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Today in things that make us scream incoherently

They’ve Hired A White Guy To Play Shredder In Michael Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


If you weren’t already annoyed enough with the Jonathan Liebesman-directed, Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you will be now. It’s been confirmed a white actor will play the role of Shredder. 

It’s not the first time it’s happened in Hollywood, particularly with important Asian characters, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Actor William Fichtner, previously in an unknown role in TMNT, has revealed he’s playing Shredder. He spoke to HuffPost TV Canada:

I play Shredder. It is cool. It’s one of those things that came along where I thought, “Really? Let me think about this for a minute.” [Laughs] Then I was like, “Yeah, OK, this sounds like a journey.” I’m very glad that it worked out, I’m really glad that I’m doing it.

Perhaps Fichtner should have thought about taking the job for more than just a minute and considered it might not sound all that great to say he’s playing a classically Asian character. It’s a shame really, I love Fichtner’s work, I think he’s a fantastic actor and while some might say, “Isn’t that all that matters?” in an acting gig, I’d have to answer, “No, representation matters.”

Add this to Alan RitchsonJeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, and Noel Fisher, four white men playing the Ninja Turtles, as well as Danny Woodburn as Splinter and Megan Fox as April, and you’ve got a resoundingly one-note cast as far as race is concerned. Although just recently we were praising the film for adding Whoopi Goldberg in what appears to be not only a racebent, but a genderswap role as well.

What are your thoughts on a white Shredder?

(via SuperheroHype)

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  • Emily Krebs

    See, really the first thing that shows this movie is already doomed is Michael Bay. Doom times 1000 for Megan Fox as April O’Neil. April’s a smart, ambitious, non-slutty character, and that right there should have put Fox outta the running.

    Agreed that it’s a shame they aren’t casting an Asian Shredder. I’m all on board for more representation and diversity in entertainment. And it is really cool when classic character roles are gender/race-swapped. However, when you think about it, isn’t it kind of hypocritical to praise film-makers for taking a classically white male role and casting someone else, yet disparage them for taking a non-white role and making it white? Just something to consider.

  • Anonymous

    Would you give us some background on the “classically Asian role” part?

    Granted, I could be remembering incorrectly (as it’s been years since I’ve seen it), but having only watched the cartoon, I do not remember any characters being particularly of one race or another, other than the Master mouse being of a particularly Buddhist-style wisdom.

  • Bruce Wayne

    Perry White played by black actor in MoS, Mandarin,Asian character, played by Indian actor in IM3. Why does this bother you now?

  • Anonymous

    BOOOOO-URNS.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    Not when POC are drastically underrepresented in film and television.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    Representation in media. That’s why it bothers me/lots of people. We need more POC in film.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi
  • Sally Strange

    Reinforcing outdated white supremacist cultural norms (i.e. it’s always better to have a white actor even if the original role was for a person of color): BAD

    Subverting outdated white supremacist cultural norms (i.e., why couldn’t the big boss newspaper guy who was originally written as a white man because when the story was originally written, people of color were simply not allowed to become the big boss newspaper man be played by a black actor): GOOD

  • jbod

    Why bother commenting if you admittedly only have a vague recollection of any of the lore?

  • Sally Strange

    Seriously, even allowing that you know all the details of Meghan Fox’s sex life, why do you think that an actor’s sex life has any bearing on her ability to play a character with different sexual preferences than she has? Or are you just out to slut-shame any way you can?

  • Christopher LaHaise

    Let’s see. Japanese ninja clan, Japanese samurai clan. You don’t see many gaijin in either. And, additionally, is there anything actually served by having him be gaijin?

    Having Perry White be black? Not a problem. That’s America, and you can easily see a black guy in charge of a newspaper. Now, tell me how many non-Japanese are from an ancestral line of samurai?

  • Bruce Wayne

    Hollywood does what it wants. Why are we do we act surprised by their choices? Nobody bashed Shane Black for not using an Asian actor. Or a Russian actress to play black widow in Marvel films.Let’s not forget Ivan in Iron man 2 played by Rourke.
    I agree this sadly looks like the worst cast assembled ever,for a beloved franchise.I mean whoopi Goldberg? Seriously?

