Scarlett Johansson defends her new movie 'Ghost in the Shell' against whitewashing accusations

Ghost in the Shell Paramount finalYouTube/Paramount‘Ghost in the Shell.’

Though there is a lot of excitement that the cherished Japanese manga and anime “Ghost in the Shell” is receiving the live-action, big Hollywood studio treatment, many still believe there’s some major whitewashing going on with the project. Scarlett Johansson is playing the main character, Major Kusanagi, who in this version is notably just called “The Major.”

But in a recent profile in Marie Claire, Johansson tried to downplay the controversy and defend herself against accusations of whitewashing. She also played up the feminist aspect of the movie, which puts a woman at the front of a high-budget sci-fi franchise.

“I certainly would never presume to play another race of a person,” she told the magazine. “Diversity is important in Hollywood, and I would never want to feel like I was playing a character that was offensive. Also, having a franchise with a female protagonist driving it is such a rare opportunity. Certainly, I feel the enormous pressure of that — the weight of such a big property on my shoulders.”

Paramount has been on the defence since its casting choice of Johansson on the project. Things didn’t get any better when reports surfaced that the movie tested effects to make some of the actors in the movie look more Asian.

Johansson is the latest to come out and push aside the whitewashing controversy. Over the summer a producer on the film said that their adaptation of the anime is an “international story.”

“Ghost in the Shell” opens in theatres on March 31.

 

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