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Producers of Alita Accused of Whitewashing

20th Century Fox

The popular manga series Battle Angel Alita has been whitewashed by Hollywood, charges MANAA, the Media Action Network for Asian Americans.

Alita:Battle Angel is about to enter its third weekend at the domestic box office. So far it’s taken in $63 million domestically and $202 million overseas.

“The creepy, large-eyed Ailta is the only acknowledgement of its Japanese roots, yet the film is largely devoid of Japanese or Asian characters,” said Guy Aoki, founder of MANAA. “If that’s not a white-wash, I don’t know what is.”

According to MANAA, only two of the movie’s 16 main characters are played by Asians. The group also says many of the characters names have been changed.

“In ‘Alita,’ were most of these Asian names changed to accommodate non-Asian actors?” wonders Aoki.

He compares Alita to the much maligned Ghost in a Shell which bombed at the box office and which was also accused of whitewashing its Japanese characters.

“Apparently, in Hollywood, Japanese people can’t play Japanese people anymore,’ said MANAA President Robert Chan. “There’s no reason why at least Alita and Dr. Ido couldn’t have been portrayed by Japanese or Asian actors instead of Rosa Salazar and Christoph Waltz, respectively. Besides Lana Condor and Leonard Wu, were any Asian American actors even considered for the larger parts?”

Alita: Battle Angel is produced by Robert Rodriguez and Jon Landau.

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