Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Sachi » Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:31 am

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.

I think it's important to keep in mind who one is talking to, and what differences one has with one another. Ray is making a big deal over whitewashing to people that have already heard the arguments and made up their minds. Reiterating the same points with inflated pathos isn't going to convince people; it's going to get people to stop listening entirely. I'd love to have a conversation about the subject, just not with a brick wall. I intentionally didn't address half of his post because I recognized that it'd be futile to do so; instead I'm trying pick at the parts I do think are worthy of back and forth dialogue. It's not going very well.

EDIT:
View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote: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.)

As someone who lives in Hollywood, and who also has entry level knowledge of the film industry, I can attest to this. (yay, anecdotes!) I've worked a couple sets, one of my roommate has had a successful career as a film producer and cinematographer for over ten years, and my other roommate runs film a film festival and produces a little as well. Ray's impression of Hollywood has bits of truth in it, but it's essentially an amalgamation of what people gossip and outrage about on the Internet. The thing is that Hollywood is not the Illuminati. It's not as in control as people think it is, mostly because it's not a single entity; like Freaky says, it's a collection of businesses seeking profit by selling entertainment, and each is in competition with each other and trying to maximize their profits by putting their thumbs on the metaphorical pulse of mainstream audiences, gauging the collective consciousness via dollar bills.

Why was it that, after the popularity of CGI began, the stories of films began to suffer? Because CGI replaced the need for an interesting story in order to get people in theater seats, and it was also economical. However, eventually CGI got old, in multiple senses of the word, and it stopped being enough. People got sick of terrible movies that were essentially actors on a green screen interacting with invisible sets and characters. Eventually, in the last decade maybe, movies started putting more effort into storytelling, adaptations became more faithful to the source material (take superhero films for example), and finally, practical effects are starting to become popular again despite the cost. This is all thanks to the audiences speaking up with their money.

As for whitewashing: maybe it's a problem, but the only way to get that to change is to the influence the culture, not Hollywood itself. I don't personally see it as a prevalent problem currently; in fact I've seen major strides lately toward race and gender diversity in films (on screen at least) within the last five-ten years or so. I think if a franchise is inseparable from the culture that produced it then, yes, an American adaption should remain faithful to the race and culture of the characters. However, I also believe that American productions have little to no interest in producing such movies. Hollywood typically adapts stories that are universal enough to localize or at least appeal to mainstream audiences, which is exactly what I believe the case to be with GitS.

So again, to make myself clear, I have absolutely no problem with the Major being played by ScarJo, in fact I'm a little giddy because it's ScarJo specifically (if I had to pick a celeb crush, probably her, just saying). The fact that she and Batou at the token whites of the group amuses me, and I'm very glad the rest of Section 9 is quite diverse and is for the most part spot-on accurate to how they appear in the anime. What I've seen so far pleases me, but I'll wait until the film comes out to decide if the film is good or not. Again, if it's a terrible film, will it have mattered if the Major was played by an asian? At least with ScarJo, even if the film sucks, it'll make some of it's money back; she's basically insurance.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Chuckman » Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:51 pm

I disagree with the Twitter guy in that graphic thing. His first premise is that GITS has one specific meaning and that meaning is specifically Japanese. Besides the fact that if what he was saying we're true there would be no point in Americans watching it, he has no right or authority to tell me that the meaning I construct when I interact with a text is invalid.

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Shamsiel-kun » Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:46 pm

Hollywood inequality is 'entrenched', study suggests

Inequality is "entrenched" in Hollywood, with women, minorities and LGBT people among those excluded, a new study has suggested.

The University of Southern California's report showed that women had just 31.4% of spoken roles in 2015's top 100 films, compared with 32.8% in 2008.

Lesbian, gay or transgender characters accounted for less than 1% of speaking parts - or 32 out of 35,205 characters.

Researchers described Hollywood as "an epicentre of cultural inequality".

They said little progress had been made in increasing diversity.

Between 2007, when the study was first carried out, and 2015, the authors said there has been no marked change in the proportion of black, Latino or Asian characters - at 12.2%, 5.3% and 3.9% respectively.

