Thursday, April 14, 2016

Racism - On Hollywood and Whitewashing

Racism - On Hollywood and Whitewashing

Originally I wrote this rant about Hollywood, and whitewashing stories. It was angry, and inspired by the most recent stab in Ghost in the Shell, where they've decided to cast Scarlet Johansson (whom I love as an actress) as the quite Japanese Mokoto Kusanagi.

Then I thought about my rant. It's not just that I'm angry, but actually, it is more that I'm hurt. And I'm hurt not only for Hollywood, which I'm angry at, but I'm hurt for everyone culturally that shares the plight with me. I'm hurt for everyone who has gone before me and seen mainstream media evolve this way. I'm hurt for my generation, caught in this weird precipice of knowing better and not being able to express ourselves on what we want or how to get it.

And I'm hurt for the generation that is coming after mine, that deserves better.

I'm really hurt because they are taking creations from Asian culture, celebrated creations, wonderful, original, brilliant creations of art and concept. They are taking them and trivializing them without ever having any intent to do them proper justice. And not only are they not intending to do them justice, they are intending to merely make money from them. Co-opting these creations that are so amazing and merely using them. It hurts that Hollywood is taking things I am proud of, stories and epics that I grew up on, and telling me that they have to be changed because my ethnicity isn't good enough to be visible. That my ethnicity, that my culture isn't good enough in its own story to be strong.

That's why Whitewashing is problematic. Because the rest of the world is now, not suddenly, but still completely disenfranchised this way.