ENTERTAINMENT

Scarlett Johansson And Tilda Swinton Spark 'Whitewashing' Fury With Asian-Inspired Movie Roles. Again.

Get the feeling of déjà vu?

27/04/2017 9:50 PM AEST | Updated 29/04/2017 1:40 AM AEST

The backlash following “Ghost in the Shell” and “Doctor Strange” is finally fizzling out. But critics are going after actresses Scarlett Johansson and Tilda Swinton yet again.

This time, it’s for being cast in Wes Anderson’s upcoming stop-motion film, “Isle of Dogs.”

As Fox Searchlight released the film’s April 2018 premiere date along with a Japanese-themed promo poster on Tuesday, people couldn’t help but notice Johansson and Swinton’s names included in the star-studded cast list.

Their names, along with most of the words on the poster, were printed in both English and Japanese.

It’s leaving many with a sense of déjà vu.

Critics said the actresses’ roles in Anderson’s Japanese-inspired film were adding insult to injury after both starred in big budget movies accused of whitewashing Asian roles.

Last year, Swinton was cast as “The Ancient One,” based on a Tibetan sorcerer in the Marvel comic “Doctor Strange.” And in March, “Ghost in the Shell,” a live-action remake of a Japanese anime, debuted with Johansson as the main character. The outrage for both movies went viral as critics bashed Hollywood for choosing to cast white actors instead of Asian ones.

Both actresses defended their roles but seem largely unfazed by the criticism. And now, Johansson and Swinton’s appearance in yet another Asian-inspired film is just too soon for some.

This is Anderson’s first film since his critically acclaimed 2014 movie “The Grand Budapest Hotel” ― and with a cast that includes Bill Murray, Bryan Cranston and Edward Norton, the animated film is expected to have the same appeal.

Set in Japan, “Isle of Dogs” follows a boy’s journey as he looks for his dog, according to the movie’s website.

Anderson has said that his film was heavily influenced by Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. It also features a number of Japanese talent, including musicians Mari Natsuki, Yojiro Noda and Yoko Ono and actors Akira Takayama and Akira Ito.

It’s unclear which characters the actors will voice, so it may be too soon to judge the movie’s casting decisions as a whole. But that hasn’t stopped people from calling out Swinton and Johansson.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article misstated that Swinton and Johansson’s names were printed in kanji.

 
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