White Washing

Melek Ortabasi mso1 at sfu.ca
Wed Aug 26 16:39:57 EDT 2009

Hi Markus,

Couldn't help thinking of another very similar and recent example I was forced to experience by my students (I foolishly agreed to watch a Japan-themed movie with them!!). The live-action adaptation of Dragonball, _Dragonball Evolution_, features a very curious mixture of ethnic backgrounds in its lead actors. Though the actor who plays the protagonist is Caucasian, unsurprisingly.

Let's just say that my 6-year-old thought it was pretty good. "Sort of," anyway.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Nornes" <amnornes at umich.edu>
To: "KineJapan" <KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu>
Sent: Monday, August 24, 2009 12:35:45 PM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: White Washing

There has been some discussion over the years of Asian characters being played by Caucasians in American remakes. Here’s another one for the mill, from an article in the new Flow: 

"Fan Protests, Cultural Authenticity, and the Adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender" by Patricia Nelson ( http://flowtv.org/?p=4215 ) A consideration of the fan backlash surrounding Paramount?s choice to cast white actors as Asian characters. 


Melek Ortabasi, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
World Literature Program
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Simon Fraser University
Unit 250-13450
102 Ave., Surrey, BC
Phone: 778-782-8660

"Education is what survives when what has been learned is forgotten." -- B. F. Skinner, "Education in 1984," _New Scientist_ (1969)

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