Does Race = Good Actor? 

What if I told you that a white person is going to play a character who is Asian? What’s your reaction to this? Do you feel unsure, uncomfortable, or do you not mind it?

Now before we get to that, let’s talk about the rumors spreading around that Idris Elba is going to play James Bond, despite the fact that Idris is black and Bond is white. But like I said, it’s just a rumor. In an article by Seth Kelly, Elba himself seems unsure about this casting decision, but he’s aware about how overly-excited others are about this “rumor.” Elba said, “Everywhere I go, people want this to happen.”

Now that’s fine and all, but let’s get a bit of news here. Recently, Paramount and DreamWorks announced they’re going to do a remake of Ghost in the Shell starring Scarlett Johansson and the public reaction was the opposite. In an article by Kwame Opam, fans of the original film were outraged about the news. But it’s not just the fans that are angry because Johansson is not native to Japan, not Japanese. Casting Johansson in Ghost in the Shell is a classic example of “whitewashing.”

With all that said, I find this unfair to Johansson. Everyone is speaking negatively of her just because she is white. Actors should be judged by their quality of performance, not by their skin. Even students at Everett Middle School in San Francisco agree. According to Jeantelle, “People could find it okay or bad, but anyone can act.”

In conclusion, this is hypocritical. Everyone found it okay if Elba was playing a white person, or Blacks and Latinos were playing the Founding Fathers, but Johansson playing an Asian is seen as bad. For me, it’s unfair to white actors.

This entry was posted in Student Writing Gallery.

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