Hollywood : Whitewashing (Part III)

Normally, I like to celebrate and geek out about the things Hollywood is getting right but lately there has been a number of serious fuckups, that have been pointed out to us, that shows that the PTB in Hollywood are seriously out of  touch with the rest of the American people, and need to get their shit together, and undergo a serious diversity overhaul.

I know I’ve mentioned before what a huge behemoth Hollywood is, how its so large that it can be slow to change. The problem with that theory is that even in situations where Hollywood has the time, to make different types of choices, it doesn’t. I understand that often films are years in the making and the films that have been released this year are sometimes cast months (in some cases years) in advance, so I will give a tiny bit of leeway in that direction, as Hollywood probably has not fully understood just how seriously their fuckups have been on the diversity front. What I do not give a pass to are movies that have been recently cast.

For example:

MCU: The Marvel Cinematic Universe keeps falling down on the diversity front. Given an opportunity to cast anything other than White men in heroic roles in the films it continues to get this  wrong. There are almost no Women of Color in the MCU, outside of Agents of Shield (two Asian women), and Daredevil’s Elektra (its depiction of Asian women is  a  problem that was just discussed). There is one Afro Latina in the MCU as Claire in Daredevil.  I guess they figured with an Afro Latina they got all their bases covered and don’t need to cast any more women of color.

Hopefully we can get some representation with Luke Cage, which is coming out in the Fall, and hopefully it won’t rely on a bunch of tropes, since Hollywood seems to find writing for black female characters to be one of the hardest things in the universe. (Perhaps if they had some black women writers behind the scenes in Hollywood, this might not be a problem.) My argument though is  we shouldn’t have to wait for a Black vehicle to see black women in the superhero universe. We should’ve been included all along.

Jessica Jones went a long way towards depicting white women in the MCU and I say white women because the one depiction they had of a black woman in that series (Luke Cage’s wife) was ignominiously murdered by the white heroine of that series, which mostly served to send the, I’d like to believe unintentional, message to its audience that there is no room in this universe for black and white women’s stories to exist together.

Agent Carter too, is a prime example of heroic white women existing at the expense of women of color, as if there’s no room for both to co-exist. Perhaps the writers of that show think Peggy will look less heroic next to women who are actually experiencing some next level hardship? Or maybe the writers are too lazy to write the kind of story that would make Peggy look heroic by helping the lives of women who don’t look like her?

Its as if Hollywood refuses to understand that White women and  WoC don’t have to be pitted against each other for a good story to be told. Their stories can and often do exist side by side and doesn’t detract from the the other’s story.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of white female heroes that I love. Like Black Widow, who has yet to get her own movie, even though the MCU was willing to make yet another film featuring a white man: Antman. A movie no one was asking for. We’ve been asking for a black Widow movie for over three years now and  it would also be nice to see a White Tiger (Latino),the original Captain Marvel (African American), or even Storm. (Catwoman doesn’t count. That movie was shit.)

Instead of giving us a Black Widow movie Hollywood has decided to make the puzzling decision to keep casting  Scarlett Johannson in worse and worse vehicles, as if they’re trying to destroy her career before they have to make that Black Widow movie we’ve been asking them for. What is their plan exactly? Keep making worse movies with her in them until her career flops and then use that as an excuse to call off the Black Widow movie they have no intention of ever making?

The less said about the DC Universe films, the better. The TV shows, on the other hand,which seems to exist exclusively on the CW, are at least trying, which is more than I can say for Marvel’s TV universe, which is incoherent and scattered all over the place.

While we are on the subject of Marvel, lets discuss: Whitewashing

Iron Fist/Dr. Strange: Whitewashing/White Savior trope:

I think I mentioned on another site that Hollywood has spent decades creating trope after trope after sterotype about PoC, so now that they have the ability to cast persons of color in movies, their castings are almost always going to be problematic no matter who they choose. Hollywood is an incredibly lazy and unimaginative place at times. They can be just as traditional and hidebound as that Auntie who spends all day/every day in church and walks around the house humming gospel songs to herself.

I know, I know, they are in the business of making money and they  like sure things, and don’t like to take many chances which is a great business model when your business doesn’t depend on being imaginative.

Ghost in the Shell: Whitewashing

Okay this photo gallery is for that asshole writer of Ghost in the Shell, who pretty much just killed his fucking movie by saying that they chose Scarlett Johannson because there are no good Asian actresses.

 

 

Or it could just be that their lazy asses couldn’t be bothered to look for any to star in their movie.

 

Gods of Egypt:Whitewashing

Nina Simone: Colorism

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Hollywood : Whitewashing (Part III)

  1. Rachid Winfred

    Most of the “Asian” actresses you posted pictures of aren’t Japanese. Asian-American identity is a specifically American construct that doesn’t exist in Japan. Demanding the lead role of a Hollywood adaptation of a Japanese property goes to an Asian-American no less cultural appropriation than casting ScarJo.

    Like

    1. True, but any one of them ,while not having ScarJos star power, is still a better choice than erasing Asian actresses all together, and no Asian actors are ever going to reach SacrJo’s level of stardom, if none of them are ever cast in big budget films.

      For the record, my actual choice was Rinko Kikuchi. She was always my dream choice to play Kusanagi.

      Like

  2. jennnanigans

    Reblogged this on Late to the Theater and commented:
    LKeke has done an amazing job summarizing some of the recent problematic depictions of People of Color in the MCU, films, and television. She has also provided some VERY informative links to articles unpacking these controversies. Please check them out!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this series, lkeke. Thank you for gathering all this precious intel for us.

    ““Nina” is an affront that should be shunned.” (TheWrap).

    BEEN shunning it since they cast Zoe Saldana (and then had the nerve put her in blackface with a prosthetic nose). Adepero Oduye is the only one I want to see in this role. Saldana’s stank attitude about this whole fiasco only adds insult to injury. Never supporting anything she’s a part of again. Won’t hurt her coins but I’m boycotting because I can, plus I love watching all the backlash she’s receiving. Richly deserved. #pett y

    “no matter how much I love Spiderman because I’m kind of tired of him”

    lol me too. Actually I’ve had all the Spidey I need in my life with Toby. Probably didn’t help that I don’t like Andrew Garfield… I have to say, I don’t mind yet another white guy being cast as Spiderman. I’m more interested in stories about POC heroes being brought to the forefront and being cast properly. I’m a marketing major and Hollywood is more than capable of making these characters popular and bankable if it puts its mind to it. I also don’t want to see any racially ambiguous person cast in lieu of a character who isn’t supposed to be racially ambiguous. That’s the 100% West African in me. Make those non-white heroes a part of the landscape, stop casting “exoticals” to represent folks with a distinctive phenotype and that would be a good start. Expecting Superman to turn Black when Hollywood can even cast actual Black folks properly is not very realistic in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see your point. When we can’t even get characters who are canonically black to be shown as black, it’s hard to argue for characters who are white, to be cast as PoC, although strangely enough, Hollywood seems willing to go that route. I don’t know why.
      I’m okay with Spider-Man being white, if we can get characters who are actually black or Hispanic or Native American. Speaking of which, Adam Beach is in Suicide Squad. I’m kind of geeking out about that and need to post on that soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Tony!

    …and then there’s the casting of Finn Jones as Iron Fist. Yet another example of Hollywood’s near obsession with (as you put it) anything you can do, whites can do better.

    Liked by 1 person

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