(rest of article, see link provided)
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Ray » Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:26 pm

View Original Postcyharding wrote:I originally posted this in the whitewashing thread, but I feel that it should be included in this thread as well as I believe it does negate some of Ray's arguments.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DhoBuU1Dtc


Foreign Audiences (including the Japanese) have had to accept a dodgy cultural double standard for decades. Until recently (within the last fifteen or so years), if Indian, Chinese, or Japanese audiences wanted to see bigger, flashier, movies, with bigger effects and sets. They had to accept that the movies would star mostly white people, be mostly about American settings and themes, and feature (frequently demeaning) American portrayals of their own culture and race. While if the same audience wanted a movie has their movie stars. They had to accept lower production value overall as the price to pay for seeing yourself and your country and culture accurately represented.

Decades of THAT attitude permeating the Zeitgeist? I'm not surprised native Japanese people aren't outraged about the whitewashing. To them it's less about being culturally marginalized, since 'its always been this way' as far as the way Japanese characters are portrayed in American movies. It's the only reality they know. They've accepted it, and at this point are just glad Hollywood cares enough to MAKE a live action Ghost In The Shell movie. Even if that means their culture is being stripmined and sold for peanuts .

Furthermore, speaking of that Japanese film industry. Japanese people don't have to go too far to see a Japanese person in a big movie, or see their culture represented on the big screen. Asian American actors who are culturally marginalized and stereotyped in the very country they pledge allegiance to? Not so much.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Chuckman » Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:26 pm

Instead of smarmy forced inclusion I'd rather see open casting. Why can't a transwoman actress (or transman) play a role of their presented gender? Why can't the hero of a movie just be anybody?

I get the whole argument about the GitS movie and all, but is it any better of Asian actors are pigeonholed into Asian specific roles that cast different ethnicities interchangeably as long as they look sufficiently Asian to the typical american meat creature?

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby robersora » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:19 am

View Original PostChuckman wrote:Instead of smarmy forced inclusion I'd rather see open casting. Why can't a transwoman actress (or transman) play a role of their presented gender? Why can't the hero of a movie just be anybody?


^
Because American celebrity culture dictates otherwise.

It has nothing to do with superficial markers like race or gender or sex or... It's just that people in America are seemingly easier to convince to go to the cinema, if their favorite celebrities are in it.

Why so much more A-listers are White people - I don't know.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Ray » Wed Oct 05, 2016 1:50 am

Disney's live-action Mulan gets a Winter 2018 release date.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/d ... ets-934976

now put your paws together and pray to Buddha that they don't do what we all know they probably are going to do.

Edit: at the very least in the case of the character of Mulan, Disney is committed to Casting an Asian actress.

didn't say anything about the rest of the cast though. my money is thay mulan will be the Asian lead, and the studio will surround her with a bunch of marketable white guys.

given the Chinese market they're targeting they do not want to screw this up
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Chuckman » Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:56 am

Wouldn't the casting of the mongols be an issue in the China market?

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Glor » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:06 am

Ray wrote:Edit: at the very least in the case of the character of Mulan, Disney is committed to Casting an Asian actress.


Damn, I can't watch movies based in Asia without actors whiter than my toothpaste.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:45 am

If Mulan turned white every time she sang in the live-action movie, it would be an accurate reference to the casting in the animated film. Though it would be best for them to get a Chinese-American actress who can do both.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Ray » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:58 am

View Original PostGlor wrote:Damn, I can't watch movies based in Asia without actors whiter than my toothpaste.


well I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not but . . .

The Last Samurai, the Great Wall, Dr. Strange, the Wolverine? All set in Asian countries, all had white actors in the lead roles so as not to "alienate" the American and European market.

at the very least get this movie will give an Asian actress some much-needed exposure, to prove to the world that an Asian can actually show some Humanity, and not just be a dorky sidekick, or a henchman to Goldfinger. even if they do end up whitewashing the majority of the rest of the cast.

which is more than I can say for the upcoming Ghost in the Shell. all the Asians in that movie will be in the background to Scarjo. the only Asian that will get to show Humanity in that movie is an Asian wearing a white girl suit.
If Mulan turned white every time she sang in the live-action movie, it would be an 


it was an animated movie, doesn't count.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Glor » Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:23 pm

View Original PostRay wrote:well I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not but . . .

The Last Samurai.


Tom Cruise isn't white. He's an alien. Or, a human with an alien soul? That sounds right.

