The full trailer for the highly-anticipated yet controversial live-action adaptation of “Ghost in the Shell” has finally arrived, but some still can’t get over the sheer “whiteness” of the trailer.
Fans of the popular manga can finally watch actress Scarlett Johansson as she runs up a wall in slow-motion shooting enemies as Major Motoko Kusanagi (though the in the film she’s only addressed as “The Major”), a human-cyborg soldier who leads the special-operations task force Section 9, devoted to stopping criminals and corrupt officials.
The movie, which is directed by Rupert Sanders, does look aesthetically pleasing, with its neon kanji and katakana symbols and killer geisha assassin robots, as The Verge notes. But heavy criticism surrounding the casting of a white actress in an originally Asian lead role has sparked outrage on the Internet.
Producer Steven Paul spoke out in defense of the casting choice, saying the film has taken an “international approach,” which he believes is “the right approach.”
Some fans have argued that The Major is indeed a cyborg and could be designed to look however her creators want, but others couldn’t quite bring themselves to accept Johansson in the role.
Me reacting to the Ghost in Shell trailer:
I /love/ how white it is
— Alexa ✒ (@ahnyoo_) November 15, 2016
I want to un-see the new Ghost in Shell trailer
— Rebekah (@Slime_Dictator) November 15, 2016
stop making excuses for Scarlett johansson playing the lead character for ghost in shell and call it out for what it is, whitewashing
— Brindha Deb (@brindhadeb) November 13, 2016
I saw the Ghost in Shell live action trailer… Just doesnt look right :/
I love ScarJo but she just doesnt fit idk its awkward
— MOON ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ (@SayakaMcGiggles) November 13, 2016
It’s so awkward to watch Scar Jo in the Ghost In Shell trailer
— Jay 👑 Queen Jisoo (@27cmHoseok) November 13, 2016
This is not the first film in recent days to be hit with whitewashing. Doctor Strange, released on November 4, was criticized by fans of the Marvel comic books after it was revealed that the company had casted Tilda Swinton, a white Scottish woman, as the Ancient One when the character in the original comic is of Tibetan descent. The same uproar was caused when Danny Rand was cast as The Iron Fist, another Marvel show to debut on Netflix.
See Johansson bring the Major to life in “Ghost in the Shell” when it lands on the big screen on March 31, 2017.