The anime The Ghost In The Shell film is being redone, with principal filming already under way. The remake is not an anime, and Scarlett Johansson was announced as the lead acting role last year. This has been met with ire from both anime fans and the Asian community as a whole. Ming-Na Wen, a S.H.I.E.L.D. actress, tweeted:
Before turning to racism, or “whitewashing”, it’s probably a better idea to take a look at the long list of reasons why she received the role instead of other Asian actresses. It could have stemmed from availability, a better fit for the role, viewer discretion. I’ve heard of actors and actresses turning down roles because they don’t want to travel out of the country, and The Ghost In The Shell is being filmed in New Zealand. There is one more reason why Dreamworks/Paramount pictures decided to go with Johansson:
They aren’t making an anime.
This isn’t an animated film, and they don’t want it to be. Animated films in the U.S. combined equate out to roughly 2 billion dollars a year. COMBINED. The total revenue of the first Avengers film was 1.52 billion. I say again, the first Avengers movie nearly made as much money as all anime in the United States COMBINED. What Dreamworks/Paramount is looking to do here is include the majority of viewers in the States to support an action film that has a large budget. To top it off, all film companies when aiming for creation of a high profile film star *gasp* high profile actors/actresses.
And I can’t think of a single Asian actress who starred in a movie that made 1.52 billion.