  • Calum Syers

    I’ll parrot everything Sally Strange said, and also, since TMNT cartoons were made for children, with little hint towards a characters’ sex life, why would April’s promiscuity have any bearing on her character one way or another? In fact, lets say this new version does make things more adult, and does in fact portray April as being promiscuous. In what way would that effect their skills as a reporter? I’m guessing none at all.

  • Bruce Wayne

    Shredder looked white in the 90′s cartoons to me.

  • http://www.according2robyn.blogspot.com/ According2Robyn

    So you only know them from the cartoon, and didn’t read the comic book it was based on?

    Looks like we’ve got another fake geek guy over here.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting that your problem is with Whoopi Goldberg, but when it’s a white guy playing a Japanese character it’s all good.

    But I’m sure some of your best friends are black.

  • Lisa Liscoumb

    I’d like to give Ms. Krebs the benefit of the doubt and assume she’s talking about how Ms. Fox’s character has been portrayed in previous Michael Bay’s films whith regards to her being “slutty”. That said, I was unhappy when I heard Ms. Fox had been cast as April O’Neill – I don’t think she’s right for the part but maybe she’ll prove me wrong. Of course, I was also upset when I heard that Michael Bay was going to have a go at destroying yet another of my childhood memories…

  • Anonymous

    When black and Asian actors have the same number of roles and opportunities white actors get, then this comparison will be valid. As it stands, white people have the majority of the roles, and they’re getting the POC ones too!

  • Kelly S

    this also brings up so many questions. >_< like, where did this white american guy come from, and why in the world did he decide he's gonna be a ninja?

  • Anonymous

    “White people learning martial arts from Asian people and then becoming better than them at it” is a time honored (as well as gross and super lazy) trope in Hollywood!

  • Kelly S

    true. but gawd i hope they don’t recycle that trope. who am i kidding, of course they will.

  • Anonymous

    We’re not acting surprised. We acting angry, annoyed, and disappointed.

  • Bruce Wayne

    Megan Fox has actually earned her roles by working in many films. She’s married to Brian Green and has a kid. Doesn’t sound like a “slutty” resume to me. Ill give you she ain’t no Oscar contender,but that it. Save the name calling for Farrah Abrams.

  • Kelly S

    nope, not when either way the VAST majority of stars with exposure are white. plus this is not exactly the kind of time-honored character like sherlock/watson or shakespearian, that NEEDS some rebooting.

  • Kelly S

    but but but calling other women meaningless names makes her feel better about herself! internalized sexism FTL.

  • Bruce Wayne

    But “white” men have actually done it in real life. How is this not believable?

  • Anonymous

    Actually, you’re wrong on this one, too. As Racebending pointed out, Ben Kingsley is of South Asian descent.

  • Kelly S

    she’s not even talking about actual sexuality. just her perception that megan fox is too sexual. that word is only used by people who are skurred of sex. specifically women being sexual.

  • silvergray

    Because one does not ask questions if one already knows all the answers.

  • Emily Neenan

    It’s a bold move to take one of the thousands of white male roles and give someone else a chance. It’s a crappy, cowardly move to take one of the few minority roles and pass it back to white men.

  • Canisa

    Hahaha, yeah! Fake geek guy! He’s only here to seduce us geek women! Oust him immediately!

    Quick, name all of the Bat Family, so-called ‘Bruce Wayne’!

  • https://www.facebook.com/OperationHotblood?ref=hl HeroOfGames16

    I guess it would’ve been more believable if it was an Asian guy doing Shredder, but then again… wouldn’t that “reinforce Asian stereotypes (Asians are Samurai and Ninjas)”?
    Just some food for thought here: if it’s better that characters get portrayed by actors of the same colour, gender or nationality, does that mean we can’t have or tolerate non-white people cosplaying as Naruto or Ichigo? Does that mean we can’t have guys dressing up as Sailor Moon or girls as Kyosuke Nanbu or Luke fon Fabre?

