Among the few highlights of the 76th annual Golden Globes Awards on Sunday was Sandra Oh calling out films “Aloha!” and “Ghost in the Shell” for whitewashing, and actress Emma Stone obliging with a surprising response.
Oh, who was delivering this year’s monologue alongside co-host Andy Samberg, praised “Crazy Rich Asians” for being “the first studio film with an Asian American lead since Ghost in the Shell and Aloha.”
“Blade Runner 2049” is finally out and fans are scrambling to theaters, eagerly wanting to watch the film. With the first installment released in 1982, sci-fi fans were exceptionally excited for the new version.
Similar to the original, “Blade Runner 2049” is set in Los Angeles and has a lot of Asian influence in it.
It seems Lionsgate is making good on their word to “recast [Ben Daimio] with an actor more consistent with the character in the source material,” choosing Daniel Dae Kim to take Ed Skrein’s place in the “Hellboy” reboot.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kim is currently in negotiations to join the cast of “Hellboy”, which is being produced by Lionsgate and Millennium. He will be taking over the role once filled by Skrein, famous for his performance in Deadpool. Skrein stepped down from the cast of “Hellboy” amidst the Whitewashing controversy, offering an unprecedented apology over the insensitivity of the casting and hoping for a better future for underrepresented groups in the arts.
After drawing accusations of Whitewashing, the upcoming reboot of “Hellboy” has been defended by executive producer Christa Campbell, who lashed out at boycotters on social media.
Last year, “Birth of the Dragon”, a film inspired by the epic fight between Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man, debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film stars Philip Ng, Xia Yu, Billy Magnussen, and was directed by George Nolfi, who’s helmed “The Adjustment Bureau”, and was the writer for “The Bourne Ultimatum”, and “Ocean’s Twelve”.
However, once the trailer was released online, it was immediately met with backlash (and rightfully so) from the Asian American community. IMDB user Bawlife probably put it the best:
The Pacific Islander and Asian-American communities are up in arms over the historical inaccuracies the upcoming film “Ni’ihau” will tell about the Japanese and Japanese-Americans.
Many people, including writer and stand-up comedian Jenny Yang, took to social media to let their voices be heard after actor Zach McGowan was cast to portray the significant role of native Hawaiian hero Benehakaka “Ben” Kanahele.
Scarlett Johansson’s casting in “Ghost In The Shell” has certainly brought the idea of Hollywood whitewashing back to everybody’s consciousness, whether or not you agree the film was indeed whitewashed. But what does the phenomenon really do to people?
Last week, with less than a month before the film’s release, a video that captures the heartbreaking effects of whitewashing was posted online. Titled “Ghost In The Shell PSA,” it focuses on a young Asian girl struggling to find characters who look like her at a comic book store.
Last week, actor Steven Yeun was featured on the latest cover on Entertainment Weekly. Naturally, many people in the Asian community expressed their satisfaction upon hearing the news.
While this is a huge step for Asians in mainstream media, the outpouring of positive vibes also reveals a sobering reality. Blogger The Love Life of an Asian Guy put it the best in a Facebook post: