Hollywood is still showing it hasn’t learned its lesson in why whitewashing is so offensive.
One would have thought that after recent controversies with Exodus: Gods and Kings, the bomb that was Gods of Egypt, the controversy with Dr. Strange and the casting of Scarlett Johannson in Ghost in the Shell, that movie makers would get the hint about casting white people in roles where minorities would fit best.
The answer is “NO” as The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon is set to release in February 2017.
The movie is supposed to have a series of firsts.
According to Variety:
It is the first movie made in English by Zhang Yimou, China’s master of the big spectacle. Costing some $150 million it is possibly the biggest-budget Chinese film of all time. It is certainly the biggest Hollywood-Chinese co-production to data and is Matt Damon’s first Asian movie.
Which is to say that it’s a movie that it’s supposed to bridge the gap between Hong Kong and Hollywood but you mean that the same guy who directed Hero and House of Flying Daggers didn’t have enough pull to get an all Asian…? Wait, yes you are right, he is Chinese so Hollywood producers will pay him no mind.
FOR CRYING OUT LOUD THERE ARE A FEW BILLION PEOPLE THERE AND THERE WAS NO LEAD MORE QUALIFIED THAN MATT DAMON?
If that wasn’t enough, Matt Damon tried to whitesplain the whitewashing.
At New York Comic Con when he was asked about his role and whitewashing he stated the following:
When you look at it from a marketing perspective. What’s a worst wipe out for a marketing team than to have that happen as a backlash against a teaser? I thought of it from their perspective. They’re trying to establish a number of things in 30 seconds, or whatever amount of time they had. It’s not a full length trailer, it’s a teaser. And they’re trying to tease a) the monster, and they’re trying to say, ‘Hey look, it’s a visionary filmmaker that you probably don’t know,’ they’re trying to speak to a bigger audience. It’s the Steven Spielberg of China. ‘Don’t worry they speak English in this movie.’ You hear my voice. ‘Don’t worry Matt’s in the movie, you’ve seen this guy before.’ They’re trying to establish all these things. ‘And, by the way, there are monsters’. All in 30 seconds. So, there’s a lot that they’re trying to hype.
Matt…buddy…pal, no matter how much you try to explain it, this went from a movie about Asians who are capable of handling themselves to some random white dude saving the poor helpless Asians from monsters. Sure, China is not famous for monster movies but damn!!!
Take a look at the trailer and you may say as well, “Yeah…this will be a ‘no’.” Otherwise you will be on your own come February 2017.