anti-ghost in the shell

can i just say something?

when I was a kid, I told my mom that I wanted to be an actress when I grew up. You know what she told me?

She said, “sure, but you’re going to have to do it in China. America won’t hire you if you’re Asian.”

And that was it for that dream. 

Of course, that was just a phase - one of many, one I would’ve gotten over anyway. But what she said stuck to me. You’re going to have to act in China, because America doesn’t hire Asians.

And if there’s anything I learned over these years, it’s that she was right. Asian-Americans don’t get to see ourselves on screen. We don’t get to read about our deeds. And we get pissed. We complain, we shout, and people dismiss us because, oh, “the Japanese are okay with Ghost in the Shell”, and “I’ve heard that mainland Chinese are perfectly fine with Iron Fist.” Well, great for them. This isn’t about them.

This is about us. Asian-Americans. Asian-Canadians. Asian-Australians. Asian hyphen something. And the Asians in Asia don’t understand - because they can’t. They’re surrounded by media portrayals of them. They never have to fight for representation because it’s always there. They have no idea what it’s like to live in a country that sees you as other, and then to have to go back to your home country, to have your parents tell you “this is you, this is your culture, your heritage” and you look upon the faces of your family and you see nothing of yourself in them. 

Asian-Americans are not the same as Asians who live in Asia. We live in a different culture. Our values, our beliefs, the experiences that shape our lives are separate. 

We want to see ourselves in western media because it’s what we grew up with. It’s what surrounds us. Sure, we can watch K-dramas and anime and Chinese/Taiwanese/Japanese/whatever dramas, and a lot of us do, but it’s still not us

We shouldn’t have to go watch Asian dramas just to see a part of us represented. We shouldn’t have to move to Asia just to be hired. 

We deserve to represent, and be represented, as ourselves.

You know what’s disappointing? The fact that Ghost in the Shell has made more money than Power Rangers at the box office so far. 

If you want more diversity in Hollywood but you refuse to go see diverse movies like Power Rangers you’re part of the problem (this doesn’t apply to anyone who can’t afford to buy a ticket right now or hasn’t had the time yet, because that’s completely understandable). 

STOP LETTING THIS MOVIE FLOP

When the director of The Ghost in the Shell calls Scarlett Johansson “the best of her generation” what he actually means is she’s the most popular.

Only white actresses were considered for The Ancient One.

A Chinese actor with 15 years of martial arts experience auditioned for Iron First and was told he had to be the villain to a white hero.

An Indigenous actress was told to her face that she couldn’t audition for Tiger Lily because they didn’t want the character to be Native anymore.

So until Hollywood stops discriminating at casting calls and allows people of color their fair shot in this business I don’t want to see anymore white people being held up as the best in the business in defense of whitewashing.

PSA

For people who are feeling saddened by Iron Fist’s lack of diversity, I present to you Agents of SHIELD. While the first season is not the greatest or most diverse by any means, the remaining three seasons are full of suspenseful plot lines, intriguing characters, and yes - lots of cultural diversity.

Out of the seven main characters, four of them are POCs, and another four of the seven are female leads. Not only did the writers of the show cast an Asian-American for the lead, they also COMPLETELY REWOTE her character to represent that. And get this - never once has this character, Daisy, been used as a brainless romantic interest. No, this girl has depths and she is. damn. right. fierce. Not to mention, she’s got some effing awesome superpowers.

And of the three main superpowered Inhumans on the show, two are female and all three are POCs. Not to mention, the one guy on the team, Joey, is openly gay.

Not only is this show a beacon of diversity, it’s girl-powered as hell. If you’re feeling disappointed in the wake of Iron Fist, I recommend giving this show a try. I promise you that you will not regret it.

Lionsgate and Saban went out and found five unknown actors with either little or no acting experience (in movies) because a) they want to start a franchise with them and more importantly b) because they wanted their movie to be diverse. And the actors were all amazing. So people can no longer use the excuse of Hollywood only casting white actors because they’re well-known and good actors or because it’s hard to find good non-white actors. It isn’t that hard and Power Rangers showed us that. Hollywood just prefers casting white people in main roles and in non-white roles.

