Is Hollywood 'whitewashing' Asian roles?
A live-action movie of the beloved Japanese manga and movie "Akira" could feature white American actors.
January 13th, 2012
01:39 PM ET

Is Hollywood 'whitewashing' Asian roles?

By Stephanie Siek, CNN

(CNN) - America’s embrace of Japanese pop culture, particularly manga and anime, hasn’t resulted in an embrace of Asian and Asian-American actors when those storylines go to Hollywood.

Two upcoming feature films based on Japanese material are already stirring controversy after rumors that white American actors will be cast as characters originally written as Japanese.

Tom Cruise is rumored to be in talks to play the lead role in the Warner Bros. adaptation of Japanese novel “All You Need is Kill,” replacing a Japanese main character. Warner Bros., which is owned by the same parent company as CNN, is also in the pre-production stages of making a live-action version of “Akira,” a graphic novel that was made into a landmark 1988 animated feature film in Japan. All of the actors rumored to be in consideration for the upcoming film’s main characters are white Americans, although casting calls invited actors of “any race” to audition.

That’s troubling to both the series’ devoted fans and advocates of diversity in casting.

Kent A. Ono, a professor of Asian-American studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said the practice of casting white actors to play Asians and Asian-American characters has a long history in Hollywood. Until recent decades, this mostly took the form of white actors playing stereotypical representations of Asian characters, such as Mickey Rooney’s portrayal of I.Y. Yunioshi in 1961's “Breakfast at Tiffany’s," Rita Moreno as Tuptim and Yul Brynner as King Mongkut in the 1956 film "The King and I," and Katharine Hepburn as Jade Tan in 1944's "Dragon Seed."

In recent years, Ono said, Asian characters have been replaced with white American versions played by big-name Hollywood stars. It happened with films like the 1960 western, "The Magnificent Seven," which starred Brynner, Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson, and was based on the influential 1954 Japanese film by Akira Kurosawa, "Seven Samurai." As Japanese manga and anime have grown more popular, it has happened in films like "Dragonball: Evolution" and "Speed Racer."

“Animation and anime are these interesting contexts, because casting directors, producers and directors can say, ‘Well, the anime character is fictional and not a real live body … and to cast them as another race is OK,’” Ono said.

The result is fewer opportunities for Asian and Asian-American actors who want a shot at a powerful role.

“Not only do Asian-American actors find this a displacement of their ability to work as laborers, as performers in these sort of roles – they also find this an affront to their identity, to their work to overcome racism and be seen as legitimate actors,” Ono said.

Racebending.com, an international grassroots organization founded in 2009, protests what it sees as the “whitewashing” of film roles and pushes for the fair representation of minorities in media. Spokesman Michael Le said that the increasing popularity of manga and anime titles means that movie producers are keen to cash in, but many don't see value in keeping the original Asian characters that made them popular.

“I remember 10 years ago, I could walk into [the comics aisle of] a Barnes and Noble and it would be all western comics, all DC and Marvel. Now I walk in and the Asian section is bigger than the western comics section,” Le said. “Asian culture is enormously popular and acceptable, but the people are not. The people are inconveniently the wrong race, and so whitewashing is a result.”

Le and other fans want the studios to avoid the debacle associated with the 2010 live-action film “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” The M. Night Shamalyan production tanked with critics and fans after being dogged by controversy surrounding its casting. The "Avatar" animated television series, on which the movie was based, takes place in a fantasy world populated by four Asian- and Inuit-based cultures. But the actors for each of the lead roles were white, except one - the villain, played by “Slumdog Millionaire” star Dev Patel. Racebending.com was formed to protest the production’s decision to “racebend” the characters – wordplay that alludes to the element “benders” from the "Avatar" series.

The Warner Bros.' planned live-action adaptation of “Akira” has fans watching closely. According to articles in The Hollywood Reporter and sci-fi blog i09.com, Garret Hedlund was being tapped to play the lead role of Shotaro Kaneda, with Kristen Stewart, Helena Bonham Carter and Ken Watanabe in talks to play other main roles. Except for Watanabe, who is Japanese, all are white.

An unnamed studio insider told the Hollywood Reporter for a January 5 story that preproduction had stopped due to issues related to script, budget and casting. Warner Bros. spokeswoman Jessica Zacholl said the studio had no comment regarding the holdup in production for “Akira” or any rumored casting decisions.

The original Japanese anime version of "Akira," made in 1988, is considered a pinnacle of Japanese animated film. The story revolves around a catastrophic explosion that destroys the city of Tokyo - an explosion which is first implied to be nuclear in origin, a reminder of fears about atomic destruction in Japan since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Fans of the manga and original movie question whether the nuances of a plot so deeply intertwined with Japanese history can survive a setting change to Manhattan.

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Jerry Beck is an animation historian and co-founder of Streamline Pictures, which brought the first screenings of the 1988 production to America. He said studios are underestimating their target market’s attachment to and understanding of Japanese connections to "Akira."

“It’s not just the story of what goes on there, but the story of culture,” Beck said. “I wish them luck, but it sort of cheapens the material. In a way it’s a universal story, but it’s also a very Asian or Japanese story.”

Joe Peacock, a writer and web designer who owns the worlds’ largest private collection of animation cels from the original “Akira” film, said shift anime characters into white characters “is annoying to the point of disrespect.” In disrespecting the source material, he said, the studios are alienating the fan base which could make the movie a success – including Peacock, whose devotion to the movie includes an award-winning "Akira" tattoo that covers his left arm.

“When your billboards are saying bad things about the project, you’ve done something wrong – and that’s all fans really are, is billboards or megaphones for the project,” Peacock said.

Fans are watching what happens with “All You Need is Kill,” too. The original novel focuses on the "Groundhog Day"-like travails of Keiji Kijira, a Japanese soldier in an international army fighting a war against aliens. The character dies, but always awakens to find it's the day before his death. He relives that day until he has amassed the skills and experience to prevent his own death.

In the movie version to be produced by Warner Bros., the character has a new identity – American Billy Cage – and the movie has a new title: “We Mortals Are.” Three of the four actors rumored to be under consideration for the role are white, with Tom Cruise as the speculative front-runner. Also rumored to be in talks were Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling and Keanu Reeves.

Zacholl said Warner Bros. had no comment about the castings and would not confirm or deny rumors of any decisions related to them.

But in a November 2010 interview with Comingsoon.net, director Doug Liman said the lead actors would be “totally American” instead of Japanese.

But a Racebending.com’s statement on the film points out that even in an American film, a “totally American” cast shouldn't necessarily be entirely white.

“Certainly changes will be made to the story in adaptations, such as setting a story in the United States instead of Japan," Racebending.com states. "What disappoints us is that when these adaptations are reset to America, they do not reflect the diversity of  the United States. Many people are of Asian descent but are also ‘totally American.’”

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Filed under: Asian in America • Discrimination • Ethnicity • How we look • Pop culture • Race • Who we are
soundoff (1,230 Responses)
  1. theo

    i dont see what the problem. most asians in california want to be white anyways...

    January 14, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      You mean they want to be Americans? Maybe you know how Asians should act. Teach them a lesson, why don't ya?

      January 14, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • theo

        no, i mean they want to be white. they want kids that do not look asian.

        January 14, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mike

        Ok, I think I know what you mean... before we open another can of worm on interracial relationships.

        January 14, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • hugh

        i would agree with that. Skin bleaching is an 18 B business in Asia


        January 15, 2012 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Beefburger

      Actually, most California Asians that I have seen want to be black. Far East Movement, Like a G6, ring a bell?

