April 15, 2016


Report: Did Anime Adaptation 'Ghost in the Shell' Try to 'Shift' ScarJo's Ethnicity?

Samir Hussein/Getty Images
Samir Hussein/Getty Images

When Scarlett Johansson was cast as the lead in the upcoming screen adaptation of Ghost in the Shell, many fans of the popular manga series were outraged: The character, Major Motoko Kusanagi, is Asian; Johansson is not. It's another instance of Hollywood casting putting the act of "whitewashing" into practice. Apparently the furor that sprung up following the casting of Emma Stone as a biracial Pacific Islander/Chinese woman in 2015's indisputable flop Aloha fell on deaf ears.

Now the outrage behind ScarJo's casting reaches a whole new level of WTF following the release of the film's first imageMultiple sources told ScreenCrush that Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks sought out special effects company Lola to conduct a series of tests that would potentially "shift the ethnicity" of Johansson to make her features appear more Asian in the film.

According to the source, the tests were conducted and discarded as soon as they were completed. Paramount told ScreenCrush that tests had been conducted, but said they had nothing to do with Johansson: 

"A test was done related to a specific scene for a background actor which was ultimately discarded. Absolutely no visual effects tests were conducted on Scarlett’s character and we have no future plans to do so."

The website's sources backs up the original story, saying the tests were absolutely engineered for Johansson's character. The actress has yet to comment on the controversy, and same goes for Lola; we'll update accordingly should that change in the wake of these allegations.