9 Asian Characters That Were Portrayed by White Actors in Movies
Whitewashing has become an increasingly popular issue within the entertainment industry, especially when you consider the amount of white actors that have taken on non-white roles. Aside from the #OscarsSoWhite debate, there are tons of other ethnic backgrounds that are misrepresented in movies. Lately, people of Asian decent have taken to Twitter to trend #WhitewashedOUT, in light of three female actresses playing Asian roles in major upcoming movies.
Aside from white actresses portraying Asian characters, we’ve also noticed a history of male Asian characters being portrayed by white actors — and it’s so NOT okay. We’re a fan of a lot of these stars, but LBH, there are probably plenty of qualified Asians who are capable of taking on said roles. Curious to find out which Asian roles were given to white male actors? Check out the gallery below:
Sokka, The Last Airbender
When The Last Airbender was released on the big screen in 2010, it was heavily criticized (and rightly so) for its casting choices. Anyone familiar with the animated TV show version of the movie knows that the storyline is heavily influenced by Asian and Inuit culture. So naturally, people had a major problem with the number of white actors cast, including Jackson Rathbone, who played Sokka.
Don't get us wrong — we love Jackson for his role as Jasper Hale in the Twilight franchise, but he is clearly not of Asian decent. Jackson was born in Singapore (which IS technically in Asia), but his ethnic background includes German, English, Irish and Dutch — not Asian.
Photo: Nickelodeon Movies