This is not going to be a long article but I just need to get something off my chest.
For a long time before the live action Ghost in the Shell was released, the casting of Scarlett Johansson as The Major has been a source of controversy. Many people thought it would have made more sense for the character to be played by an Asian woman. For the record, I agree with them.
The reason why Johansson was cast can be explained and justified over and over again by studios and realists, but people are not upset because they don’t know WHY she was cast. Telling us the film would make more money with a famous person in the lead doesn’t help because you’re missing the point.
Before defending or attacking anyone on this issue, why don’t you try looking at this situation through the point of view of one of the manga or anime fans: A character whose name is Motoko Kusanagi from a Japanese series with the implication of a Japanese nationality has existed since the manga debuted in 1989. You finally hear after all these years that they are making a live action Hollywood version of her series and you get excited! Not only are you a Ghost in the Shell fan but you can’t wait to see an Asian woman be the star of a big Hollywood movie because it never happens! Finally Asian girls can feel like they belong in this business because The Major is a strong female lead in an action movie!
…You know the rest.
All I want is racial diversity in big movies because the longer you normalize racial exclusion in film the quicker movies will feel out of touch with reality.
Ghost in the Shell was a wasted opportunity, and that’s why people are upset by it.