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!