“Ghost in the Shell” is based on one of the most acclaimed manga series ever made, but not everyone’s looking forward to it. The live-action adaptation courted controversy by casting Scarlett Johansson in the lead role of the Major, a role originally envisioned as Japanese (the character’s full name is Motoko Kusanagi). Just ahead of its theatrical release, the film’s new viral marketing campaign hasn’t gone as planned.
“I am hunted,” Johansson says in a 30-second video accompanied by FKA Twigs’ “Figure 8.” “I am the hunter. I am fearless. I am coming for them. I am Major.” The video invites viewers to IAmMajor.me, which allows users to upload photos and create a caption in response to the question “Who are you?” Unsurprisingly, many have used what’s essentially a meme machine to take the film to task for whitewashing.
“I am the woman that should’ve been cast,” reads one, which features an image of Rinko Kikuchi (“Babel,” “Pacific Rim,” “Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter”). Valerie Complex is responsible for that one, as well as another of Johansson that reads “I am not Japanese.”
— VzA (@ValerieComplex) March 11, 2017