Ghost in the Shell Casting Shows We Need More Than White Feminism

theNater

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Gorrath said:
Surely they can but do you believe they should be obliged to do so? You seem to suggest they are or should be under an obligation to provide representation in specific amounts that relate to census information. That at least heavily implies that you think they are ethically responsible for the creation of specific content for a demographic. How far does this presumed obligation extend? Are they also ethically responsible for the creation of content that reflects ethnicity? Creed? Religion? Does this obligation stop at our borders or do they have an obligation to their international audience as well?
I do think there is an obligation there, but it's a social obligation, rather than an ethical one. It's on the order of saying "please" and "thank you". It is appropriate social behavior, and (I believe) a reasonable expectation.

However, they are not obligated to monitor themselves. Monitoring is the role of their audience. When their audience says "hey, we've noticed that this group is underrepresented in your work", that's when the author's obligation kicks in. At that point, they should monitor their representation of that group until it is represented to a degree they believe is adequate. After that, they return monitoring duties to the audience, and simply try to be mindful of the group as they create in the future. If the audience still believes the group is underrepresented, or if representation drops again, they inform the author and the cycle begins anew.

If the author and the audience disagree with the level of representation that is adequate, the author should clearly indicate their position and the reasoning behind it, and the audience can choose whether they wish to remain an audience of someone who takes that position for those reasons.
 

dystopiaINC

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NiPah said:
The only good thing about this movie is how much money it's pouring into the pockets of Masamune Shirow.
This will go about as well as Edge of Tomorrow (which I hear is actually pretty good but failed horribly).
huh I thought Edge of Tomorrow was a pretty decent movie. I Wonder why it flopped.

OT: Really? This is an issue? They want an A-list headline female lead and they chose the biggest action movie female star at the moment. That really all this is. it's a marketing choice.
 

Qvar

OBJECTION!
Aug 25, 2013
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So if I understand this correctly, Thor can be made female, but Motoko white? Hell no, that would be racism.
 

Abomination

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Qvar said:
So if I understand this correctly, Thor can be made female, but Motoko white? Hell no, that would be racism.
It's only racist if a white person replaces a non-white person and it's only sexist if a man replaces a woman.

That's, essentially, the bottom line here. Certainly, there's a slew of historical justifications for this phenomenon but when we get down to brass tacks: you can't be racist towards white people and you can't be sexist towards men in the film industry.
 

Paragon Fury

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Jan 23, 2009
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MrMan999 said:
psijac said:
I am upset that the Major is not actually played by a male to female transgender lesbian.
Wait what. I am an avid reader of the Manga and I have the series and the movies on DVD. And I have never heard about the Major being transgender.
She isn't. I have a friend (who is trans) who was semi-adamant about this too, but its a badly-thought out and doesn't have any support.

In all versions of the Major's backstory, she is a young girl who is involved in a tragic accident that requires her to get a full prosthetic body. She goes on to serve in the military/police (where she gets progressively better and better bodies and learns most of her skills) before joining Section 8.

Some details varying from telling to telling, but the basics are always the same. The confusion I believe stems mostly from the Stand Alone Complex version, where there is ALSO a young boy involved who gets a prosthetic body. The boy is better at controlling his body than she is and he makes the origami cranes that Motoko is seen with (and are used as symbols in the series). She can't make them herself and resolves to become better at controlling her body so she can make cranes for the boy too. Then the rest of the series goes on, etc. (And we eventually see that the Major has mastered making the cranes as well).

Also, the Major is never "lesbian" in the sense meant here. She is always depicted as heterosexual or bisexual (sometimes aggressively so), but never homosexual. Not surprising, given the proclivities of the series creator.
 

Rellik San

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Paragon Fury said:
Also, the Major is never "lesbian" in the sense meant here. She is always depicted as heterosexual or bisexual (sometimes aggressively so), but never homosexual. Not surprising, given the proclivities of the series creator.
I thought she appeared mostly A-Sexual save that one... FULL COLOUR SECTION of the Manga in which she's included in a Lesbian Orgy. That said an argument could be made that being augmetic, she's simply fulfilling what the job needs, which would be in line with her character.
 

mecegirl

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valium said:
erttheking said:
valium said:
erttheking said:
valium said:
erttheking said:
For example, in the Hunger Games book, Katniss was described as having olive skin. The casting for her character flat out called for "should be Caucasian, between ages 15 and 20, who could portray someone ?underfed but strong,? and ?naturally pretty underneath her tomboyishness."
as someone from a family with a lot of white people with olive skin, I fail to see your point exactly. unaware a lot of people in the united states are descended from european immigrants?
Simple really.