  • Kelly S

    the mandarin’s race (still asian, just different part of asia) was amazingly the LEAST of the fuckery that happened there…

  • Kelly S

    exactly. it’s just…whut? why? way to screw with the character’s entire life.

  • Melodia E. McIntyre

    “how Ms. Fox’s character has been portrayed in previous Michael Bay’s films whith regards to her being “slutty”.” Like in Transformers where she dates one guy?

  • Calum Syers

    Regrettably, I only scan read the first comment, so I missed the gist. I’ve re-read it now, and yeah, I can see it’s talking about Fox’s perceived sexuality. Damn my eyes! (Always wanted to say that).

    Also, don’t get me started on the last point. I’d want to restrain my off-topic rants, because I know i’d end up ranting about the use of the word “slut” that is only ever used to describe promiscuity in women, where men are praised! And another thing…. BREATHE! I’m better now. I just have to go punch a wall!

  • Melodia E. McIntyre

    Representation is important and they shouldn’t whitewash the character. But, I don’t think we should fault the actor for turning down a paycheck and a probably fun role to play. The person in charge of casting should have the anger, not the actor, I think.

    And he’s an Asian character, but correct me if I’m wrong, wasn’t he voiced by a black man? So it’s like a double replacement?

  • Laszlo

    Wasn’t he voiced by James Avery (Uncle Phil), though?

  • Calum Syers

    To be fair, the majority of the comments have blamed Bay and co. far more than Fichter. Although, he wouldn’t be entirely blameless, especially since, by now, he’s a steadily in work actor who is always in demand.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    Yeah, I mean, I agree with that up to a point but I feel like if actors made a statement about not taking a role because it’s for someone of another race traditionally, it would go a long way. Remember when Keanu Reeves was going to star in Akira?

  • Melodia E. McIntyre

    Actually I don’t know about that one. I just think if I were an actor and offered a cool bad guy role… it’d be pretty hard to go “uh… racism” esp. when there might be no guarantee that another white person wouldn’t get it, you know?

  • Laszlo

    A character can be cosplayed by anyone though, but a role in a film can only be filled by one person. So that’s a different situation.

  • Melodia E. McIntyre

    I was responding more to the article that told him he should have thought it through more. see me other reply :)

  • JosieLou

    Cosplaying has literally nothing to do with this. A costume is a costume. Anyone can be anyone. We’re talking about Hollywood and what decisions like this always reveal; underrepresentation and lack of opportunities.

  • JosieLou

    Ha ha, you beat me to it. X

  • Kelly S

    and they can’t even give her the right hair color. -_-

  • Kelly S

    or nobody. people get all mad about other people’s sex lives. this is not middle school.

  • Kelly S

    and in a way that mean you’re gonna have some splainin’ to do about their new life story… o.O

  • April Tara

    Technically two if you count the meathead that she dumped in the beginning of the first one because he was treating her like a trophy.

    But, yeah, who cares if you help your boyfriend save the world from being destroyed by an alien race. If you did it while wearing revealing clothing, you’re still just a slut, right?

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    Not that another white actor wouldn’t replace them but it would really bring it to the public’s attention. Maybe inform people enough to go, “oh yeah, that is kinda bad.”

  • Kelly S

    with a side of “wtf”

  • Bruce Wayne

    Lol, You don’t even know me. Who cares if I didn’t read the comics? Im sorry I grew up poor and didn’t have money for things like comic books because my parents abandoned me.

  • Kelly S

    but you do know…anything about him, right? i mean, a japanese name, and being a samurai from japan…this is not hidden information. are you actually trying to claim he wasn’t explicitly japanese? man, you should have paid attention.

  • Bruce Wayne

    They should dub everything shredder says with his voice. Like Vader was with JEJ.

  • Kelly S

    or hell, the wildly popular movies. there’s no real question about his background.

  • Kelly S

    they didn’t try to claim the character was anything other than japanese. voicing is not at all the same.

