Happy Thursday morning, Pajibans, and welcome to the latest edition of our ongoing series “Movie Folks Try to Defend Their Acts of Whitewashing, End Up Sticking Their Foot In Their Mouth.” Hmmm, could use a snappier title. How ‘bout: ~*~*~RACISM~*~*~
Up to bat this time around is Scarlett Johansson, playing Major Motoko Kusanagi in next month’s anime adaptation Ghost in the Shell. Director Rupert Sanders previously skirted around whitewashing an Asian role, saying he “cast from the gut” and that “whenever you cast someone, someone’s going to be critical of it,” and “[Johansson’s] the best actress of her generation,” blah blah fart noises. Ask him a question: It glances off, he obfuscates, he dances! Let’s see ScarJo attempt to address the controversy in a more head-on manner. Vanna, turn to the Marie Claire interview:
” I certainly would never presume to play another race of a person.”
But you did, though.
Diversity is important in Hollywood, and I would never want to feel like I was playing a character that was offensive.
…But you are, though.
“Also, having a franchise with a female protagonist driving it is such a rare opportunity. Certainly, I feel the enormous pressure of that—the weight of such a big property on my shoulders.”
OHHHH MYYYYY GOOOODDDDDDD. Yes, “having a franchise with a female protagonist driving it” is rare. You know what’s even rarer, as in “Hollywood has never made one, at all”? A franchise with a female Asian protagonist. It’s not either/or here, Scarface. Saying “but it’s about her being a female character!” is nonsense. That’s literally not what the controversy is about. It’s about race. A female Asian actor could have had that role. Ignoring that—throwing up a “grrl power!” excuse and walking away—is some Taylor Swift Lite Feminism (TM) bullpucky.
I’m sure the reported $17.5 million you got for this movie had nothing to do with it, Scarsgård. Nothing at allllllllllll.