Ghost in the Shell: New Marketing Tool Backfires After Critics Used Website To Protest Whitewashing

By Diane Samson | 1 year ago
Ghost in the Shell: New Marketing Tool Backfires After Critics Used Website To Protest Whitewashing
PHOTOGRAPH: Facebook/Ghost in the Shell |

A few weeks before its release in theaters worldwide, Ghost in the Shell was hit with controversy caused by casting of Scarlett Johansson for the role of Major. Last week, Paramount launched a website to promote the live-action adaptation of the popular anime. However, the campaign backfired when critics used the tool to highlight the whitewashing issue as well as the white feminism of the upcoming movie.

I Am Not Japanese

The promotional website allows fans to upload photos of themselves and apply an affirmative statement about themselves. The idea behind the tool is similar to the character posters for the upcoming movie. Paramount probably expected some quirky and funny statements to go viral. However, a lot of users found this an opportunity to point out what is wrong with the adaptation.

Here is a look at the original promo. Johansson as Major claims that she is “Hunted” and she is the “Hunter.”

However, here are some of the entries mocking some of the issues surrounding the movie. One user pointed out that Ghost in the Shell is an example of white feminism. “The Ghost in the Shell Website has a meme maker of sorts where anyone could “become Major” so I had some fun….”

However, the mocking did not stop with Ghost in the Shell. Other users took advantage of the campaign to criticize the whitewashing as well as the white savior tropes on television and other movies. Netflix’s Iron Fist, which is in hot waters for failing to cast an Asian actor for the role of Danny Rand, also had an “I Am Major” moment.

The Original Cast Returns

In other news, the cast of the original anime will reportedly reprise their role in the live-action movie. The voice actors who starred in Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell will dub the Japanese-language version of the live-action movie. This report comes from the website Natalie (via Kotaku).

Akio Otsuka who voiced Batou in 1995 returns to the character now played by Pilou Asbæk on the silver screen. Meanwhile, Koichi Yamadera will voice Togusa. Chin Han was cast as the member of Section 9.  Finally, Atsuko Tanaka will reprise the role of Major, the character portrayed by Johansson. The three voice actors were also involved in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

Ghost in the Shell will open on Mar. 31. The movie is directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) from a screenplay written by Jamie Moss.

Also Read: The Darkest Minds Movie: This Is Us Star Mandy Moore Joins Upcoming YA Dystopia

Photo Source: YouTube/Paramount Pitcures

About the author

Diane Samson is a graduate of Literature. In her spare time, she loves to watch movies and television shows. She joined MNG in February 2016.