Margaret Qualley, the daughter of model/actress Andi McDowell, has been cast as the female lead in Death Note. This is great news for her, but not so great news for the legions of Asian actresses struggling to find roles in Hollywood (Qualley is decidedly not Asian).
Now one actress is calling out the flick for whitewashing. Teen Wolf star Arden Cho expressed her disappointment about the casting decision on Twitter, and she did not hold back.
Great, another Hollywood feature film casting all white leads for a famous JAPANESE manga. I'm sure the fans are gonna love that. #DeathNote— Arden Cho (@arden_cho) November 13, 2015
As @violadavis said, "you cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there" LONG way to go for Asians when we can't even book Animes.— Arden Cho (@arden_cho) November 13, 2015
Paper Town's Matt Wolff is set to play the male lead. The manga adaptation tells the story of a student who discovers a notebook in which anyone's name is written winds up dead. Already adapted in Japan, the American version will be written by Jeremy Slater, directed by Adam Wingard, produced by Roy Lee, Dan Lin, Jason Hoffs and Masi Oka, with Doug Davison and Brian Witten as executive producers. Fans have joined Cho in expressing their disappointment in the casting decisions and are speaking out on Twitter.
@arden_cho I'm so livid about this whole film, how hard is it to hire actors with the proper heritage?!— lauren missing HC (@wckdstiles24) November 13, 2015
@arden_cho do they purposely ignore how hard those films bomb when they've been so thoroughly white-washed? Avatar?? Dragon Ball Z??— Michelle Lee (@cupoflee) November 13, 2015
@arden_cho this makes me SO angry. i can't believe this bullshit is still happening in 2015??— tst! karina (@tyIergobrien) November 13, 2015
@arden_cho Death Note and Ghost in the Shell are going to suck because they're going to American-ize them and give them all white casts.— Josh (aka Kurono) (@FF2389) November 13, 2015
Only in Hollywood would Asian actors not be good enough to play Asian characters. That casting call must've been awkward af. #DeathNote— Mon Mon (@MysticParadox) November 13, 2015
When will people realise that 'adapting for Western audiences' =/= casting white actors instead of PoC? We speak English too #deathnote— christina (@t__ai) November 13, 2015
Warner Bros., the studio producing the film, has not commented on the whitewashing accusations.
Photo credit: Brian To/WENN.com
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