The person that they got to play Katniss in the movie wasn't olive skinned. They decided that was too dark and wanted someone with lighter skin.

Frankly it's kind of sad considering that olive skin can hardly be noticed and Hollywood declared that Hunger Games need "white" white people.

Hollywood is frankly just pathetic.

Doesn't help that on the Fitzpatrick scale, olive skinned falls under "Moderately brown."
so the best actor they found to play the character was not the right kind of white person? is that what you are implying?
No, because really olive skinned isn't white. I checked and it turns out that people with olive skin tend to live in Latin America. In other words, they're Latino. They got a white actor to play a Latino character, or at least someone with the same shade of skin as a Latino character.

http://www.google.com/books?id=fewKcicENJYC&pg=PA234&dq=olive+skin+mediterranean&hl=en&sa=X&ei=GUHYU5_mA4aOyAT7rYEo&ved=0CCEQ6AEwATgU#v=onepage&q=olive%20skin%20mediterranean&f=false

EDIT: Could also be Mediterranean.
and a lot of those who live in the mediterranean area can be considered white. such as southern france in the pyrenees, where my mother's side of the family comes from, or towards the italian border. olive skinned white people. also a lot of white people mixed with native American which comes out to olive skin in the appalachian mountains general area. I come from both.
The olive skin tone is perhaps the most neutral skin tone on earth. Its in the middle of the color spectrum for skintones. Damn near any ethnicity can be some shade of olive. Darker White people can be olive. Lighter Black people can be olive. Mid range Asian(all of Asia, from china to India) people can be olive. So can Native American, Middle Eastern, and Latino people. A woman of any race could have been casted as Katniss, there was no need to limit the casting call to White actresses.


OT:
I'm happy in a dodged a bullet sort of way that an Asian actress wasn't casted. These adaptation's tend to suck. And as far as hypocrisy is concerned. It's disingenuous to point to what happens with Black actors and use it to justify the lack of opportunity for Asian actors. Its hard enough for black actors to find work that isn't stereotypical, which is why race swapping is so common. But its even worse for actors of color who are not Black. Much, much, worse for actors of color who are not Black. At least a black actor can count on getting a supporting and or token role here and there. Asian actors don't have that opportunity as often, especially on the big screen.

Just using the recent Marvel movies as an example. For Black actors the only role that will be a single lead role will be the Black Panther movie. There are plenty of Black characters to choose from, and honestly BP's movie should have happened years ago, but at least its happening now. Outside of that there are the supporting characters. Nick Fury, who isn't even a race swap. It makes me want to smack people whenever someone says he's a race swap. He is black in the Ultimate universe and the movies are sure as hell not following either Marvel universe faithfully, so bitching about Fury not looking like Hasselhoff is a joke. Then there are the other supporting characters. War Machine/Iron Patriot, The Falcon, I think there was a random black commando in the first Capt. movie. Heimdall, the only chracter that was truly race swapped. The only Black female actress is Saldana, but she doesn't play a black female chracter but a green one. Similarly with Honsou, he hasn't been painted an unnatural skin color but he's an alien not a human.

Going outside of Marvel/Disney. If not for the race swapping in the new Fantastic Four the entire cast would be white, so that counts as a joint leading role. They they royally botched Storm and had Angel turn against X-Men. Fucking Darwin dies. DARWIN, a chracter that has both teleported and turned into pure energy in the comics to avoid death...was blown up. Uhhh Robbie from the Spider man. And Electro from Spiderman who was racebent. And of course Blade.

Did I forget anyone? Probably(I should Google a list instead of relying on my memory). But look at the list of Black characters, there is one to each movie in general. Two on a few occasions where Nick Fury does a cross over appearance. Two for Days of future past, and one dies in the dumbest way possible. Two for the future fantastic four movie and we will see if papa Storm dies. Three for the very first Blade because the love interest was a Black woman(don't know why she doesn't appear in future movies), and his mom was a villain. I guess I can say four? There was the little black girl vampire who gets killed. The other Blade movies, if they do feature black people outside of Blade, are bit parts.

