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George Takei Advises Warner Bros. Against 'Whitewashing' Akira Movie!

In the film industry, it's become pretty much common practice for big-screen adaptations of popular Asian graphic novels and video games to be what's known as "whitewashed," which means the studios casting white actors in roles that are meant for other ethnicities!

The most recent example of this rumored to be the long-awaited film version of the Japanese graphic novel Akira, but thankfully, Star Trek actor George Takei has taken a stand against the practice, and has publicly asked Warner Brothers execs to re-consider before any official decisions are made!

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Yi-Long4244d ago

... just make a CGI-trilogy based on the original designs and story.

ikkokucrisis4243d ago

Agree, if you can't remake a classic like the 7 samurai correctly don't even bother trying to make Akira. Your better off releasing a remastered 3D version of the original in the theatres!

Reibooi4243d ago

Glad to see someone is standing up for what should have been done in the first place.

I don't know if anyone will bother listening to him but I can say(and I would bet alot of fellow anime fans feel the same) If the cast is whitewashed when the final movie comes out I won't be seeing it at all. Won't even give it a shot.

There are incredibly talented Asian actors and actresses out here(they don't have to be Japanese) And Hollywood never uses them and it's border line offensive when they talk a Japanese product keep the Japanese names and then cast all white actors. This crap needs to change.

Archaic4243d ago

Borderline offensive? It's outright offensive. If they want to take the movie and do an outright westernization to appeal to a wider market, fair enough, but you don't then go marketing that as Akira or using the same character names.

Reibooi4243d ago

Perhaps not the best wording but what I meant by borderline was the majority of the population won't see it as offensive despite the fact that we do. We as anime fans hate the idea of westernizing and whitewashing what are supposed to be Japanese characters. However the general public wouldn't even care as they are not as attached to the source material and probably don't even know where it came from or that it was Japanese to begin with.

Because of that it wouldn't be a big deal to them. Take for example The Last Airbender movie. We saw when it came out that fans of the show were all pissed at how bad the casting was for the various nations but none of the mainstream press for that movie brought that up. Only the reviews done by fans or those familiar with the show did. Now granted that was a totally different scenario but the point is still valid. Those who don't care enough or know enough about the source material won't know or care if it's offensive while those who are will find it very offensive.

I personally think whitewashing the cast is a disservice to the movie going population. People are gonna be watching the movie with characters who have Japanese names but CLEARLY are not Japanese and it's going to pull them out of the experience.

Pozzle4243d ago

Not to mention the hundreds/thousands of competent Asian actors and actresses who would love to be given a chance to star in a Hollywood flick like this, but (as usual) they will never get that chance because the same ol' white actors and actresses who appear in everything will be starring in this movie.

Why are directors so scared of having Asian leads in their films? Do they think American audiences will freak out at the sight of someone "different" in a leading role? Do they think non-white actors won't bring in the money? It all comes across as horribly racist to me.

Sweety85874244d ago

Glad that someone's spoken up against this

setsuken4243d ago

I gotta say, this man speaks truth. Some very vallid points fo sure!

andron4243d ago

I say they shouldn't make a Hollywood live action version at all...

Sweety85874243d ago

with the way they're going about, i totally agree

Senden4243d ago (Edited 4243d ago )

A hollywood take on Akira? I cant show emotion at work but on the inside i'm stuck in a constant face palm and probably will be all day now. It's most likely going to be awful.

Also it's pretty sad that nobody cares about Hollywood whitewashing Asian movies. I bet if they had a white cast in a predominately black movie, there would be a huge uproar.. imagine doing a movie based on Tupac and casting someone white to play him? It would be considered one of the most controversial things in recent movie history. I guess it's apples and oranges seeing as Akira is an animation yet there are some serious racism double standards in hollywood.

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