"How hard is it to hire an Asian-American actor?"
Netflix’s Yakuza film The Outsider starring Jared Leto was slammed for whitewashing and has now received bad reviews.
Upon the release of its trailer, Netflix’s film The Outsider was heavily criticised for whitewashing.
Starring Jared Leto, The Outsider follows imprisoned American soldier Nick Lowell (Leto) at the end of WWII. Lowell receives help from his Yakuza cellmate to escape from prison but in return he must join the criminal organisation.
“There is literal #Whitewashing (Dr Strange, Ghost in the Shell) and figurative #Whitewashing when shows set in Asia center around a white actor,” Nancy Wang Yuen tweeted.
Another Twitter user said, “It’s different because the film’s creators created a white role for a white actor that appropriates another culture rather than, say, cast a white actor for an asian character? The transgression is all the same.”
“Seriously, how hard is it to hire an Asian-American actor for this type of shit? Still gets the outsider point across,” another asked.
The Outsider has just been released on Netflix and has already attracted negative reviews. The Daily Beast writer Karen Han described the film as a “culturally insensitive disaster”.
“The fact that the filmmakers have no interest in Japanese culture beyond stripping it for visual cues is never more apparent than in how the film ignores its specific (and somewhat ironic) context of post-occupation Japan,” Han writes.
Indie Wire writer David Ehrlich said the film was “even worse than it sounds”.
“You’d like to think that Hollywood would eventually learn from the mistakes (or even the title) of “The Last Samurai,” and perhaps one day it will,” Ehrlich adds. “But today is not that day.”
“Netflix’s The Outsider is the generic Jared Leto yakuza thriller no one wanted,” AV Clubwrites.