Out of all of that I'd say three have lead roles. The rest are supporting roles. And that's better than it could be for Black actors (not at all for actresses). But what about Asian characters. I think there is Hogun from Thor, and the random Asian commando from the first Capt. Movie. Uhh then Blink from X-men, and Blink was racebent. I don't remember any Latino, Middle Eastern...damn much of anything else. Ben Kingsly since he biracial I guess? I mean wooooo one for the team right?

Its not that every movie needs to have some rainbow casting or at least one of each ethnicity. But you'd think that every once and a while there would be a movie with more diversity than a white female and a single black guy. Or even a movie that isn't stereotypical with a cast devoid of any white people at all(like this movie could be. Set it in California,a state with a pretty hefty Asian population, and a majority Asian cast would be more than possible). Not just among Marvel films but all movies from Hollywood. It's not like its unusual for there to be movies without any poc in them.

Still, there could be more white female leads in movies, there could be more black male leads in movies, but the fight for those roles has already begun and has made some headway. Everyone else is left in the dust. Which is why when something like this happens folks pay attention. I mean...outside of Pacific Rim two when is the next time that a Asian female actress is going to get a lead part? And what about the supporting roles? They don't even routinely get casted for supporting roles in films like Black men do, but folks want to use Black men as some universal standard? The numbers just don't add up for that comparison to hold any water.
 

UberGott

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Rambling coming. Sorry, no turning it off now.

Not quite on target, but geez, every time Dragon Ball Evolution gets brought up all I can do is shake my head. First because it's god-awful, but then because the argument about "White Goku = Muh Cultural Appropriation" is about as short-sighted as claiming that Kurosawa's Ran is an insult to King Lear. Does anyone who uses that as an example even bother doing a head-count? Five of the main cast members are Asian actors, only one of whom is a particularly established name (Chow Yun-Fat). The director is Asian, as well, for what that's worth.

Plus, the two main characters are - canonically speaking, at least - literal aliens from outer space. One of them spends the entire movie in... screw it, let's call it "greenface". They also changed his outfit to avoid looking like a historical Persian stereotype, because if there's one thing creator Akira Toriyama's really good at, it's extremely shallow stereotypes - see Mr. Popo, Mr. Satan and Tao Pai-Pai for a handful of obvious examples. I don't think they're malicious, mind you, just pretty far outside what would be considered racially or culturally sensitive.

Yes, the "main" character in DBE was a generic white kid - so what? We've already seen what an all-Asian version of Dragon Ball looks like, because Taiwan made a movie called Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins in 1991. It's an unlicensed adaptation, but that's... pretty common with non-Japanese East Asian anime and adaptations from the early 90s. (As for the movie itself? Let's just say Goku being played by an Asian doesn't fix much. I won't deny that it has a certain Power Rangers level lo-fi charm, but calling it "good" would be a stretch...)

Back to Ghost in the Shell. Honest question to Carly here: Have you read the original Masamune Shirow comics, or just seen the Mamoru Oshii movie adaptation? Because [INSERT SPOILER WARNING HERE] while the movie ends with Motoko's body being "replaced" with essentially a younger version of herself, the manga ends with Motoko being inserted into a male shell - much to the shock of Batou, who simply grabbed what he could. The very DNA - and in fact the whole bloody point of the Puppet Master storyline featured in the '95 film - is to question the notion of "self" in a world where one's self is simply a consciousness that can be placed into any shell, even an inhuman one, or a consciousness that has no body to claim as its own.[/DONE SPOILING NOW, PROBABLY]

Basically, the origins of the character are fuzzy enough that she could be anyone, and the core idea of the franchise - particularly the Stand Alone Complex TV series - is that the notion of "identity" aren't as clear-cut as society seems to think of them when the possibility of changing bodies becomes possible. The Oshii film suggests she actively doesn't care about her body, and a big element of the film - which is substantially less at the forefront of the other versions, as I remember it - is that she seems to have fallen out of touch with seeing the body she's in as "herself". In short, Motoko can look like anyone, and has proven she no qualms about using a separate body to accomplish her goals. Scarlett Johansen being cast isn't an issue because she's Caucasian, because the racial identity of an isolated consciousness isn't inherently tied to the strands of its DNA that dictated its skin color.