Last Samurai was also set in the Boshin War, during which there was quite a large western presence in the country. There were actually quite a few French soldiers that fought with the failing Shogunate, which clung to traditional ideals. Is it possible to whitewash other whites?

I don't understand Wolverine. Should they have made him an Asian actress or something?

And do Asian actresses not get exposure in their own countries? Is America the world now? Just how many movies have there been with Asian actresses as dorky side kicks?

I know nothing of the world.

EDIT: Oh, you were making recs. Thanks man. For a second I was like, what is this kid talking about? Solid recs. We can put GiTS on that list later. Don't need the yoke in my egg man.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Ray » Wed Oct 05, 2016 4:06 pm

^I wasn't making Recommendations.



look well they are decent films. this whole "white guy saves the natives" thing has been done to death.

And do Asian actresses not get exposure in their own countries? Is America the world now? Just how many movies have there been with Asian actresses as dorky side kicks? 


they get exposure in their own countries but not on the global stage. also Disney said they were looking into a "Global search" for the actress to play Mulan.

of course by global they really mean Chinese, because if they cast Japanese or asiam American girl to play Mulan, goodbye Chinese release.

I'm hoping that if this movie proves that an Asian actress can showcase Humanity, and that a movie with an Asian lead can make bank at the box office. we might seem more Asians in lead roles down the line. and not as scenery to the White A lister.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby SoryuUberAlles » Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:19 pm

View Original PostGlor wrote:Last Samurai was also set in the Boshin War, during which there was quite a large western presence in the country.


If you haven't seen that movie there's a scene where the MC's attacked by some samurai and he goes all like KIIIIIYAAAAAAA and there's dual wielding, ninja sensing the guy right behind you and katanaing a guy so he doesn't know he's dead before he hits the ground. It's like he's getting a-basic-introduction-to-Edo-Period-Japan as a superhero origin story... :-?
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Chuckman » Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:34 pm

I hate it when people rag on The Last Samurai. I really like that movie. I read it as a story about a guy finding peace by adopting a culture that more suits his ideals, respectfully. He earns it. They spend half the movie beating the shit out of him and he's not the bestest baddest samurai and doesn't have an Army of Darkness training montage where he trains them to be better with their own weapons. The movie highlights how unusual/impossible it is for him to be considered samurai at all and what a huge honor it is, bestowed in friendship and respect.

The badasses are all the Japanese samurai in the movie, and the Asian actors give the best performances.

Also, Tom Cruise's character is not the titular Last Samurai even. He's almost a viewpoint character. The movie isn't really about him.

Edit: Oh, and importantly, it's not a narrative of the saintlike nonwhites valiantly fading against the must of whiteness like the elves in Tolkien's third age. The primary conflict in the movie is between Japanese people. The white dudes participate, they don't direct.

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby SoryuUberAlles » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:29 pm

View Original PostChuckman wrote: he's not the bestest baddest samurai and doesn't have an Army of Darkness training montage where he trains them to be better with their own weapons. The movie highlights how unusual/impossible it is for him to be considered samurai at all and what a huge honor it is, bestowed in friendship and respect.


Seems like it to me Look at that. That is classic chop-sockey, which is cool, but isn't there already a movie about a turbulent land that's trying to shed its past with a troubled anti-hero who can't escape his - featuring leet katana haxors! Isn't it....Samurai X?

View Original PostChuckman wrote:Oh, and importantly, it's not a narrative of the saintlike nonwhites valiantly fading against the must of whiteness like the elves in Tolkien's third age. The primary conflict in the movie is between Japanese people. The white dudes participate, they don't direct.


Isn't that the, like, standard historiographical reading of the Boshin War, though? "Oh, how nobly they shed their lives, o our past, o our ancestors (good thing they lost though, I mean, can you imagine?)" Spoilers for:
SPOILER: Show
Nastume Soseki's Kokoro


So all told, why does this guy get chop-sockey level sword skills in a movie where all the other samurai must learn the lesson of historical change? What's in his sushi? Basically, there are a ton of more offensive takes on this trope but this is one of the least justifiable artistically. It goes against the point of the movie imho. At least Avatar Guy was just AS GOOD AS people who'd been native hunters their whole lives.

