The concept of “white washing” is not uncommon with Hollywood. The practice has been used in filming for countless decades, but now it seems Marvel is the new target of using the accused practice. Following the release of the first trailer for Marvel’s Doctor Strange, fans were once again outraged by the idea that a white actress would be taking on a role that in the comics is an elderly asian male. After the tremendous fan backlash and controversy regarding the casting of actress Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One, Marvel has now finally commented on the matter.
“Marvel has a very strong record of diversity in its casting of films and regularly departs from stereotypes and source material to bring its MCU to life. The Ancient One is a title that is not exclusively held by any one character, but rather a moniker passed down through time, and in this particular film the embodiment is Celtic. We are very proud to have the enormously talented Tilda Swinton portray this unique and complex character alongside our richly diverse cast.”
This recent statement follows one that was provided by the scriptwriter C Robert Cargill, where he plainly states that this decision was due to the target demographic and their desires to avoid going against the Chinese film market.
“If we decide to go the other way and cater to China in particular, if you think it’s a good idea to cast a Chinese actress as a Tibetan character, you are out of your damn fool mind and have no idea what the f*ck you’re talking about.”
Its nice to see that Marvel officially took the positive stance by praising its cast instead of getting on the political defensive, and if fans wanted to know more of why this was done, they have the remarks from Cargill to satisfy their curious desires.
With the silly controversy aside, Doctor Strange star Benedict Cumberbatch recently spoke with Empire Online regarding the role.
“It’s a very different feel, different hero and different set of circumstances to what we’ve seen before. It’s another moment during Marvel’s evolution.”
“We felt free to go as far as we could imagine, so we’re doing a lot of things that I think have not been done before. Once we’d crossed a certain line we just kept going.”
Doctor Strange is set to hit theaters on November 4th.