Mind you, this doesn't always work. Akira - at a meta level, at least - is a frustrated reflection of the societal shock that happened to Japan after the end of WWII, and specifically the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Randomly setting that in "New New York" or whatever changes a lot of the political and cultural baggage that's inert to the whole point of the story, that the 'end of the world' is only as good or as bad as those who find themselves left behind choose to make it. Could you recontextualize that for a Western palette? I guess so, but that would basically undermine the whole point, unless you really think spending a fortune on the rights to the badass red bike and pill-jacket combo are worth the price.

This discussion swings both ways, too - even if the "more minorities = more diversity" argument is brought up, particularly when, as others have already pointed out, several groups are over-represented by a pretty wide margin. (Not that I care either way, just stating facts as they exist.) The upcoming Japanese movies based on Attack on Titan take place in a world that's inspired by Germanic folklore, and there's an in-universe discussion about how Mikasa Ackerman is presumed to be the last ethnic (half) Asian in existence. So, what does the movie do? Creates a new cast of similar archetypes in a different part of the universe that are all ethnically Japanese. Problem solved, right? Sure... except for the fact that Eren Jaeger and Armin Armout show up. These are characters who are explicitly stated to be non-Asian, and are, naturally, played by Japanese actors with blonde hair. Because that isn't stupid or anything...

So, you want to talk about casting Asians and setting the story in Japan when it's Akira? You've probably got a solid point. You want to bring it up in GITS? Not really seeing the problem here. I mean, yes, there could be huge problems, but setting it in Washington, or France, or Belize wouldn't be the inherent stumbling block for this particular project.

Besides, if the only stipulation is that an actor be "Asian", that's kind of... well, it's just a little weird to me. It made sense before I watched a lot of Asian films - Japanese, Korean, Thai, Hong Kong - and realized just how different Asian films can be, linguistically and culturally. But if the argument is solely down to looking the part, Japanese and Korean features tend to be pretty similar, but Thai and Malaysian look quite a bit different. What about someone like Keanu Reeves - Theodore Logan is half Hawaiian-Chinese. Does he qualify as "Asian Enough" for movies like 47 Ronin? And should we give Valkyrie guff for casting a non-German as a Nazi? Or is getting cultures miss-matched okay so long as they're all still white... I'm not a terribly PC person, I suppose, so the whole thing confuses me.

(For the record, I could care less that Idris Alba is a Norse God. No, it doesn't make much sense for a seemingly otherwise mono-ethnic race of aliens whom inspired the images of Norse mythology to have one black guy... but dude. He's Idris F'ing Alba. Cast him as Christ next time, please.)

But the bigger issue here is that there's simply no Asian-American actresses worth banking an entire production on. You could grab one of the successful actresses from Asia - Ziyi Zhang and Michelle Yeoh might have a little star power in Hollywood at this point, but outside of Rinko Kikuchi I can't think of a single Japanese actress that could draw a non-Japanese audience by recognition alone. And let's not forget that for how friggin' amazing Pacific Rim was, it under-performed at the US box office. The only Asian-American actress I can think of with any level of legit mainstream appeal is Lucy Liu, and that was... quite a while ago, now that I think of it. Are Asian actors in Hollywood denied better roles because there isn't a market for them? You bet. How do you fix that short of mandatory affirmative-action style quotas, which are obviously BS? I don't really know. Popular Asian actors exist in Asia, but even then, they rarely get the sort of cross-over appeal when they come to Hollywood. Can anyone name one Asian actor with a notable presence in the last 15 years or so? I'm legitimately curious, because short of going for Ziyi Zhang or Tony Jaa (who's not even an actor!), I can't think of any off the top of my head.

And just to remind people that "cyberpunk" is still pretty niche, the closest film to GITS in recent memory - Automata - basically got crapped out straight to on-demand. And that was with Antonio Banderas in the lead. Again, not 1995 Antonio Banderas, but if this project put even a bankable Asian actress in the lead, I would assume it'd get the same sort of promotion.

