Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Sachi » Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:23 pm

View Original PostRay wrote:You could cast ANYONE as Ryuk, because he's a Supernatural being that looks like a cross between a Dinosaur and Marylin Manson. He's not a human character, so you could use that role to cast an A-list white actor to sell the movie.

Ryuk may not be a human character, but he still looks relatively human and has character. Sure you can make someone look like anything with CG, but you can't just cast ANYONE for any nonhuman part. Willem Dafoe is perfect because he's already got the face, the grin, the voice, and everything. It'll basically be a darker and more toyful Green Goblin. And even if the movie sucks, his performance will surely be a highlight and worth seeing.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Ray » Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:44 pm

well this hit the internet like an atom bomb.

http://spidermannews.com/2016/08/18/zen ... omecoming/

Mary Jane Watson is going to be played by a black actress in Spider-Man Homecoming.

Oh the Wailing and gnashing of teeth. Spider-Man purists saying she's not a good fit for the character. Social justice Warriors calling those Spider-Man Fans racist for hating a black character.

Please don't let this be another Ghostbusters 2016. PLEASE!
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Sachi » Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:50 pm

I like it.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Tumbling Down » Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:04 am

I just read the first two chapters of Primetime Propaganda by Ben Shapiro, and it made me wonder why there isn't a bigger outcry among conservatives about not being represented in Hollywood. Is it because conservatives aren't that type to give a crap?

By representation, of course, I don't mean there being conservative characters or stories expressing conservative values. I mean real people working in Hollywood while also being openly conservative. The only examples I can think of are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Doug TenNapel, and even then, Arnold is too socially liberal for a lot of conservatives to see him as one of them.

View Original PostRay wrote:well this hit the internet like an atom bomb.

http://spidermannews.com/2016/08/18/zen ... omecoming/

Mary Jane Watson is going to be played by a black actress in Spider-Man Homecoming.

oh the Wailing and gnashing of teeth Spider-Man purists saying she's not a good fit for the character. social justice Warriors calling those Spider-Man Fans racist for hating a black character.

please don't let this be another Ghostbusters 2016. PLEASE!

Honestly, I don't think the majority of viewers will even know she's African-American. I wouldn't have known if you hadn't pointed it out. She's what the kids call "white passing."

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:01 am

View Original PostRay wrote:please don't let this be another Ghostbusters 2016. PLEASE!

Well, it's not another underachieving Paul Feig film, so it already looks way better. I just hope it's not another Sony screw up.

The story needs to be good, though. Changing up the race/gender/whatever of the characters can't be the only trick up the film's sleeve. "You thought she was _____, but she's actually _____!" is the lamest twist one can rest a narrative on. Okay, MJ's black now, but will I care about her as much as I did Kristen Steward's portrayal of MJ in the first Spider-Man movie? Or is this just another "controversial" casting decision simply made to get the kids talking, and not because there's any creative effort placed behind the decision.

The Nostalgia Critic did a skit in his Wild Wild West review recently that I really liked. In the skit there was a trailer for an original movie, which terrified the cast and crew involved with the movie. The narrator went on to introduce the cast, "Meet this black guy, who was originally written as a black guy."

The character protested. "You mean I didn't used to be white at some point?" The lead female character also complained about being written originally as a female character. Both asked how they were going to get clicks on the internet if they weren't being controversial in some insignificant way. The Narrator responded that they would have to actually do something controversial in the film, and rely on word-of-mouth after the film's release in order to boost ticket sales.

Terror filled the hearts of the cast members, and they screamed in the agony of being subjected to a non pre-existing intellectual property with clear artistic goals.

I don't mind Spidey having a black girlfriend. Time will tell if race-changing MJ was worth the effort. If she just ends up as boring as Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man movies, or MJ in Spider-Man 3, then it wouldn't have been worth the effort, and Sony should feel bad about forcing "controversies" on their cast simply to get attention and giving a platform to rude commenters on YouTube. (It would have been the second or third time they've done this recently, depending on your thoughts on The Interview's production.)
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Ray » Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:32 pm

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:Well, it's not another underachieving Paul Feig film, so it already looks way better. I just hope it's not another Sony screw up.


Given the new chairman of Sony that replaced Amy Pascal and Co-Producing the new Spider-Man movies is Tom "I almost killed the X-men Movie Franchise' Rothman. I'm not surprised we're already seeing things start come apart at the seams.

I am worried. I've learned over the course of the years with other butchered adaption , if a movie or TV show doesn't care enough about the source material to get the race of the main characters right, it 9 out of 10 times means the studio didn't care enough about the movie to make sure they got the rest of the material right. This usually applies to whitewashing, I hope it doesn't apply here.

