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 IAmMajor.me 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.”
— Ghost In The Shell (@GhostInShell) March 11, 2017
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 http://www.iammajor.me has a meme maker of sorts where anyone could “become Major” so I had some fun….”
— VzA (@ValerieComplex) March 11, 2017
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.
— pcrews (@gleebix) March 12, 2017
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.
Photo Source: YouTube/Paramount Pitcures