The internet is abuzz with compaints because casting decisions in this fall's blockbusters have continued to whitewash Hollywood. These choices are depriving non-white actors of significant representation opportunities in the media. Companies like Dreamworks (who cast Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell to play the Japanese character Motoko Kusanagi) and Marvel Studios (who cast Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange to play the Himalayan character the Ancient One) have come under fire.
In response to a tidal wave of negative press, Dreamworks and Marvel came together recently to discuss possible solutions. A joint effort to confront issues of racial representation in Hollywood is unprecedented. In a recent press release the director of Dr. Strange, Scott Derrickson was quoted as saying, "I think you'll be pleased with our solution. It’s quite clever." It seems that after much debate, both studios have decided that when each movie is released for download, they will use what they are calling "a really, really cool pair of sunglasses" to hide the fact that the actresses they hired aren't Asian.
When asked to elaborate, Scott smiled and said,"The beauty of this decision is that not only do the glasses cover the whole eye area, they also look crazy cool! There is no way you'll be able to tell where the character is from!"
Upon hearing this, some reporters balked angrily and proclaimed that this is a terrible idea, but Scott barrelled on, "We tried other things! When filming, we tried tape one day. That was a disaster. The actresses couldn't stand the adhesive. So then we tried CGI to just take out their eyes altogether. You know, no eyes means no problem, right? It just didn't look right though. I think this is a really elegant solution."
Rupert Sanders, director of Ghost in the Shell was severely agitated by the direction this dialogue was taking and when asked to chime in he said, "Scott has got this all wrong. It's not just about our casting choices or about our movies are going to look when released out of theaters. It's about so much more than that. With these new glasses, we will be able to do all sorts of things that used to be considered racially insensitive. Japanese character? No problem! Chinese character? No big deal! Asian-American character? This is a non-issue! Just put these bad boys on and voilà! It’s a really exciting time to be white in Hollywood.”