Jump to content

Production Drama & Cinema Culture.

Recommended Posts

A tough topic to tackle, for sure. Sometimes, it's clearly racism or even a lack of care towards the source material. Other times, you really have to sacrifice such integrity for a good performance. And it can be hard to tell when it is either at times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The dialogue below me are from a Skype chat I had a number of days ago regarding this same subject, hope you guys like it. :)

Ah this topic, saw the video a week ago or so.
I'll say that changing Strange's Mentor not into a Woman, but someone who wasn't Tibet was a cowards move.
I mean I think the film will end up good, but still.
As for Ghost in The Shell, I can say that it MIGHT be okay as Kisaragi's body artificial anyway and can look like whoever she wants, she looks different in just about EVERY incarnation anyway.

But seriously though I'm not sure, if done tastefully then it MIGHT be okay in some regards, whose to say if it's right or not as we are all guilty of it.
I mean in terms of a story, it shouldn't matter who plays who as long as the person is right for the role. Then again in some regards like in the live action Dragon Ball and King of Fighters movie it was horribly miscast, especially the latter film.
How about this for an example, I'm not okay with Kyo Kusanagi being played by a white guy, but I'm okay with it if a white guy played as Ryo Sakazaki, as he's half Japanese and American. There are some workarounds with this, I mean heck Peter Dinklage's character in X-Men Days of Future Past wasn't written with him in mind, but it worked out so well.
As long as it makes sense to the character's origins, background, and most importantly the story, that should depend when it's okay or not.

I did like how NC pointed out that English Dubs is technically White Washing, that really got me thinking though.
I mean after all we played as Mobians before in RPs and we aren't Mobians at all anyway. XP
Perhaps it has to do with our perception of our world, after all you wouldn't see anyone ever making an all White Washed Version of Friday would you?
If someone did THAT, people would be up in arms, riots in the streets.

On that note, this reminds me of the Ghostbusters "Remake"
People aren't mad that it's an all female Ghostbusters team, they are mad that it throws away everything established or a 3rd movie for a different continuity as it's substitute.
That's what the whole Doctor Strange and Ghost in the Shell arguments remind me of actually.

For those two movies, I can let it slide, at least I hope Doctor Strange's Mentor Changes weren't intentional. -_-
But in Strange's Case that's a whole new continuity, separate from what's been established but similar, while Ghost in the Shell has a logical reason why Kisaragi's body is white, but she's actually Japanese, and that's due to her Artificial "Shell".

In conclusion, White Washing should only be done if it doesn't effect the logic and reality of the established fiction's story and intention, if it's compromised in the right way it can make for a good story, or even a better one, but in the wrong way the logic of the story and it's world falls apart if the actor fails to portray this role correctly.

So did I hit all the points here or does anyone else want a crack at this? :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On ‎04‎/‎06‎/‎2016 at 10:25 AM, WarTraveller said:

you really have to sacrifice such integrity for a good performance

I agree with this sentiment fully. While it is nice to see the fresh face of a non-white actor/actress in a film, I don't have any qualms if a well-known white actor/actress plays a non-white part and does it justice. The same can be said for the reverse argument (such as Sam L. Jackson as Nick Fury or Black Ford Prefect).

However, what I cannot stand is the blatant "tokenising" of characters because PC or SJW or whatever nonsense they dream up. See Black Sherlock Holmes (created by Karl Bollers, whom all you lovely people from A-A-S on DeviantArt know well of) or Idris Elba being a favourite to be the next Bond. I exclude really old films that had white actors as non-white characters (why should it be held to our "ever-so-enlightened" moral code?) and satirical films (because what colour the actors' skins are should not be your main concern).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nick Fury is an interesting case- Marvel actually wanted to make the Ultimate Universe Nick Fury look like Sam Jackson, and he agreed to let them use his likeness provided that they let him play the character in any upcoming films. Since the MCU is a sort of 50/50 between the 616 and Ultimate universes, they went through with it and cast Jackson as per their agreement.


An interesting case regarding Mr. Elba is the supposed incoming adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower, where he has apparently been cast as the Gunslinger. All well and good, he's a great actor... but the Gunslinger being white is actually part of the plot- He gets harassed by another protagonist, a somewhat weird black woman, because he is white. With the change, they'll either have to drop that plot entirely or change it to a white woman hating him because he's black, which, well... stops her from being an interesting character and makes her just a racist in the eyes of the audiences. I can already hear angry Twitter mobs baying for the character's blood.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

See, one of the more recent cases for Whitewashing in Hollywood is for Doctor Strange: The Ancient One is being played by Tilda Swinton... but the character is originally from Tibetan decent. Co-writer Robert Cargill compared it to the Kobayshi Maru in an interview but I think the real reason for the change is so Marvel can still market the film in China... in which China has attempted to seize control of Tibet and the geopolitical climate in that region is rather tense. If this isnt the real reason then well I'll admit I was wrong. But if it is the reason then it makes Marvel look bad as they had to sacrifice integrity for profit.


But as the others said, sometimes you have to sacrifice integrity for the performance but it all depends on a variety of characteristics.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Redid this whole topic because it got derailed. Cleaned it up, expanded its discourse to include any meta-fictional drama in production or cinematic culture. Note: this is not a place to strongly debate each other over these issues. We have the Academic thread for that. But even there we strongly recommend solutional dialogue, towards a common consensus. Check this hot-button topic out:


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...