      January 15, 2012 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
      • Lew

        LOL, people in asia use skin whitening products because they dont want to look like farmers? ROFL. no, they do it because they want to look white.

        January 15, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beefburger

      Most Asians in Asia want to be white, using that papaya soap crap.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:47 am | Report abuse |
      • Mike

        I definitely agree with these comments... it's quite unfortunate. However, a little bit of Asian knowledge. People in China care about this not because they want to be white, as in European. They care about this because of social status. People with darker skin tone are seen as uneducated and poor. This is because farmers in China are darker... it's definitely class discrimination.

        January 15, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
      • Lew

        people in asia use skin whitening products because they dont want to look like farmers? ROFL. no, they do it because they want to look white.

        January 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • Vina

        And that, Lew, is what we call white privilege.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Cane

        i think things like 'white privlliege' are what asians make up so they will have an excuse to bleach their skin, well, that, and the thing about them not wanting to look like a farmer... i know alot of asian and i dont think most of them want to be asian, they'd rather be white. they are taught from childhood that white is better. you dont see hispanics bleaching their skin, they have their culture and they hold on to it. they are proud of it. i think asians have a degree of self hatred.

        January 15, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • JLin

        Funny when a lot of white people get tans all the time what do you guys want to look mexican or something

        March 7, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Detached HalfBreed

      Except for the gangs, they want to be Black

      January 17, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    I think it's perfectly fine for Hollywood to REMAKE an anime or manga into a movie where they have whatever actor of whatever race they wish to play the part as long as it's never essential to the original plot in the first place. I'm completely speaking from a perspective of a movie goer (and yes, I do watch anime).

    The problem only starts when you cast widely known ficitional characters with actors who can be considered inappropriate (for example, race). The Dragonball Z live-action movie by Hollywood was complete garbage because everyone knows Son Goku is Asian. The Last Airbender was in the same vein.

    For people to say "oh yeah, Hollywood does this because it's out to make money, so, of course, they will use White actors." Have you ever even watched Akira?

    Also, I see folks comment that people shouldn't complain so much since movies such as "300" didn't use Greek actors. I don't think this discussion is about culture. It's about race. Far as I know, Romans and Greeks are considered White. Please let me know if Gerard Butler begs to differ.

    January 14, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ohplease

    Ever hear of Kurosawa's Magnificent Seven? Entertainment is not subject to affirmative action. It's not fair. It doesn't have to be. People pay to see the faces they WANT to look at. There's a reason why they don't hire ugly erotic dancers.

    January 14, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edward

      So supremacism, bigotry, or prejudice should dictate media roles just because it makes money? Why not go further and allow discrimination in company hiring practices and remove all Civil Rights laws? Nevermind, it sounds like you already think that as well. You should bring this up at your next kkklan meeting.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. KaiXan

    I hate sloppy journalism and research! Reading this article "whitewashing Asian roles", you can obviously tell that someone just matched up Asian names with non-Asian names. They used the term "white American actors" and Caucasian. Rita Moreno is as 'white' and 'Caucasian' as Wesley Snipes! She is Hispanic and proud of it! Then there is Yul Brynner, aka Yuli Borisovich Bryner. He was of Russian derivation and a major part of Russian ethnicity is Mongol and others of Asiatic origin. Just look at the man! If he didn't have Mongol or Asian blood in him, I'll eat my hat. So once again I would like to thank these modern journalist for their slipshod, easy Google, point and click research. Good job guys! One more baby step towards calling pure fiction authoratative and viable news (entertainment or otherwise).

    January 14, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jules

      Well technically "hispanic" isn't a race. It is a mixture of European, Indegenous, and African decent. Most hispanics however are of mainly European decent, so someone who is hispanic can be white!!

      January 14, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jules

        Sorry for my typos and spelling errors:(

        January 14, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • KaiXan

        You are right. Hispanic is not a race and if Edward Jame Olmos was here he would slap my hand, because he advocates the same thing. But! Those point they are making is Caucasian actors, those of primary Anglo Saxon (or other pale European) descent. I'm sorry, but I still don't hold Rita Moreno in that category. She has a permanent tan, not one that fades in the winter without maintenance. And you cannot truly count Hispanic as white, as many in America have interbred with native tribes (Naulhi, Zepotac, etc..). It's just sloppy research, plain and simple.

        January 14, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Yes, Yul Brynner was mixed. In fact, his father was Mongolian.

      January 14, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • E

        Mongolia is thousands and thousands of miles from Thailand, aka Siam. The physical and cultural characteristics are not related in anyway.

        January 14, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Vina

        No. Per Wikipedia: "His father, Boris Yuliyevich Bryner, was a mining engineer whose father, Jules Bryner, was Swiss, and whose mother, Natalya Iosifovna Kurkutova, was a native of Irkutsk and was partly of Buryat Mongol ancestry." His father was probably a quarter Mongol at most.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pete

    I was just wondering if there was any white guys who done anything right in this country

    January 14, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Yes, plenty was done right. But remember Hollywood is controlled by the Jews. Oh crap, I didn't just go there, did I?

      January 14, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Uncle Lou

    I never hear Romans complain when English folk play all the their parts. Hell what about those Egyptians? Elizabeth Taylor was not Egyptian!!!!! But damn she was smokin' in Cleopatra!

    January 14, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Seed

    Western Media is racist, it doesn't let any other race participate.

    Oh Asian media? Well yea all the actor are Asian (and the production crews) because they don't have many whites living there. Well it's not that they don't like white culture it's just that they are mainly Asian exposed to Asian culture, so it's understandable here.

    If Population plays a role in representation then less then 5% of the roles in America should go to Asians. And then you have to factor in, all the film studios who will market to the biggest demographic, the white audience whom represents 70-75% of the country.

    And people are wondering about these things. I think Asians countries should have at least 10-15% of their actors being white actors from the west.

    January 14, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edward

      Nearly all movies shown in Asia are Hollywood movies. People there have no problem watching white faces speaking English. It does sound though like you do have a bias against paying to see Asian faces, which is your prejudice and xenophobic bias. Also, you are incorrect, it is very easy for no-talent, non-experienced white actors to find media work in Asia. Google "white privilege". I also suspect you don't consider the 6% of Asian Americans in the US as American even though Asians have lived here longer than Italians, Eastern Europeans, and many other white immigrant groups.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dudeman

    If you cast Asians as main characters in English language movies most Americans will assume it to be some dubbed Asian movie not originally made in their language and they won't buy it.

    January 14, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • E

      What a stupid and racist comment.

      January 14, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • guest

        But true, nevertheless.

        January 14, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rog

        Guest's comment just shows how stupid and racist he is.

        January 14, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff

    Americans do this with everyone. U219 was a British story but Hollywood made it American, the same for the I bought a zoo movie that just came out. The list goes on. Nothing racist just the way Americans are.

    January 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dearraven

    it's really sad how some people say "they chose the best actor for the part". Let the best actor for the role of Batman be an Asian, and those same people would have had a fit. Point is, if the the story was originally written for an Asian character-why not get an Asian to play the part? You don't really hear about replacing the Asian role for a black person or replacing the role of a Native American for a Latino. When there is a replacement made, it is MOST of the time a white person being hired.

    January 14, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. true duck

    'Death at a funeral' was made in england with white people, and within a couple of years they made it with a black cast in america. I don't think it has anything to do with race. It has to do with AMERICAN-izing the product. They actually made way more money in the U.S. with black actors, than the white ones (because the "white" actors weren't american-white, they were british).

