Thursday, April 6, 2017

Paramount admits that whitewashing hurt 'Ghost in the Shell'

Michele Selene Ang posted this picture of herself.

EVERYBODY IS TALKING about whitewashing now -- now that a Paramount executive admits that the whitewashing controversy affected the box office.

Kyle Davies, Paramount Studio's domestic distribution chief, admitted to NextShark  that Ghost In The Shell's tanking was due to the casting of Scarlett Johansson in the role of Major Motoko Kusanagi, a Japanese character.

In its first weekend, the movie earned only $19 million, way below expectations. It did so badly that there is doubt the film will make up the $101 million it cost to make.

“We had hopes for better results domestically. I think the conversation regarding casting impacted the reviews,” said Davies who was quoted by CBC News.

“You’ve got a movie that is very important to the fanboys since it’s based on a Japanese anime movie,” he added. “So you’re always trying to thread that needle between honoring the source material and make a movie for a mass audience. That’s challenging, but clearly, the reviews didn’t help.”
REVIEW: Scarlett Johansson fails to save 'Ghost'
Most reviewers faulted the movie for simply not living up to the high expectations based on its source material. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the movie received an approval rating of 45 percent based on 171 reviews.

Not even megastar Johansson could save the film from the fans' ire and intense social media criticism.

Scarlett Johansson got some unwanted notoriety by a t-shirt worn by Actress Michele Selene Ang, who plays Courtney Crimsen in the new Netflix series 13 Reasons Why,

Ang posted the picture on her Instagram account and it went viral.

In case you're not up to speed. These are the names of actors who have been accused of whitewashing in recent Hollywood-made movies.

At least Scarlett got top billing. The other names refer to Emma Stone, who played a Chinese/Hawaiian in Aloha; Tilda Swinton who played the old Tibetan monk in Dr. Strange, and Matt Damon, who plays a European who saves China (technically, no whitewashing but white savior.)

The shirt ($20) is available at, and proceeds go to benefit the Asian AF Show at Upright Citizen’s Brigade, an improv comedy institution in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, AAPI actors tell us in the video below what impact whitewashing has, not only on their careers, but on them personally, who grew up without seeing themselves in popular media.