Scarlett Johansson Plays a Japanese Woman in Her New Film

Hollywood is up to its old whitewashing trickery again, casting the actress Scarlett Johansson to play a Japanese cyborg in the new Ghost in the Shell live movie. The movie, which is a live action remake of the classic Japanese anime of the same name, takes place in Japan and from the trailer it appears that most of the other characters and extras are in fact Japanese. So why the main character had to be a white woman wearing a cheap-looking black bob on her head to make her appear to look more Asian is anyone’s guess. It’s not as if there aren’t actual Japanese actresses in the world. I hear there are plenty of them in this country called Japan. But what do I know?


Karly Morgan


A Japanese anime series called Ghost in the Shell is getting a live action movie soon, and there has been outrage over the casting choices made by the filmmakers. Scarlett Johansson, a white woman, has been selected to play the character Major. Anime is an art form that emerged from Japan, and Ghost in the Shell is a Japanese story, as well. It would seem fitting that a Japanese actress should be cast in the role of Major, but they picked a white woman.

As if that wasn’t a bad enough example of whitewashing, it’s about to get worse. The filmmakers have announced that they will be using CGI to make Johansson look more Japanese. The internet blew up in rage, releasing photoshopped images of successful Japanese actresses in the role and releasing statements comparing it to yellow face and black face. American-Asian actress Constance Wu…

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22 thoughts

  1. Just stumbled across your blog today and it looks really interesting. I completely agree that this is a ridiculous piece of casting. Now following!

      1. MST 3000 was a show where a human (supposedly a astro-pilot) crash-landed on a pilot, and watched inane movies, sitting between two robots.

        The movies were always grade C, or lower, and the show interspersed their hilarious comments while the movie was going on.

        Our son got hooked on it, when he was 13-15, and we used to watch it with him.

  2. Hollywood has been doing same to the “actors of the extraterrestrial movies”. Except E.T the extra terrestrial -1982, Hollywood directors didn’t give the role to the real extraterrestrials. 🙂 That’s why we (according to warning of Galactic Council) stopped to watch so-called extraterrestrial movies of Hollywood as protest to them. What the humans make for protest to Hollywood?

    *By the way, I have to admit I am still watching some extraterrestrial movies and tv series of Hollywood, without notice of Galactic Council; this should be secret, my Earthling friend.:)

  3. Caleb, this is why we have PBS, the History Channel, etc. Yomp Cruise played Tom Cruise in The Last Ninja, he just had a Japanese name. Sean Connery went undercover in a James Bond movie, acting as a very tall Japanese man; however, he did try to act the part and, unlike Cruise, he did have some temporary eye modifications.

    It’s not really a racist thing: it’s more financial. There are people who would pay to go to any Tom Cruise movie, although I don’t believe that any have made money in quite some time. He has fans, as does Connery and Johansson, a better acting, more suited Japanese actress wouldn’t bring it to the box office.

    This is why I do not go to the movies. Haven’t for perhaps 20 years. American movies put the bulk of the budget into a box office attraction, while the script, supporting staff and dissector or merely chopped liver. This just tells me that, with a hang-up over having an American play a Japanese, there is not story. Nothing to see here!

    1. I don’t understand why they didn’t move the entire location to the US then instead of having the story still taking place in an obviously Japanese setting, mostly Asian extras, and then hire one white woman in wig to play the main role. I mean is Scarlett Johansson even that much of a box office gold guarantee anyway?

      1. Again, they had Scarlet in it–rather than a great Japanese actress–who spoke Japanese, English, Chinese…whatever, for the box office revenue.

        Again, I don’t go to the movies, because all they are no longer much but car chases, shoot N ups, and special effects. If you want T & A, get a porno flick.

  4. I hope this tanks bombs horrendously, but as an anime fan I KNOW fanboys are going to pay to see because, for whatever reason, they love Scarlett Johansson. Hollywood Directors and producers act as if there are no Asian actors. If they didn’t want to cast an Japanese actress, they should have cast a Japanese-American actress. This is egregious.

    1. I agree completely. And you know when I first heard this was being made and learned who was cast as the lead, I figured they would be moving the setting of the story as well. But then I saw the trailer at the movie theaters and saw that the original location of Japan was the same and it made the choice of Johansson even more egregious.

      1. This proves Hollywood has not changed. Not only do blame the directors and producers, I blame her for taking the role. This is reminds me of when Emma Stone was cast as Allison Ng in Aloha. The character was of Asian and Hawaiian descent. Stone’s and Johansson’s acceptance of the role is a ludicrous as them being cast.

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