asian actress. The fans also called out Hollywood for whitewashing Asian culture yet again. The reaction from fans also included image of Johansson with the slogan “I Am Totally a Japanese, Yeah”, Japanese actor Rinko Kikuchi with “I Am The Woman That Should Have Been Cast” and, over an image of kids painting a picket fence white: “I Am Hollywood Making Any Movie Ever.”

In the show “Doctor Strange,” Tilda Swinton plays an Asian role as The Ancient One. Many Asians were frustrated and feel that role should have gone to an Asian actor/actress descendant since the character and its history was from Asia. An Asian actress clapped back with “Our stories are told by white actors over and over again, and we feel at a loss to know how to cope with it.”

Over the years there has been a progress or at least acknowledge to diversify African American actor/actress in Hollywood but the question this article proposes is “Does the industry still have an Asian problem?” Over and over again, we see in media that Asian characters and history are being dominated by white character hence losing the authenticity and also devaluing of Asian people in general.


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