The First Trailer For ‘Ghost In The Shell’ Has Provoked Further Accusations Of Whitewashing
The producer claims that the film is set in "an international world".
Adapted from the iconic manga of the same name, Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell is widely considered one of the greatest anime films ever made. As such, when Paramount announced they were producing their own live-action, English-language version, the fan reaction was decidedly mixed. It probably didn’t help that they promptly cast Scarlett Johansson as protagonist Major Motoko Kusanagi. Maybe you don’t know this, but Scarlett Johansson is very white.
Now the studio have dropped the first trailer for the remake/adaptation, and after watching it a few times I’ve settled on cautious optimism. Director Rupert Sanders appears to have done a great job of recreating the original film’s stunning visuals, plus let’s be honest: robots having an identity crisis just makes for good science fiction.
Even so, there’s no denying that Johansson’s casting is an issue here. In an interview with BuzzFeed earlier in the year, producer Steven Paul defended the decision, claiming that the film is set in “an international world” and that they were “utilizing people from all over the world.”
“There’s Japanese in it. There’s Chinese in it. There’s English in it. There’s Americans in it,” he said. Which sounds great, except you’ve still changed the race of your protagonist from Asian to Caucasian. I mean technically the Major is a robot, but even so.
no matter how visually stunning a film is (dr strange and ghost in the shell), the whitewashing of the main roles instantly makes it ugly af
— boldy go ? (@knowthewonder) November 13, 2016
Ghost in the Shell has a badass, multifaceted Japanese woman lead and they give it to a fucking white woman. A role written for us.
— ensaymada ✿ (@babylychee_) November 13, 2016
White people: "It's too early to judge Ghost in the Shell."
Translation: "Racist white washing is okay if I find the movie entertaining." pic.twitter.com/M9osW4z7FR
— Fangirl Jeanne (@fangirlJeanne) November 13, 2016