For the record, the only actress I'd have picked for this role is Noomi Rapace. She could do the "dead eyes, agressive body language" thing Oshii perfected in her sleep. I have nothing against Scarlett, but about all I've seen her in is The Avengers and Lucy, neither of which make a particular case for the cold, detached personality required (unless they want to go back to the smarmy, pulpy tone of Shirow's books, which seems doubtful). That said, I've heard nothing but good things about her in Under the Skin, so it's entirely possible she could surprise me for the better under proper direction.

Make no mistake, I'm expecting I'll hate this movie's guts - assuming it even happens. But in this particular case, the fact that a pretty white lady is playing a pretty Japanese-named cyborg is the least of my worries.
 

RavingSturm

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Imho the casting choice is more of a business decision. Its same reason a crappy movie like WWarz made

money based on the lead actor's following, recognizabilty , charisma etc. Actors can be of any ethnicity

and degree of talent but I think the abilty to get people's butts in the seat is what counts the most for

the producers.
 

Kameburger

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Apr 7, 2012
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Trishbot said:
You know who I think would be awesome in the role, but Hollywood won't go with her for "reasons"?
Pacific Rim's Rinko Kikuchi.

(No! Don't! It makes TOO much sense!)
They wouldn't go for her because, one her English is not that great and 2 and because in Asia she is not considered as "beautiful" as probably would be expected of a leading lady.

To this article
Actually and this has been said over and over again on this and every other serious discussion of the subject. Now that Asia is a bigger market Hollywood movies are often made to cater to them. White actors make Hollywood movies more "exotic." We know what this is and Carley Smith is exploiting our outrage like all news sites these days do to make money. She, along with the escapist, are writing articles that should touch a nerve regardless of who reads them. It's been a strong strategy for Fox News and MSNBC alike and we should only be disapointed that game and entertainment journalism expects so little of us as it provides us the same. Never the less it's her opinion, and I respect her write to it and fair enough it gets views for the escapist. That being said I have no respect any more for articles that exploit a knee jerk reaction from their users many of whole want to ESCAPE from the stresses of the everyday world to begin with.

So no Carley I had a lovely day today, i will continue to enjoy it. I am not outraged.
 

mecegirl

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Ihateregistering1 said:
Adaephon said:
One thing this kind of debate always makes me wonder is just how many shades does this issue have? What I mean is a lot of people wanted Rinko Kikuchi to play this part but since we have no reason (that I know of anyways) to believe that she wanted to do the part or even tried to audition for it a few other names have been dropped and those have been mostly Chinese or Korean (or Chinese-American, Korean-American, etc.) actresses whereas Kikuchi was (according to Wikipedia) born and raised in Japan. So what I'm asking is do people think any Asian is "close enough" to play a Japanese role? There's still a fairly serious debate if the half-Indian Ben Kingsley was "Indian enough" to play Gandhi and I personally (/anecdotally) know a fair number of people who were up in arms when the African-American Morgan Freeman played the Xhosa Nelson Mandela (since, to many South Africans and probably other Africans as well, African Americans aren't "African enough" to call themselves as such because they are "too White," "too Americanized," etc.)
Thank you. I've always wondered this: if they were to make a movie about Storm (the X-men character), who would you rather have play Storm (assume these were your only two choices and the other X-Men films were never made)?:
-Charlize Theron (who was born in South Africa)
-Gabrielle Union (born in Omaha, Nebraska)

I mean, technically, if we're aiming for "character authenticity", then isn't the white woman who was actually born in Africa "more African" than the black woman who was born in the US, and thus a better fit for the character?

Moviebob brought up a good point once (I can't believe I just typed that) when he was talking about the "Prince of Persia" movie. People were complaining because they cast Jake Gyllenhaal as a Persian, but no one was complaining about them casting Ben Kingsley as one, even though Gyllenhaal is half-Jewish and thus "more middle-eastern" than Kingsley.

In other words, so much of this talk of "whitewashing" or "changing the character's race" is based on outdated concepts of "oh people from here are SUPPOSED to look like this", which is some 19th century type thinking. If we're truly living in a globalized world, then the concept of race having an automatic and necessary attachment to geographical location needs to go the way of the dodo.
No no no no no. Storm's mother is from Kenya. Her father is African American. So no its not more accurate to have a White woman play her....ugh. It would be more accurate to have an African American woman play her because of her father.

