A number of social media users are saying no to a new action-adventure film from Netflix after learning that its white protagonist is headed for an Asian murder spree.
What’s it about: “Kate,” which releases on Sept. 10, centers on a “ruthless criminal operative” who was poisoned and left with less than 24 hours to exact revenge on her enemies. In the process, she forms an “unexpected bond” with the daughter of one of her past victims.
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who received praises for her performance as Huntress in the film “Birds of Prey,” will play the lead role. As per Indie Wire, Netflix’s official synopsis states that Kate “uncharacteristically blows an assignment targeting a member of the yakuza in Tokyo,” which leads her to being poisoned.
- The film also stars Woody Harrelson as Kate’s handler. Other cast members include Miku Martineau, Tadanobu Asano, Michiel Huisman and Jun Kunimura.
- The action-adventure is helmed by French film director and visual effects artist Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. It is written by Umair Aleem and produced by Bryan Unkeless, Kelly McCormick and Patrick Newall, according to Entertainment Weekly.
What critics are saying: “Kate” has received more positive comments as of this writing, with many thrilled to see the involvement of Japanese rock band BAND-MAID and Winstead’s return in an action role. However, some laid out reasons why the film is problematic, and they’re all based on the idea that the lead character — a white person — is killing Asians.
- One Twitter user accused the film of Asian fetishization: “Shame on Netflix for this. After this past year especially, to then release a film that is literally white people murdering Asian people based on stereotypes and fetishization??? Hard pass.”
- Another called out the presence of white lead characters in Asian settings: “Love Winstead. But stop putting white leads around Asian culture in an Asian city while every antagonist is Asian. And what’s Hollywood’s obsession with the Yakuza, like, damn.”
- Meanwhile, one simply wrote: “#StopAsianHate. That’s it. That’s the tweet.”
Check out more tweets below:
…So a movie where a white woman beats up and kills Asian people. Yakuza so technically Japanese, though I doubt only Japanese actors were hired for the Yakuza roles. That is the premise of this movie. Enough people thought this was a good idea that we’re getting it. Wtf.
— Olivia Wertheimer (Open to opportunities!) (@kingdomfantasy6) August 4, 2021
There’s something just a little yucky about one white women killing a whole lot of Asian people over the course of a movie… https://t.co/99XsPf9Jcc
— refresh_daemon (@refresh_daemon) August 4, 2021
logical smart brain: netflix’s kate is bad because it fetishizes/villainizes asians & asian culture and reinforces the “white saviour” stereotype
gay brain: mary elizabeth winstead hot……
— ninda ❤️🔥 (@softerstorms) August 5, 2021
I guess “White Girl on Asian Killing Spree” was too on the nose to name this movie. https://t.co/ZiNfSIUrNe
— karsh™ (@karsh) August 5, 2021
The damn Kate Netflix movie and that Billy talk show nearly back to back. Whites really having’ it huh?! Using Asians as punching bags and microaggressive about certain aspects of Asian culture. It doesn’t with the rise of attacks against Asian community.
— Jae⁷| 재경 💜 (slow) (@awkwardjoonie) August 5, 2021
Lol another white lead in with Asians as a cultural background,
— Adam Grodd (@AdamGrodd) August 4, 2021
Wait …so the premise is this white girl is seeking revenge on folks who poisoned her because she was trying to kill the head of the Yakuza? 😂😂 yeah hard pass..
— Yazmin (YAZs-MEEn) (@_TheBeautyBruja) August 4, 2021
Ima huge fan of Mary Elizabeth Winstead…but was @diannedoan not available????
Asian antagonists, white protagonists ….again c’mon now
— unknown (@S4eedK) August 4, 2021
Featured Image Screenshots via Netflix