The casting of Scarlett Johansson in the live-action “Ghost In The Shell” movie, based on the manga and anime film of the same name, has received considerable backlash from both critics and the public for whitewashing a role written to be played by an Asian actor. The controversy only increased after Paramount admitted to testing out race-bending virtual effects during production, but they also said these tests weren’t run on Johansson. Now, a prominent Asian actress Constance Wu, one of the stars of ABC’s “Fresh Off The Boat,” has spoken out against Johansson’s casting calling it “the practice of blackface employed on Asians” because it’s more “evocative” than the term “yellowface.”
Wu spoke out about the casting during a panel luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Saturday. Wu brought up the race-bending effects story as well, saying that it’s “particularly heinous because they ran CGI test to make [Johansson] more Asian,” despite Paramount’s denial that the race-bending effects weren’t tested on the actress. Some of the other people on the panel didn’t quite agree with Wu, with actress Joan Chen saying that a director should have “creative freedom” and that Chinese and Japanese artists have adapted numerous Western stories. Wu responded to this by saying that “many people’s vision of who they see as a hero is rooted in systemic racism” and that it would behoove artists to “think outside the box and stretch their imagination.”
“Fresh Off The Boat” airs Tuesday nights at 8pm Eastern.