pls explain why i'm wrong about the not whitewashing and i'll try to understand ur reasoning
for some reason, i kinda doubt that you actually want to understand, but since you asked so politely, i’ll give you a rundown:
you said “the roles and races were switched around because it’s a reboot”.
we don’t know if the roles are switched around and frankly i don’t even know what that means since the original five, much as i love them, were very one-dimensional characters, so any ‘changing’ of their roles within the group and within the narrative might possibly just be character depth and development
the roles being switched around has nothing to do with race
the races being switched around between billy, zack, trini, and kim is quite clearly because of the flack the show got for casting a black man as the black ranger and an asian woman as the yellow ranger. that’s fine.
but there are reboots that don’t switch races around (see: almost any other superhero movie out there, except for the ones specifically aiming for a more diverse cast, like suicide squad or spiderman) so it being a reboot doesn’t necessarily mean they had to switch the races around, so this is a weird argument.
i also didn’t say i wasn’t glad the races were switched around. i’m thrilled that kim and billy were racebended. i’m glad the reboot is aiming to diversify the original show beyond what we were given. however, just because it succeeds on a few levels doesn’t also mean it fails on a few levels as well. i’ll get to that.
“the only reason rita was japanese was because they dubbed the original footage.” and? what’s your point here? that doesn’t make her less japanese or less a woman of color? plus, the woman who played rita in american footage also wasn’t white. so no matter which way you slice it, rita repulsa is not white, and now she is. that’s whitewashing. that is the definition of whitewashing.
notice that i’m not telling you how to feel about it. i’m saying that it is whitewashing and you people are the ones throwing a hissy fit over it. i’m not telling you to boycott the movie. newsflash: i watch whitewashed movies. so do most people. it’s a sad fact of hollywood. that doesn’t mean we can’t criticize it. no media is above criticism, certainly not the power rangers movie.
austin st. john is a native-american man whose role was given to a white man in the reboot. this is whitewashing. again, this is the definition of whitewashing, even though jason was white-passing and white-coded. a role originally played by a man of color is now being played by a white man. that’s whitewashing. there’s no two ways about it.
again, notice how i’m not telling you how to feel about it. i’m stating facts. if you don’t care, good for you, you can get out of my askbox now.
now here’s the real crux of the problem:
elizabeth banks is a rich, famous white actress who took a role that could have been played by a woman of color. women of color already get so few roles in hollywood; the entire industry is designed to exclude them, and now even this role, originally meant for and played by two women of color, excludes them as well. that’s a problem.
dacre montgomery is a white man who took a role that could have been played by a man of color. specifically, a native american man. do you know how many roles are given to native american men in hollywood? very, very few. do you know how many little native american boys are out there who could have used a role model like jason scott, red ranger and leader of the power rangers, being played by a native american man in a high-profile superhero movie? way more than you think. but now they won’t get that representation. that’s a problem.
the original show had three east-asian women (trini, rita, scorpina), and now it has zero unless they’re hiding something about scorpina a) being in the film and b) being played by an east-asian actress. which is possible. but as it stands, there are 0. do you know how many little east-asian girls are out there who could use representation in a high-profile superhero movie? quite a fucking few. and now they won’t get that representation. that’s a problem.
calling out a piece of media for whitewashing, or for racism, or sexism, or any other problem is not me just being bitter because it’s not perfect. no media is perfect, and, as i said, no media is above criticism. that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it.
calling out whitewashing is about wanting better. i want more roles for people of color in hollywood. i want more representation for people of color in hollywood. i’m glad the movie is giving us that with kim, billy, trini, and zack, but that doesn’t make the whitewashing in other aspects of the casting any less upsetting. a piece of media can be both progressive and flawed at the same time! who knew the world isn’t black and white?
but guess what: i’m still gonna fucking see it because i fucking love power rangers and yes, i’m gonna give my money to a whitewashed movie because you can like something and criticize it at the same time. what a radical concept.
a final thought for you to chew on: i’m desi. naomi scott is the first desi woman to be a power ranger. this movie is specifically representing me. like, specifically, me, a desi woman. i love that the movie cast her, i love that the movie cast her as one of my favorite rangers, and i would support the movie solely on that basis even if every other ranger was white. the movie did good with her casting! and i have done nothing but celebrate and support her casting, as well as becky’s, ludi’s, and rj’s, since they were revealed. i’m proud of the movie and i’m going to be happy to see it. but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect and that doesn’t mean it’s free from criticism of whitewashing. it just doesn’t work that way.
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