Look, I can understand casting diverse for the other supporting characters. Flash Thompson could be black, Scorpion, Venom, and Electro could be black, Felicia Hardy (Black Cat) could be black, even J Jonah Jameson could be black. But for MJ a character who's as close to Peter as the Spider-Bite that gave him his powers? It seems to me like a huge risk that could potentially alienate longtime Spider-Man fans. She's a HUGE part of Peter's life, and she's appeared alongside him as a white ginger girl for the majority of life in the comics, TV shows, Cartoons, and movies. This is a huge break from continuity and tradition, even for the MCU. Will the audience be willing to accept that a character they've known all this time as a white girl is black now? I mean, they accepted Nick Fury so anything's possible.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Tumbling Down » Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:46 am

View Original PostRay wrote:I've learned over the course of the years with other butchered adaption , if a movie or TV show doesn't care enough about the source material to get the race of the main characters right, it 9 out of 10 times means the studio didn't care enough about the movie to make sure they got the rest of the material right. This usually applies to whitewashing, I hope it doesn't apply here.

Oh for Pete's sake, she doesn't even look black.

Wait, didn't I already post that? I did. It's still true, though.

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Chuckman » Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:35 pm

Making Venom (Eddie Brock) black (as in, casting a non-white actor) or Felicia Hardy black would be a terrible idea. One is the externalized projection of Peter's fear that if he cuts loose he'll fuck Mary Jane to death and the other is an obnoxious, diamond obsessed materialist jewel thief who wears gaudy furs and shoves her tits in everyone's face. The subtext of presenting either of them as black should be obvious, as should the reason it would be terrible.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:38 am

There is a natural order in which the human mind notices things in any given comic book panel. The order in which they notice things is as such:

1. Colors (of everything, including costumes, skin colors, background colors, ect. If there's any use of colors on the page, it will be noticed by the reader first)

2. Line work (the shapes that define the character's appearance)

3. Word bubbles (where all of the character-development stuff usually resides)

As a result, many comic book illustrators tend to place a lot of stock in using a reoccurring color pallet to help the reader easily and quickly recognize the characters on the page. If the character black, grey, and yellow? That's Batman. Red, blue, and yellow? That's Superman. Black and red is Deadpool, black and blue is Spider-Man, red and gold is Iron Man, and so on and so forth. Now whether or not the color pallet is the most important part of a character depends on who you talk to, but it goes without saying that comic book characters are color coded for quick recognizability and iconography. (This discussion does reduce characters to mere objects, thereby literally "objectifying" them, however in reality fictional characters are literally just objects created by artists that we pretend are people, and are sometimes even portrayed by people. This discussion doesn't objectify any of the actors inasmuch as it just points out that fictional characters simply man-made objects.)

This is probably why many comic book fans are quick to point out the change in the color palette to any given major comic book character. Changing the skin color of a character is almost like changing the color of a superhero costume. It changes the very first thing the human mind has adapted to pick up on first in a static image, so it is inarguable a very big change as far as appearance goes. And, to be fair, an artist can use color to visually tell a story when given the opportunity. Mary Jane's traditionally red hair not only differentiates her appearance from the other, non red-head characters at her school, but it also gives her a visual link to Spider-Man's mostly red costume. There's a symmetry to their color pallet that's kinda nice, and is certainly the very first thing the human mind picks up on when reading a comic book.

Now, this certainly doesn't automatically make colors the most important thing to MJ's character. James Gunn pointed out quite nicely what he thinks are the more important parts of MJ's character. And I kind of agree with him on that. The problem he's running into, though, is that the attributes to MJ's character that James Gunn is focusing on are not the first thing the human mind picks up on when reading a comic book. Heck, it's not even the second thing. It's the third and often times the final thing that the mind picks up on when reading the comic book. Therefore that realization is somewhat less immediate and certainly less visceral than the colors that the artist decided to use in that character's depiction.

That all being said, Sony is making a movie. They're not drawing a comic book. The human mind notices things in a different order when movement and 3-D spaces are involved. What used to be the first thing people notice on any given comic book panel will be one of the very last things they'll notice in any gives shot or scene. (The average audience member tends to visually notice set design first in a live-action movie, then costumes, then actor's faces, then acting ability. It's simply how the human mind works when watching a movie.) And while Color Theory can still operate very much the same way in a live-action movie, James Gunn has far more tools at his disposal when creating his characters. He can effectively change MJ's skin or hair color without changing that much about MJ at all, and he can do so by using the wider selection of artistic tools at his disposal. Heck, he can even use Color Theory to link MJ and SM together in other creative ways, ones that don't rely on color symmetry so much.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Tumbling Down » Thu Aug 25, 2016 3:44 am

So, uhhh, it seems /pol/ noticed Mary Jane is black now. I mean, of course they'd notice. The question is, are normal people noticing? I'm actually curious. I'm not in school right now, so I can't find out.

