Ghost in the Shell is Hollywood’s latest whitewashing blunder, and it’s crashing at the box office at the speed of light.
Before the film even hit theaters, it was already embroiled in turmoil. Based on a beloved Japanese manga, fans were appalled when Paramount cast actress Scarlett Johanson in the lead role as Major Motoko Kusanagi.
From the beginning, the film’s marketing was disastrous. Paramount’s #IAmMajor campaign where moviegoers could share a graphic about what makes them unique got really bad really fast. The meme blew up in the studios’ face when social media users began using the campaign as a form of protest.
— Ojibwe Writer Mari (@CyborgN8VMari) March 12, 2017
Things only got worse from there. Critics slammed the film saying that it in no way lived up to the magic of the source material. Also, when making her rounds on the press circuit, Johanson couldn’t quite smooth over her decision to take a role meant for a Japanese actress. She said, “I would never attempt to play a person of a different race. Hopefully any question that comes up of my casting will hopefully be answered by audiences when they see the film.”
No matter how big a star Scarlett Johansson is, fans are tired of whitewashing and the lack of diversity in Hollywood, so they hit hard where it matters most, they just didn’t show up. Ghost in the Shell reportedly cost between $110 million and $180 million dollars to make and in its opening weekend, it only racked in $18.6 million dollars. To give you an idea of what that means, a film is considered successful in Hollywood when it makes three times its budget at the box office. At this rate, Ghosts in the Shell is just hemorrhaging money.
Currently, the film stands to lose a whopping $60 million to $100 million dollars. With this flop and with Pepsi snatching down their abysmal “protest” commercial featuring Kendell Jenner, maybe Hollywood and major media companies will finally stop whitewashing.
What do you think about the Ghosts in the Shell controversy?