Ghost In The Shell: An Ode To Kamikaze - Quill’s Scribbles

MAJOR spoilers ahead for the Ghost In The Shell movie, so don’t read if you haven’t seen the movie yet… which you’re not going to obviously because it’s a whitewashed, racist piece of shit and you would never support such a thing, would you? No, of course not.

I’ve been asked a few times to write something on Ghost In The Shell and up until now I’ve been reluctant to do so for two reasons. 1) I’m not really a fan of Ghost In The Shell. I know roughly what its about from what people have told me, but I just never really got into it, and 2) I’ve pretty much said everything I’ve wanted to say about whitewashing, mostly in my numerous Doctor Strange posts. If I started doing stuff on Ghost In The Shell, I’d run the risk of repeating myself. Whitewashing is bad, Hollywood are a bunch of racist opportunists and you shouldn’t pay money or support these kinds of projects in any way, shape or form. That’s pretty much it. I had no intention of watching Ghost In The Shell and neither should you. Enough said.

But then some rather interesting news came to my attention, courtesy of @gabriel-strange. VEEEEERY interesting news indeed. So interesting in fact that I honestly thought it was an April Fool’s prank. So I double checked. I triple checked. I quadruple checked. And I discovered to both my horror and delight that it was true.

But first, we have to set the scene.

Ghost In The Shell is a Japanese series of anime and manga titles that takes place in the year 2029 in a fictional city in Japan. In this cyberpunk future, the lines between humans and technology have been blurred, with people placing more and more reliance on cybernetic implants and prosthesis, and computer and electronics permeate every aspect of their lives. The main protagonist is Major Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg who works for the counter-cyberterrorist organisation known as Public Security Section 9. Her main job is to hunt down and capture cyberterrorists and hackers, who are especially dangerous in this futuristic society due to everyone’s over reliance on technology. It’s even possible for a skilled terrorist to hack into a person’s brain and make them act against their will.

The series has been heavily praised for its creativity and its philosophy, posing some very interesting questions. How do you define who or what is human in a world where a person’s mind can be copied and where body parts can be replaced with machine parts? Where do you draw the line? It’s a very rich and thought provoking subject matter, so naturally Hollywood wanted in on some of that. In 2009, Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks acquired the rights to make a live action Ghost In The Shell movie. Paramount Pictures agreed to co-produce the movie in 2015 and Rupert Sanders signed on to direct.

All they needed to do was find a talented, up and coming young Asian actor to play Motoko Kusanagi. Who did they go with?

Yep. Scarlett Johansson. An actor most famous for not being Asian. She was cast in the role when talks with Margot Robbie (another actor whose defined by not being Asian) fell through.

This, naturally, sparked a huge amount of controversy from both fans and people working within the industry, and as night follows day, people started to try and justify this bullshit. Some people (let’s be kind and call them idiots) posit that there was never any indication that Motoko Kusanagi was Japanese in the original manga.

Originally posted by elittlejoia

Right. Because why would one assume that a woman with a Japanese name, living in a Japanese city in a series originating from Japan would be Japanese? 

Guys, she’s about as Japanese as you can get! Wake the fuck up!

Others say that the race of the character shouldn’t be an issue because the themes the series covers are universal and can be applicable to everyone regardless of race. Oh good! In that case, she should definitely be played by an Asian actor. Well… if the themes are as universal as you suggest, the fact that she’s Asian shouldn’t alienate me, a white person, at all, should it? Unless you’re suggesting the themes are somehow more universal if the main character is white. If that’s the case, you may want to look up your definition of universal.

A popular excuse is that the Japanese fans have no problem with the casting of ScarJo, with many assuming that a Hollywood production would have chosen a white actor. Even Mamoru Oshii, the director of the original anime films, gave his blessing, saying there was no basis for an Asian actor to play the role. So if they don’t have a problem with it, why should we? Well first of all it’s kind of tragic that Japanese people just assume their beloved characters will be whitewashed because Hollywood have done this so often now they’ve basically gotten used to it. But it doesn’t justify it. A child might get used to an abusive parent over time. It doesn’t make the abuse okay. It’s still wrong. And as for Mamoru Oshii, Well, with all due respect, his opinion is fucking irrelevant. No, really! His opinion carries no weight whatsoever! He’s a Japanese man working in a Japanese industry in a country where 98.5% of the population are Asian. Here in the western hemisphere, Asian people are very much in the minority and, especially in the US, it’s very difficult for them to break into this industry. The last thing they need are white actors stealing all the good roles they could and should be playing. (And for the record, the most vocal people criticising this movie are Asian Americans who have become sick and tired of Hollywood constantly screwing then over, so fuck you).