View Original PostChuckman wrote:I hate it when people rag on The Last Samurai. I really like that movie. I read it as a story about a guy finding peace by adopting a culture that more suits his ideals, respectfully.

And that's why Matt and Trey were wrong to call Avatar 'Dances With Smurfs'. Dances With Wolves was a Ferngully-type movie. White guy finds threatened local culture, sees its enchanting side, fine. That would actually be pretty sympatico Boshin war....but the superhero stuff? It's a weird 'samurai theatre' moment that doesn't belong. It's like having a good old fashioned Cowboy DRAW, PILGRIM in a lonely town square in a movie about...the US Civil War or something. You can look beyond it and judge the movie as a whole. The question is 'does it show Hollywood takes Japanese culture seriously?'

More on topic they're doing a 'white sidekick plus lovestory' bit in the Bruce Lee biopic You have Bruce Lee guys. Bet on Lee.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Glor » Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:01 pm

View Original PostChuckman wrote:I hate it when people rag on The Last Samurai.

You speak to my soul Chuckman.

Ray wrote:I'm hoping that if this movie proves that an Asian actress can showcase Humanity

Yeah, Memoirs of a Geisha totally didn't do that.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby Ray » Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:12 am

^Memoirs of a Geisha. good try but it failed to connect with mainstream and Asian audiences for a bunch of reasons.

1) it was based on the novel by Arthur Golden, who based it on the life of a Geisha he interviewed, but then later admitted he fabricated huge parts of her life story, passing it off as fact. Some Japanese and Asian Americans see it as a disrespectful, or even outright racist depiction of Geisha culture.

later the real woman (Masako Tanaka) would write her own autobiography clearing up some of the lies about her life in his novel but the damage had already been done. the book became an international and she never saw a penny for the number of books he sold about a fake version of her life story.



2) it pissed off the Asian Market, by casting Chinese and Korean actresses to play what are obviously Japanese characters.

there's a lot of bad blood in Asian cultures about what culture committed genocide on the other during WW2 or the Japanese invasion of Korea. even decades to centuries after the fact.

so by casting a Chinese woman to play easily the most famous Geisha in Japanese history. . . let's just say it didn't win any favors with anyone. even with Ken Watanabe in a significant supporting role.

that's probably the one of the reasons they cast a white girl and Ghost in the Shell. if they had cast a non Japanese Asian actress, to play a Japanese character it would have made the Japanese Market mad, and the movie would have bombed. if hollywoood had cast a Japanese actress it would have alienated the Chinese market that hates the Japanese.

like I said they cut the gordian knot by casting white people and get access to both box offices. the only people that aren't happy or the many Asian actors that would kill for a breakout role like Motoko.

neither cultures mind white people in their movies so they just cast a white girl and get both markets. even for that does screw Asian Americans out of any sort of positive representatation.

furthermore unlike Memoirs of a Geisha, the Mulan movie will have the marketing machine of the all-powerful Walt Disney Corporation behind it. something not a lot of media starring Asian leads has access to.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby movieartman » Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:17 pm

View Original PostChuckman wrote:I hate it when people rag on The Last Samurai. I really like that movie. I read it as a story about a guy finding peace by adopting a culture that more suits his ideals, respectfully. He earns it. They spend half the movie beating the shit out of him and he's not the bestest baddest samurai and doesn't have an Army of Darkness training montage where he trains them to be better with their own weapons. The movie highlights how unusual/impossible it is for him to be considered samurai at all and what a huge honor it is, bestowed in friendship and respect.

The badasses are all the Japanese samurai in the movie, and the Asian actors give the best performances.

Also, Tom Cruise's character is not the titular Last Samurai even. He's almost a viewpoint character. The movie isn't really about him.

Edit: Oh, and importantly, it's not a narrative of the saintlike nonwhites valiantly fading against the must of whiteness like the elves in Tolkien's third age. The primary conflict in the movie is between Japanese people. The white dudes participate, they don't direct.

100% Agree.

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

Postby FrDougal9000 » Mon Oct 10, 2016 12:27 pm

So you know how Disney's doing a live-action remake of Mulan (because of course they are)? Well, you might have heard that they bought a spec script for the film, and it contains a white male lead who saves China because he fancies Mulan.

Yep.

http://blog.angryasianman.com/2016/10/an-open-letter-to-creators-of-disneys.html
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