Friday, March 3, 2017

I'm Not Going To See The Ghost In The Shell Movie

Let me tell you why. I love Ghost in the Shell. It is a personal favorite of mine which was why I was disappointed that Scarlett Johanson got cast in the role of Motoko. I feel that there are so many great Asian actresses that could have done this role really well. I like Scarlett, but this role should have gone to an Asian actress. I've seen all the people defending this casting saying the Major had a mechanical body. I understand that and it is a good point. However, I can not agree with what has been done to the character for this movie.

There were tests to see if they could manipulate her face to look more Asian. They were scrapped, but in the trailer for the movie it's obvious they used makeup to make her look more Asian. Again I ask, why couldn't they just cast an Asian actress? As I am watching the trailer I hear them call her Mira. That's right, Mira. Motoko Kusanagi has become Mira for the movie. Honestly, I feel insulted by this. It was controversial and bad enough that they cast a white actress in a role that is clearly Asian, but now our Asian names aren't good enough either.

I'm tired of the constant message that POC aren't good enough for main roles, that we're not good enough to be heroes of our own stories. I'm tired of the message that our names are too ethnic so they need to be changed to a nice vanilla name. Representation MATTERS. Our stories, our culture, and our names matter. To basically be told that they don't for projects like Ghost in the Shell, Death Note, Speed Racer, Dragon Ball Z, The Last Airbender, and the Great Wall is not only insulting, it's disheartening.

Look, I get it. Scarlett Johansson's name is a big draw for movies. She's a talented actress and just having her name attached to this film is a possibility for them making a lot of money for the film. That doesn't mean that I have to be okay with the pretty blatant whitewashing and the ignorance. I'm sure plenty of people will go see the movie and probably enjoy it. That's how it works. Some people like a movie and some people don't. That's what makes variety awesome. Personally, I'm not going to see the movie because I feel that it just doesn't seem to respect our diversity or our culture. I can't respect something or someone that can't grasp the concept that representation matters; that we matter.

That's just my opinion though. I'm sure many people will disagree with me and that's fine. If you want to go see the movie, you go right ahead. I won't stop you, but I will be sitting this one out. 

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