As she developed her part, Ms. Wu heard the same dismal fact repeated over and over again: It had been 20 years since a show featuring a predominantly Asian-American cast had aired on television. Wu said. The show, which was just renewed for a third season, has granted Ms. Wu a steady job and a new perspective.
Commentary: Hollywood’s glaring problem: White actors playing Asian characters
Why Is Hollywood Still Casting White Actors in Asian Roles? | Teen Vogue
You know what they say about how much pictures are worth. The news that Scarlett Johansson was cast as the lead in the live-action adaptation of the manga and anime series Ghost in the Shell was announced back in January , much to the chagrin of fans of the Japanese classic. But recently seeing Scarlett in the first released photograph from the film, wearing black bobbed hair instead of her natural blond tresses, made the realization hit home: A white woman is playing a character who, in the original, is named Major Motoko Kusanagi. This is nothing new in Hollywood, where the stories being told are, for the most part, stories about white people.
Casting White People in Asian Roles Goes Back Centuries
This problem is even worse when roles that originated as Asian characters end up going to white actors. Though her casting was no secret, there was something unsettling about the sight of Ms. Johansson look more Asian — basically, yellowface for the digital age.
When Ghost in the Shell was announced as a feature film with Scarlett Johansson in the lead role, fans were rightly outraged. How could the lead character, a Japanese woman named Motoko Kusanagi, be so blatantly substituted by a blonde, white woman? It was whitewashing at its very worst.