  • Kelly S

    oh. my. god. cry somewhere else. it’s a cheesy movie trope. the character is a samurai by lineage, from japan. michael bay now wants to rewrite the damn story. some real-life examples, por favor?

  • http://nerdofalltrades.tumblr.com/ Angry And Yellow

    To hell with this whole damn movie.

  • Kelly S

    the character is an actual samurai from japan. this is THE STORY AS WRITTEN.

  • Bruce Wayne

    Ben Kingsley was born in England. His father, Rahimtulla Harji Bhanji, was of Gujrati descent. Not Asian.

  • Kelly S

    the whole thing is…not TNMT. i guess he might as well continue rewriting characters… >_<

  • Kelly S

    also, everyone needs to stop with the voice actor. that’s another world. they never tried to claim the cartoon character was anything other than a japanese man as written.

  • Kelly S

    well, keanu reeves is indeed partly asian. so at least it’s more believable. >_<

  • Bruce Wayne

    To be even fairer. Bay is PRODUCER,but apparently not many here know how that works. If anyone’s to blame, it Jonathan Lieberman. He’s the Director and final decision maker for everything on the film.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know what’s worse: the whitewashing that continues to be common in Hollywood or the culturally ignorant people who cop an attitude with those who complain and “can’t see what the big deal is.”

    Ugh. Whatever. The movie sounds terrible anyway so this is just the white frosting on a cake of lame. Maybe it’ll end up being the next Last Airbender and sink ungracefully out of site.

  • https://www.facebook.com/OperationHotblood?ref=hl HeroOfGames16

    Oh god, the whitewashing in Last Airbender was pretty bad. All of the Water Tribe people were inuits except Katara and Sokka… that was pretty awkward.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    Gujrati is a city in Pakistan. Pakistan is in South Asia. South Asia = Asian.

  • Bruce Wayne

    This was exactly my point. But it got downvoted cause I’m nit a woman or part of the “normal” or “in” crowd.

  • Super Nick™

    This move sounds worse and worse with every update. The first strike was Bay. Megan Fox can’t act. Shredder, an Asian character, is being portrayed by a white guy, and the constant back and forth idea that the Turtles may or may not be from space. I really hope this bombs.

  • Bruce Wayne

    I didn’t call her slutty. Apparently you can’t read previous posts. But whatever. I see from most comments here you’re not really open-minded people. Peace out.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    You’re right, I always forget that. But you get what I mean. Plus, there were like 5 other famous white actors up for Akira.

  • Daniel Gill

    This actually amuses me. Not the fact they cast William Fitchner, who is an excellent performer, but the ridiculous outcry that this a ‘traditional asian role.’. Let’s review, shall we? Portrayed physically by James Saito in the first movie, but voiced by a white guy. Same with the live action tv show, (Patrick Pon portrayed Shredder, but was voiced by Doug Parker, a white guy).1987 cartoon series, voiced by James Avery, an african American. Also, by Jim Cummings, a white guy, for a season. Then by Dorian Harewood, another african-american. 2003, voiced by Scottie Ray, another white guy. 2012 cartoon series, another african american actor, Kevin Michael Richardson. If anything, it seems a more ‘traditional’ role for african-americans.

  • Ruby Dynamite

    They’ve been trying to find someone to play the lead in a Crow reboot and – unsurprisingly – they’re coming up with nothing but white dudes. Nevermind a reboot of The Crow shouldn’t even happen in the first place (the sequels shouldn’t have happened, either, for that matter), but just like with this, they’re content to say ‘eh, well, the character’s face is all made up/covered up, so nobody can tell the difference’. Siiiiiigh.

  • Bruce Wayne

    C’mon,you know if we ask someone born from Pakistan is asked “Where were you born?” He/She will answer with Pakistan. I’ve never heard them say “Im Asian”. Besides,were all wrong He is English. His father was born in Pakistan.

  • Ruby Dynamite

    “April’s a smart, ambitious, non-slutty character, and that right there should have put Fox outta the running.”

