Marvel Addresses Runaways Racebending Issue

Racebenders have been outraged at Marvel (Ruanways), and recently Paramount ("The Last Airbender"), due to their not casting Asian-Americans in the original roles. Marvel Responds:

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By KnightGambit - 8/27/2010
Earlier this year Racebenders was outraged at "The Last Airbender" for casting white leads as Aang, Sokka, and Katara in place of the obviously Asian lead roles.



Now they are mad at Marvel at the recent casting news of Nico Minoru for "The Runaways." Nico is an Asian-American teen. She learns she is a witch after seeing her parents along with others sacrifice a young girl at their annual get-together.

Marvel didn't specify caucasian, but they also didn't specify Asian in the casting papers of Nico Minoru. So this could be taken as an insult or merely a mistake on Marvel's part. They have responded to the outrage with a statement:


"
To address your concern over casting for the role of Nico, as we do with all of our films, we intend to stay true to the legacy and story of the comic when casting these parts. Thus, our goal is to cast an Asian American actress as depicted in the comic series and the casting notice will be adjusted accordingly.
"


The Racebending community is greatly pleased that the updated casting sheets specify Asian-American Actress.

What do you guys think of the outrage? Silly or a serious issue?
Source: TIME.com
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16 Comments
deathoncredit - 8/27/2010, 10:23 PM
So...They got mad because it wasn't specified that the part should be played by an Asian actress? There wasn't even an actress cast, and they already got angry?

People are way too sensitive these days.
tazmaniak - 8/27/2010, 10:54 PM
I would prefer that the actor fit the character race-wise, but hat's beside the point.

I think that a person has the right to be annoyed, hell, even outraged over what they deem "whitewashing", but I think it's ridiculous that some think it's within their right to call out Marvel over this.

This is a character created by Marvel, owned by Marvel, in a movie produced by Marvel.Even though they had no intention of changing the race, it would be their right if they did.And no one would have any business saying anything, otherwise.

A lot of fans or just people in general seem to think they have a say in how someone else's intellectual property should be handled.

I just don't get how people feel it's their right to tell someone what to do with something they own.
InSpace - 8/27/2010, 11:37 PM
I really dont care unless the race is essential like I Jaime Reyes has to be spanish or something like that
Wadey09 - 8/27/2010, 11:45 PM
and yet how many social groups have complained about Heimdall being portrayed by Idris Elba instead of a white guy? or Nick Fury being played by Sam L. Jackson.
granted that the Ultimate version of Nick Fury was BASED on Sam Jackson's appearance.
but still, i don't get it.
everyone was up in arms over the film 21, based off the book Bringing Down the House, based off the real guy who was Asian. (that guy, Jeff Ma, got a cameo btw.)
this is where everyone picks a fight just to have a fight. i don't see why people don't give film makers creative licenses to do what they percieve is right.
again, that is not always the best of ideas, James Cameron's Spider-man is an excellent example.

at first, we CBMers were suprised at Heimdall being portrayed by Idris Elba but most of us warmed up to the idea.
if Marvel wants to change something on a piece of THEIR work, who are we to complain? especially some group of people who just worry about race and quantity. instead of QUALITY. which is why i believe that a character's characteristics sometimes need to be changed to fit the best actor equipped for the job.
InSpace - 8/28/2010, 2:01 AM
Wadey09@Thats why i don't get mad at the race of the character unless it defines them Black Panther HAS to be African and so on and so forth.Which was why I was open for Donald Glover to be Spidey,Peter doesn't HAVE to be white his race doesn't matter,his character does.

On the film 21 the studio thought that if all of the characters were Asian it would be stereotyping.

jazzman - 8/28/2010, 3:09 AM
@Wadey09

the different is Asian main characters always changed race. it always seem Asians always get side line all the time when it comes to big budget movies. look what happen with the comic book character The Weapon its about Chinese American comic hero but instead they casted David Henrie.

the thing with Heimdall is his not really the lead character like Thor. Thor will always be played by a white actor but supporting or minor characters might or will change race.