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Ray » Thu Aug 25, 2016 3:56 pm

Responding to the GITS thread here.

View Original PostSachi wrote:I assure you that this isn't their line of thinking. If this is what you take away from their actions, I think you're looking for a reason to be upset.


Then how do you explain the fact that despite proving time and time again that movies without white people can be successful, Hollywood always keeps whitewashing roles for them?

there could be dozens of reasons why she canonically appears white, plenty that have nothing to do with racial or cultural insecurity. such as for the sake of covert operations, or protecting her true identity and family; or maybe she's running away from something in her past, something which absolutely nothing to do with her race in particular, but she wanted a complete fresh start in a completely different body; hell, maybe she gets bored every once in a while and periodically changes her body. The possibilities are endless!


A rational in universe reason? Or a convuluted excuse to cast Scarjo instead of an Asian actresss? An excuse is an excuse, and like armpits, everyone has them and they all stink. It doesn't matter if you cited marketing, or made it a key part of the story, it STILL took away a role for a REAL LIFE Asian actor to be seen as a human being. I think lobbying for equality for REAL LIFE people is a better cause than making excuses for why a Japanese character is white now, and excusing a bigoted and backwards casting practice that should have stopped decades ago.

The difference here is that you view whitewashing as some black and white thing, and an unquestionable moral wrong no matter what and the worst thing in the world of entertainment. Not everyone else agrees with you.


Whitewashing takes away the few opportunities, Asian actors in America have and gives them to white actors. Putting prejudice and profit ahead of making positive changes in the industry.

Like I said, if these films pay the franchise proper respect (and I don't mean something as superficial as getting the skin color "right") and more fans are attracted to the original material afterward, then it is overall a good thing. Maybe not a perfect translation, but one that works for the current climate of the entertainment industry.


Like I said before, nine times put of ten if the studio didn't give enough of a shit to make sure they got the race of the main character right, what makes you think they care enough to get the rest of the material right? if they couldn't get one of the key parts of the two main characters, (that they're Japanese) right, then they aren't going to care enough to get the rest of the material right.

Evidence  SPOILER: Show
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I mean, if Hollywood announced today that they had greenlit the whitewashed Anansi Boys movie they were planning to do a few years ago. The African American community would be rioting in the street in protest, and it would likely be enough to hurt the movie's sales (like it was with Exodus). But when it comes to Asian American Actors, they don't have lobbying groups. They don't have the power or the numbers to make Hollywood notice when they're robbed of roles that should have gone to them. So we're probably going to get dozens more whitewashed movies before there is any positive change.

In time things could change, and we could eventually get a more "authentic" Ghost in the Shell movie with an Asian lead; but authenticity does not equal quality, and a such a movie could as easily be terrible, or even worse than ScarJo's Ghost in the Shell.


GITS being a success will not encourage change and opportunities for Asian actors in Hollywood, if anything it will RETARD change. Like Homura, Asian actors will be stuck in a loop with small variations on the same issue forever, and never get a chance to connect with audiences.

If the live action GITS is a success, then all it will do is give Hollywood a market excuse to whitewash more movies and produce more whitewashed live action anime movies, and specifically more anime movies. There is no nuance in Hollywood. while an audience can see that the reason a movie succeeds or fails is because of good and bad storytelling, characters, acting, etc. most of the people in charge of producing films (ironically) can't see that. When a movie succeeds or fails , the studio cites the broadest reasons for it succeeding or failing, and historically has used it's success or failure to excuse bigoted decisions.

Electra, Catwoman, Ghostbusters 2016 bombed, according to the studio it's not because they were shitty movies, but because the mainstream audience hates women. SO they'll use it as a market excuse to not produce another female led blockbuster for another ten years. A whitewashed anime movie succeeds at the box office, the studio will use that as an excuse to keep whitewashing roles for Asian actors saying 'see! The audience doesn't care about Scarjo playing a Japanese character! Let's produce a Evangelion movie with Matthew McConaughey as Kaji!"