    “Non-slutty” — first thing that comes to mind when I see that is, wow, you’ve clearly never seen the rule 34 goodness when it comes to Miss April on ye olde internets.

    As far as Megan Fox being slutty? No. ‘Cause that’s a slut-shaming, dickish thing to do.

    Do I think she’s a dope with the depth of a kiddie pool who can’t gape convincingly at 10-story alien robots and so she probably can’t gape convincingly at a bunch of (probably crappy) CGI turtle aliens (dat sentence, tho – ugh – fuck you, Bay)? Yes.

    Costumes don’t matter. As someone else pointed out here – even behavior doesn’t matter that much. So quit calling her a slut, mkay? It’s rude.

  • Bruce Wayne

    Michael Bay isn’t in charge. Jonathan Lieberman is. Informate mija.

  • Thomas Hayes

    Yeah – The Iron Man 3 Mandarin is not a role that should be used as an example OR counterexample in this argument because of the nature of that particular character.

  • Thomas Hayes

    They always said he was Japanese, just like Splinter, and he has a Japanese name, Oroku Saki. This is in the cartoon, not just the comics (which I’ve never read). Sure he might have looked white (and I was probably too young to understand this apparent contradiction) and was voiced by a black actor (which I didn’t know about until fairly recently) but the character is definitely Japanese.

  • Ashe

    Yeah, white people should totally turn these roles down. Over and over and over again.

    Considering white people prefer to listen to other white people, we might actually see some change if they do.

  • Bruce Wayne

    Actually yes. Ive had black,white,asian and Mexican friends. I’ve worked with Russian,Columbian,Nicaraguan Asian and Indian and gay people. You are sadly mistaken and making an offensive assumption my friend.I think Whoopi’s acting is horrible.

  • Calum Syers

    Ah, fair dos. :)

  • Thomas Hayes

    “Asian” when used as a racial identifier IN BRITAIN 99.9% of the time means someone with ancestry from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka. This is in contrast to the American usage where it tends to mean East Asian ancestry (Japan, China, Korea, etc…). I don’t know whether or not Sir Ben personally does this or not, but in Britain, people who’s parents were from India or Pakistan generally will call themselves Asian.

  • Ashe

    Don’t conflate gender identity with race. Both are marginalized, but in different ways, with different histories.

    Sure, the Asian stereotype would be reinforced, but Hollywood shot itself in the foot by overrepresenting white actors and tokenizing/stereotyping actors of color in the first place. The very least they can do is not take away one of the few roles for Asian actors and give it to yet another white actor.

    Also, uh, Naruto and Ichigo are both Japanese.

  • Ashe

    go away bruce

  • Branwyn Kimble

    And Googling is hard.

  • Ashe

    Funny, nobody here sounds surprised.

    Considering all the articulate responses backed by links, examples and general research, I’d conclude that none of this is ‘surprise’ and is, in fact, ‘routine disgust’.

    If anything, you sound ‘surprised’ that we care about people who aren’t white.

  • Ashe

    oh god did you see his response

    he actually went along with your last comment hook line and sinker

    and he put gay people alongside people of different racial backgrounds lmao

  • https://www.facebook.com/OperationHotblood?ref=hl HeroOfGames16

    My apologies, but both get conflated a lot by SJWs, and I thought the topic was ‘Representation’, and since both race and gender identity are part of a character’s representation.

    But yeah, sounds legit.
    Well, Naruto’s nationality is debatable since he lives in a different universe in which the nationalities are different (instead of Japanese and British, we have people from Konoha and such). But both guys look white, but I’ll be generous and say that’s just how they’re drawn.

  • Ashe

    “However, when you think about it, isn’t it kind of hypocritical to praise film-makers for taking a classically white male role and casting someone else, yet disparage them for taking a non-white role and making it white? Just something to consider.”

    I’ll never get tired of people’s false equivalences. I bet you wonder why we don’t have straight pride parades, too.

  • Branwyn Kimble

    Because Russians are often of caucasian ethnicity. Japanese most certainly are not. And I’ve seen plenty of bashing of Shane Black for his casting choices.