    January 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. abnguy

    Follow the money. They use caucasians to replace others so the consumer, young white people, will go see it.

    January 14, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Thomas

    Oh, please. You're killing me. How many people know that Bart Simpson's voice is actually a woman's voice. Let's move on.

    January 14, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      I did, as did most people who've seen the Simpsons. Yes, let's move on and forget the undercurrent of racism that continues to exist in our country,.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. anon

    Maybe if asians weren't so dang slanty eyed...

    Also, Tom Cruise is Asian-sized.

    January 14, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edward

      Most of humanity has almond (Asian) eyes. The average human being looks Asian. Get used to it.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • hugh

        "Most of humanity has almond (Asian) eyes"

        what planet are you on? ummmmm no. i have never seen an italian with asian eyes, or a greek, or a german, ot a pakistani.

        what planet are u on?

        January 15, 2012 at 3:21 am | Report abuse |
  15. Not Surprised

    This doesn't surprise me. How many Native Americans have been portrayed by non Native American actors?

    January 14, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harry

      There would be more Native American to choose from had white people didn't kill them all of.

      January 16, 2012 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |

    I can tell you this, I sure wouldn't watch a remake of Gone with the wind with all asian actors and actresses.

    January 14, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • amphiox

      And the characters in Gone With the Wind are SUPPOSED to be white.

      So this is relevant how?

      January 14, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Spence

    So what's the problem. John Wayne played Genghis Khan once! 🙂 (The Conqueror, 1956)

    January 14, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      That IS the problem...white actors playing asian roles when there are asian actors available to play those parts, and could probably do a better job since they would have a better understanding of the characters' culture.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • cmc

      Yeah, compare this to a movie known as the film that caused cancer in almost half it's cast and crew. Let's face it, whitewashing roles in Hollywood was bad then and it's bad now.

      January 14, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Dude305

    I think the real argument here is: where do you draw the line between art and entertainment? They can half-ass (sacrifice art component to entertain more) the production due to "open-ended perspective", y'know, make the story their own to tell but it won't be as much as an impact as the original.
    "whitewashing" that's how the entertainment business has been handling most imports and translations in anime and manga, nothing new. No matter how popular it seems now; people who enjoy it are still part of a subculture- its not universally accepted or understood so these horrible portrayals such as "dragonball evolution" may very well be as close to an idea as the director, writers, and producers can get.

    Changing the location to Manhattan. Yeah, it already sounds fishy. Just watch the original and support the arts.

    January 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |

    Chief Jay Strongbow was not an american indian but a JEW from Hoboken, get over it.

    January 14, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |

    Jerry Leais played the best O rien Tal role ener with the buck teeth and too thick EYE glasses. LMFAO when watching that one. I do appreciate how well my shirts are dry cleaned though.

    January 14, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |

    aSIAn W Omen, LuV U Lng Time

    January 14, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Not a white man

    Let's not forget Bruce Lee had a non-speaking role in the Green Hornet, his role was replaced in Kung-Fu was replaced by a white man.

    January 14, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Lamental Jester

    Ugh, it's pretty simple. They put big name white actors in these films to appeal to a more mainstream base and make more money. The casting people aren't racist, they just know names like Tom Cruise will draw in more attention than asian actors that most Americans never heard of, Hollywood is a business, it's all about the money. Most of the anime fans are still gonna watch the movies anyways.

    January 14, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      If that's true, then why not cast black actors who would draw huge crowds, such as Denzel Washington?

      January 14, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Cheryl Carter

    I know that replacing white actors in Asian roles is a money thing now, but it wasn't always that way. Bruce Lee was right and should have been the lead actor in that awful KungFu series they produced with David Carradine. David Carradine was a good actor in his own milieu but he knew nothing about the Chinese. The series lumped along because no one wanted to admit it. If Bruce Lee had been in the role he could have brought an understanding to the role that all could have enjoyed. I feel that using Tom Cruise for this new movie is making the same mistake. The only thing that qualifies him for the part that he is only 5'3" tall.

    January 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Josizzle

    I just find it sad that, apparently, white audience members are incapable of relating to non-whites... but, obviously, Hispanic, African American, Latino, Asian, etc. audiences are able to relate to European Americans... I think we should take pity on our European American fellows who, as Hollywood so graciously helps us understand, are deficient in their ability to personalize with someone who doesn't look like them. I mean, it's a tragic shortcoming, really...

    January 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      We (black, hispanic, asian, native american) do understand white american culture because we're surrounded by it and are exposed to it everyday, whether we're at work, at school, or sitting at home watching TV. In contrast, most White Americans have not spent the majority of their time surrounded by minorities so their knowledge is limited by what they see on TV and to what few minorites they know personally.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  26. matthouston

    If anyone doubts the lack of roles for asian actors, educate yourself and go to audish site and perform an audition search specifically for asian ethnic males. It's absurd. The stupidity of Western Media culture makes is on par with the likes of the Nazi culture.

    January 14, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  27. me

    File this story under flame bait.

    January 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  28. EM

    Well, it isn't that they're white actors, it's that they're European-American actors. Ever see some of these guys after they've been out sun-tanning?

    January 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Terry

    Anime characters look white anyway!!!!???

    January 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josizzle

      No... they don't...


      January 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Taylor

    A lot of us don't; why do you think Hollywood ticket sales are dropping, while the use of online media is skyrocketting... including Asian sites?

    January 14, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • kevin

      Yes, that is why I do not waste my money on making white hollywood rich.

      January 14, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  31. pod

    It could be they are just adapting things to this culture – it happens everywhere and increases accessibility to the product. If you don't target your audience correctly, your stuff won't be as popular.

    January 14, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Taylor

      Excuse me, but Asian-Americans are part of "this culture"

      January 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • pod

        uh – really? (that was meant as sarcasm if it wasn't clear). I feel you missed the point and it's a delicate issue obviously. To you point then, should a majority of films intended for the Asian market (or pick another market, how about the Middle East?) cast a bunch more other races, (other than what race, at least up till now, has historically comprised the majority of a given population) too? It's about money, and companies (hollywood in this case) is going to target those viewers.

        January 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • pod

        i should really have added that it depends on what the story is and what it's about. If the character should be black, white, blue, red or green, or whatever, the actor should be casted appropriately. I'm not for "whitewashing" for the sake of it – that ruins the story.

        January 14, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • pod

        If I stepped outside and couldn't tell if I was in the USA or China, then ok, I can see how your point makes my comment appear odd, but, from what i can tell, it's fairly clear I'm in the US. just saying...

        January 14, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Taylor

      Using your logic, Black people aren't American, either

      January 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Wun hung Lo

    It would be a boring movie if all you had to choose from was Jackie Chan and that guy who played the old man in the Karate Kid.

    January 14, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Long Hari Dong

      Dont forget the couple in the "Ancient chinese secret" commercial.

      January 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Taylor

      You can choose among all those Asian American actors that move to Asia because they can't find good roles in the US

      January 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Long Hari Dong

        Who wants to choose an actor that gave up?

        January 14, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • E

      You really think those are the only English speaking Asian actors? You live under a rock? Jet Li, Margaret Cho, Sandra Oh, Chow Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Lucy Lu, Jennifer adn Meg Tilly are half Chinese. You never watch Lost, Heroes, ER, Grays Anatomy, Memoirs of a Geisha, Joy Luck Club....

