Yesterday, Paramount reminded all Asians why they were upset with the studio’s casting of white actress Scarlett Johansson as the lead Asian role of Major Motoko Kusanagi in the upcoming film adaptation of “Ghost in the Shell” by releasing the film’s first photo.
Understandably, several figures in the Asian community are sick of Hollywood’s whitewashed portrayals of specifically ethnic stories.
Nothing against Scarlett Johansson. In fact, I’m a big fan. But everything against this Whitewashing of Asian role.😒 https://t.co/VS6r6iish9
— Ming-Na Wen (@MingNa) April 14, 2016
At some point, however, Hollywood reportedly wanted to push things to ridiculous levels by using CGI in post-production to make white characters in the film look more Asian.
Multiple independent sources close to the ‘Ghost’ project reported that Paramount and Dreamworks hired Lola VFX, the same visual effects company behind Brad Pitt’s transformation in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, to test alterations on caucasian actors and make them appear more Asian, according to ScreenCrush.
Though unconfirmed, the tests were believed to be commissioned for Johansson’s character to see how well they could “shift her ethnicity” in post-production.
ScreenCrush reached out to Paramount Pictures who confirmed the CGI tests, but denied that the tests were done on Johansson:
“A test was done related to a specific scene for a background actor which was ultimately discarded. Absolutely no visual effects tests were conducted on Scarlett’s character and we have no future plans to do so.”
Reportedly, once the test footage was reviewed, the production team rejected it “immediately.”
Ultimately, we can probably all agree that the studio made the right decision and kept an uncomfortable situation from becoming any worse.