  • Bruce Wayne

    I know. Ive heard his name hundreds of times. People are complaining but,no matter how much they hate it,they have a choice NOT to watch the film. But everyone complaining is STILL going to watch the movie. Just like Airbender . Shredder cast isnt what bothered me, it’s the new “foot clan” masks and costume that made me angry. The Foot masks look like a Persian Army from 300.

  • Ashe

    No, no! You don’t understand, you’re being HYPOCRITICAL when you do that!

    Reverse racism!

    Equal opportunities!

    Colorblind casting!

  • Andy Bartholomew

    So I just went to check the cast of the first movie, and learned that Splinter was actually voiced by Kevin Clash, aka Elmo. Crazy.

  • Ashe

    Wow, that’s false as hell.

    There are dozens of ethnic groups in Russia as well as a good portion that we’d describe as Middle Eastern or Asian since Russia, y’know, borders both.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    Of course we have a choice to not watch the film. I won’t, and plenty here have said they won’t, especially not after this. But we also have a choice to try and change our world for the better, or leave the status quo. We choose to make people aware of these things so they can change in the future.

  • Ashe

    Social Justice Warriors? Really? Okay.

    And, no, his nationality is not debatable. Naruto is set in a JAPANESE alternate universe built on JAPANESE folklore with JAPANESE names, terminology and script.

    They ‘look white’? Why do I get the feeling you’re operating on their hair and eye color as indicators of race.

    Go here.

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/UsefulNotes/HairColorInJapan

  • Rick McDowell

    I couldn’t help but notice that the title of this article was “TMNT whitewashes Shredder”.

    So, it was perfectly OK for a black American guy to voice his character in the 80′s cartoon?

    And how does Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman, the caucasian creators of the TMNT franchise feel about a white guy being cast as the character they created, who in themselves were a parody of the collective works of another caucasian named Frank Miller, who himself, subverted and whitewashed Japanese manga art, stories, and histories, for his critically-acclaimed works of “brilliance”?

    Among them, sai-weilding Grecian assassin Elektra? And that whole Wolverine goes to Japan story?

    Isn’t it weird how inspiration works sometimes?

  • Anonymous

    Don’t forget the fact that it is directed by the dude who created the shitfest that was Battle: LA and Darkness Falls

  • Emily Krebs

    Nope. Actually, I’m not making a call about Fox’s sex life at all. However, the roles she typically plays almost always devolve into naught but scantily-clad eye candy with little to no personality. Hence, April O’Neil, who is not scantily clad, and a hell of lot more than eye candy, does not in any way fit the type of role Fox almost always plays. And to turn April into that, I would think, would be something most on this site are against (and have railed against other such typified characters in other films).

  • http://www.facebook.com/nuuni.nuunani Nuuni Nuunani

    ….Greaaaat~ Now I have the image of Elmo training the ninja turtles stuck in my head XD

  • Ashe

    Yeah, definitely depends on where you’re from. I had no idea that’s how Britain approached things.

    In the U.S., Asian is often conflated with China, Japan, etc. It becomes Middle Eastern when someone is from Iran or Afghanistan, then when someone is from India?

    People just say Indian.

    People also say Indian when referring to Native Americans.

    God bless the U.S.A.

  • Ashe

    You can’t see a person’s race behind a microphone and thousands of animation cels.

  • https://www.facebook.com/OperationHotblood?ref=hl HeroOfGames16

    Hahaha, it seems I lost my sense of genre-saviness when it comes to anime. Oh well.
    But still do you think characters can only be cosplayed by people who ‘represent that character’s skin colour or nationality’? I myself don’t think so because I see, wishfully though, cosplaying as more than just crawling in the skin of an established fictional character. It’s making the character your own.
    But I guess the same can’t be said when it’s about actors in movies. The Last Airbender is pretty much a recent example of how whitewashing can go wrong. So yeah, I can understand why people favour Shredder being played by a Japanese actor.

  • Emily Krebs

    Granted, but what I’m pointing out is that in a pursuit to achieve diversity and equality, it’s easy to become racist against the current majority. And if your message is against racism, that should mean being against it in all forms.

