Hollywood again is being accused of “white-washing” roles originally written as Asian characters. The latest incident is on Ridley Scott’s The Martian, in which white actress Mackenzie Davis stars as Mindy Park, who’s identified as a Korean-American scientist in the book the film was based on.
“This insulting practice of white-washing has got to stop,” said Aki Aleong, President of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, which has been battling the problem for decades. “Alarmingly, it has been increasing in frequency.”
Indeed, it happened last year on Cameron Crowe’s Aloha, in which Emma Stone played a character identified as half Hawaiian/Chinese, and it’s happening on Marvel’s Dr. Strange, where Tilda Swinton has been cast to play “The Ancient One,” who’s identified in the comic book the film was based on as being an old Tibetan man. There’s also Ghost in the Shell, in which Scarlett Johansson is set to portray Motoko Kusanagi, a Japanese character in the popular anime series that the film is based on.