No, this article is not about the pronunciation of my first name, but rather the DISAPPOINTMENT I have already shown and will continue to express with casting agents and directors all across Hollywood. It’s apparently evident that Hollywood’s whitewashing of TV casts, superhero movies, and movies about Egyptians now extends to remakes of Disney classics.
Mulan is a 1998 cartoon film about the struggle a young woman faces as she takes her father’s place in the Chinese army. This has provided not only one of the best Disney cinematic productions of all time, but also a Chinese feminist icon. With the rising allegations of whitewashing, not only would the movie be stripped of it’s historical background, but also it’s infamous sentiment that only Chinese/Asian actors would be able to accurately simulate. These allegations have even lead to a social media movement calling out whitewashing in Hollywood. There’s even a circling petition that has almost procured 90k signatures in order to avoid the tragedy of a whitewashed Mulan movie. And in my personal opinion, whitewashing not only ruins the characters, but also the storyline. Need I remind you of the tragedy of The Last Airbender (a movie about Asiatic culture with no Asian actors (excluding the villains) and no substantially fulfilling or quality plotline- in simpler words- a true tragedy.)
Whitewashing is nearly synonymous with the name Hollywood itself. The practice has been involved in institutions ever since it’s beginnings, and is even a key element in some of it’s most famous movies- along with harmful racial demeanor (The Birth of a Nation, Argo, Star Trek and more). But why whitewash? What is so appealing about this inherently racist practice? To some, whitewashing is the easy way out, a way of depicting America through their eyes. Eyes that only see the success and relevance of white culture that is. For others, whitewashing destructs key American values and morals. These values include diversity, equality of opportunity and fairness. And it’s true, representation matters.
The movie’s release date is set to be sometime in the winter season of 2018. This gives Disney plenty of time to get the plot right and the racial background of the characters right. So the question remains, is this movie going to be done the RIGHT way or the WHITE way? Who will end up on the screen? Mulan? Or Milan (as in Milan, Italy- not as punny as it was in my head)?
To be continued...