Honestly, I’m not too familiar with the term. Maybe the other mods can weigh in on it.
people can complain about social justice on tumblr all they want
because when you step outside of tumblr, literally no one seems to care about whitewashing in the media - they don’t notice it, they don’t care, they don’t find fault with it - they really do think it’s normal and acceptable that POC are side characters who are given no insight and depth in favour of the white leads
and it is is exhausting trying to articulate what’s wrong with it all when people are so blind to it and dismiss what you’re saying
i like that tumblr notices, i like that tumblr points it out, i like seeing discussions on racism and whitewashing and stereotyping and the erasure of different ethnicities/colours/races/cultures for the sake of a pretty all-white cast
i like that i’ve found a place to talk about these things on tumblr with other people who feel the same way, i love that people of colour on tumblr are constantly lifting each other up and making positive spaces for each other in a world that has tried to sideline us and silence us as much as they can and make us feel like we owe them something for giving us a sprinkling of characters every few years who are POC even though they still remain stereotyped, one-dimensional characters
i hope tumblr’s will to change things moves out into the rest of the world
because it is exhausting trying to find a place for yourself in a world that doesn’t care about you or value you simply because of your race, colour and ethnicity
I just went on to the sims website and there was a sim of Christina from divergent and she was white. did we read the same book
Every time somebody complains about “political correctness” whenever a traditionally white character is recast as a minority, Just think about this picture. Were these castings done because of political correctness? Hollywood’s been doing this for decades.
Zoe Kravitz is playing Christina in Divergent…. Read the character description and then tell me what is wrong. #WhiteWashing #RepresentationMatters
A Beautiful Mind (2001) - Alicia Nash, a non-fictional woman from El Salvador - Played by a white actress.
Stuck (2007) - Brandi Boski, based on a non-fictional black women named Chante Jawan Mallard - Played by a white actress (with cornrows).
30 Days of Night (2007) - Set in a town with a population that is 57% Native American and 22% white - The movie has one Inuit character.
A Mighty Heart (2007) - Mariane Pearl, non-fictional mixed-race women - Played by a white actress with darkened skin.
21 - (2008) Ben Campell, Asian-American - Played by a white actor.
Speed Racer (2008) - Japanese cast - Played by white actor/actresses.
Dragonball: Evolution (2009) - Goku, Japanese - Played by a white actor.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) - Dastan, Persian - Played by a white actor.
The Last Airbender (2010) - The three heroes: Aang, Tibetian, Katara and Sokka, Inuit. The main villain Zuko, Japanese - The heroes are played by white actor/actresses, the villain is played by an Indian actor.
Drive (2011) - Irene, Latina - Played by a white actress.
Cloud Atlas (2012) - Hae-Joo Chang, Korean - played by a white actor in yellow-face.
The Hunger Games (2012) - Katniss Everdeen, described as olive skinned - Played by a white actress.
Argo (2012) - Tony Mendez, of Mexican descent - played by a white actor.
Warm Bodies (2013) - Nora, half-Ethiopian - played by a white actress.
The Lone Ranger (2013) - Tonto, Native American - played by a white actor.
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) - Khan, Indian - played by a white actor.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014) - Keiji Kiriya, Japanese - played by a white actor.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) - Shredder, Japanese - played by a white actor.
Pan (2015) - Tiger Lily, Native American - to be played by a white actress.
I probably missed some, so let me know please and I will add them.
Two arguments for whitewashing that I hear are:
1. Movies like Thor or Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy etc. have black actors playing white characters so why is that ok? - If roles for white actors/actresses were limited and often stereotyped then it wouldn’t be ok. But that is not the case. It is the case at the moment for non-white roles in Hollywood, which is why I think it sucks when it’s limited further by whitewashing.
2. Fictional stories should be free to be interpreted differently. - Ok then why does The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit Trilogy, for example, have an exclusively white cast? It’s a fictional make-believe land with dragons and stuff, yet a British woman of Pakistani-origin was told she was too dark-skinned to play an extra as a Hobbit in the new movies.