And finally there’s the age old excuse that ScarJo was the best person for the role and that casting an A-list actor would help to bring the franchise to a more mainstream audience. I mean there are no A-list Asian actors, right? Well apart from Jackie Chan and Lucy Liu (and they’re debatable), no. There aren’t any A-list Asian actors. And do you know why? IT’S BECAUSE YOU DON’T FUCKING CAST THEM! Of course there aren’t going to be any A-list Asian actors because you’re not giving any of them a chance! You keep handing over the roles to white people and depriving Asian actors of job opportunities that were intended for them in the first place!

The studios and filmmakers of course have been offering their own insightful comments, saying how this is a future world and that they’re depicting an international city. That seems to be their go to word. International. Code for ‘populated mostly by white people’. Even Motoko Kusanagi has been renamed as Mira Killian. Seriously, Ghost In The Shell is only a decade into the future. What happened between now and 2029 that the Asian population has somehow decreased exponentially?

And of course Scarlett Johansson doesn’t hesitate to get her thoughts heard, first by saying that this was about gender over race and how this was an opportunity to bring a strong female character to mainstream audiences. Now if you were wondering what White Feminism is, this is it. An actual feminist would encourage and celebrate the casting of an Asian actor in the role because it would be a massive step forward for women of colour. Old ScarJo clearly doesn’t meet those requirements. And then she said this:

“I certainly would never presume to play another race of a person. Diversity is important in Hollywood, and I would never want to feel like I was playing a character that was offensive.”

Uhuh. Okay. Dear readers, do me a favour. I want you to remember this quote for me, alright? Trust me. It’ll be very important later ;)

From Doctor Strange to Iron Fist to the upcoming Death Note adaptation, there seems to be this weird obsession in Hollywood recently of exploiting and fetishising Asian culture whilst surreptitiously telling the Asian community to go and fuck themselves. This Ghost In The Shell movie seems to be less of an adaptation and more like a white person’s self insert fanfic. And trust me, you have no idea how true that statement really is.

Which brings me to the interesting news I was telling you about. Again, massive spoilers for the movie ahead, so be warned.

Are you ready? Okay.

Well…

Turns out that Mira Killian is actually Motoko Kusanagi. She has the brain of a Japanese girl inside of her whose memory was erased in an effort to create the perfect soldier. There’s even a scene at the end of her meeting and hugging her Japanese birth mother and embracing her true identity as Motoko Kusanagi.

Oh yes! They actually went that far! Somebody actually thought this would be a good idea! And don’t get me wrong, it’s horrible. It’s racist as shit. I’m utterly disgusted by this, but at the same time I can’t help but admire the ballsiness of it. They chose to depict literal whitewashing in their movie. A Japanese girl is stripped of both her identity and any character traits that would identify her as Japanese and replaced with the body and mind of a white person in an effort to create somebody ‘perfect’. It practically borders on self parody.

But do you want to know the best part? Remember what ScarJo said?

“I certainly would never presume to play another race of a person. Diversity is important in Hollywood, and I would never want to feel like I was playing a character that was offensive.”

Tell me Ms Johansson. Do you know the Japanese translation for ‘lying, racist scumbag’?

Because let’s not deny it. What ScarJo said was a blatant lie. She is playing a Japanese character and now she’s quite rightfully being torn to shreds by the critics, most notably the Asian American Media Group. Yeah! Who’d have thought they’d have a problem with this?! Call it a hunch, but somehow I think there might be less demand for a Black Widow movie now after all this. So I wouldn’t hold your breath.

It also puts all those other claims to shame too. That the character’s race isn’t important and that this is an international city and that the themes are universal and so on. Let’s not forget that in the early days of production, they were considering using the same CGI from The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button to make their chosen white actor look Asian. The fact that they’re practically bending over backwards in a desperate and pathetic attempt to justify their whitewashing actually proves that the race of the character is actually important after all.