@InSpace

actually thats not all true i guess Jane Willis, the real “Jill Taylor” played by Kate Bosworth in 21, said in an interview that it was obvious early on that the studio wasn’t interested in staying true to Ben Mezrich’s original book, Bringing Down the House. she said the race and gender were key to the dynamic of the MIT group, and Ma recruited her to “give the team, which was mostly Asian and male, a little diversity,” the studios originally wanted her out: They wanted an all white male cast with one Asian girl as a love interest.

also Studio Executive wanted a all white casted and maybe a Asian female.

heres the articles about it
http://www.asianweek.com/2008/04/11/asian-celebrities-jeff-ma-linkin-park-supermodel-spitting-mad-naomi-campbell/

http://tech.mit.edu/V125/N43/43vegas.html
tazmaniak - 8/28/2010, 4:34 AM
"the different is Asian main characters always changed race. it always seem Asians always get side line all the time when it comes to big budget movies. look what happen with the comic book character The Weapon its about Chinese American comic hero but instead they casted David Henrie."

Again, I understand someone being upset that a non Asian was cast to play the character, but it's not like a studio bought the rights to it, an decided to cast a white actor.

Platinum created that comic book and they are producing that movie.So they have every right to change the character's race if they want to.
jazzman - 8/28/2010, 5:03 AM
@tazmaniak

the actually writter of "The Weapon" Fred Van Lente does not agree with the cast he said "Tommy Zhou's Chinese heritage is a huge part of his character, and a huge part of the story overall. For Tommy not to be Chinese would require a fairly significant rewrite of the story, which does not exactly thrill me, no. I thought the story was just great the way it was.

I've worked in Hollywood a lot. Still do. I know folks there feel they need to make changes to material to set a project up at a studio or to sell it to the public. As I made THE WEAPON as work-for-hire for Platinum, they have no reason to ask me for advice about how to adapt the story -- I found out about the casting when you did."

heres the full article http://www.formspring.me/FVanLente/q/842623285?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=shareanswer

yes i agree Platinum created that comic book and they are producing but its kind of insulting to change the race of the leading character. look at this Marvel producing Thor and Cap and if they changed their race their would be a major backlash from everyone and u know thats true.

tazmaniak - 8/28/2010, 5:22 AM
I'm not arguing that it isn't insulting.I'm not saying it's right.I'm not saying people don't have a right to be annoyed, upset or angry.They do.I'm saying people don't have the right to take someone to task for how they handle a character or property that they own.

We can bitch and moan about it all we want.That's cool.But when you actually call out someone because you disagree with the way they're treating their own thing, then you're the one who is out of line.If they feel a change will better suit their film, make it more receptive or profitable, then they're well within their rights to do so.
jazzman - 8/28/2010, 5:24 AM
@tazmaniak

i know u was not aruging u had an important view like everyone else. i have faith with Marvel with the casting anyway they know what they doing with the Runaways.
marvel72 - 8/28/2010, 5:44 AM
if the charactors are asian american in the comics they should be in the film,we all whinge about being close to the source material.

have faith in marvel to deliver a decent adaption.

superotherside - 8/28/2010, 6:52 AM
@Wadey09 agree with u man!
TNTjesus - 8/28/2010, 8:12 AM
I think they should stay as close as possible to keeping the characters as closely relates to the source material as possible. That means race, costume, powers, ans so on. With that said, Marvel does have the right to make changes. Hopefully the changes are in order to make the best film possible and put the best actors in these roles, but we gotta live their choices. Sure we might bitch about it, but its not wrong for the studios to do it. By not seeing the film is the best way to protest if someone is that butthurt about it.

Still, the Prince of Persia didn't need a white dude playing the Prince of PERSIA! It was like blackfacing actors all over again.
TheTrueBoyWonder - 8/28/2010, 8:17 AM
bit like my aricle but nice elaboration pal
marvelguy - 8/30/2010, 5:02 PM
In principal, they have the right to call them out. I think being outraged is ridiculous. Yet, the actors should match the part. Who wants a Hawaiian Batman or a South African Black Panther? Again, they have the right, but they should stay busy with real race issues that are being perpetrated in the real world.
lakija - 4/22/2012, 8:19 AM
Being outraged is not ridiculous. If Asian or Asian American is not specified then that leaves the already small opportunity for an Asian actor to play a role even smaller. THIS IS A REAL RACE ISSUE. Being bombarded with ideals that hold up Eurocentric ideals all day everyday means that when you get to see a person of color on screen it is wonderful. Of course if you are white sometimes it might boy be a big deal. Tot for about 30% of America it is a VERY big deal that characters of color are portrayed as being people of color.

Take a long hard look at the Akita casting and Dragonball Z movie cast before you ever again call someone "sensitive" for being proactive.

Good day.

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