First of all, It is ENTIRELY possible for her to have a blond haired, blue eyed sister and mother and still have dark eyes, dark hair and dark skin, since her father did. I actually know a family in which the mother is blond, fair and has light eyes, the father is darker skinned, black haired, and has dark eyes. The oldest daughter looks EXACTLY like her father. Dark eyes, dark skin, dark hair. The younger looks like her mother, light skin, light hair, light eyes. I know a pair of twins where one is tall, has light skin, has blonde hair and light eyes and the other is short, has darker skin, brown hair, and dark eyes. Genetics are a funny thing and aren’t a “either or” type thing. It is very possible for 3 kids to look alike and the fourth to look different It is not only possible but VERY LIKELY for Katniss to look different from her mother and sister and look like her father.
Second of all, the location of District 12 points actually that she could easily have any roots of anyone who has ever lived near the Appalachia. Not only do we not know when the flooding happened and what the racial composition of the Appalachia looked like at that time, but as the flooding was caused by rising sea levels, it’s very likely that everyone from the East coast, including New York, Boston, and all the other diverse cities, moved inland and settled in the Appalachia since it seems to be the most east you can get in Panem. So you can’t say she was “most likely white” because you have 0 idea what the racial composition looked like when District 12 was founded and she is described as having olive skin, not white.
Third of all, it is specifically mentioned that Prim and their mother’s light skin stands out in the seam where everyone has darker skin, so yeah, “white” would not describe the seam. Unless you’re only looking at skin as “white” and “black”, if you are, I’m going to burst your bubble there, because there are MANY MANY skin tones in between those.
That being said, Jennifer Lawrence does not have olive skin. She has white skin. Her skin tone is almost the exact same as Willow Shields’, who plays Prim. Now, Katniss’ skin is supposed to be DARKER than Prim’s. It’s not.
THAT IS WHITEWASHING. THAT IS THE VERY DEFINITION OF WHITEWASHING. Taking a character that is described as having any tone of dark skin and casting a white actress.
AND on top of that refusing to let anyone but white actresses to audition is racist. So no, it could not have “been someone else”.
Katniss was always going to be played by a white actress and therefor was always going to be whitewashed.
Seen 2 posts this week about someone being outraged that Katniss was casted as a white character in the movies. These people’s defence against that casting choice is that in the books she has olive skin, grey eyes, and straight black hair. Click “read more” for why I think this a weak argument in this particular case.
From behind the ‘Read More’:
Yeah…. Do you not know what “olive skin” means? EUROPEAN (aka white) people from the Mediterranean region are one of the ethnic groups known for having olive skin, along with latin american, middle eastern, and native north american. And i have never seen grey eyes on a person of colour; i’m not saying it’s impossible but i am saying that it would be rare (and clearly it’s not a rarity in the book since most of the mining families share this trait). She would be much more likely to have brown eyes, a dominant gene, if one or both of her parents were persons of colour. The dark hair thing isn’t even an argument because caucasian people aren’t all naturally blonde or ginger, in case you’ve forgotten.
Page 8 of THC states, “my mother and Prim, with their LIGHT HAIR AND BLUE EYES” yes people, Katniss comes from the same gene pool that produced her blonde and blue-eyed sister. So while we do not know for sure from what ethnicity Katniss and her father have inherited their olive skin, we do know that she herself is at least 50% caucasian.
Furthermore, we know that Rue was written to be a person of colour (and was casted as such) along with the majority of the people in her district. Collins wrote her as having “bright, dark eyes and satiny brown skin” (pg. 98.)
As a disclaimer, i admit that i am myself caucasian (with grey eyes btw) and i know that i cannot truly understand what it’s like to be a person of colour in a society with so much systemic racism when people with my skin tone, social class, and language have always had the upper hand in my own nation of Canada. I know that just because things like racial profiling or misrepresentation in the media don’t happen to people like me, that that doesn’t mean they don’t happen. I think it’s great that people are speaking out against the whitewashing of non-white characters (not that I’m implying that my support is necessary to validate this social attitude.) However, if you’re going to prove a point, you probably shouldn’t use a character that isn’t necessarily written as a person of colour as your argument, especially when the racist decision-makers of Hollywood are giving you so many better and more obvious examples to choose from.
You’re just mad that Katniss wasn’t a white girl in the books and you think white Katniss is the right Katniss. Go somewhere.
Also, Caucasian does NOT = white. Yeah, go somewhere.