|Maria Crisanta Echeverria |||Apr 28, 2016 10:35 AM EDT|
(Photo : Getty Images/ Andreas Rentz) Marvel has defended the decision to case Tilda Swinton for the role of the 'Ancient One' in Dr. Strange.
The upcoming Marvel Studios movie 'Doctor Strange' has been criticized for casting actress Tilda Swinton for the sorcerer character of the "Ancient One", who was an Asian character in the original comic.
One of the Marvel Studios screenwriters commented on the controversy, hinting that the purpose of the casting choice was to avoid offending China. With that, Marvel also defended its casting record as it released a statement to Mashable that it has a "very strong record of diversity" and that it "regularly departs from stereotypes and source material to bring its MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) to life."
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Marvel Studios also released additional background information about the "Ancient One", suggesting why it was reasonable to cast a white actress for the sorcerer role. "The Ancient One is a title that is not exclusively held by any one character, but rather a moniker passed down through time, and in this particular film the embodiment is Celtic," a statement from Marvel said.
Doctor Strange Screen Writer C. Robert Cargill said that the movie was bound to get people upset even if the casting was done in a different manner since the incarnation of the Ancient One is "a racist stereotype who come from a region of the world that is in a very weird political place."
"He originates from Tibet, so if you acknowledge that Tibet is a place and that he's Tibetan, you risk alienating 1 billion people who think that that's bullshit and risk the Chinese government going, 'Hey, you know one of the biggest film-watching countries in the world? We're not going to show your movie because you decided to get political," he added.
Some people are not satisfied with how Marvel reasoned out their casting of an American actress for an Asian character. One of them is Asian-American blogger Jocelyn Wang, who noted that "In the larger context of what's going in Hollywood, and how it's OK to basically whitewash Asian characters specifically in feature films, it's really disturbing."
"I can't deny that China is a giant market, but I think time and time again China becomes a reason of why things are or aren't happening," she added explaining that 'Doctor Strange' is not the only film in which Chinese actors have been omitted in order to appeal to the film market.
Wang also said that "You can't win by presenting a stereotypical character from decades ago. But that said, it's very sad to say, 'Here's an Asian character, and the best person to play it is a white woman."
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