Hollywood: Where you won’t see yourself


Courtesy of “Pan” (2015)

When white actors play roles made for people of color, it’s known as white-washing. It’s grown into an epidemic, spreading throughout films in Hollywood for years.

With the rise of “cancel culture”, it’s revealed more and more. It’s not hard to see how Hollywood built its success on Caucasian people. A lack of diversity and respect for the cultures followed with it. The words, ‘ Hollywood’ and ‘Diversity’, don’t have the best history with each other. There isn’t enough representation in the film industry. Other actors can play the parts of those of their own culture. Yet, white performers bring in more financial profit and Hollywood prizes this.

Take into account the 2007 film, “A Mighty Heart.” The protagonist,is Marianne Pearl,is a bi-racial Afro-Cuban. Who played her? None other than Angelina Jolie, a person of European origin. How did Hollywood manage to present a film who was to star an Afro-Cuban person and cast a person who is neither? Hollywood could’ve made up for their errors by picking someone other for the place. Instead, they felt as the best idea was to give Jolie a spray tan and a curly wig. Are a curly wig and spray tan equal to the entire culture of an African or Cuban woman? To Hollywood, it is almost as if it was the real deal. How wrong can they be?

Let’s not forget about Rooney Mara’s role in the 2015 movie, “Pan”. Tiger Lily, who is Native American, being played by a white actor. Isn’t it enough that Native Americans don’t get the representation they deserve? Now one of their popular, and still inaccurate, a white actress portrays this role. Where is the respect for the piccaninny warriors? It isn’t there, much like a respectable actor to play Tiger Lily.

But what about people who are Asian? Look at the long-standing manga series, Masamune Shirow’s Ghost. A half-cyber half-human, Major Motoko Kusanagi, is who the series revolves around. There were film adaptations for the manga, but in all adaptations of the manga, she’s played by Japanese actors. In one 2017 film, “Ghost in a Shell,” Major Motoko Kusanagi is played by Scarlett Johansson. Is Johansson Japanese? Not at all. How nonsensical can Hollywood be? How do you find a non-Japanese, or a non-Asian, person to play the role of someone who is Japanese?

Hollywood is ridiculous. How can someone other than the original ethnicity better play that ethnicity?

Though it isn’t that Hollywood’s flooding the streets with white people, it’s about casting white people to play people whose backgrounds have an influence on the film. It’s not that there aren’t any available and talented actors to fill these roles. It’s how Hollywood doesn’t value representation over money.