Netflix has had its fair share of controversy over ‘whitewashing’, especially in roles associated with Asian characters. Their most recent hit show ‘Altered Carbon’ was criticised for white washing the role of the lead Takeshi Kovacs (played by Joel Kinnaman) and for their adaptation of the anime series ‘Death Note’ and the whitewashing of the main character in that. It seems as if viewers are ready to put another Netflix original movie onto that list, Jared Leto’s ‘The Outsider’. The trailer for the movie was released just a couple days ago and it has already received a lot of negative backlash for Leto’s portrayal of the main character.
The description of the movie is ‘An American soldier imprisoned in postwar Japan enters the dark world of the yakuza, adopting their way of life in repayment for his freedom.’ Although the description isn’t specific as to what the ethnicity of the ‘American’ soldier, viewers are bothered by the fact that the character isn’t one of asian decent and rightfully so. The stigma around Hollywood ‘Whitewashing’ has become So instead Netflix casts Jared Leto, Netflix casts Joel Kinnaman, Netflix casts Nat Wolff, Dreamhouse casts Scarlett Johansson (Ghost In A Shell). See the trend here? It’s not that Netflix technically did anything wrong, it’s that they are setting the platform for what is to come. With more and more Anime and asian films being adapted throughout Hollywood, you hope that the controversy surrounding ‘whitewashing’ in Hollywood can spark a change.