HomeChinese AmericanWatchdog Blasts Director Ridley Scott for Whitewashing 'The Martian'
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Watchdog Blasts Director Ridley Scott for Whitewashing ‘The Martian’

The MartianThe Media Action Network for Asian Americans has issued a statement condemning director Ridley Scott for whitewashing several Asian characters out of his movie, The Martian.

The movie is based on the best selling novel by Andy Weir. In the book, Dr. Venkat Kapoor is described as being Hindu. In the movie, the name is changed to Vincent Kapoor and he is played by British Black actor Chiwetel Ejiofor. Ejiofor says his father was “Hindu” and his mother was Baptist.

The character Mindy Park who is Korean American in the book is played by Mackenzie Davis, a white blonde actress.

“Kapoor and Park weren’t even the main characters of the film,” said Guy Aoki, MANAA founding president.  Was the director afraid that having too many Asian American characters would prevent 20th Century Fox from approving his casting, or that it would be a turn-off to the audience? It didn’t stop the book from becoming a best-seller.”

This isn’t the first time Scott has been accused of whitewashing. MANAA also challenged him for casting White actors in lead roles for Exodus: Gods and Kings and relegating Middle Easterners for secondary roles.

In The Martian that pattern continues when he casts Benedict Wong as Bruce Ng, the Director of Jet Propulsion Lab.

“This insulting practice of white-washing has got to stop,” said MANAA President Aki Aleong, an actor who’s been in the business for 60 years. “Alarmingly, it has been increasing in frequency. Today’s audiences expect multi-racial casts in entertainment, as they reflect the multi-cultural environment in which they’ve grown up. In fact, three of the television series that are doing very well this television season star Asians actors: Fresh off the Boat, Quantico, and Dr. Ken.

 

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