Scarlett Johansson Discusses "Whitewashing" In 'Ghost In The Shell'...Sort Of

Friday, 10 February 2017 - 1:01PM
Ghost in the Shell
Friday, 10 February 2017 - 1:01PM
Scarlett Johansson Discusses "Whitewashing" In 'Ghost In The Shell'...Sort Of
When Scarlett Johansson was announced as The Major, the lead role in the upcoming Ghost In The Shell movie, the backlash was swift. Many pointed out that there are a large number of prominent Asian actresses who could have been considered for the role, which has taken on iconic status in both Japan and the USA. The film did itself no favors when other headlines came out about trying to render non-Asian actors to look the part. In terms of box office draw, it makes a lot of sense to cast Johansson in the lead role since she's the highest grossing actress of all time (Marvel movies certainly help there), but that doesn't make the issue of "whitewashing" go away.

Now Johansson has begun to speak out, disputing the claim that she was actively attempting to take a role away from any Asian actress and saying that she instead looks at the film and potential series as an opportunity to have more strong women in Hollywood movies. In a recent interview with Marie Claire, Johansson had this to say on the controversy:  

Opening quote
"I certainly would never presume to play another race of a person. Diversity is important in Hollywood, and I would never want to feel like I was playing a character that was offensive. Also, having a franchise with a female protagonist driving it is such a rare opportunity. Certainly, I feel the enormous pressure of that-the weight of such a big property on my shoulders."
Closing quote


It remains to be seen if the backlash will have an impact on the box office. The answer will come soon enough, as Ghost In The Shell is scheduled to be released in US theaters on March 31st.
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