Friday, October 14, 2016
I read this Vanity Fair article about Dr. Strange. I'm going to pass on this movie. Love Tilda Swinton but she's miscast. In the comics, her character, the Ancient One, had been an older Asian man. The producers made her Celtic. If she's supposed to be Celtic, then why is she "oriental" looking, spouting eastern philosophy, and living in Nepal?
All their explaining sounds like, "I'm trying to save my ass so I don't look racist." I don't buy this stuff about not using an Asian person because they didn't want to play to stereotype (in this case a Fu Manchu type). Why couldn't you make the Ancient One a gorgeous Asian man--THAT would be playing against stereotype. Instead you make the brave choice of hiring an aristocratic white woman who shaves her head for the role (oh, how edgy). If you didn't want to offend the Chinese by sticking to the character's Tibetan roots, why didn't you just make her Chinese then? C'mon, if she can be Celtic, she could have easily been Chinese.
Back in the day, when a white guy played an Asian dude in Miss Saigon, people defended the choice by saying this was "non-traditional casting." You know what's non traditional casting? Have an Asian person actually play an Asian person in the movies is non-traditional casting. In Hollywood's history, it was tradition to have Asians played by white people. For the producers of this film, rather than breaking a stereotype, they reinforced it.
(George Takei who would have been great in this role, had this to say, "Marvel must think we're all idiots.")