Actresses Jenny Slate (38) and Kristen Bell (39) announced earlier this week that they would stop performing colored characters in animation series. Both of them, as white women, portrayed a character with different roots, and they don’t think that’s appropriate anymore in times of ‘Black Lives Matter’.
They call it ‘whitewashing’, a phenomenon in which white ones replace colored actors. But their voice roles weren’t by far the biggest misses in Hollywood… These were the most important failures in modern film history.
Ghost in the Shell
Scarlett Johansson scored the lead role in ‘Ghost in the Shell’, a long-awaited film adaptation of the Japanese anime series of the same name. However, her casting was not appreciated by many fans.
“Why is it that this story is set in a futuristic version of Japan, but that a white woman gets the title role?”, People asked aloud. The print was accused of whitewashing, as the main roles were filled in by white actors.
The filming of the Japanese anime series ‘Death Note’ caused a lot of outrage. Not only because the print was awful, but also because the entire cast was filled in by white people, while the story should be set in Asia.
The film is now regarded as one of the greatest whitewashing disasters ever. The main character, which should normally have been called Light Yagami, had suddenly been renamed ‘Light Turner’. Nat Wolff performed it.
In Marvel’s superhero films, diversity is central, and yet one of the characters was cast strangely. Doctor Strange’s mentor is described in the comic books (on which the films are based) as an older, Asian man. However, the studio chose actress Tilda Swinton.
Prince of Persia (2010)
Jake Gyllenhaal, who, as far as we know, is not from Persia, still got the lead role in Disney’s ‘Prince Of Persia’. And he wasn’t the only white actor to get priority.
His opponent, British Gemma Arterton, was also allowed to play a princess with Persian roots as a white woman. The casting choice received a lot of criticism from fans.
The Last Airbender
‘The Last Airbender’, based on the well-known cartoon series ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’, went a step further. Not only was the full main cast blank, the only colored character – played by Dev Patel – was the villain.
Although ‘Avatar’ was not based on one particular culture, there were heavy influences from the East and Japanese anime. Because the white actors had to wear make-up to make them look more like Asian people, they even spoke of ‘yellowface’.
‘A Mighty Heart’ (2007)
Angelina Jolie played journalist Mariane Pearl in this autobiographical print. She is of Afro-Cuban descent. In the movie, Angelina’s skin was visibly darkened, and she had to wear a curly wig. “This is blackface,” it said afterward on social media.
“There were plenty of good, colored actresses available for the role. Then why go for a white woman?” It sounded. In defense of the production: Mariane herself confirmed that the origin of the actress who would interpret her did not matter to her.
The Lone Ranger (2003)
Here, Johnny Depp takes on the role of the eccentric Indian warrior Tonto. A controversial choice, given that Depp himself is not a ‘native American’. However, the actor claimed that he might have had Cherokee blood when he heard of the allegations.
The Native American people of the United States thought that was a lame excuse. “By the way, the studio could easily have checked that with a blood test.”
Ben Affleck is not a Latino, but that didn’t stop him from playing a Latin American character in ‘Argo’. He even won an Oscar for it. “Would the protagonist also have won an Oscar if he were indeed colored?” Someone on Twitter wondered. “We will never know…”