George Takei, #WhitewashedOUT Demand Better Roles for Asians in Hollywood

Casting choices for “Doctor Strange,” “Ghost In The Shell” and “Daredevil” renew calls on social media for more diversity

George Takei

Between “Doctor Strange,” “Ghost In The Shell” and “Daredevil,” many Asian-Americans in Hollywood say they have had enough with Asian roles being handed to white actors while they get stuck playing stereotypes.

Over the weekend, a Facebook post by George Takei protesting the casting of Tilda 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.

Takei didn’t buy it.

“You cast a white actress so you wouldn’t hurt sales…in Asia?” he wrote. “This backpedaling is nearly as cringeworthy as the casting. Marvel must think we’re all idiots.”

Swinton’s casting isn’t a stand-alone case. Last month, fans of the anime series “Ghost In The Shell” struck back at DreamWorks Studios’ decision to cast Scarlet Johannson 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.

With these casting choices, people are taking to Twitter with the hashtag #whitewashedOUT to express their displeasure.