Death Note to Whitewashing

In an interesting turn of events, Ed Skrein, who was originally set to star in Hellboy, backed out of his role this summer because of his character’s mixed-Asian decent. Now, I’m upset that not enough people are talking about this. Hollywood is known for casting white actors in place for roles that are for people of color. However, Ed Skrein is the only actor, that I’ve heard of at least, that has declined a role because of this reason.

This is big news because of how rare it is. We’ve seen actors and actresses with amazing, prolific careers ignore whitewashing and accept a role that a person of color deserves. Earlier this year, Scarlett Johansson played main character Major Mira Killian, adapted from the Japanese manga series Ghost in the Shell. The movie barely saw any profit, less than 70 million made in its entire box office career. Matt Damon starred in the Great Wall, a movie literally about a white man leading a gigantic Chinese army against monsters attacking the grand fortress. Most recently, Netflix released Death Note, starring Nat Wolff, another adaptation of a popular Japanese manga.

Talking about Death Note for a moment, back in 2015, when Nat Wolff was announced as the film’s lead, Light, there were obviously mixed responses. One came from up and coming actor, Edward Zo, who was denied the opportunity to even audition for the same role. Why? Because he was “too Asian.” Here is his story below:

Something he said really stuck with me. “Hey, your story is really cool. Everything about this story is awesome, except you,” he said, when explaining what whitewashing feels like. What directors are doing is taking away the authenticity of a story. You don’t see white actors playing slaves, it’s not their story to tell. Manga, a style of Japanese comics, is quintessentially Japanese. Not white. What you get are stories that stay with Japanese adults and kids alike. Why take that essential part away in the movie version?

Photo Credit: imdb.com

What I just talked about are just actors stealing roles from Asian, more specifically Japanese, actors. I could show hundreds of examples of Hollywood whitewashing. Some older movies even use blackface and yellowface instead of just hiring people of color. What all these movies have in common nowadays are their social media outcry based on their faulty casting. I hope that Skrein’s decision and the obvious negative effects it has on a movie’s reviews will deter Hollywood from whitewashing in the future.

Advertisements

Asking For It?

TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE

Most people that know me can agree that I’m an outspoken feminist. They know that I stand up for women’s rights, try to be politically correct, the list goes on. They know that I love to write or that my favorite color is yellow. They know my face, the way I smile or laugh. To most people, I’m just an average teenage girl. Thank God that’s all I am. What most people don’t know is that this image could completely disappear, tarnished forever in a matter of minutes.

How?

Rape. Already I can sense one of two reactions: fear, a freezing shiver down a spine or bile pushing to the surface, or exasperation, a sigh because this post is going to be one of those posts.

When I think about sexual harassment, I think about the horrifying statistics. One in six girls will be raped in their lives. That means that out of the girls in my grade, at least three of us will get assaulted. One in 33 boys will be assaulted. That’s at least one boy in each grade. Yes, these are just statistics and all, but most of the times that’s all we think about.

Over the summer, I read Louise O’Neill’s Asking For It, a story of a girl named Emma who was gang raped by four boys. At first, Emma is portrayed as self-centered, egotistic, and promiscuous. She is mean to her friends, constantly degrading them.

Photo Credit: cornflakegirlmusings.com

It frustrated me how rude she was, but as the story went on, the rudeness was actually unmasked as something else, self-degradation. Her entire life she was called pretty, fawned on by boys and envied by girls. She was constantly making sure to cover up, but simultaneously show off. Her mother would always tell her to put on a jacket or a longer pants, while her friends surrounded her with shorter and shorter skirts. She internalized something most girls have to.

Nowadays, the Internet is filled with selfies, pool pics, and photoshoots. Sleek hair and tanned, toned legs become a requirement before sending out an image on Instagram and Facebook. Emma’s world was filled with those kinds of pictures. She went to parties just to say she did, trying to keep up this delicate image of a girl who was respectable but still had fun.

However, that image was tattered when she was raped. She showed up to the party in a too-short dress, drank dozens of tequila shots, and tried a drug a boy gave her. Common ingredients in the recipe titled: She was asking for it.

It’s interesting to think that someone could be assaulted and instantly presume it was the victims fault. Even if she was wearing nothing, her body doesn’t become something to claim, to take advantage of. It’s sad that rape becomes so black and white, either the girl did something wrong or the boy made a “childish” mistake. No one ever gets into the nitty gritty. It’s always “She was asking for it” instead of “She was raped.”

Modern society has a fear around the word rape. People want to mask what that word means, mask the disgusting feelings around it. People hide behind anonymous names, jeering at victims, trying to make it less real. If she wanted to, then how can it be bad?

Louise O’Neill and many other have taken a stab at this ever-present issue, trying to raise awareness. I condemn these brave souls, as talking about rape is so taboo. Rape is an international issue, as this book addresses, and is not just some “feminist issue.” Rapists are let out of prison within weeks, while the victims are left with a lifetime of shame and painful memories.

Rape needs to become an outrage. Homicides are treated with heightened media attention, the deceased becoming a saint in the eyes of the public. Where is that same sadness for victims of rape? Yes, they didn’t die, but a part of them was lost when they were raped. Many are left chained to a life of stolen glances and hushed conversations.