Beyond all that we never play such games when it comes to white chracters. There are White actors from Australia and England and Scotland that play American parts. Would it be more accurate if, say, an Asian American played those parts?
 

Ihateregistering1

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mecegirl said:
Ihateregistering1 said:
Adaephon said:
One thing this kind of debate always makes me wonder is just how many shades does this issue have? What I mean is a lot of people wanted Rinko Kikuchi to play this part but since we have no reason (that I know of anyways) to believe that she wanted to do the part or even tried to audition for it a few other names have been dropped and those have been mostly Chinese or Korean (or Chinese-American, Korean-American, etc.) actresses whereas Kikuchi was (according to Wikipedia) born and raised in Japan. So what I'm asking is do people think any Asian is "close enough" to play a Japanese role? There's still a fairly serious debate if the half-Indian Ben Kingsley was "Indian enough" to play Gandhi and I personally (/anecdotally) know a fair number of people who were up in arms when the African-American Morgan Freeman played the Xhosa Nelson Mandela (since, to many South Africans and probably other Africans as well, African Americans aren't "African enough" to call themselves as such because they are "too White," "too Americanized," etc.)
Thank you. I've always wondered this: if they were to make a movie about Storm (the X-men character), who would you rather have play Storm (assume these were your only two choices and the other X-Men films were never made)?:
-Charlize Theron (who was born in South Africa)
-Gabrielle Union (born in Omaha, Nebraska)

I mean, technically, if we're aiming for "character authenticity", then isn't the white woman who was actually born in Africa "more African" than the black woman who was born in the US, and thus a better fit for the character?

Moviebob brought up a good point once (I can't believe I just typed that) when he was talking about the "Prince of Persia" movie. People were complaining because they cast Jake Gyllenhaal as a Persian, but no one was complaining about them casting Ben Kingsley as one, even though Gyllenhaal is half-Jewish and thus "more middle-eastern" than Kingsley.

In other words, so much of this talk of "whitewashing" or "changing the character's race" is based on outdated concepts of "oh people from here are SUPPOSED to look like this", which is some 19th century type thinking. If we're truly living in a globalized world, then the concept of race having an automatic and necessary attachment to geographical location needs to go the way of the dodo.
No no no no no. Storm's mother is from Kenya. Her father is African American. So no its not more accurate to have a White woman play her....ugh. It would be more accurate to have an African American woman play her because of her father.

Beyond all that we never play such games when it comes to white chracters. There are White actors from Australia and England and Scotland that play American parts. Would it be more accurate if, say, an Asian American played those parts?
Ok then, we'll change it around: who would you rather play Black Panther?
-A white guy born in South Africa?
-A black guy born in North Carolina?
The particular character isn't really that relevant, my point is that if we're going for 'character authenticity" and the character was born in Africa, what's more important for the actor portraying them: that they have the same skin color as the character, or were born on the same continent?

As for the English, British, etc. actors playing 'American' parts, this is because, partly, America has always gone for the "melting pot" idea, and thus there isn't really supposed to be an associated race with "American".

But the point still stands: people often have this knee-jerk (and frankly, ignorant) belief that people who live in X country are 'supposed' to be Y race, when it flat out isn't true. For example, I've met people born, raised, and living in Mexico with very white skin; their family has been in Mexico for hundreds of years. So, if we were going to make a movie with a Mexican character, in Mexico, who would be better to portray the character: this very white Mexican person, who was born in Mexico, or say, Eva Mendes (who was born in Miami and is of Cuban Descent)? The "whitewashing" crowd would likely scream about how we picked a white actor instead of a "minority" actor, even though the white actor is far more "Mexican" than Mendes and thus far more authentic for the role.
 

