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18 Times White Actors Were Cast in Nonwhite Roles

This year, we’ve seen a huge shift on the silver screen. No, we’re not just talking about record-breaking numbers and films making millions at the box office. We’re talking about diversity.

Let’s start with Black Panther.

The Marvel film broke box office records when it topped Avengers. According to Forbes

  • It became the 40th-highest-grossing movie of all time in North America
  • It became the 12th-highest-grossing movie of all time worldwide (making $1.2 billion after just six weeks) 
  • It was the fourth-biggest sixth-weekend gross 
  • The fifth-biggest domestic grosser of all time 
  • The second-fastest-grossing movie of all time
  • The third-leggiest Marvel cinematic universe movie of all time
  • The highest-grossing movie from a Black director
  • The biggest comic book superhero movie ever in North America 
  • And the biggest solo superhero movie ever worldwide

Important to note, though? It achieved all of this with an overwhelmingly Black cast and a host of strong female characters.

Up next: Crazy Rich Asians.

Crazy Rich Asians is making waves with its majority-Asian cast. The film hasn’t even hit theaters yet, but it’s already prepping for a $26 million-plus debut, and it’s already receiving rave reviews.

(If this isn’t proof enough that we, the people, want and need more diverse films, we don’t know what is.)

But that doesn’t mean we didn’t hit a few — OK, many — speed bumps along the way. We’ve seen plenty of white actors cast in originally nonwhite roles. Here are 19 that immediately come to mind.

A version of this article was originally published in January 2016.

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