      And yo know that making movies in China means they have a billion person audience? more than 3 times the population of America?

      January 14, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tony

        Dont forget the famous asian actor Sum Yung Guy

        January 15, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Jose

    Why does everyone think Jesus was dark skinned, he was white or had a tan.

    January 14, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      Jesus was not white nor did he have tan skin.

      Revelations Chapter 1 Verse 14-15
      14His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
      15And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

      January 14, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • Johan S

        I've never seen a white person whose head was as white as snow. And even if such a paleness exists for a human, how can the feet be the color of brass? Jesus was clearly being shown in a glorified state of some sort. That's cannot how he normally looks, because what was described would not be human characteristics.

        January 14, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Brad

    Ahhh, so the news is once again petting the races against each other for no reason. Here is an idea, if you don't like the way the movie was made, either don't see it, or spend your own money to make your own.

    January 14, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • dehsa

      Yeah, Why can't the media just report the facts, as they are. They're going to use American actors because they think they can sell more tickets that way. This " enlightned journalist" stuff is crap.

      January 14, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  35. duh

    Please, everything is whitewashed. Jesus is from the Middle East, until he shows up on the big screen that is. Then he looks like he's from Scandinavia.

    January 14, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • kevin

      I agree with you 100%

      January 14, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Shawn

    No one would go see it if they used asian actors.

    January 14, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • nonnoboy

      Yeah it's a matter of choice. Do they want to create the best film which star wars/akira/trekkies want to watch? Or do they just want to continue on their cookie cutter path of hollywood blockbusters?

      January 14, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Long Wang

      Not wanting to see Asians in movies is not a Choice, it's racism, it's just like the landlord displaying "white only" sign.

      January 14, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
      • Frank

        It can be a choice if one doesnt want to see them.

        January 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • A Swisky

      Every hear of a little movie called, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?" I think it was full of Chinese actors and made gobs of money. If the movie is good, people will watch. If it is the usual poorly conceived, badly written, badly produced, badly acted 'movie' that comes from mostly white men in Hollywood, people will stay away.

      January 14, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • hirolla74

        But that movie had a high profile Asian director, Ang Lee to back up the film.

        January 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve1959

      Guess you never saw a Bruce Lee movie.

      January 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Taylor

      Hello? Why is it that the largest consumers of Korean pop (over 3 billion YouTube hits) are from the US... also the top YouTube celebrities in America are Asian Americans

      January 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • E

      So noone goes to see movies with Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Chow Yun Fat...?

      January 14, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  37. TD

    I don't think anyone would be arguing if we did a parallel with a different race. If Hollywood cast a bunch of white people to play black and Hispanic roles, people would be crying racism. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see Andy Richter play Fat Albert, but it's just not going to happen.

    January 14, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  38. rr

    I watch a lot of Asian films and one thing that I hate is the American remakes. The acting is bad. The story line is horrible and they always get actors who can't act. My advice to Hollywood is stop remaking Asian films and old movies and tv shows and start hiring new writers to come up with new idea's. Leave the films from Asia alone. Stop trying to recreate a movie that was great by adding an American twist to it.

    January 14, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • nonnoboy

      Gundam, The Ring, The Grudge, The Departed, Magnificent 7 (7 Samurai), Iron Chef? Yeah definitely would say they were weak attempts.

      January 14, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
      • Brad

        I liked the, "The Ring" and "The Grudge", I like the The Grudge in original and remake version.

        January 14, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Taylor

      Yeah, the Hollywood remakes of My Sassy Girl, the Uninvited, the Lake House really sucked...

      January 14, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  39. JAK620

    Adults look at the animation or manga and then try to interpret it with the view of an adult. This is not how I view it when I was a kind.

    I grew up in asia watching manga and anime. It never occurred in my mind at all that any character in the manga has a specific race or nationality unless the story specifically happens in a region according to the story.

    Can you really tell that Goku or any character in Dragon Ball are white? They look Asian to me. How about Naruto? or Pokemon? They all look light skinned but definitely not requiring them to be whites in the minds every single audience.

    January 14, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  40. AT

    Oh give me a break.

    January 14, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  41. Long Wang

    When Asians are over represented (in top colleges): That's a big problem that need to be addressed. The racial distribution of colleges are not reflection social reality. And thus, top colleges set the highest bars for Asian applicants.

    When Asians are under represented (in sports, movies, TV, etc): We don't see any problem here.

    January 14, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  42. WuGui

    There are no accidents.
    What is full will be emptied.
    What is emptied will be full.

    January 14, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  43. Suzie


    January 14, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • George

      Me too!!! All of them. I can't wait until they have another marathon on TV. I watch them all day long.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  44. dugan

    Has anyone seen the seemingly endless cable re-runs of "White Chicks". Bad acting, poor taste and terrible scripts are a a real assault on humanity.

    January 14, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • wanfuforever

      I will never watch that movie...truly one of the most horrifically bad movie ideas in recent memory.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  45. dugan

    Asking Hollywood to be moral is a lost cause. Their dogma is money talks all others walk. Having lived in Asia for 20 years as a "blue eyed devil" I believe racism is universal in its appeal and practice. The difference in the USA is that it can easily become an industry for race baiters, college professors looking to expand an empire in academia, and others like Al Sharpton, who use it to gain financially and politically. In addition, Tom Cruise is an example of a no talent handsome face with great PR. Where are the ugly people wanting to be portrayed equally? Insanity.

    January 14, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • DC603

      That's not asking Hollywood to be moral; that's asking them to be politically correct. Big difference.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Hoping469

      My wife is 100% Asian and she is far from timid. Personally I love the Asian's type of racism towards Jews! When ever anyone finds out I am a Jew, they always tell me how smart my race is. (I live in Taiwan) after experiencing this for the past seven years, I have grown used to it. I try not to disappoint, but I am not the smartest human ever to live.

      My point is this: if he/she wants to say that Asian people are timid, then why can't he/she? I think that everyone needs to stand up for their thoughts once in a while. However here people will jump all over you for not speaking English correctly. Did it ever occur to you, that English may not be their first language?

      January 14, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  46. godoflunaticscreation

    When 300 came out I watched the movie with Greeks, the people who payed in blood for that story (Historical event). They didn't complain about racism or bigotry. They had a good laugh at seeing the Spartans with British accents but otherwise they were excited to see their story on the big screen. Some people just like to jump on the racism band wagon whenever it's beneficial.

    January 14, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Why would they complain, when that movie made their social engineering and throwing babies off cliffs look like such a good and noble thing? After all, the Persians were the mutant demons in that movie. I don't understand your point.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
      • Phoebus

        Except that no one in Greece was lionizing said social engineering to begin with.

        Beyond that, too many people were quick to accuse Snyder (or Miller himself) as being racist. Consider, though, that the Immortals are contrasted sharply against the actual Persians. Or that as much focus is put on two Greek traitors as on any Persian "enemy". Or that Miller's stated intent when writing/illustrating "300" was to provide the Persians' with an exotic look to contrast against that of the Spartans.

        Snyder's main problem was that he took excessive creative license with a story that was just fine to begin with (the graphic novel's, I mean) – not that he happened to be a bigot. The Tree of Woe, the rhinoceroses, the gun-powder wielding sorcerers... all unnecessary, really.