If this movie bombs, best case scenario is no live action anime movies for another decade. To me that's a small price to pay to send the message to Hollywood that we will not tolerate giving roles for Asian characters to white actors.

@Freaky

I don't know, but the only way to guarantee your sick theories about the movie's agenda would have been to have written the script yourself at this point with those sick ideas in there in order to prove yourself right.


It's not that the movie is TRYING to be racist. It's just making these statements about how Asians feel about their own race implicitly by even considering the fact of an Asian girl inhabiting a white woman body.

Writing a story that excludes Asian actors and replaces them with white ones in the most complex intelligent roles is still kind've problematic. Besides, the fact that Scarjo is the most marketable girl in Hollywood will likely mean that for future movies, they'll have her KEEP the white girl body.

In my opinion, anything that denies an Asian actor of a role to be seen as a human being by a wide audience, even if there is an In universe reason for it (like reincarnation for Cloud Atlas or Transhumanism for GITS) is inexcusable. Whitewashing, even when there's an in lore excuse for it, is still something that screws over people who can't stand up for themselves because they don't have the numbers to do so.

All the power I have as a moviegoer, is my ability to buy a ticket. Why should I buy a ticket for a movie that I know if it's a success, will make things harder for Asian actors, likely bastardize the source material, and open the gates for Hollywood to do more of the same?

Now please, focus on more pressing matters, like how the original Avatar: The Last Airbender had a completely white-washed cast that they went so far as to animate the entire series in order to help disguise their dastardly deed.


Racebending.com wrote:Voice actors are not a complete representation of the characters, as they only perform the characters’ voices. The voice actor for Appa in ATLA, Dee Bradley Baker, isn’t really a bison, and Bart Simpson from The Simpsons is voiced by a middle-aged woman.

However, when characters in animation are depicted as people of color, we should encourage (but not require) studios to cast voice actors from those communities.


Furthermore, as I stated. Mako Iwamatsu and Dante Basco, around the time season 2 of ATLA began production they came to Bryan and Mike concerned about the lack of Asian actors, and you know what Bryan and Mike did? THEY ACTUALLY LISTENED. Obviously they couldn't recast Aang and Katara, but they did recruit more Asian Asian talent for the supporting cast whenever they could.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:06 pm

Your evidence features no script excerpts, examples of the director's previous works, interviews with the cast or crew of the movie, or any such thing that wasn't simply gossip from unaffiliated indaviduals stapled together in MS Paint. In fact, I think it categorically can't even be considered evidence.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Sachi » Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:08 pm

@Ray: I'm automatically dismissing half of that wall of text because, as I said, I simply don't view whitewashing in itself as a bad thing. Continuing to argue this point isn't productive.

The other half of your post was a straw man of what you view the Hollywood machine to be, as well as your distorted view of what mainstream audiences are like. How familiar are you with the inner workings of the film industry? Do you really believe that Hollywood has " no nuance"?

I also don't see this same outrage over white roles being given to non-white actors, such as Mary Jane in Spider-Man. Are you saying that "because they can't bother to get the race right" they won't bother to get the rest of the material right? No, because these things can be mutually exclusive. Studios can make minor changes such as a characters ethnicity or history, and still get rest of the story right.

Yes, there have been terrible anime movies in the past such as Airbender and Dragonball, but there have also been terrible Superhero movies over the years, such as Daredevil and Batman & Robin. Look at how far Superhero movies have come since then, and they're still changing around races!
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:51 pm

:lol: The dangers of color blind casting isn't casting isn't casting Idris Elba as Heimdall. (Never mind the fact that Haimdall comes from a white man's Norse culture, therefore having a white man's Norse name.) The danger comes when you cast Scarlet Johansson as Makoto.

I am all for color blind casting, but if there ever was a double standard involved in it, it would be this.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Ray » Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:15 pm

let me put this in terms even you can understand

Scarjo doesn't get a role? she still has hundreds of other opportunities for nuanced roles. if she didn't get the role for Lucy or GITS, she could have gotten another sci-fi movie role as a complex nuanced intelligent sexy character. a character that has emotions shows things like sorrow, Joy, anger, depression, existential thoughts.

Tao okamoto or Rila Fukushima doesn't get a role? There are Maybe two other Studios that are looking to cast an Asian in a role. none of those roles are leads, even fewer are intelligent or nuanced. best case scenario, they'll be stuck playing Asian prostitutes or emotionless cold ninja Assassins, or North Koreans for the rest of their careers.

scarjo as kusanagi, or a white guy playing Light Yagami, or the White Witch playing the Ancient One takes away one of the very very very few roles Asian actors have, that actually have character to them instead of just being the aforementioned stereotypes. while casting a black guy is heimdal or a black girl is Mary Jane opens opportunities for them that they otherwise wouldn't have.

and as far as opportunities go black people have the Lion's Share compared to Asian actors.

