In recent years, critics have accused Hollywood of “white washing” roles originally meant for an ethnic minority. Some have defended this decision along the lines that it’s for America’s target audience. While there’s no denying, the majority of movie viewers are Caucasian, some directors wouldn’t even put in the extra effort to rename its characters to accommodate this demographic. As a result, we have a WASP clad in Tibetan garb like some of the worst cosplay offenders out there. We’re not accusing studios of racism. We’re just saying that they’re lazy.
The Last Air Bender (2010)
Dir. M. Night Shyamalan caused an uproar by casting the leads this Nickelodeon franchise with white actors. Creators DiMartino and Konietzko have remained mum on the decision, but have recurrently emphasized the series’ Asian influence. To add insult to injury, the actors couldn’t even pronounce their characters names correctly as they did on the show.
King of Fighters (2010, Projected)
Video game adaptations have a poor batting average as it is without another dash of negative publicity to cope with. The problem? Try calling Sean Faris “Kyo Kusanagi” without smirking.
Dragon Ball Evolution (2009)
It’s true that Goku was an alien from another planet with ambiguous ethnic characteristics. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s a Japanese icon and American fans wanted to see him cast as such.
Starship Troopers (1997)
In Heinlein’s novel, John Rico was originally Filipino. Likewise the entire cast respectively played characters with Spanish surnames yet looked like California WASPS. We know that Buenos Aires doesn’t feature as many Mestizos as other Latin American countries, but they could have made it look more like Argentina and less like Beverly Hills.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
Despite its title, The Sands of Time, ironically, didn’t feature any Persians.
The Weapon (TBA)
The original comic was about a Chinese-American weapons enthusiast from Hawai’i. Its film adaptation, on the other hand, is casting Italian American actor, David Henrie. No word on whether he’ll retain the name of Tommy Zhou.
Apparently, studios didn’t learn from Dragon Ball’s failure and according to voice actress Tiffany Grant, preliminary producers are seeking out predominately European actors for the cast. With leaked production designs, producers seem to be flip flopping between anglocizing their names and retaining their Japanese titles regardless of whoever’s cast. Not surprisingly, American Otaku have their vending machine bought school girls’ panties tied in a knot.