        January 14, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • godoflunaticscreation

      Im sorry but you are wrong Alex. That movie made light of an event that Greeks payed for in blood. You need a thicker skin.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  47. Glen

    Fifty and sixty year old examples of whites playing Asian roles is pretty dumb. Americans love Ken Watanabe and Chow Yun Fat. If they can make money using Asian actors they will. It is about money not race. Get a life.

    January 14, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Absolutely right.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Long Wang

      How about recent examples of white playing Asian roles like the Last Air Bender?

      January 14, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  48. Willbur

    Pure bunk. I was stationed in SE Asia for 10 years. They remake every popular American TV show and movie. I saw an American actor once in decade. Why not ask Tokyo why they are so prejudiced against non-Asians? Or just ask any regular person walking down the street and they will tell you how hypocritical this is. Sorry Asians, but when you make up 2/3 of the global population, you can't qualify as a minority. If you don't like it, go home, which is what any and every Asian will tell you in their home country.

    January 14, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • chefdugan

      Heaven forbid that the liberals should be exposed to both sides of the coin. There currency only has one side.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • queenbee10

      ..except they remake the movies for their country NOT for the entire world (as Hollywood does) when America which was the true birthplace of movies makes a certain picture that (and their actors) is the gold standard-so they establish global relevancy–and when they make other races with white people–especially if they have to dress them in makeup to make them look Asian–that is an affront–sort of like putting whites in black face to play a black character.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  49. DC603

    Seriously? Movie studios are BUSINESSES. They produce what they think will sell.

    If we start dictating what movie makers should and shouldn't make in order to be politically correct, we're going to end up with a bunch of movies no one wants to see.

    January 14, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • George

      They all ready produce a lot of movies that no one wants to see.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • DC603

      (That's why I said that Hollywood produces what they THINK people will want to see. They're not always right.)

      January 14, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  50. bluto182

    This isn't about racism, it's about marketing demographics. Whites make up the largest segment of the moviegoing audience in the US, followed by hispanics. Human nature being what it is, people like things familiar. Generally speaking, a cast of unknown actors is a harbinger of a crappy movie. Either because no A-listers had enough confidence in the project to get involved, or the budget couldn't afford them. Low budget movies don't sell tickets, that's why there's IFC. I don't think there's a big enough pool of Asian actors with A-list status for Hollywood to draw from.
    The only people really upset by this seem to be the obsessive fans of the subject matter. That happens all the time, no matter what the racial implications are. The die hard nerds are always up in arms when the movie doesn't depict their fantasy world EXACTLY as they imagine it.

    January 14, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • DC603

      Exactly – I wrote the same thing above; you explained it a bit better.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • queenbee10

      Ahem–in movie going–whites make up the largest demographic followed by BLACKS–they may be outnumbered by hispanics in terms of population but not in terms of spending money for movies–unless you have a source to back your claim up? As for demographics–ignoring or replacing other races also serves to negate or minimize any contributions to ideas that they ever make. If Toyota or Nissan had just been employees in American companies–their work and ideas would have been either assimilated with credit going to whites or ignored and forgotten–BUT we would have missed out on some great cars. All things good and great do not come from white people–but we'd be hard pressed to discover that with the way the media and movies portray everything and everyone.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
      • Vina

        I'm afraid not. MPAA 2010 filmgoing stats for your perusal: http://www.mpaa.org/resources/93bbeb16-0e4d-4b7e-b085-3f41c459f9ac.pdf Specifically, look at the chart on page 9.

        Hispanic audiences buy *twice* as many tickets as black audiences. And while Caucasians are 2/3rd of the American population, they only buying about half of the movie tickets overall. Looks like if Hollywood wants to raise its revenues it needs to start serving the audience that is actually showing up to the theaters.

        January 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kpop

      hollywood is world movie market and it goes beyond us and reaches all cornors of the world. asia has a huge market share of hollywood films, so it does make sense to cast asian actors. black americans got breaks earlier and now they are embraced and this should go for asians as well as hispanics.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
      • Lydelle

        Truth. Foreign film market accounts for about 60% of Hollywood's annual earnings, I believe. Preach on champ!

        January 14, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Lydelle

      Perhaps there isn't a large enough ppol of A-list Asian actors because we (the audience) will never support a movie for the same reasons you stated...the problem is perpetual and almost intrinsic to the majority film going demographic. It's reflective of the ignorance of the people in a way, isn't it? I'm not saying anyone is right or wrong, but, I do understand the business aspect of it...but there are also social implications as well...and so the issue will continue to avalanche until either the Audience decides to take a chance on a film with an "all American Asian" cast or the studios decide to roll the dice...each side has power in this but none will take the reins.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • queenbee10

      It can be about racism and still be about business–because a lot of business was always and still is–predicated upon racism.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Edward

      This argument is not legitimate because Asians over half of the top 10 Youtube personalities, and there are other examples that prove the huge commercial viability of Asian faces. Asian content and entertainment is very popular among non-Asian faces and generate lots of views and eyeballs, which is the driver of media and entertainment roles. The issue is not popularity but the fact that mainstream movie companies are still run like it's the 1950's and based on assumptions grounded on prejudice and bigotry.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Mandela

    1st lets answer the question 'Is Hollywood whitewashing Asian roles?' Yes, of course they are whitewashing Asian roles. My opinion on the matter is that people don't appreciate 'no-name' actors anymore because the reality is we don't have any big name Asian actors anymore... lets see last 2 on my list were Jet and Jackie and they are old now. 2nd is money of course and who brings in the $$$ actors like Tom Cruise, etc. All in all if we want to see this trend end then maybe we should stop supporting these films. Don't go see the garabage and maybe they will get the hint. I saw the preview for DB evolution (goku, white... oh no) and laughed #epicfail. I grew up on DBZ and know the story well and Son Goku is def Asian.

    January 14, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  52. Joe

    I think they are looking at it from the wrong angle. There are only so many ultra attractive people of any race under the age of 30 in hollywood to play the majority of roles. They've already resorted to casting those without talent.

    January 14, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      But i bet a jewish role would be played by a jewish person why is that???

      January 14, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • queenbee10

      If Tom Cruise is being considered for some of the roles–then know he is not only over 30–he is OVER 40.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  53. Brock Lynch

    By casting the characters as white they probably increased there profits. They must be very smart.

    January 14, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  54. Alex

    You want to see true racism, worse than here in America? Leave the U.S. and go...just about anywhere else. Nothing but a bunch of hypocrites the world over.

    January 14, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Long Wang

      That doesn't mean racism should be tolerated right here, because racism elsewhere in the world is suffered by people of those places. But racism here will be suffered by Americans.

      January 14, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  55. Reemo

    I used to watch anime all the time when I was little, and, to be honest, I never got the impression that most of the main characters were supposed to be of Asian background. I always thought the animators intentionally gave their characters stereotypically "white" features (huge eyes with watery blue pupils, the women had "natural" DDD-cups with rumps that would put J-Lo to shame, and nearly all characters with over 6' tall). Even in today's Asian culture, countless young women are getting surgery to widen their eyes to look "less Asian." It wasn't until the age of modern CGI that animators started to make characters that looked more traditionally Asian. I'd like to see someone do a story on that angle.

    January 14, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • godoflunaticscreation

      I thought the same. It seems to me that the artists took great pains to make their characters appear western.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
      • Josizzle

        Anime characters are not "given white features"... this is a very common misconception... here's a great examination and debunking, of that myth...

        January 14, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Jim in Georgia

    Asians should be happy that they aren't middle eastern or Mexican. All the bad guys are in those groups.

    January 14, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • TruthHurts

      You obviously have spent no time in any Asian country.

