Ghost in the Shell producers have been receiving a lot of criticism over their casting of Scarlett Johansson in the lead role. The movie is based off a Japanese manga series, and the main character is named Major Kusanagi. Johannson is white, and white people have a long history of being dressed up as Asian people and given roles meant for Asian people. It happens all the time and despite more vocal criticism of the practice, it still hasn’t gone out of style.
In the case of Ghost in the Shell, things have gotten even more heated since reports that the film underwent CGI tests to see if they could make the white actors look more Asian. WTF? There’s a much better solution to that!
Producer Steven Paul finally decided to speak out about the controversy, telling BuzzFeed News:
“I think everybody is going to end up being really happy with it… They’re going to be very, very happy with it when they see what we’ve actually done with it, and I don’t think anybody’s going to be disappointed.
“There [are] all sorts of people and nationalities in the world in Ghost in the Shell… We’re utilizing people from all over the world. … There’s Japanese in it. There’s Chinese in it. There’s English in it. There’s Americans in it.
“I don’t think it was just a Japanese story. Ghost in the Shell was a very international story, and it wasn’t just focused on Japanese; it was supposed to be an entire world...That’s why I say the international approach is, I think, the right approach to it.
“I think we’ve done the manga comic great honor. As I said, the fans will be very happy, because there’s a great respect that’s been paid to the manga...We’ve been very, very careful. Obviously, there’s some new imagination, as well. I mean, like anything, when you’re making a movie, you’ve gotta bring your own.”
One thing they brought to the production was a name change. Major Kusanagi is now just “The Major.” How international.