Scarlett Johansson would like to defend her casting in the upcoming flick Ghost in the Shell.
Based on the manga series of the same name, the movie tells the story if a cyborg Motoko Kusanagi, who is widely considered to be a Japanese female. However, when the series was converted into a film, Motoko became Mira and was suddenly white.
Many fans were understandably upset. What the movie did is a prime example of whitewashing, in which white actors are given non-white character roles.
However, Johansson, who is set to play Mira, doesn’t see it this way. In a new interview she exclaimed,
“I think this character is living a very unique experience in that she has a human brain in an entirely machinate body. I would never attempt to play a person of a different race, obviously. Hopefully, any question that comes up of my casting will be answered by audiences when they see the film.”
But Johansson is missing the point. It’s not about how good your acting is or how well you play the role. It’s about the fact that you took a role that could have and should have gone to an Asian actress. This is especially prevalent because there are so few prominent roles for Asian actresses in America.
Yes, it’s true that Scarlett Johansson has no control over the fact that she was offered the role. But she didn’t have to accept it.
And yes, maybe she is excellent in the role. But you know what? There are a ton of incredibly talented Asian actresses who could have nailed the role equally well! And the producers could have found someone if they truly tried.
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel and when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her obsessing over her tuxedo cat Tom or hoarding drugstore lipsticks.