Whitewashing In Hollywood

1336 Words 5 Pages
The Secret About Whitewashing: A Message to Hollywood
Globalisation is an important factor in shaping modern life. With the world as interconnected as it is, it is critical that our media should reflect a much broader audience. Hollywood however has overlooked this need for more ethnic representation and instead blatantly ignores how the world is made up of a diverse collection of people who all have a story to tell. A non-stereotypical, non-background character of colour is a hard thing for Hollywood to create, let alone comprehend. Even though Hollywood believes coloured skin will not sell, whitewashing in Hollywood films has been around for a long time and it needs to come to a stop because it promotes fear and resistance to change in audiences,
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While more films include characters of colour in the background, most casts remain exclusionary. These films still show the cultural stereotypes that were implemented more than a century ago. Unless the film requires casting POC, the first person Hollywood seems to cast is 99% of the time white. In the last decade thousands of films have chosen not to cast actors of colour. Some films that did this include Aloha, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Prince of Persia, and Argo (Nahaar). A film that received tremendous backlash for casting white actors as the heroes and a South Asian actor as the villain is the film The Last Airbender, directed by M Night Shyamalan. The film is based on the popular show Avatar: The Last Airbender, where it follows main characters Aang, Sokka, and Katara - none of whom were white, but mixes of Inuit and Southeast Asian culture. The villain of the series, Zuko, was cast incorrectly even if he was someone of colour (Deepti). There are times where in the past Hollywood has cast a POC in a main role; normally this is someone who is black and considered “the token black guy”. The role is normally a stereotypical one, with the man or woman acting as the “token black guy” either more of a goofy ladies’ man or a sassy black lady. A film that did this recently is Josh Trank’s remake of Fantastic Four. …show more content…
Though Hollywood’s measly attempts at incorporating POC is despicable. Normally they choose to make the POC someone who is not a part of the main romance plotline. They believe contemporary pretty white actors “fit it better”. Hollywood seems to have it in their heads that POC are not normal people. That they do not experience love and hardship unless it involves a black-only cast. That they do not interact with white people unless a white person is their superior. In the process, Hollywood has made it so their audience is less accepting of POC in romance roles. This is shown when John Boyega was cast as Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Fans of Star Wars protested Boyega’s casting as one of the mains (John Boyega can’t reason with racists). On the popular site Tumblr, fans reacted by pairing the female lead Rey and the antagonist together rather than accepting the relationship between Boyega and Daisy Ridley’s characters. John Boyega spoke out against fans, saying “It’s not a normal thing to think like that” (Boyega) when talking about the resistance against this. The Hunger Games is another film that dealt with protest against POC casting even though Katniss is whitewashed. In the books, Katniss is dark haired, eyed, and skinned but was cast by Jennifer Lawrence who is blue eyed and blonde haired. The production team chose to keep minor characters like Rue and Thresh POC. “If casting black

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