mecegirl

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Ihateregistering1 said:
mecegirl said:
Ihateregistering1 said:
Adaephon said:
One thing this kind of debate always makes me wonder is just how many shades does this issue have? What I mean is a lot of people wanted Rinko Kikuchi to play this part but since we have no reason (that I know of anyways) to believe that she wanted to do the part or even tried to audition for it a few other names have been dropped and those have been mostly Chinese or Korean (or Chinese-American, Korean-American, etc.) actresses whereas Kikuchi was (according to Wikipedia) born and raised in Japan. So what I'm asking is do people think any Asian is "close enough" to play a Japanese role? There's still a fairly serious debate if the half-Indian Ben Kingsley was "Indian enough" to play Gandhi and I personally (/anecdotally) know a fair number of people who were up in arms when the African-American Morgan Freeman played the Xhosa Nelson Mandela (since, to many South Africans and probably other Africans as well, African Americans aren't "African enough" to call themselves as such because they are "too White," "too Americanized," etc.)
Thank you. I've always wondered this: if they were to make a movie about Storm (the X-men character), who would you rather have play Storm (assume these were your only two choices and the other X-Men films were never made)?:
-Charlize Theron (who was born in South Africa)
-Gabrielle Union (born in Omaha, Nebraska)

I mean, technically, if we're aiming for "character authenticity", then isn't the white woman who was actually born in Africa "more African" than the black woman who was born in the US, and thus a better fit for the character?

Moviebob brought up a good point once (I can't believe I just typed that) when he was talking about the "Prince of Persia" movie. People were complaining because they cast Jake Gyllenhaal as a Persian, but no one was complaining about them casting Ben Kingsley as one, even though Gyllenhaal is half-Jewish and thus "more middle-eastern" than Kingsley.

In other words, so much of this talk of "whitewashing" or "changing the character's race" is based on outdated concepts of "oh people from here are SUPPOSED to look like this", which is some 19th century type thinking. If we're truly living in a globalized world, then the concept of race having an automatic and necessary attachment to geographical location needs to go the way of the dodo.
No no no no no. Storm's mother is from Kenya. Her father is African American. So no its not more accurate to have a White woman play her....ugh. It would be more accurate to have an African American woman play her because of her father.

Beyond all that we never play such games when it comes to white chracters. There are White actors from Australia and England and Scotland that play American parts. Would it be more accurate if, say, an Asian American played those parts?
Ok then, we'll change it around: who would you rather play Black Panther?
-A white guy born in South Africa?
-A black guy born in North Carolina?
The particular character isn't really that relevant, my point is that if we're going for 'character authenticity" and the character was born in Africa, what's more important for the actor portraying them: that they have the same skin color as the character, or were born on the same continent?

As for the English, British, etc. actors playing 'American' parts, this is because, partly, America has always gone for the "melting pot" idea, and thus there isn't really supposed to be an associated race with "American".

But the point still stands: people often have this knee-jerk (and frankly, ignorant) belief that people who live in X country are 'supposed' to be Y race, when it flat out isn't true. For example, I've met people born, raised, and living in Mexico with very white skin; their family has been in Mexico for hundreds of years. So, if we were going to make a movie with a Mexican character, in Mexico, who would be better to portray the character: this very white Mexican person, who was born in Mexico, or say, Eva Mendes (who was born in Miami and is of Cuban Descent)? The "whitewashing" crowd would likely scream about how we picked a white actor instead of a "minority" actor, even though the white actor is far more "Mexican" than Mendes and thus far more authentic for the role.
The character is relevant as fuck. You are only choosing big names but obviously don't know anything about the character. Unless you want to explain why the king of African nation that has never been colonized or "discovered" has a White king. I mean Wakanda even has a force field around the capital.... Hypothetical movie makers may as well remake Tarzan if they are gonna go with that sort of casting because such a casting would completely change the story. Yet people always want to use BP for this argument... Why? He's the worst example to use for a race swap ever. Even Heimdall has the rational that they are space aliens. Making BP White reads like the worst White nationalist fantasy and yet I'd bet the folks using him as an example aren't racist. They are just so eager to make a point they didn't use their brains.