      January 14, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  57. Hroll

    Can't wait until we all turn beige.

    January 14, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  58. Crazy

    Maybe we can get Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Sandra Bullock to remake the Color Purple.

    January 14, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
    • nonnoboy

      Yeah I think this is how most Anime fans would view it. Good analogy.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  59. liarsfigure

    The British should really be ticked off because we don't hire British actors in all our cheap remakes of British television...

    January 14, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Reemo

      We make up for it by having them take our iconic American roles (The Dark Knight, The Man of Steel, Spider-Man).

      January 14, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  60. godoflunaticscreation

    I see their point but it doesn't help that they have taken Western characters and used Asian actors to portray them. In the U.S we remake many foreign films and attempt to make them our own, just as they do when they replace white actors with Asian ones. Again, I see their point but I was hardly in an uproar to see some of my favorite characters played by Asians. To me it was part of the experience, to see something done differently, and I was excited to see a different take. I don't remember whites making a big deal out of it when it happens to them.

    January 14, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  61. Shawn

    Whats the Colored News Network talking about today? I expect Soledad O'brien to chime in any second now.

    January 14, 2012 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  62. arthurrrr

    Bruce Lee, who was a shoe in for the character in KUNG FU was rejected for a whiteguy who never even studied martial arts! Bruce Lee was so angry that he started his own film company. Not everyone has the opportunity to do that though.

    January 14, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • TruthHurts

      Arthurrrr – that was decades ago. Asians have their own networks and production studios now. Korean videos dominate most of Asia. This is ancient news.

      January 14, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  63. ted

    Even as a black man...I was a little baffled when one of the nordic gods in thor called Heimdallr was casted as white!!!! That didn´t make sense. Lets respect the way in which characters were pictured by their creators!

    January 14, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • ted

      Sorry Heimdallr was casted as black

      January 14, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • TruthHurts

      The most annoying was the film 911. The former Marine who rescued the last surviving firefighter was a black, but was casted as a White person. Even as a white person, that one was pretty troubling to me because this was an attempt to portray (albeit dramatize) an important historical event. Fantasy films and Animae is silly to get worked up over.

      January 14, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  64. Max

    sounds like asians are jealous of white people again. Asians are not encouraged to become actors, they think art is useless, they come from countries where free speech is crushed. They think math is the only purpose of life.

    January 14, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • seriously?

      Max, could you throw in a few more stereotypes into that blanket racist statement of yours?

      January 14, 2012 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      No it sounds like white people with a guilty conscience are looking for something to beat themselves up about again. When an Asian film company redoes an American movie or adapts an American book there is no outcry of how they aren't "embracing" white actors. Film companies are in the business of making money. They are going to cast a big name actor who will draw the paying audience.

      January 14, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
      • queenbee10

        Big name actor... and how does one get a big name? By starring in big name productions and them doing well? Which if Asians are cut out of roles can NEVER happen......and that cutting will ensure this issue is never addressed. There will be no big name Asian stars if they are not even allowed in the movies that were inspired by their society.

        Hollywood makes the big names–but other than reality tv, no one becomes famous for never starring on the screen.

        You present a catch -22 then justify that catch by underlining a certain rationale–FAIL.

        If it is about the money, then Hollywood needs to "introduce Asian stars along with some white or black big names–then as they are seen an appreciated, they can get on that "A-List" and Hollywood can depict stories with more authenticity.

        January 14, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Howie

      How sad. I thought avoiding stereotypes is one of the first things they taught you in kindergarten. Apparently you don't know what stereotypes mean. And apparently you also don't know what racism means. And judging from your comments your incompetency in math is really taking a toll on you. How sad.

      January 14, 2012 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike Breen

      What ? Math is NOT the only purpose in life ? Since when ? Why wasn't I told ?

      January 14, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Its because of people like you people of ALL colors are being whitewashed in hollywood... The whiteman holding down others like usual stealing other peoples idaes and making it there own you didnt mention that in your comment...Wonder why hmmmmm....

      January 14, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • godoflunaticscreation

      Saying that the white man steals everything is a good indicator of your racism. Everyone is influenced by other cultures. The influence goes both ways.

      January 14, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
      • queenbee10

        "Stealing" and being influenced are 2 very different things. When people are influenced they may adopt certain characteristics but they make something their own by adding their own part. When people steal stuff they not only copy it as it was handed out–they take credit for it, and often negate the contribution of any other race –and you know whites in America have done that a lot.

        January 14, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • xavierclt

      Hmmm. When was the first time Asians were jealous of White people? If you are going to make such a ridiculous statement, back it up. Oh, and it is clear that you value acting more than core skills. Asian art has existed for centuries; as has art all over the world. Hollywood "art" (i.e., movies) is an American product. Art in Asia existed long before America.

      Perhaps you should value intelligence.

      January 14, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • queenbee10

      Yes. Yes. Everyone in the world are jealous of white people–which is why whites run around borrowing/copying/stealing and imitating everyone ELSE in the world–then pretending they thought stuff up.

      January 14, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • pod

      @queen – jackie chan, Jet Li – those dudes are awesome on film here in the US. This is also a different culture than in Asian countries, so keep in mind they will cast actors that resonate with the majority of the population for accessibility. Hollywood is in it to make money and they need as many viewers to get that cash.

      January 14, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  65. lepatriot

    It's about money folks. They play most of you with this "racial" nonsense because you've been slowly brainwashed over the years to respond to it. Proof? First, the past: Pick any of your top movies. If there is a person of color in the movie that humbles him/herself to the white character, they are shown in good light. If not, they are put in there place... even if they are the star. Now the present: pick any t.v. show or movie. There will be a cool guy with stubble, a t-shirt , and leather jacket; his love interest (who's not interested but gradually is); a nerdy jewish sensitive guy; an "out of his league" hot chick (who the nerd will get); a meddling boss; and a black character who is always negative, and must be put in their place in every episode. It's a formula, and it works because you've been slowly adapted to the formula.

    January 14, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Seriously?

      Your post is completely contra-reality with respect to blacks in the media. In commercials and on TV shows, they are depicted as the smart, hip characters who come to the rescue of the more 'ignorant' and clueless white characters. Look at the recent "Gerber Life" commercial for a perfect example. Only whites (meaning non-hispanic, non-jewish white, i.e. Anglo Saxon types) can be safely portrayed as criminals and psychopaths without cries of racism from the left. When white males are allowed to be heroes, they are always deeply flawed characters who are dependent in some way on a minority or woman in the movie to compensate for their faults. About the only exception to this type of character in the last decade was the latest Superman movie.

      January 14, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
      • lepatriot

        Either you are watching the kiddy channels, or the brainwashing has worked on you. You seriously can't see what's going on in movie scripts and t.v.?

        January 14, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • godoflunaticscreation

      Lepatriot, I have noticed the recent push of Jewish characters in leading roles. I also find it very strange.

      January 14, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  66. Marc

    After Vingh Rhames played Kojak .... anything can happen !!!

    January 14, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  67. Also

    Let's not forget that aside from actors, most of the clothes, gadgets, and other stuff seen in the movies, as well as that stuff used while making the movie, is probably MADE IN CHINA. In that sense, every movie you watch is more asian than anything else.

    January 14, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  68. USA#1

    So what? If I want to see foreign-looking actors, I'll rent a foreign movie. I pay to see Americsn actors.

    January 14, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
    • brad

      You are an idiot. Do you have any idea how many so called "American" actors in todays modern films are actually British or Canadian? Dont be a bigot. You make us all look bad.

