Advocacy groups have accused the sci-fi film “Annihilation” of “whitewashing” characters like Natalie Portman’s Lena who is described as being of Asian heritage in the sequel to the novel the movie is based on.
Some fans were not happy with the casting of non-Asian actors in the lead roles of the Netflix film “Death Note.” The movie is an adaptation of a Japanese manga of the same name. As you’ll see from this gallery, it’s not the first time such casting has stirred controversy.
“Ghost in the Shell” is another live action adaptation of a Japanese project which was accused of “whitewashing” with its casting of Scarlett Johansson as the lead character.
Marvel’s “Iron Fist” series on Netflix also caught heat for having “Game Of Thrones” actor Finn Jones star as a martial arts expert.
Matt Damon was put as the lead in Zhang Yimou’s English-language debut “The Great Wall,” set in ancient China. The choice drew criticism, most prominently from ‘Fresh Off The Boat’ star Constance Wu.
The makers of 2016’s “Gods of Egypt” came under fire for showcasing a mostly white cast that includes Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, left, and Australian actor Brenton Thwaites alongside Scotsman Gerard Butler. Amid intense criticism, director Alex Proyas issued an apology, saying, “it is clear that our casting choices should have been more diverse.”
Writer-director Cameron Crowe cast Emma Stone as a Hawaiian woman who is one-quarter Chinese in his movie “Aloha.” Crowe apologized after many criticized the casting choice, although he said Stone’s character was based on a real-life redhead who was part Asian.
Ben Affleck played a real-life Hispanic character, Tony Mendez, in the Academy Award-winning 2012 film “Argo.”
Jim Sturgess played Hae-Joo Chang in “Cloud Atlas” in 2012. Sturgess wasn’t the only performer to go against ethnic type in “Cloud Atlas,” in which actors played several roles.
Canadian actor Justin Chatwin starred as Goku in “Dragonball: Evolution” in 2009.
Josh Hartnett played Eben Oleson in the 2007 film “30 Days of Night.” In the comic book the film is based on, the character is an Alaskan sheriff of Inuit descent.
Angelina Jolie darkened her skin slightly to portray journalist Mariane Pearl in the 2007 film “A Mighty Heart.” The French-born Pearl is of mixed heritage.
Peter Sellers darkened his skin to play Hrundi V. Bakshi in the 1968 movie “The Party.”
Natalie Wood played Maria, a Puerto Rican character, in the 1961 musical film “West Side Story.”
Charlton Heston played a Mexican official, Miguel Vargas, in the 1958 noir film “Touch of Evil.”
Marlon Brando was cast as Sakini, a local from Okinawa, in the 1956 comedy “The Teahouse of the August Moon.”
John Wayne, at right with John Hoyt and Thomas Gomez, played Genghis Khan in “The Conqueror” in 1956.
Russian-born Yul Brynner plays the King of Siam in the 1956 musical “The King and I.”
Katharine Hepburn plays an Asian woman, Jade Tan, in the 1944 film “Dragon Seed.”
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