3.25.2011

So the new "Akira" ain't gonna have an Asian guy

According to blogger Arturo Garcia at Racialicious, this is who's in the running:
Tetsuo
  • Robert Pattinson
  • Andrew Garfield
  • James McAvoy
Average Estimated Age: 27
Character age: 15

Kaneda
  • Garrett Hedlund
  • Michael Fassbender
  • Chris Pine
  • Justin Timberlake (WTF???)
  • Joaquin Phoenix
Average Estimated Age: 30
Character age: 16
Are we...are we serious?

Garcia  goes on to state:
The story, to be adapted from the original manga, as opposed to the anime, will now take place in “Neo-Manhattan.”In spite of this, the lead characters in the remake will retain the original character names, Tetsuo, and Kaneda – which would have been a reason for optimism, if it wasn’t for the list of actors being mentioned in connection with each part...
while the folks at Racebending add:
Because one out of every 10 modern-day Manhattanites are Asian American (Lower Manhattan is 41% Asian,) it would make just as much sense–if not more sense, given the names “Kaneda” and “Tetsuo”–for the leads to be Asian American as it would for the leads to be white. Tetsuo and Kaneda should be cast with Asian American leads.
Garcia points out that the geeks are keeping silent on this latest brazen bout of white-washing in the "post-Airbender" era.  I say, why bother?  We already know why.  This is Hollywack we're talking about.  Crack open a dictionary, look up "cultural appropriation and exploitation", and instead of a written definition, you'll just see that big ole sign.

Why are people surprised?  Horrified, yes...I understand.  Offended?  Of course.  Appalled?  Certainly.  But surprised?  Perhaps Garcia got it wrong.  We're not in the post-Airbender era.  We're dead smack entrenched in the Airbender era.

And stuff like this brings me back to wondering why some POC worship the hell outta white folks.  Seriously...why?  They want what we have.  They want to be us.  It's the 1500s all over again, if you ask me, and POC need to stop enabling.  See here:
...even though 40% of movie tickets are purchased by people of color, 90% of the films released by Warner Bros between 2000 and 2009 featured a white lead (Racebending)
WTF???  We need to cut this out right now.  Boycotting is a time-honored tradition, ladies and gentlemen, along with protesting and calling fail.  It won't kill you to withhold your money, especially since there's a recession going on.  Just like with Sucker Punch, and Airbender, and all that shit, I'm boycotting - plain and simple.

Who's with me?

34 comments:

  1. Aye!

    I've actually been hearing about the Akira movie for a long time and have wanted to claw my ears off ever since. If you're going to white it out change the name to Aaron and white it the whole way out.

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  2. I kinda have to repost this. <3
    Thanks for writing it XD
    And yes, boycott. Have been doing it for years.

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  3. WTF!!! a all white cast!!!! THAT'S IT I'M WITH YOU. THIS MEANS WAR!!!!

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  4. @Kristina

    Not only that Morgan Freeman just signed on to take the role of Colonel Shikishima.

    They're destroying my childhood, one by one man!

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  5. I'm sorry,but there are some things directors/directors may get away with"racebending",but if the characters are meant, in this case, to be Asian/Asian-American, they should have been true to the story.

    Out of all of the Asian/Asian American actors in this world,they didn't have the decency to approach not one of them for the parts?They didn't even ask a Hapa man to it. I'm sorry,but the whole concept seems incredibly lop-sided and moronic.It reminds me of the complaint I had with racebending in biblical movies. As a child, it never made since of how the Middle East, Asia and Africa was filled with White people. I always thought that most POC'S lived in those countries?

    I haven't even seen the movie and I'm about to fall to sleep on it. Maybe it's a definite sign for me not to watch it.-M

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  6. I thought this movie was gonna end up in development hell the way Cowboy Bebop, and Death Note did. I also remember hearing about this a while ago so I was surprised when I started seeing info about casting. Ten bucks says the only Asians that will appear in this movie will be in the credits under "choreography" and "CG animation."

    No reason for me to see this mess.

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  7. Not surprised.

    You need not worry about me watching that movie. I loved "Akira," but I'm gonna have to keep my memories, because I'm not about to plop down any money for this dreck.

    I strongly suspect that this, too, will go the way of Airbender, but that doesn't mean that Hollywood will learn its lesson. Oh well.

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  8. @ Kyo

    Not only that Morgan Freeman just signed on to take the role of Colonel Shikishima.

    You know...Morgan Freeman needs to stop. He's not making films like he used to, and after friggin' "Invictus", I'm thinkin' that if I'm to preserve the good memories and respect I have concerning him and his career, he needs to start writing, directing, or teaching some damn acting classes and just give up being on the big screen.

    He should have never signed on for this piece of shit. And even if he wasn't familiar with "Akira", the fucking character names should've been enough to set off warning bells. Freeman should have done his goddamn homework and sent them a "Hell, no" in reply. In fact, since this piece of shit is an already doomed piece of shit, a la fucking "Airbender", I think all actors of color need to just go ahead and steer clear of it altogether. They don't need to write for it, direct it, score it, or even so much as a bring coffee for the shitheads who do.

