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4 Successful “Wokewashed” TV Shows and Movies

Whitewashing is when white actors are cast as non-white characters, and it’s been an issue in Hollywood for decades. Now, studios are seeing box office success by doing the opposite — known as "wokewashing."

Toxicity of Hollywood whitewashing

Whitewashing — casting white actors in roles meant for non-white characters — has been an issue in Hollywood for decades. But here are X times Hollywood did the opposite and it worked out just fine.

Aquaman

Prior to the 2018’s Aquaman, the nautical superhero was portrayed as a blonde white man. In 2014, Jason Momoa was cast in the titular role. He’s of Native Hawaiian descent and committed to incorporating elements of Polynesian culture and mythology to the role. The blockbuster’s gross. $1.1 billion.

Quantico

The FBI thriller Quantico received praise by critics for its acting — especially by the TV series’ lead, Priyanka Chopra. The role of her character Alex Parrish was initially intended to be white and only a secondary character. Chopra signed on to change the perceptions of South Asian representation in media and became the first South Asian actor to lead an American network drama, she won 2 People’s Choice Awards for Favorite Actress.

Dr. Who

The BBC’s Dr. Who began in 1963 and has featured 13 actors in the titular role. Despite online backlash to having a female lead, in 2017, Jodie Whittaker was cast in the role to high praise from critics and former actors who had played the Doctor.

Spider-Man

In the Spider-Man universe, Spidey’s love interest Mary-Jane Watson is typically a white woman with red hair. But in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home, African-American singer and actress Zendaya plays “MJ,”a re-imagining of the character. In addition to receiving praise for her interpretation of the role, the films grossed a combined $2 billion.

The onus should be on those making the movie and casting the characters, but most Hollywood productions are still being made by the same people who thought nothing of whitewashing in the first place.

Brut.

09/13/2019 10:19 AM
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36 comments

  • Brut
    09/13/2019 13:31

    Earlier this year, tennis player Naomi Osaka was whitewashed in an ad:

  • Fajaryanto S.
    09/14/2019 10:06

    The problem of the first world: to please everybody.

  • Cody B.
    09/14/2019 11:51

    Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery

  • Nora T.
    09/15/2019 01:16

    If people have a problem with it then why don't people fckn go and audition.

  • Justin F.
    09/15/2019 17:38

    Most of this list sucks And also Zendya is playing Michelle Jones... Shes not playing Mary Jane... Y'all really miss the nail with this one

  • Aman M.
    09/15/2019 18:14

    Whitewashing - Bad Colourwashing - Good. Thanks media 😄👍🏼

  • Dylan G.
    7 days

    Fire whoever made this video. Zendaya isn’t Mary Jane 🤦🏻‍♂️

  • Celina R.
    7 days

    I don't know about casting but I would rather have Jason as aquaman than some blonde.

  • Lina A.
    6 days

    I can’t tell if this is defending or against whitewashing or if it’s just hypocrisy

  • Russ A.
    5 days

    You forgot Joan Watson from Elementary.

  • Kristhian C.
    4 days

    This are all great casting roles,love them,but can we please to increase the confidence of us regular white guys,have a white black panther atleast in the comics.😢

  • Jon K.
    3 days

    You know whites are best known for stealing lol

  • Angel M.
    3 days

    ....okay thid post is kinda hypocrite but meh

  • Valerie A.
    3 days

    For a second I thought this was saying Jason was white and I was soooo confused 😂

  • Ricardo A.
    3 days

    People really believe that Zendaya isn't a Mary Jane stand-in cause they changed her name to Michelle Jones? 🤦🏾‍♂️😂😂 Her initials are MJ, and sure other people have those initials but she doesn't exists in a vacuum, she is a character within the Spider Man franchise in which the initials MJ have been solely attached to Mary Jane for almost 55 years, and that's not even mentioning the fact that she's a love interest same as Mary Jane. Michelle Jones is just a race swapped Mary Jane, even if they changed her name as she is functionally similar to MJ in everything BUT name. Also, Zendaya herself painted her hair red and posted the picture with the caption "Face it, Tiger" which is what Mary Jane Watson used to call Peter Parker. 🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️😂 The most hilarious thing is that people celebrated her being in the movie as a win for diversity by being a race swapped Mary Jane when they just as easily could have made her depict Glory Grant(Spider Man's REAL black girlfriend) and finally given her an onscreen debut as we've had MJ and Gwen Stacy already. But who cares, right? Why give original POC characters the spotlight when it's easier to race bend a white character and people just shower you with praise. Just wait till they start putting all these tokenized characters in the next MCU phase and see people celebrate their low efforts. It's like Captain Marvel, people celebrated her being a female hero(and the strongest OMG she's so amazing) without knowing that the FIRST FEMALE CAPTAIN MARVEL WAS A BLACK WOMAN NAMED MONICA RAMBEAU whose story was butchered to elevate fake feminist icon CM(in hollywood the only feminist that matter are the white ones) by destroying her family(her father went unmentioned in all the movie whilst in the comics Monica's parents are extremely supportive of her in her endeavors as a hero and are a huge part of WHY she's a hero, but I bet you that now she'll want to be a hero cause white auntie Captain Marvel is SO INSPIRING) as all men are evil these days, who cares if by eliminating him you play into the missing black father stereotype, right? STOP PRAISING DISNEY FOR RACE BENDING CHARACTERS! It just goes to show that they have NO faith in original black characters UNLESS they're directly tied to a white one. This is not diversity, it's just tokenizing and pandering.

  • Giovanni S.
    3 days

    Your first example is completely idiotic considering Atlantis is fictional. They could have transparent skin and be related to real marine life. Please try harder next time.

  • Lawrence S.
    3 days

    White skin bad! Orange man bad! USA bad! Haha ok 👌🏻

  • Juan M.
    3 days

    Hey Brut, aint it hypocritical to worship changing white roles for other skin colors while condeming white washing?

  • Héctor M.
    2 days

    Well they're "actors" , aren't they?

  • Julian C.
    2 days

    Tired of seeing ghost in the shell in this, the movie literally did the manga right, it was a young japanese girl placed into a white woman shell, it was not white washed jfc