I got into a bit of an online argument the other day with someone about whitewashing in Hollywood. It was a very amicable argument, we agreed on most points but agreed to disagree on others. He said something to me though that if Hollywood wants to remake a Japanese movie, why not change characters to suit western audiences….
This bothers me a lot!
I’m not bothered about changing original interpretations to suit modern audiences. In fact I think Hollywood studios should look to Disney and how they are modernizing their cartoons to real life and doing it with more kickass heroines and more diverse characters. I’m so super duper bothered that this guys I was arguing with doesn’t realize that I’m a Westerner, and so are so many of my South Asian, East Asian friends!
Look I get that people may have a typical idea of what a Westerner looks like but it isn’t just white people anymore who are a part of our landscape. This is the problem with token diversity. Throwing in a brown guy in a sitcom or a black woman shows that there can only be one ethnic person in an entire show is not an actual representation of what the makeup of Canada is or North America for that matter.
A list of some shows with one taken coloured character:
The Big Bang Theory
Full house and fuller house
Parks and Rec (there were two here so you know that’s a plus)
There are really just too many to count so I will stop there.
The problem with these token Characters is that usually they are some kind of Joke or comedic relief or or wait the best is when they are the terrorists let’s not forget when Brown people are cast as terrorist or even sometimes you get the kill two birds with one stone and get a terrorist who is a Black guy!
That bothers me immensely that we are represented like this to the world. But there is something that usually goes hand in hand with whitewashing in cinema or TV, and that is the “white saviour” storyline.
We saw it with Ghost in the shell, the Great Wall, Dr. strange, and too many other movies. The problem with the white saviour storyline is that for the most part White people do not understand why this makes people of different ethnicities or races upset. The simple truth is that colonizers, whether they were British, Portuguese, Dutch or Italian, we all over the world telling people of colour that they were savages and that they as White people were there to save us from our disgusting way of life. They raped our people, our land and then claimed we were part of their empires. When we went knocking at their front doors, educated in their ways and cleaned up for show, we still were only good enough to be cab drivers and hurry curry resturant owners.
Oh my God and since we are talking about the White Saviour crap, can you believe that Pepsi commercial? And the Nivea’s “White is Purity” campaign?! See this proves my point. White people have seen themselves also as saviours to us lowlife savages. You mean to tell me those fools in the boardroom at Nivea don’t know that their major client base are coloured people? My best friends growing up were black and Nivea went on our entire body face to toe after every shower, on my skin on hers. Really and Kendal Jenner being the Saviour to the coloured people protesting?!? Really?! Someone fired EVERY single person involved in the making of that commercial!
That sums it up, obviously there are deep seeded issues and stuff that goes way back. But here’s the thing. When my Grandfather was Born he was Born a British Citizen, and the same for my father. So really me being first Generation Canadian, if you look at my pedigree so to say, I’m actually 3rd Generation Westerner, and my sons are 4th Generation.
With all of that said, the white Saviour shit needs to stop, as does the whitewashing of Hollywood Movies. If you cast Shahrukh Khan and Donnie Yen in a cop Buddy flick it would open screens world bloody wide!
I’m a Brown skinned Indian descendant Canadian born with British parents and Grandparents, I’m double degree educated and I’m covered in Tattoos and piercings and as Western as any other person born and Raised in Canada!
I’m a Westerner so start waking up and changing your thinking!
Lil’ sis is WOKE AF today! Yaaas!
It’s all that white privilege that stops your friend from seeing what’s right in front of him. “When privilege is your reality equality feels like a burden” I don’t know who said that but it’s so true.
Honey, there’s no need to arguing with them white folk! Just stop buying their shit! Stop spending your money on white movies, white products, etc etc.
I lurve me some Nivea! But after noting that they are repeat offenders in the “insensitive shit advertising” departments, guess what I did? I found me a Buy Black Twitter page and am now buying shea butter products direct from Africa.
Hit ‘me where it hurts – their pockets, and maybe, maybe- there’ll be a a better world for OUR kids.
He he I shared that “when privilege is your reality equality feels like a burden” yesterday on FB it’s so true though! People are too used to getting their way, thinking that theirs is the only viewpoint in NA and it isn’t! You are so right, I won’t watch that Ghost in a Shell Movie. I did watch Dr Strange and they put other minorities into roles but as minor characters all 3 leads were white, while I Love me some Cumberbatch it wasn’t necessary for the other two roles. I sadly won’t buy Nivea anymore I use coconut oil as moisturizer so meh. I Loved how Star Wars added diversity to Rouge One and I hope Disney keeps it that way, but you know what pissed me off I went to go buy the figures for the boys of Bodhi Rook and they released all of them except Riz Ahmed’s character! Made me so angry!
You need to hold onto that anger. They’re finally waking up to the fact that it’s not all about them!
I point it out at every turn to anyone and everyone who will listen. Until things are equal across the board I’m not shutting up anytime soon!