    There are two ways to approach the representation of a character:

    Either you’re for more diversity and so cheer for diversity in any form (which could mean taking a classically black character and making him white, if you’re really down with being different and changing up a cast). Or you’re big on defending what a character was envisioned to be and should be. For this article, the defense seems to be, “Well, Shredder as a character is Asian, therefore, it’s upsetting that his actor isn’t.” But if that’s the defense here, then doesn’t it seems a bit off not to also say, “April O’Neil’s boss is a white character, therefore it’s upsetting that that the actor isn’t?”

    How I think the above article could have approached the topic to make the same valid point would have been not to say, “Shredder’s Asian, so his actor should be Asian” (given the previous Whoopie article does not take the same stance), but to say, “It’s a shame that the film makers, after having made a move to embrace a more diverse cast, choose not to take advantage of this opportunity that easily would have allowed them to do so.”

  • Emily Krebs

    See my response to the other Emily above for clarification. In our pursuit to try and fight for equal rights and representation, it’s smart to be aware of and avoid double standards in ourselves. Otherwise, what’s the point?

    Also, bit ironic calling me out on name calling and then proceeding to imply name calling with the five comment.

  • Ashe

    Cosplay whoever you want. As long as you’re not brownfacing (darkening your skin, using stereotypical racial markers in your make-up, etc), then it’s fine.

    And, yeah, a role in a movie that will be seen by millions of people is different than someone putting on a costume and prancing around with friends.

  • Ashe

    Your entire comment is marred by this one error:

    Thinking white people can be victims of racism.

  • Bruce Wayne

    I agree. But we can’t change anything when we have people who are followers or loyal to only one mindset because they’re”friends” . They people that have changed the course of humanity have been those that think outside the box and aren’t afraid of others who don’t think like them. As far as the film industry, when people stop paying for high budget films giving them great profit,Hollywood will clamp down on budgets and might actually start listening to what we,the general audience,expects of them.
    Small ex. Xbox. People said hell no to their specs threatened to make change to Sony, Xbox gave in to consumer demand. Small victory,but a victory nonetheless.

  • https://www.facebook.com/OperationHotblood?ref=hl HeroOfGames16

    The brownfacing part is debatable. In the Netherlands, where I live, it’s a normal thing and it is in general not frowned upon by both white and non-white people. I’ve also seen quite some people dressing up as Drows in LARP events and whatnot, and it’s never done for racist-purposes.
    I myself don’t do it because I’m not much a fan of make-up (would be using too much anyway from my experience), but from what I’ve seen it’s never done in a way to marginalize or offend people.

  • Big Boot

    I can only imagine how the author would feel if they found out Uncle Phil from Fresh Prince did the voice for the cartoon’s Shredder. Yes, he is an African American. You didn’t care as a kid. Why do you care now? Shredder is not a real person. The turtles aren’t real creatures, and were not Asian either. I don’t get the complaining. Stop acting like TMNT is some classic Japanese legend. It’s a wacked out story made up by two white guys who were probably high one night. It’s not a big deal. for about five minutes, Super Shredder was white in the 2nd movie. Omg, grab the pitchforks!

  • http://www.str8buttah.com/ teck

    hahaha…Asian character voiced by black guy now being portrayed by white guy on screen. In the immortal words of Wyclef Jean. “Anything Can Happen”

  • Sally Strange

    Why is this important? Because Asian actors should be just as able as white actors to land roles in Hollywood. Ditto black actors, etc. Such is not currently the case, and why? Because Hollywood thinks its audiences are racists and continues to act as if having people of color in major roles, even if they were originally written that way, is box-office death. Don’t get me wrong, audiences are still quite racist (see the reaction to the casting of Rue in “Hunger Games”), but that’s not going to change if the whitewashing continues.

  • Sally Strange

    Agreed, it would be fantastic if more white actors took this approach.