It’s hard for people to talk about rape because they’re misinformed or it simply makes them uncomfortable. Personally, I agree. I would like nothing more than to talk about the weather report or to compliment my friend’s shirt, but sometimes I’m left fearing about out of my friends and me, who’s going to get hurt next? That’s why we need to talk about rape culture. We need to make rape not okay, make rapists see the wrong in their actions, as not to encourage repeated offenses. We need to make rape as scary as being killed, so that young girls and boys can go about their lives with one less thing to worry about.

The Battlefield 4 Youtube Controversy

Over the course of the past three months, gamers and fans of the Battlefield franchise have repeatedly bashed Electronic Arts for releasing a clearly unfinished product.

However, the so-called “Battlefield community” is now taking blows at innocent Youtubers, who have been falsely accused of breaking FTC guidelines and changing their opinion for EA’s money.

After an article claiming that Youtubers with over a million subscribers had an undisclosed contract with EA to avoid giving negative reviews of the product was released, most Battle-fielders were quick to react.

However, after listening to the You-tubers’ testimony, it is clear that this article was fabricated. The You-tubers only took part in EA’s Ronku project which did not forbid them to give negative reviews of the game.

The Pokemon Controversy

Ever since the release of the first Pokémon games in 1996, hardcore Christians and vicious PETA members have bashed the franchise for its depictions of evolution and alleged “animal abuse.”

Pokémon is a franchise of games about a young trainer who embarks on a journey to defeat 8 gym leaders, the elite four and become the new Pokémon League Champion. Pokémon are caught in the wild with items called Pokeballs and are used to battle other trainers. Pokemon gain experience points and level up by battling other Pokemon, eventually resulting in their evolution.

Christians all around the world have protested against the franchise claiming that it goes against their beliefs. However, the type of evolution depicted by Pokemon is more relatable to growing up rather than becoming a different species. The Pokemon games show no sign of Darwinian evolution and do not contradict the beliefs of any creationist. It is merely a misconception.

Evolution Chain of 3 Pokemon

On the other hand, PETA members have criticized, protested and demonized the Pokemon franchise for its alleged depictions of animal abuse. Trainers use their Pokemon to battle other trainers. Granted, the subjects in these games are easily misunderstood, but there is no justification for PETA’s overreaction. PETA claims that this child’s game teaches kids to abuse animals. However, the games are focused on the special bond that a trainer develops with their Pokemon and the importance of teamwork, not cock-fighting.

Pokemon is a child’s game set in a different universe and it’s by no means a tool for evil.

PETA’s Extreme Overreaction: http://features.peta.org/pokemon-black-and-white-parody/

Power Lines vs. Ravens

njh
What is electricity?

Does it give humans solace in the middle of the night?

Does it allow for the advancement of mankind?

Does it allow lost things to be found?

Does it illuminate homes?

Does it illuminate streets?

Does it illuminate towns?

Cities?

Countries?

Earth?

It does none of these things.

The only things it does is provide hope to a failing team.

POWs and how we treat them!!!

POWs (Prisoners Of War) are persons lucky enough or in some cases unfortunate enough to be caught by the “Enemy” during times of war. In some armed conflicts POWs are treated well, most of the time they are  not. Even with the arrival of the 2nd Geneva Convention held in 1949( directly following WWII) human rights did not cease to be an issue during armed conflicts.

Vietnam, a war that symbolizes changein America and a growing mistrust of a Man- in- Uniform, was not without its heroes. The North Vietnamese were a particular brutal enemy, possessing no qualms about torturing and maiming American servicemen. A famous soldier who went through these ordeals is Lt. Cmdr. John S. McCain. During his five years in captivity he was malnourished (eventually dropping to 100 pounds), subject to filthy conditions (such as living in feces), and had his bones broken multiple times (even walking with a limp to this day). This is but one example of how POWs have been mistreated.

On a different note is the Iraqi\Abu Ghraib Prison incident. America service men had violated the Geneva Convention by forcing prisoners to pose in compromising positions. The U.S. Governments official apology “It was un-American. And it was inconsistent with the values of our nation. ”Like so many other Americans I believe that this apology does not do the Iraqi’s justice.”

The above mentioned event chronicles extreme occurrences of POWs abuse. It would appear that this abuse not only comes from violent lawless nations but also the worlds “Protector” the United States of America.

Ashton Kutcher To Replace Charlie Sheen on Hit Comedy “Two and a Half Men”

“Two and a Half Men,” in my opinion, is an absolutely hilarious, enjoyable television show.

If you have never watched it, it is about an arrogant bachelor/song writer and his nerdy, uncharismatic brother, and his brother’s unintelligent, lazy son.

My father watches an episode every night, and thus, I have grown very fond of it as well.

And although it might not exactly be suitable for a young audience, it can always make me laugh, and that is all I need when watching television.

However, recent controversy between Charlie Sheen, the actor who plays the bachelor brother, and the shows producer Chuck Lorre has led to the firing of Sheen from the show.

For the past few months, the search for Sheen’s replacement has taken place, and it has just recently been announced that none other than Ashton Kutcher will take on this role.

Although Ashton Kutcher seems a little bit too “pretty boy” for the show’s main role, he is a great actor, and I am looking forward to new episodes (finally!) of “Two and a Half Men.”

In the meantime, you should all check out the latest episodes, though maybe only watch them with people 16 or older: ).