Does Hollywood ‘Whitewash’ Its Films?


via Picryl

Are Hollywood’s actions justified?

Ever since Hollywood began releasing films in 1910, there have been several controversial castings in which white actors played the role of non-white characters. In the past, Hollywood was able to get away with whitewashing their films, but as time passed, people started to recognize just how outrageous this was. Hollywood would portray these characters by using over-the-top and offensive features, considered racist towards many ethnic minorities. The number of movies that had instances of whitewashing rose significantly in recent years. When the whitewashing is associated with content released to the public, the impression projected on the creators can be very negative.

One example of Hollywood casting a white actor to play the role of a person of color would be when an executive producer of the film Harriet attempted to cast Julia Roberts as Harriet Tubman. The movie’s screenwriter was super shocked that the suggestion was even made, but the executive persisted. They believed that no one would spot any difference and that it was such a long time ago. The incident was later publicized, and many couldn’t believe the idea of a white Harriet Tubman. Luckily, the screenwriter ultimately decided to cast Cynthia Erivo for the role instead of Roberts.

Another example of whitewashing was in the popular series Ghost in the Shell when Scarlett Johansson was cast as an Asian character. After the casting was announced to the public, fans launched a petition for her role to be recast. Since the original series was set in Japan, with a majority of the roles being played by Japanese actors, people began to question why the remake had a white actress in the film. It received tons of backlash, including campaigns weighing in on how Hollywood continued to whitewash their films and limit representation of Asian descent.

There are several more instances of whitewashing in their films, and as Hollywood continues to create more, they still aren’t being inclusive of other ethnicities. The producers of the films try to cover up their actions and defend themselves to resolve the negative feedback. In addition, actors have even responded to some of the controversy surrounding their role in hopes of keeping their careers safe. Even so, people from all over the world still see how terrible it is and will continue to speak up about the issue.