I've had some experience in the industry and I've talked with people who have a lot more experience in it than me, and I can with all honesty in my experience say yes there is no Nuance in Hollywood. it all eventually comes down to marketing, if you can't get a big-name star in your movie, the studio won't even bother with it, or at best give it a micro budget that hampers the movies potential.

any minor change that's made with an attempt to make a movie a little different is immediately hammered down before it can even get out the gate because it could potentially alienate what Hollywood sees as "the mainstream audience". which they see as stupid and will eat anything up and gives them carte blanche to be lazy as hell. that's not even counting the very picky Chinese market that is very strict about the way Asians are portrayed in film.

that's the biggest reason we're never getting an Asian superhero movie. I mean fuck, it took Marvel till phase three before they were confident enough in the name of the Marvel Brand to produce a Black Panther movie. and unlike Asian actors, movies with black people don't have to have the corrupt government of the majority of a continent breathing down their neck look looking for an excuse to not let a film starring them be shown in their theaters.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Sachi » Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:35 pm

So, you've gone ahead and continued to argue the same points I told you weren't going to be productive. You're wasting your energy, and now I've lost all interest in having this conversation.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:05 pm

Makoto should be played by Ken Watanabe. Glad we all agree.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Reichu » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:13 pm

To be perfectly honest, this comes across to me as one of the times that Ray has a point while others are being needlessly dense and dismissive.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby cyharding » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:30 pm

I think this video should end the argument once and for all.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DhoBuU1Dtc

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:42 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:To be perfectly honest, this comes across to me as one of the times that Ray has a point while others are being needlessly dense and dismissive.

We've already established that Ray is assuming intent on behalf of the creators without any evidence of it whatsoever. Truth be told, I don't have high hopes for this film. If one were to actually read both this thread and the GitS thread in full, one would have already plainly seen that. It's quite likely that it'll turn out to be an unintentionally racist piece of shit. Rupert Sanders is not a creative genius that's known to take casting and material such as the one he has right now and turn it into a deconstruction of race and ethnicity in American culture, despite the opened opportunity he has to do so right now with him directing this movie.

I am not defending the film. I am also not dissing the film. I haven't seen it yet. It is impossible to have any opinion of that which no one has experienced yet. Ray, on the other hand, seems to know intent of the director and of "Hollywood." (Hollywood is a collection of buildings that make up a city that houses businesses with wildly different agendas, and therefore has no single unified intent other than to profit from the masses.) The issue is that Ray is using objectively weak straw men in defense of his argument, providing internet gossip and baseless assumptions as though it were quantifiable evidence, which is inherently illogical and does not meet the parameters of that which should be submitted in a formal debate. His arguments for casting are not consistent, as he'll consider the casting of M. Night Shyamalan's live-action The Last Airbender whitewashing, but not consider the casting of the original animated TV show Avatar: the Last Airbender whitewashing, despite it having a cast more white than the live-action film.

In all honesty, I am mostly on Ray's side when it comes to the simple fact that there is too much whitewashing in mainstream American motion-pictures. However, when he argues that GitS is actively promoting European beauty over Asian beauty, or that there aren't enough Asians to voice cast an animated TV show but more than enough Asians to cast a live-action movie, it understandably becomes very difficult to argue in favor with this inconstant, illogical, and/or otherwise unfounded premises. As a result, rather than assuming anything about GitS, I'd rather just brush aside any premature critique of a yet-to-be-seen movie, and just wait to see it myself upon its official release. Until that has occurred, not a single one of us has any foundation for arguing for or against the casting in GitS whatsoever.

Just to reiterate my casting references of this movie, I shall quote myself earlier in this thread:
View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:[Following the split with this paragraph I originally posted here]

Heck, if I were to even think about rearranging the casting of an American GitS, I would cast Zoe Saldana as the Americanized Makoto and cast Scarlett Johansson as The Puppet Master, with James Earl Jones doing The Puppet Master’s voice. (Remember that The Puppet Master has a male voice despite being in a female shell.) Zoe Saldana needs the chance to finally play a character that isn’t a primary color in a big-budget Hollywood film, and I wanna hear James Earl Jones being interrogated by my Ron Perlman casted Batou for the simple sake of having multiple ear-gasms towards the end.
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