To those who say that whitewashing in Hollywood isn’t a thing:
- Irene from the movie Drive was Latina in the original novel, and her name was Irina. Carey Mulligan, a white woman, was cast in the part without an audition.
- The movie A Beautiful Mind is based on a true story. In real life, however, Alicia Nash, John Nash’s wife, is from El Salvador. She was portrayed in the film by Jennifer Connolly, a white woman.
- 30 Days of Night was based on a comic book miniseries. In the comics, however, the main character, Eben Olemaun, is an Inuit man. Futhermore, the town of Barrow, Alaska is described as being 57% Native American, 22% White, and yet in the movie, only one Inuit character was featured. You can’t tell me that all of those Caucasian extras were hired on acting ability, they don’t even talk.
- The movie 21 is based on a true story, in which most of the participants of the casino scam were Asian-American. In the movie, however, the main characters were white, and the Asian-American characters were poorly developed and badly written.
- They cast a white kid as Goku in Dragonball.Seriously. That happened.
- Dastan from Prince of Persia should have been, shocking, a Persian guy. Or, more specifically, probably Iranian. He was instead portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal, who is white. Nobody in the movie was actually Middle Eastern, if I’m not mistaken, and the movie took place in the middle of the goddamn Persian Empire, where there probably weren’t a whole lot of white people walking around. Just sayin’.
- In Isaac Marion’s book Warm Bodies, Nora was half-Ethiopian. In the movie, she’s white.
- Every single person in the goddamn The Last Airbender movie should have been Asian. The entire series was based on Asian mythologies, borrowed heavily from Asian culture, and should have been immensely culturally diverse. Instead, all of the main characters were white, except for the villains. The characters who hailed from the Fire Nation, particularly Prince Zuko, Commander Zhao, and General Iroh, were portrayed by Indian people.
- Katniss Everdeen, Gale Hawthorne, and a large portion of the other inhabitants of the Seam were described as being “olive-skinned, black-haired, and gray-eyed.” Katniss and Seeder, the Tribute from District 11, were described in the books as having similar skin tones, and Seeder was portrayed in the movie as a black woman. Even then, the casting call sent out for Katniss sought out a Caucasian actress. They didn’t even consider women that actually fit the description of Katniss from the books.
But, I mean, the best actor always wins out, right? Whitewashing is a myth, right, it doesn’t actually happen.
- Angel Coulby, a black woman, was heavily criticized for portraying Guinevere in Merlin, a character traditionally played by a white woman. She did audition for this part.
- Donald Glover, a black man, received ridiculous amounts of scrutiny and negative attention for being linked to the part of Peter Parker, a traditionally white character.
But it’s their talent that matters, right?
Nobody’s criticizing Benedict Cumberbatch, especially not after learning that he was basically duped into accepting the part of Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness. Dude’s crazy talented. He’ll probably win an Oscar for something or another eventually.
The crazy talented Indian actor who could have played Khan, a Northern Indian character, and received mainstream exposure and a possible launchpad for his career, however? He won’t.