“Doctor Strange” writer/director Scott Derrickson is “listening and learning” to the #whitewashedOUT outcry on social media since George Takei protested the casting of Tilda Swinton in Marvel’s upcoming film.
“Raw anger/hurt from Asian-Americans over Hollywood whitewashing, stereotyping & erasure of Asians in cinema,” Derrickson tweeted Wednesday. “I am listening and learning.”
Over the weekend, a Facebook post by George Takei protesting the casting of Swinton in Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” went viral. Swinton is playing the Ancient One, a character who is Tibetan in the comics. C. Robert Cargill, the writer for “Doctor Strange,” defended the casting as necessary to prevent the Chinese government from banning the movie for establishing a core character as Tibetan.
However, Takei didn’t buy it, saying that “this backpedaling is nearly as cringeworthy as the casting. Marvel must think we’re all idiots.”
Swinton’s casting isn’t a standalone case, however. Last month, fans of the anime series “Ghost in the Shell” were outraged at DreamWorks’ decision to cast Scarlet Johansson as the film’s Japanese protagonist, Motoko Kusanagi. On the TV side, the otherwise highly praised “Daredevil” has been criticized for using Asians solely as villains depicted as ninja henchmen on a show where guns are frequently used in a modern setting.
In response, people took to Twitter to express their anger with the hashtag #whitewashedOUT, which was started by actress Margaret Cho, writer Ellen Oh and the Nerds of Color.
“Doctor Strange” is set for a Nov. 4 release date and stars Benedict Cumberbatch in the role of Dr. Stephen Strange.