Whitewashing In Films And TV Shows - Is There Really An Excuse?

Recently, there have been more and more movies aiming to tell more racially diverse stories, many of which have been historical events omitted or ignored in the past due to discrimination, for example 12 Years A Slave (2013). However, many films are still criticised for ‘whitewashing’, the term for casting white actors in historically non-white character roles, with African Americans, Native Americans, and Asians experiencing this the most. The argument most commonly used for this is that the actors are ‘better qualified for the role’, however the truth behind this is often that directors often choose actors of similar backgrounds. Recent shows and movies that have come under backlash for their casting include the new Power Rangers film, the Death Note adaption, and Ghost In The Shell (2017). There are certainly far less Latino, Asian, or African American actors than there are Caucasian, but is there really so few that none are good enough for these POC roles?

  • Intermingling of cultures has ALWAYS existed. But, how about making movies about diverse people in those time periods? At that point, diverse groups of people existed in the world but their histories are ignored by many in the West. The latest Tarzan reboot actually had a storyline rooted in history called George Washington Williams who did travel to the Free Congo to protest slavery in that region. A very intelligent weaving of history and fiction. I think the problem is when Hollywood rewrites history to a very Western view which detracts from revealing that we all have so much more in common than we think we do. – Munjeera 7 years ago
  • I think the question starts with who is making the movies; who is crafting the stories? We need more POC/minorities/women producing/directing movies. – tamarakot 7 years ago

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