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Scarlett Johansson Defends Herself Against Whitewashing Claims: 'I Would Never Attempt To Play A Person Of A Different Race, Obviously'

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Scarlett Johansson and the makers of Ghost In The Shell have faced a lot of criticism for being another example of Hollywood whitewashing.
In the film, ScarJo plays a cyborg called The Major (a character whose name in the original manga was Motoko Kusanagi), a role many have argued should have gone to a Japanese actress.
Related: Ghost In The Shell Meme-Generator TOTALLY Backfires
Now the Avenger is finally responding to the criticism by pointing out she’s definitely not trying to play an Asian character.
In an interview with GMA‘s Michael Strahan, ScarJo explained:

“I think this character is living a very unique experience, in that she is a human brain in an entirely machinate body. She’s essentially identityless. I would never attempt to play a person of a different race, obviously.”

It’s worth noting this is the same argument made by Mamoru Oshii, director of the 1995 Japanese animated version of the story, who defended the casting of Johansson to IGN last week by saying:

“What issue could there possibly be with casting her? The Major is a cyborg and her physical form is an entirely assumed one. The name ├óΓé¼╦£Motoko Kusanagi’ and her current body are not her original name and body, so there is no basis for saying that an Asian actress must portray her.”

Unfortunately, he also used the precedent that it was apparently OK for John Wayne to play Genghis Khan, which of course it most definitely WASN’T.
So far as Ghost In The Shell goes, the character’s ethnicity may not be important to the story in this case, but it IS important to those who feel a distinct lack of representation on the big screen.
And they’re tired of every single instance having an excuse.
Video: PSA Shows The Effects Of Whitewashing In Movies Like Ghost In The Shell
Of course, Scarlett isn’t one to run from controversy.
Lately she’s stood up as an advocate for women’s rights in a political climate that definitely does NOT support them. She told Strahan:

“I’m not afraid to say what I feel is right, just because I think that I’m going to face criticism, or some people might not like me. If fighting, you know, for women’s rights, for women’s reproductive rights, and you know, in support of Planned Parenthood, if that’s going to, you know, mean that some people don’t want to buy a ticket to see Ghost in a Shell then … I’m OK with that.”

So would ScarJo ever consider running for office herself? She certainly has the name recognition down.
Related: Scarlett Has TWO Celebrity Crushes
Maybe… but not for a while. As a working mom, she has two priorities that beat politics at the moment. She said:

“I’ve always been interested in local politics. Right now, I think with my young daughter and also [the way] my career’s going right now, it’s not the right time. Eventually, maybe when my daughter is older and I could totally focus myself on something like that, I think it could be interesting.”

We’d vote for her! Just, you know, not for the lead in a remake of Lust, Caution.
See the whole interview for yourself (below)!

[Image via ABC/Paramount Pictures.]

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Mar 28, 2017 14:37pm PDT