      January 14, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
    • bill

      You must live in lily-white world. When I live in the USA, which is a city, the people are black, Asian,Middle Easter, Hispanic etc and they are all Americans.

      January 14, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • xavierclt

      Wow! You are really too stupid to live. Exactly what is a "foreign looking" or American actor? Now if you had said "White", no issue. Of course, "white" is not American moron. There are more British and Australian actors playing "Americans" than ever. To prove your poor thought process, Charlize Theron is African. She is of South African decent. An "American" is of any ethnicity.

      Nationality and ethnicity (not race, because there is no such thing) are not the same you dope.

      January 14, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Totally agree. Great American actors like Hugh Jackman, Russel Crowe, Eric Bana, and Christian Bale, that's what I wanna see. *sarcasm*

      January 14, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  69. Occidental Dude

    Americans expect to see Asians doing martial arts in the movies they are in, due to a long history of it in movies. When they don't meet that expectation, it's a letdown for the audience. Directors tend not to cast them otherwise. It's like when they cast a beautiful actress but then she never even takes her coat off in the movie. ( Kate Beckinsale in that Arctic movie). LETDOWN.

    January 14, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  70. Alex Chang

    There are more white American actors bringing in $ and that have star power than asian actors. Smart move by hollywood. Its a business after all.

    January 14, 2012 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Zeppelin

      It was an obvious move, not necessarily a smart one.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  71. ohbehave

    Race-issue-seeking desperation continues on CNN (this needs to be their intro before each news show). Let the consumer decide if they are offended (disingenuously or not). Whites are clearly not terrifically interested in their own skin color and they are more than happy to watch a great movie regardless of skin tones. Ever checked the audience of foreign films? (hint: almost 100% white folks watching)

    January 14, 2012 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  72. yj

    doesnt matter who plays which role, cause if you dont wanna see white people playing asian people's role then you dont have to watch that movie. but the thing is, for the filmmakers, if the movie is originated from asian manga, they need to cast asian actors. casting white people for asian role is like telling white people is better than colored people. no offense for people who wanna see that kind of movie, but for hollywood, that is morally wrong i guess.

    January 14, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  73. Jake

    Would the activists at Racebending be angry if Hollywood cast an ethnic actor to play a traditionally white anglo character? The Karate Kid is a black kid. Wanna bet a lot of Hollywood remakes will cast ethnic actors in white roles but the activists won't complain. It comes down to who sells tickets. The question is whether or not an actor can be a big enough draw.

    January 14, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Edward

      It wouldn't be that big of a deal if there were more 3-D roles for Asian American actors, but there are none, so the whitewashing of real-life or fictional Asian characters becomes a big deal. Nobody cares if a black actor occasionally plays a white character because 99.9% of every hero right now is white. You would have a point if whites had no roles and were relegated to negative stereotypes, which Asian American actors deal with currently.

      January 14, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
      • queenbee10

        as do blacks.

        January 14, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Gabe

      Zoe Saldana is not white. She's Latina. Same for Rita Moreno.

      January 14, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
      • Alex Chang

        With a little black mixed in.

        January 14, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
      • queenbee10

        Latina= African mixed with european and indigenous native american peoples
        Hispanic= europ mixed with indigenous native american people

        Metizo–Mexican mixed with black or other mixed indigenous people.

        Though some claim Latino status (white Latinos/Latinas) many are mixed with African like J Lo, Big Pun, Zoe, etc.

        January 14, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • lepatriot

      You are so far off. Hollywood has always played to white people first. If not, they would've cast an Asian kid to play the first karate kid. Instead, they cast an Italian kid, who by the way, would not have been considered "white" in old Hollywood. In this country's history Italians, Poles, Jews, Irish, and Hispanics weren't even considered white until they sold out and bought their whiteness through different means. So, it's all about money. End of lesson

      January 14, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
      • Alex

        An italian kid from New Jersey is an appropriate casting of the story of Karate Kid, which happens to be about...an italian kid from New Jersey.

        January 14, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  74. carrie

    i disagree with this article. wen american movies go over seas, those countries do not replace all the actors with their own people. they just watch the movies. if its an animation film which require voice actors, it sudnt matter.
    now it its a movie lik the last airbender, i wud love to see Asians performing instead.

    January 14, 2012 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  75. Dreadnokhunter

    and the world stopped everything important because of a cartoon adaption....

    January 14, 2012 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  76. matt444

    Tom Cruise? Please.

    January 14, 2012 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Tee

      Agreed. Tom Cruise? Never. White westerners: ditto, never

      January 14, 2012 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike Breen

      I absolutely refuse to go to any movie with Tom Cruise in it....If I did I would spend the whole time thinking about what an idiot he is...

      January 14, 2012 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  77. crabby

    They should give the roles to Asian Americans

    January 14, 2012 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Alex Chang

      Cant name any. Hollywood knows what they're doing.

      January 14, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
      • uinu0307

        That's the problem. You can't think of any because they don't cast them often.

        January 14, 2012 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
      • Alex Chang

        No, this isnt asia thats why. Asia has plenty of asian actors.

        January 14, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  78. Steven Brooks

    Yes, yes they are.

    End thread.

    January 14, 2012 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  79. Jay in Florida

    This is the kind of article that says nothing substantial about a subject that is not even remotely important. In fact, it is almost insulting to the general public. Having some retarded idiot tell people what they should choose to watch is as arrogant as it gets. If people work for their money, and they choose to spend it watching whatever movies they want to watch.. I call that freedom of choice. This article is the exact opposite of freedom of choice. But according to the liberal malfunctioning brain, this is their idea of freedom.... it is freedom as long as they say so. Screw this article, the idiot who wrote it and the horse he rode in on.

    January 14, 2012 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim550

      easy tiger

      January 14, 2012 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Yes, they should have a black guy play Jesus, since they are all fictional character anyways.

      January 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Mel Man

    I did a post touching on this a while back. Personally I find it unfair http://www.iammelman.blogspot.com/2011_07_06_archive.html

    January 14, 2012 at 7:05 am | Report abuse |
  81. fekt

    yes by all means make sure to replace those clearly asian anime characters with white actors. you can clearly see by the large blue eyes and blonde, red, or sometimes blue hair that these animes clearly mean for asian actors to play their big budget north american releases. although in the case of akira i do concede that is truly an asian cast and it would be nice to keep it as one. not by just casting a hot asian in the girlfriend role either. another consideration for akira is not only make them asian but how about making them actual teenagers as well. yeah i know, akira has no chance of being done well by hollywood regardless of how it goes down.

    January 14, 2012 at 7:05 am | Report abuse |
  82. Mel Man

    I did a post touching on this a while back http://www.iammelman.blogspot.com/2011_07_06_archive.html

    January 14, 2012 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
  83. Natattack

    I read they were considering Kristen Stewart and literally threw up. Good job. fml, I don't think I'd mind some white folks in Akira, but at least cast people who will actually do justice to the roles. That girl's acting abilities are half-@$$ed at best.

    January 14, 2012 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |
  84. Joseph

    If you don't have black hair in the U.S. Stay away from making commercials for a living.

    January 14, 2012 at 6:49 am | Report abuse |
  85. sam

    Ultimate Marvel's Nick Fury is black so I don't know why people keep bring up his character as an example.

    January 14, 2012 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
  86. random

    Let us not forget what an extremely LARGE fail Dragonball 'Evolution' was.....

