Friends — today on Facebook I saw some terrible news. There is going to be a live-action remake of the Japanese manga-turned film Ghost in the Shell. And there will be no Asian actors in it. The lead role is going to be played by Scarlett Johanson.
Alot of readers complained when Jennifer Lawrence got the part of Katniss in The Hunger Games. I didn’t know the novels yet, but when I read them, it was clear to me from the prose that Katniss is meant to be a person of color — which makes complete sense given that this trilogy is set in the future and given how racial demographics and identities in the US are already shifting.
In other news, there is a concert planned in NYC at the Public Theater for a performance of The Parable of the Sower, Octavia Butler’s brilliant dystopian novel. But no movie. No tv show. Parable takes place in Los Angeles, and most of the characters in it are clearly, self-identifiedly, and vocally people of color. So…. is that why there’s no tv show yet?
Speaking of Octavia where is the tv miniseries based on her award-winning novel Kindred? Apparently an opera based on the novel is in the works. I love opera, but those tickets cost a fortune, and opera doesn’t have the reach of tv.
This is crazy. I love Ghost in the Shell. It has inspired my fiction and my poetry. I love it so much that it grieves me to see its aesthetic and culture and identity distorted, erased. Major Motoko Kusanagi deserves to look like who she is.
I’m beginning to agree with folks who say we need to stop buying these whitewashed products.
What do you think?