Scarlett Johansson in Yellowface?

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 stated, “It was particularly heinous because they ran CGI tests to make her look more Asian. Some people call it ‘yellowface,’ but I say ‘the practice of blackface employed on Asians’ because that’s more evocative.”

A quote from The Verge left a chill in my spine after researching this topic: “HOLLYWOOD WOULD RATHER CONSIDER PUTTING WHITE ACTORS IN VFX-ASSISTED YELLOWFACE THAN CAST ASIAN ACTORS.”

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