I can’t help but find this just a bit hilarious. I mean at least Doctor Strange didn’t pretend Tilda Swinton was Asian. At least they didn’t stoop THAT low. And the irony of it all is Rupert Sanders and co could have gotten away with it if they just kept their mouths shut. I know how gullible general movie going audiences can be. They probably would have blindly accepted a whitewashed Ghost In The Shell movie if the story and acting was good. But because the studio just couldn’t leave well enough, because they were so paranoid that they’d be accused of racism and that they’d upset the fans, they tried to tinker with it and ended up not only making the issue even more awkward than it already was, but also highlighted their racism in big bold neon lights. They haven’t just tied a noose around their necks. They’ve practically built their own gallows as well.

Already they’ve started to feel the effects. On its opening weekend, Ghost In The Shell pulled in less box office earnings than DreamWorks’ Boss Baby. And I don’t know about you, but I would love to have seen how that conversation played out to the studio execs. Your movie is losing to an animated film featuring Alec Baldwin voicing a talking baby. LOL. In fact I’m almost tempted to go and see this movie for myself just to witness it commit cinematic suicide live, right in front of me. This has got to be one of the most glorious kamikaze moves I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

And I can’t think of a more appropriate way to end this Scribble than with the ironic use of this classic from the 80s. Enjoy :)

anonymous asked:

ScarJo whitewashing Ghost in the Shell sure inspired fellow ww Taytay about her latest music video...

Honestly, everything from the bodysuit to how it was set up screamed of Ghost in the Shell starring Scarjo. Not to mention that she also had Chinese characters (or maybe they were Japanese kanji? I’m not sure) in the background as graffiti despite being white and the only human passing thing we see in the video. 

anonymous asked:

Power Rangers was a Japanese show. People are so angry about Ghost in the Shell but OKAY with erasing the fact that this property came to us from Japan and all of the characters were Japanese and had Japanese names before it was altered to please American audiences.One is okay and one isn't. Why is that?

I’m gonna make a list because it’s easier for me to get my thoughts down like that.

1) This Hollywood version of the Ghost in The Shell movie (as well as the original anime) takes place in Japan. You can see from the trailers that there’s a lot of Japanese culture and influence in the film. Not just the city but with the setting and some of the characters.

2) This Ghost in the Shell movie took some characters that were originally Japanese, with Japanese names, and made them white, while making a lot of side characters Japanese. I haven’t seen the movie but it implies the whole “white savior” trope. 

3) It’s another example of Hollywood using other cultures as backgrounds for white characters. Cultural appropriation. It’s using Japanese culture but with white people at the center of it?

4) The Power Rangers Movie (2017) is based off of the American Mighty Morphin Power Rangers tv show in the 90s, not the original Japanese show.

5) The MMPR show used some action-scene footage from the original Japanese shows for their own action scenes, but they didn’t use any of it’s characters (the yellow rangers was a guy in the Japanese series). These Rangers were different characters in an American setting, not a Japanese setting with American characters.

6) The MMPR show didn’t just use five white actors for the roles of the Power Rangers. It was a different time in the 90s, so yes, three of them were white, but one of them was African-American and the yellow ranger was Asian (plus the yellow ranger was a girl in this version). 

7) All the American Power Rangers seasons are pretty diverse, and the movie stepped it up to another level, by covering things that they wouldn’t be able to discuss on Nickelodeon or Fox Kids. And they made 4/5 Rangers poc.

8) Ghost in the Shell’s westernization of the original, only includes white people in lead roles, while the original MMPR included non-white main characters too, as does the new Power Rangers movie.

9) Plus, Ghost in the Shell takes place in Japan, so seeing all these white characters being at the center of the plot just seems so forced and unrealistic.

Please stop acting as if the reboot of “Ghost in the Shell” is gonna bring more American viewers to the anime community.

Studio Ghibli has been doing that ever since their first introduction to Western cultures to the movie “Spirited Away” which as a great hit and guess what, THE CHARACTERS ARE STILL JAPANESE!!! The new reboot isn’t going to do any ground breaking other than show that even though its 2016, Hollywood is still white washing : /