Racebending.com Protests The White Actor Choices For Akira.
Color me what?
Do you remember last years casting controversy of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender? I doubt anyone on this site have forgotten about the controversy regarding Idris Elba casted as Heimdal in the upcoming Thor.
Well, raging bloggers and Hunger Games fans has voiced their opinion on the casting of the very white Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, who according to the book is olive-skinned with dark hair and grey eyes.
It seems the whitewashing of hollywood, yeah that's what it's called, have no bounds.
And the latest victim of this bleaching is no other than Warner Bros.’ live-action remake of Akira, the iconic Japanese animated film.
Deadline revealed a list that showed only caucasian actors running for the lead roles of Kaneda and Tetsuo. WB is only wanting actors whole ten years older than the teenage characters.
A site with no other name than "racebending.com" launched in 2009 to protest the whitewashing of Hollywood pictures, such as the Last Airbender. There were protest and petitions and a whole mess of works.
The site has remained pretty active in speaking out against the whitewashing of Hollywood ever since.
Here's what their Facebook page says on the Akira issue:
"On March 21st, 2011, Deadline.com reported that eight actors have been solicited for the roles of Tetsuo and Kaneda in AKIRA. All of the actors solicited were white. If not in a film called Akira, for characters named Kaneda and Tetsuo, when will Asian Americans get to star in a Warner Bros film?
Please virtually “attend” this petition event to show your support! It will provide us with a headcount so we know how many people feel strongly about this issue.
We would like to present the numbers from this petition to the studio to show them that all media consumers–not just Akira fans and not just Asian Americans–support keeping casting Asian Americans in the lead roles in AKIRA.
To add context: the U.S. remake of Akira is set in “neo-Manhattan,” so we’re not talking about injecting white characters into a Japanese setting. That being said, it’s sad that a remake of an Asian film doesn’t even seem willing to consider casting Asian (or other non-white) actors. A survey conducted by Racebending.com found that out of 241 Warner Bros. pictures released between 2000 and 2009, “only 2% had an Asian first-billed lead”; Asians make up 4.5% of the U.S. population at large and 10% of the population of present-day Manhattan.
The casting of white actors for Akira wouldn’t be such a big deal if Hollywood as a whole weren’t so overwhelmingly white. On a film-by-film basis, it doesn’t really matter if Katniss has blond hair or Kaneda is a white boy. However, both instances are part of a disturbing larger pattern that leads to the consistent underrepresentation of non-white people. It saddens me that this is a conversation we’re still having in the 21st century."
What do you guys think of this? Should one stay true to the material in regards of color, or is there room for a little of both? Should the studio not care at all and just do what they wanna do, even if that means completely whitewashing?
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