Are you bold enough to reach for love? (yeloson) wrote in deadbrowalking,
Are you bold enough to reach for love?

All Your Heroes Are Belong to Us

While Avatar-gate is just the most recent example of white washing, it's got me thinking about the whole phenomenon.

Between the many movies about POC that feature a primary white protagonist (Dances with Wolves, Last Samurai, Last of the Mohicans, Forbidden Kingdom), to white washing (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Wizard of Earthsea, Prince of Persia), it's really more than simply "White people will only see movies with white people".

If that were the real reason, why even have stories set in POC cultures, or whitewash POC characters- why not just make all white stories to begin with or remake POC stories minus the cultural trappings(Resevoir Dogs, The Ring, etc.)?

See, it's not about needing white people. It's about needing white people at the center stage, no matter the setting. It's about a white centric lens, in all cultures, in all time periods, real or fiction. It's about the primacy of the white hero, and the supremacy of the white hero, above everyone and everything else.

That's why the white man can be a better (indian, samurai, kickboxer, whatever) AND also more "progressive" than whatever poc culture has in terms of issues (exaggerated, stereotypical, completely made up, whatever). That's why it's so important to whitewash POC characters especially if fictional - after all, the fictional heroes will never die, never be caught in scandal, never show up on reality tv years later, acting a fool.

It's especially important if the story in question, might become a huge thing, and get a lot of people looking up to heroes.

After all, if we're already watching people try to put the credit for the Civil Rights movement on LBJ instead of all the leaders, organizers and protestors?

Yeah. Can't have an Indian Jacob. Can't have a Tibetan/Chinese Aang. Can't have a brown Ged. Certainly can't have a black Tutankhamen.

White washing, brain washing, what's the difference?

ETA: Some roundup on whitewashing:

Stereohyped: Movie Makers continue whitewashing films.
Hollywood Chinese: White actors in asian roles
Stereohyped: Movie Makers continue whitewashing films.
Ursula LeGuin on A Whitewashed Earthsea
Mixed Race America on Hollywood's Whitwash (Aka "Not without a Honky Syndrome")
Asianweek on 21's whitewashing
Tags: casting
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