    And if the paychecks seem juicy, then they need to go out and get a goddamn 9 to 5 like the rest of us. Because this is already beyond ridiculous, and black people should have more sense than to play accomplice to the marginalization of Asians in American media, nor the appropriation and exploitation of their motherfucking culture.

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  9. Not suprised, but definitely angry! I'm with you with the boycotting.

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  10. "Why are people surprised? Horrified, yes...I understand. Offended? Of course. Appalled? Certainly. But surprised?"

    Not surprised, not horrified....appalled - no, but I'll explain in a bit. I'm not appalled because this is exactly what I expected Hollywhack to do the minute I got whiff of an Akira live-action in the works. I didn't expect them to learn shit from how fans reacted to the bleaching of Airbender or even Dragonball. To say that I have no faith in Hollyweird to get shit right would be the understatement of the year.

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  11. And of course, if you protest this to their white faces, they'll call you racist. They'll say shit like, "You don't want us playing this part because of our race? That makes YOU racist!"

    White people just don't understand the concept of CONTEXT. White people have plenty of opportunity; PoC do not. PoCs can't play white roles, they can't play race-neutral roles, and now they can't play their own roles. They actually believe white people are the ones who are truly deprived of opportunity in this country. White people are disconnected from reality.

    Oh, and there's also the blatant hypocrisy. It's not fair to deprive white people of roles even though they have plenty of opportunities, but it's perfectly fine to deprive PoCs.

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  12. @ Hunter - Dude, I remember when a group of white folks protested about Idris Elba and another POC being cast in Thor as Norse gods; they saw it as an 'agenda'by the liberal media (ALWAYS the liberal media!) to dilute white heritage or some shit. They also raised hell when they cast a black-mixed woman to play Guinevere in the BBC series; one even praised the new Starz series for selecting 'a proper looking Guinevere'.

    I look on all that and chuckled, because I also remember how complaining POC got slapped with "It's just a movie", "You people are being too sensitive", "Why must you bring race into everything" and the incredibly insulting "There's no proof that the characters are even Asian/Native American" regarding Airbender.

    They can dish that shit out, but they can't take it. What they don't seem to realize is that we're not taking it anymore either.

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  13. @ hunter

    PoCs can't play white roles, they can't play race-neutral roles

    Oh...they can play white roles, remember? So long as they remember to "play white" in real life as well.

    But this right here:

    and now they can't play their own roles.

    nails it. Hollywack reached an all-new low with Airbender and Dragonball Z (personally, I blame 21...I think POC let Hollywack off waaaaaay too easily with that one, rather than seeing for the harbinger it really was). Now here we are. How sad is it that in the 21st century, POC can't even portray themselves in a goddamn Hollywood film.

    Wow.

    @ leoprincess

    Girl...tell me about it.

    I've come to the conclusion that "authentic" is just another white code word in Hollywood. Translated into POC-speak, it comes out as "whatever's racially convenient for white audiences."

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  14. No surprises here. I just read about this on Racialicious last night, (like seriously this was one of the first anime movies I watched as a kid). I'm with you, totally boycotting this one. I actually went to Airbender and was glad I wasn't the only one in the theater saying how dumb the movie was loudly (not something I usually do I promise) not making that mistake again

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  15. So in a nutshell:
    They want white people playing white roles for authenticity. But they also want white people playing PoC roles because apparently it's (a) just a movie, (b) not fair to deprive white people of opportunities, or (c) because white people are just better at everything, even though they clearly are not *cough Airbender*.

    They think they're so clever when their true intentions are oh so obvious: they want everything; they don't want you to have anything.

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  16. I actually went to Airbender

    Dear God...why?

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  17. @ hunter

    They want white people playing white roles for authenticity. But they also want white people playing PoC roles because apparently it's
    (a) just a movie,
    (b) not fair to deprive white people of opportunities,
    or (c) because white people are just better at everything, even though they clearly are not *cough Airbender*.


    LMAO - yep, yep...all of the above.

    Nice to see you talking more and more on the Narrative.

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  18. I hope SOC (someone of color) do a movie and give people equal share

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  19. The Japanese seriously need to go ahead and just start filming their own goddamn live action version of Akira. And all the neighboring countries in Asia need to help bankroll that ish to make sure its top notch.

    And it watch outsell this piece of shit by the billions. People would individually buy 2-3 DVDs and movie tickets just out of spite.

    *sniff* I know I would.

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  20. The Japanese seriously need to go ahead and just start filming their own goddamn live action version of Akira. And all the neighboring countries in Asia need to help bankroll that ish to make sure its top notch.

    You ain't never lied...I would step up and own that shit. Somebody's got to take the lead.

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  21. I would step up and own that shit. Somebody's got to take the lead.

    Hell, yeah. Kristina actually phrased it perfectly. This is war.

