Yesterday, I got into a discussion with a coworker regarding the controversy surrounding Rob Marshall’s latest film Memoirs of Geisha.
Basically, there are a number of people (namely the Japanese people) who are upset that most of the cast is Chinese. (You can read a little more about it here.) My initial reaction was, “Yeah, I can understand that.” He asked me if I thought that a Brit shouldn’t be able to play an American or an American a Brit. Obviously, I wouldn’t go that far.
Even if you don’t feel that the Japanese should have been cast in a film about Japanese culture, could this be misconstrued and therefore fuel the stereotype that Americans think all Asians look the same? I proposed this to him.
Well, this is Hollywood. They’re going to cast well-known actors and good ones to make their money.
So we’re ignorant with a side of greedy?
As far as I’m concerned if there are Japanese actors able to play Japanese roles in a film about Japanese culture, then those rolls should be saved for Japanese people. But I have been known to change my views. Especially views I am not passionate about.
Edited to add: Wow, I just reread this. I accidentally wrote “Yeah, I can’t understand that” instead of “Yeah, I CAN understand that.” Apparently, I was going for a New Yorker type post where my goal is to confuse you and make you ponder, What side is she on anyway? oops.