erasure of Asian people and characters is very deep rooted in American media and goes all the way back to conception—don’t let it persist!
Important even when you’re excited about this movie!
good points, but please for the love of god, realize that the original marvel comic was a fucking horrible racist disaster of the most unacceptable calibre that rode on the tail ends of the 90s ninja craze and the budding 00s anime craze.
I still have no idea why Disney chose to adapt this MASSACRE of a comic book series to film, but what I have heard is that they’ve cherry picked the best parts of it and created something great from what was absolute dregs before.
And honestly I think a movie portraying a much, much more racially diverse -even if it is fictional- world, where everyone lives unquestionably together and showing what that might just be like, is a pretty good goddamn thing that I think could stand to be shown and portrayed to kids of this generation. You aren’t seeing the white kids appropriating anybody’s culture, you’re seeing a bunch of kids who are friends and race is not a divisive factor between them. I sort of think, in media, portraying/normalizing these sorts of things is really important and I think that is what BH6 is doing here: normalizing these sorts of situations.
When I say “normalize”, I mean, in media, and especially media for impressionable children, things that could be anything from diverse/inclusive groups of people from different races, to things like different genders, or different body types, being shown as “normal.” You put them on screen and tell a kid “this is normal.” and this can be shown in a way to goad children into doing what advertisers/media producers want, but it can also be used as a force of good. It’s about time we start using this media influence to spread stuff like this, instead of “buy this toy, wear this type of clothes, girls behave this way and boys have to do this or they aren’t normal”.
baby steps, man. There was a shitstorm when Laika released a movie with an openly gay character. But when they did the same thing a year after for the Boxtrolls, only the stupid old people got pissy about it. See? It’s starting to become normalized.
In the future I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s now easier for more diverse casts to exist, not just because it’s now been done once, but because the people, like me, who work in production, can point to things like this and say “see? They did it in Paranorman, the world didn’t explode. It’ll be fine.” or “see? the movie didn’t have to change for a bunch of different races to fit in fine. It’s not a big deal.” It’s been normalized. Somebody has to set a precedent. Wouldn’t it be great if shows were as diverse as this, not because they had some sort of agenda to, but just because that’s… yknow, normal?
On a level, I agree with what you are saying (and in the past, I’ve spoken out about sjws’ overreactions to how the protagonist in this movie looks), but what really saddened me was the whitewashing of the Fredzilla character, who is Ainu, a group of indigenous people in Japan who still faces discrimination and hardship because of the Japan government’s policy towards their ancestral land.
I don’t have a problem with Disney making the cast more “global”—i.e. switching out a Japanese character to an African american one, or making the main character mix-raced, because, let’s face it, an all Japanese cast set in a futuristic setting is NOT diverse (as the number of foreign nationals in Japan has been steadily increasing).
This is not some culturally significant tale where the people will take great offense if someone’s race changed: i.e. if Disney made a film based on Mulan or The Crane Returns but made the protagonist from another Asian country (I’m srs, if they made Mulan Korean or Japanese, Mainland China will fucking riot) or Arab or White or Black or Hispanic.
However, erasing the identity of an indigenous character is culturally insensitive at best and racist (via ignorance) at worst. It just contributes to the marginalization of those peoples and it’s not right and I don’t think anyone should even try to justify it when the setting has already been changed from Tokyo to San Franokyo or something something to popularize it to an mostly American audience and that I think Honey Lemon is now mixed-race instead of Japanese.
I really don’t like how extreme Tumblr has gotten on both sides of the social justice conversation and it’s not productive because it makes people completely reactive and defensive.
But when a group of people has been prosecuted, had their language outlawed, treated like slaves, and had their culture painted as inferior, it’s just really messed up to take representation away from them and I hope most people can at least understand that.
I agree with a lot of the above but I want to see the best in people and hope that they were never trying to be racist in changing the Ainu character and that there is some sort of other motivation or reason in that choice. I also want to stress that you should not scream racism because a fictional characters nationality\race was changed. There are many different reason the creators can choose to do that.