    And speaking of leads, when the Japanese finally do decide to start making a live action Akira, they will hopefully cast the most gorgeous actors with unquestionable, undiluted Japanese features, so that there's no "confusion" or room for "interpretations of authenticity."

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  22. I agree with pretty much everything said here.

    Although it should be noted that some actors do movies because they have to, whether or not they want to because it's in their contract. I'm a little fuzzy on the specifics, but the reason some actors do crap movies in between their good ones is because it's already in their contract to do a certain amount of movies for a company (Or something like that. It's been a couple of years since my film classes). I just try to keep that in mind whenever I think, "wtf?" when I see a respectable actor doing a bad movie unless I have reason to believe otherwise.

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  23. @ The Girl

    True, but American production companies shouldn't even be trying make films in this manner in the first place. Actors shouldn't even be put in this situation to begin with.

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  24. The Japanese seriously need to go ahead and just start filming their own goddamn live action version of Akira. And all the neighboring countries in Asia need to help bankroll that ish to make sure its top notch.

    I'm just wondering, why did the people behind Akira, the anime decided to sell the rights to remaking the live action version to Hollywood. Did they not know about the high possibilities of whitewashing or it is that they knew but did not have a problem with it?

    In the end, I just wish cartoons were never made into live action movies because from what I've seen, that's just an excuse to 'prove' how cartoon characters are really white. I am very happy that The Last Airbender didn't do so well and I wish the same to the Akira remake.

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  25. I wanted to e-mail this link but, since this topic is on media white-washing, this is the perfect place to post it:

    http://hyacinthian.tumblr.com/post/4161307736/some-people-cant-deal-with-dark-skinned-ladies-in

    Again: colour me NOT surprised.

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  26. @EccentricYoruba,

    I'm just wondering, why did the people behind Akira, the anime decided to sell the rights to remaking the live action version to Hollywood. Did they not know about the high possibilities of whitewashing or it is that they knew but did not have a problem with it?

    I'll give this question a shot. The Japanese sold the rights because they're still utilizing uchi (us) vs. soto (them). As such, mainstream Japanese probably won't be offended for two reasons: 1) Hollywood stars/productions are still misemono, things to look at and; 2) the Japanese prioritize their values differently from Westerners. Hence, when a Japanese person enters a theater to watch a Hollywood movie, they expect to see a flick about foreigners doing foreign stuff. In this case, the new Akira won't be a Japanese animated film brought to life because the nuances/subtleties that appeal to Japanese people are generally not incorporated into Western movies. The audience will look forward to seeing a Hollywood blockbuster in all of its shallowness, not the "human movie" that is so fundamentally important to Japanese people.

    Toho, the studio, is on the other end of this spectrum. They exist for one reason and one reason only: to make money. Undoubtedly, they'll earn a hefty cut from Hollywood's debacle. From there, they'll probably invest a nice sum into a new project. Unlike Hollywood, the Japanese studios aren't allowed to indulge in that many reboots/remakes/rehashes because ordinary people expect creative people to actually create.

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  27. @LeoPrincess

    I remember reading about this at Fen of Color. Jealousy is UGLY!

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  28. I still have Akira on VHS (i don't have anything to play it in but I keep it for nostalgia purposes)

    When I heard that Leonardo Di Caprio was asked to take on the lead I was like WTF. Hollywhite is really stupid. Dragonaball FAILED Airbender FAILED when will those fuckers learn. I think they do this just for some sort of sick pleasure, they must.

    All these guys are much older than the characters who are in their bloody teens. Could you imagine a bunch of 30 somethings white dudes on motorbikes. There was already a movie on that and it's called Wild Hogs!!

    Funny American Akira cartoon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jafd97yJFOI

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  29. @Aiyo

    OMFG! I'm traumatized!!!

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  30. @Hateya,

    ...because ordinary people expect creative people to actually create.

    Shocker, right? That ain't been done in Hollywood since the 80s, and I'm being liberal here.

    Also, I'm quoting you.

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  31. "Unlike Hollywood, the Japanese studios aren't allowed to indulge in that many reboots/remakes/rehashes because ordinary people expect creative people to actually create."

    And the HollyWTF studios won't do that as long as they know people will be coming en masse to pay for their latest pitiful offerings.

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  32. Damn.Do Poeple not understand that whitewashing is a problem?

    I thought movie producers learned this from the crap that was Avatar:The Last Airbender. Having white characters doesn't do anything to the plot and characterization.

    Asian American actors need these roles.

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  33. “I think they do this just for some sort of sick pleasure, they must."

    They certainly get joy out of white washing. Whenever Hollywhite is called out for whitewashing characters of color they say “White actors/characters bring in more money. This isn’t about race, it’s about business.” If their statements were true however, then they’d stop whitewashing films. 21 … failure. Last Airbender … failure. The King of Fighters … failure. Street fighter … failure. Dragonball Z … failure failure FAILURE!! Who do they think they’re tricking?! Racebending has proven that it doesn't work. But then again. Iron Man … Win. Thor … Epic Win!! Is there a pattern here? When POC find out a director fought for us to be represented we show up and support with our wallets…

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