The MIT Blackjack Team, based on whom 21 was made, had a majority of Asian American students. But the makers of the movie picked an all-white cast, including Jim Sturgess in the lead. The movie was also criticized by the Media Action Network for Asian Americans.
Based on the book A Beautiful Mind, this movie won four Oscars including Best Supporting Actress. Jennifer Connelly plays Alicia Nash, a Latina immigrant born in El Salvador. Her ethnicity is mentioned multiple times in the book, which the makers of the movie clearly ignored.
Based on Mariane Pearl’s memoir, A Mighty Heart, this movie received critical acclaim but also drew criticism for casting Angelina Jolie as Mariane Pearl, who is multiracial. Though Pearl personally approved of Jolie in that role, the movie was heavily criticized for this color blindness.
Tony Mendez, the protagonist of Argo, is Hispanic. Although the movie was a significant career milestone for Ben Affleck, he received a bit of backlash for casting himself as Mendez. Nevertheless, Argo received critical acclaim, including an Oscar and a Golden Globe.
There’s no denying the powerful performance of Liam Neeson as Ra’s al Ghul in Nolan’s Batman Begins. However, there were some questions raised about choosing an Irishman to fulfill the role of an Arab-origin character with a name that literally means “the demon’s head” in Arabic.
Ridley Scott’s film on the biblical figures of Moses and Ramses, drew its fair share of flak for casting British and Australian actors like Christian Bale and Joel Edgarton respectively. In true Hollywood style, Scott shrugged off the accusations of whitewashing by saying the critics should “get a life.”
Historical dramas are infamous for miscasting. Alex Proyas’ Gods of Egypt belongs to this club. Scottish actor, Gerard Butler, played an Egyptian demigod. But we’ll give brownie points to Proyas. He and Lionsgate acknowledged the lack of diversity by issuing an official apology.
This is one of the worst instances of whitewashing in Hollywood. Rooney Mara played Tiger Lily in Pan. The beloved character is Native American, while Mara is well… not. Obviously, the movie received backlash from critics and fans alike for the odd choice.
We were appalled when Disney picked Jake Gyllenhaal as Prince Dastan in Prince of Persia. We love Jake, but couldn't the makers scout for an actor who could be from say Persia!? It’s in the name, guys!
What’s worse than whitewashing one character? Whitewashing the entire cast of the film! Speed Racer is based on Mach GoGoGo, an original manga series and Japanese anime. The makers of the movie decided to Americanize the entire movie, opting to put Emile Hirsch as the lead. Well, that backfired… heh.
As Khan Noonein Singh, Cumberbatch and his cheekbones kept us on the edge of our seats. Undoubtedly, his performance was critically acclaimed. But eyebrows were raised about casting a white actor in this character that was clearly South-Asian.
Avatar: The Last Airbender, an animated TV series was set in a world similar to Asia. So, the characters were naturally, Asian. But the makers of the movie, The Last Airbender, chose an all-white cast with the exception of Dev Patel, the only Asian in a pivotal role.
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A pic from the Studio, when @kirkhammett (of @metallica , obviously) brought the famous guitar, "Greeny" over for a visit... It is the '59 Les Paul, once owned and played for many, many moons, by the incredible Peter Green from early days of Fleetwood Mac!!! I was and remain, somewhat, in shock!!! An incredible experience!!! The painting on the wall is one I made of an old friend... My old dog, Mooh, who sadly passed away back when i was away on location filming, "Public Enemies". He was a very gentle boy and i still miss him greatly!!!!
This movie was criticized for two reasons: miscasting and the lack of acknowledgement. Johnny Depp played Tonto, a fictional, yet, celebrated Native American Warrior. This gross misstep was never acknowledged and this weird tradition of choosing a non-native to play Tonto continues.