    January 14, 2012 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
  87. VNR

    personally, and this is just me, but... I could care less about race, and would like to see Hollywood focus on making better movies. But hey, that could just be me.

    January 14, 2012 at 6:11 am | Report abuse |
  88. MillionMonkeys

    Hats off to Harold (Cho) and Kumar (Patel), for shattering those old ridiculous Asian stereotypes. I'm not sure if a couple of stoners are the best role models, but it's a start.

    January 14, 2012 at 5:56 am | Report abuse |
  89. Mark

    Also, what Asian-American leading men are there in Hollywood, really? John Cho is the only one I can think of, and he is more a comedian and not a box office draw in a blockbuster. Jackie Chan and Jet Li are well known Chinese action stars in Hollywood, but frankly they still have heavy accents and aren't amazing dramatic actors in English, so a director can be forgiven for not seriously considering them for certain roles.

    January 14, 2012 at 5:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      This is also because Asians aren't given the same opportunities as white actors. Even starting at school plays or high school musicals Asians are almost never given lead roles because the part either calls for a white actor or is traditionally given to a white actor. Funny when the roles are switched, when there are opportunities arise for traditionally Asian roles to be cast, they're still given to white actors. In this cases, it boils down to Hollywood wanting to make more money. White people have been considered more attractive, and therefore generate the most money for films. The "white standard of beauty" is in place because of various historical reasons including colonialism and it is now perpetuated by the media. It's a vicious cycle, really.

      January 14, 2012 at 6:07 am | Report abuse |
      • Taylor

        There are a lot of fantastic Asian American actors, but they are all active in Asia... I watch Korean/Chinese films just to watch them...

        January 14, 2012 at 7:10 am | Report abuse |
      • Hoping469

        What about glee? They have an Asian!

        January 14, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • E

      no Asian actors? So yo have never watched Heroes, Lost, Greys Anatomy, Drop Dead Diva, ER or Star Trek?

      January 14, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mark

        E, you just listed a bunch of TELEVISION shows. And Star Trek, the movie with John Cho in a major supporting role, who I mentioned.

        Do you understand the difference between TV and movies? For example, Ashton Kutcher is a big deal on TV, not so much as a Hollywood leading man. Whereas Brad Pitt is a big deal in movies. There is no Asian or Asian-American version of Brad Pitt in the AMERICAN film industry (Hollywood).

        As for the "white standard of beauty", white people generally consider other white people more attractive in much the same way that Asian people generally consider other Asian people to be more attractive, and in the same way that black people generally consider other black people to be more attractive, and so on. There's plenty of cross-over, like I'm sure plenty of Asian chicks would sleep with Brad Pitt, plenty of white chicks think Will Smith is hot, a lot of black chicks would be wooed by Javier Bardem and his sultry baritone. And as a white man, there are women of every race that i would bang.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Detached HalfBreed

      Russel Wong (Romeo Must Die)

      January 17, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  90. A

    Don't get me wrong, it would be nice if there were more Asians getting Hollywood roles. But it's not exactly a pressing issue.

    January 14, 2012 at 5:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Taylor

      Yeah, Asia is taking over the entertainment industry anyway, so Hollywood will become obsolete.

      January 14, 2012 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
      • Hoping469

        Hollywood is already second or third.


        They have plenty of Asian actors.

        January 14, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  91. jon

    Way to stir the race pot liberals! Notice how liberals try to pit one race, one economic group, one gender bias against the other daily? No wonder they are such and angry lot...

    January 14, 2012 at 5:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Daws

      How does liberalism play into this? o.O

      January 14, 2012 at 5:53 am | Report abuse |
  92. psh

    goku was white.. so if he is cast in a live action movie.. why wouldnt the actor be white?

    January 14, 2012 at 5:09 am | Report abuse |
    • read it again

      In the manga, Goku was Asian.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Steveo

      Goku was an alien...he even had a tail.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:28 am | Report abuse |
      • Fflewddur Fflam

        Sshhh!! Someone might inquire as to his immigration status! You never know around here...

        January 14, 2012 at 5:44 am | Report abuse |
  93. dk

    There are enough Asian actors and actresses to hire for these roles that were originally scripted in Asia. On a good note the appearance of Asian actors and actresses are moving past martial arts movies.

    January 14, 2012 at 4:46 am | Report abuse |
  94. Proportional Rep

    Proportional Representation would actually be great! Because then I'd actually see Asian-Americans in 6% of the lead roles, when now they make up almost none!!!

    January 14, 2012 at 4:43 am | Report abuse |
  95. whybs

    Many of my 'well educated' white friends say Asians are so smart but... Spin however you want. This is why we won't see an Asian president anytime soon!

    January 14, 2012 at 4:38 am | Report abuse |
  96. allinkedup79

    in case all you people have not figured it out yet MONEY is why movies are made.....and i love the term white wash and white guilt.... sorry but if you dont own slaves and have never owned slaves what the hell do you have to feel guilty about. unless you are racist then you deserve the guilt....

    January 14, 2012 at 4:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Proportional Rep

      If MONEY is the issue, then Asian roles should be warranted, given that the top YouTube money makers are Asian American entertainers.

      January 14, 2012 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Musa

      Yes, money is why movies are made. Latinos and African Americans make up a disproportionately large portion of the movie going audience compared to their numbers in America but they are still underrepresented in major financed and marketed Hollywood films. the people who helps Hollywood's bottom-line has very little sway on what gets made and who cast the films. No problem with making money but let's see movies which better represent the diversity of the people on the planet.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Asian man

      I don't think being smart meaning that you make a good president or become a president. Einstein was a genius but he did not become a president? Smart people might not be a good liar (politician). Asians are timid and don't like attention to themselves. They are also humble and quiet.

      January 14, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
      • EM

        "Some Asians...", "many Asians...", "a few Asians..." - don't just go and stereotype people by saying: "Asians are timid".

        I hate that kind of 'blanket' categorization that is so common in the media nowadays (usu because they don't want to waste ink, because it costs money). Sure, "some" Asians might be timid. Heck, maybe even "many" Asians might be timid. But you just can't go and say that 100% of a particular group are 'x-y-z', a certain label.

        Can I say: "Americans are loud"?

        Many are. Some are. A few are. Most are. But not ALL are.

        January 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • kitt

        Yes, please, Asian man, let's not make matters worse by stereotyping ourselves. I know plenty of Asians who are far from humble, quiet or timid.

        January 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • ron

        i've never seen a race who believes in sterotypes like asians, they even believe the ones about themselves.

        January 14, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mike

        They are humble and quiet because those ones can't speak English. When was the last time you been to an Asian country?

        January 14, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dave

        It's people like you who do the most damage to Asians. I sincerely can't believe you're Asian. You're a non-Asian that's just trying to make Asians look worse than what the media perpetuates them to be.

        January 15, 2012 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
      • hugh

        i think he is asian

        January 15, 2012 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  97. scir91onYouTube

    shahrukh khan is the most famous actor in the world, yes even over tom cruise. you may not know him in america but outside of it, he is the one. and he isn't "white."

    January 14, 2012 at 4:32 am | Report abuse |
  98. Kevin

    Not many Asians in film. Most are too busy either doing the job you used to have or curing diseases.

    January 14, 2012 at 4:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Taylor

      Most Asian American actors move to Asia because they cannot find decent roles in the US. That's where they are, and many are amazing actors.

      January 14, 2012 at 4:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Lew

      or working at a massage parlor

      January 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
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