There isn't an associated race with American but folks sure as hell like to cast only White people for everything. You bring up your points like we live in a world where there is just as great a chance for a POC to be casted as White person in American cinema and that just is not true. Until then, fuck yeah a non pale Mexican person(or someone who could pass for one) should be casted in a movie about Mexican people because if not for that a that person wouldn't even get the chance to be in a movie at all. Like ever, except for bit parts or the Fast and Furious franchise. Like woop de do for that right? Latino actors of darker skin tones should be sooooooooo grateful for the lack or opportunity, right? That's what the "whitewashing crowd" is concerned about. Opportunity, or rather the lack of opportunity, for POC actors to play anything other than stereotypical/bit/token roles. To be someone other than Latino gangster with a heavy Spanish accent #5 in movie. Or the spicy, sensual and exotic hot chick.
 

Winnosh

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Qvar said:
So if I understand this correctly, Thor can be made female, but Motoko white? Hell no, that would be racism.
Seeing as how Thor was not made female I don't see how this comes into play.

Another person has assumed title and power of Thor But THOR is still around and relevant in the Marvel comics universe and the two have met and interacted.
 

Anomynous 167

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Jim Trailerpark said:
Adam Jensen said:
I have no problem with the casting. We don't know to what extent the movie is going to follow the 1995 anime. But even if we did, I still don't have a problem. It's just an anime movie. It's not like it's about a historic figure and the race of the characters matters like if someone had cast Denzel Washington to play George Washington.

There's a double standard here. Most people on The Escapist (I remember this) claimed that they wouldn't have a problem with a black James Bond, despite him being an iconic character with a long history. The dude is Scottish. But you have a problem with this all of a sudden? With an anime character being played by a non-Asian? Really? Do you really?
Stop using that common sense thing, heathen, it's not compliant with the SJW hivemind attitude of these forums. Oh and for god's sake get something for that throat, you sound like some majorly bad bourbon killed a smoking iguana in there...

Also, this issue cannot be any more obviously artificially engineered bullshit and cannot possibly be taken seriously by anyone other than those who got paid to care about it. Honestly. This is about as far as that old topic *John-Wayne-played-Genghis-Khan* as it can get
What are you insinuating, that John Wayne shouldn't play Ghenghis Khan? I see no logical reason why he can't (besides the fact that Wayne is dead... I suppose they could dress up his skeleton).
John Wayne is Scottish, and there ain't anybody more Scottish than good old Angus McKhan
 

StriderShinryu

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While I can certainly agree that they could (and maybe should) have gone with an Asian actress for Kusanagi, I think there's a pretty clear stretch being made to call out the bad adaptations as being bad because of their casting. The DBZ and Avatar movies, Exodus, etc. would have still been terrible even if they had ethnically appropriate casting. While the white washing of the casts wasn't anything to support, it didn't impact the quality of those films either way.
 

rayen020

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On the one hand I think Scarlett Johansen is amazingly attractive and talented and could totally pull off Mjr. Kusunagi.
On the other hand, yes Motoko should be played by an Asian actress.
And on yet a third un-grown hand (seriously [not really] two more generations and we'll have a third [and maybe a forth{!}] arm/hand) I knew that this debate was going to take place and like every other race-related movie debate it will ultimately come down to whether or not the movie is good.
And on the rarely mentioned forth hand Nearly everybody in those movies is a robot anyways, it honestly doesn't matter what they look like (except Togusa and Saito because they aren't robots). Easy lampshade, just make Batou ask why Motoko keeps that weird looking female body (like he does in the show) and have him punch himself after a cute look from Motoko (like they do in the show).
And on a totally implausible fifth hand, i find it entertaining that a show that depicted Americans as culturally insensitive xenophobic dicks has American filmmakers making casting choices that make them look like culturally insensitive xenophobic dicks...

Look all i want is for this movie to be good. I love GitS and really don't want that name tarnished. Johansen is the star talent pull, cast a bunch of other Asian unknowns to fill out the rest of the cast and get Peter Dinklage as Aramaki. Also guys don't try to do any story from stand alone complex or the movies, come up with something new.
 

theNater

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Qvar said:
So if I understand this correctly, Thor can be made female, but Motoko white? Hell no, that would be racism.
People can be so inconsistent.

Reminds me of a time I was out on the lake with my buddies. Our boat springs a leak, and we all grab buckets. Apparently, if I scoop water from the boat into the lake, everything's hunky-dory, but when I scoop water from the lake into the boat suddenly I'm "a maniac" and "trying to get us all killed". I mean, come on, is moving water from one place to another okay or not?