Ghost In The Shell has come out and as I understand it, there’s a bit of controversy surrounding it. It seems some folks are mad that Scarlett Johansson is playing a role that many say should have gone to an Asian actress. I see. Maybe the film’s casting director couldn’t find an Asian actress that could handle the role as well as Ms. Johansson. She was the best fit for the role from the pool of actors they had to choose from, she just happens to be white.
I see a great amount of irony in all of this. I love how the cultural groups come out en force for this kind of nonsense. I don’t recall anyone raising a word when a white character was cast with a character of a different race. Johnny Storm is black in the Fantastic 4 movie, but not a word is said. A white actor is cast in place of an Asian actor and all Hell breaks loose. I’m sorry, but if you weren’t upset when it happened the first time, you can’t be upset now.
Race isn’t a deal with me, despite what the last paragraph may suggest. I just believe if a character is created to look a certain way (gender, race, etc) then when that character is portrayed in a film or television series, the actor should retain that appearance. The fact is most writers in the comic book industry in the sixties were white so they wrote white characters and I just feel the creator’s vision should be respected. If you want to put in a character of a different race, fine, but make sure it works and serves the story. I’ve always seen these ‘against-type-‘ castings as more racist than the people who object to them. The producers are telling us that race DOES matter. If it didn’t matter at all, why change it?
It’s clear that it does matter, but in the eyes of some, it only matters when it’s in a certain way. I object to that.