  • Sally Strange

    Right, as if a lack of frowns in the Netherlands is a surefire sign of a lack of racism. Nice logic there.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    The defense is: “representation matters.” We are for more POC in film. I think that’s presented in the article.

    Also, April’s boss’ race is not his defining characteristic, Shredder being Asian, is. Same reason casting Laurence Fishburne as Perry White was ok to do. And casting a white person for Akira was not.

  • Emily Neenan

    It’s more like “Well, Shredder as a character is Asian, therefore, it’s upsetting that his actor isn’t because Asians are severely underrepresented in Hollywood films.” “April O’Neil’s boss is a white character, but there are so many white characters already that it’s cool to see they chose someone else.”

    If you really can’t see the difference between giving hugely underrepresented people an extra character and hugely overrepresented people an extra character _at the expense of those underrepresented people_, I don’t know what to tell you.

    Yes, in a perfect world, where people were represented in the same proportions and diversity as they exist in, it’d be the same. But in this world, it’s very, very different.

  • Bruce Wayne

    Who pays for movie tickets ,cable,streaming ,dvd’s and blu-ray movies? We do. Every dollar you spend tells Hollywood it doesn’t matter that you disagree,yiu will still buy what they give you. Same with comics and video games.

  • Ashe

    You need to stop using the term ‘non-white’. White people are not the default setting on this planet. If you’d like, I can start calling white people ‘non-Asian’ or ‘non-black’. Sounds silly, doesn’t it?

    Two, Drows are mythical creatures. With LITERAL black and gray skin. Please tell me you did not just indirectly compare people of color to mythical creatures.

    Drows are not real, therefore they don’t feel the effect of racism in our society. People of color ARE real.

    Three, I won’t touch on the racial dynamics of a country I’ve never been to. In the U.S.A., where I live, it IS very offensive and regularly contributes to the uneven racial quality in our society.

    I don’t want to say it’s just my country, though, because there are plenty of other countries who caricature and mock ethnic groups without even meaning to. Won’t speak for yours, but I won’t defend yours, either.

  • Sally Strange

    You’re an idiot. Meghan Fox also played a horrific demon from hell (quite well, IMHO). Does that mean that casting Meghan Fox as April means that April is going to be a horrific demon from hell?

    Rhetorical question, don’t answer. Just stop slut-shaming and stop being sexist towards other women, asshole.

  • Bruce Wayne

    I have worked in management all over Texas. I have also worked since I was 12 years old. You think I made all that up to “one up” his comment? Ridiculous. My name is Lewis Hull look for me on Facebook if you wish. Not everyone on the web makes up stuff to look good.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    1.) I was a kid.
    2.) This website wasn’t around in the 80s.
    3.) The character may have been voiced by someone of a different race but the character was almost always (barring the Super Shredder thing) represented as Asian.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    The character was still Asian in the cartoon.

  • Anonymous

    William Fichtner would be better as the Rat King.

  • Ashe

    I really don’t care who you are or what you do.

    I’m targeting all the ignorant commentary you’ve slathered all over this discussion thread. Keep it on topic, bro.

  • Canisa

    So essentially what this film is saying is that the US Army is full of superhumans who are easily capable of besting foreigners at absolutely everything! Yes, great message.

  • Bruce Wayne

    It’s ignorant because you don’t agree with it or it’s not from your other buddies saying the same thing. My answer was on topic. You mocked how I “even threw in gay along with different racial backgrounds,lmao”
    but because I’m being real with you ,you wanna stay “on topic” I’m not your “bro”.
    Anyways. Hollywood doesn’t cater to us because we keep making them a billion dollar industry. Regardless of “frustrations..bro.

  • Anonymous

    Says the person whose punchline was “save the name-calling for Farrah Abrams”? I think you’re missing the point. You don’t need to defend Megan Fox’s honour because her sexual status doesn’t matter. Or anyone else’s—including reality TV stars with intense personal problems.

  • Big Boot

    Because you were a kid and this website wasn’t around in the 80s doesn’t change the fact that they went with a voice actor who could do the job well and not Pat Morita. William Fichtner is not just some “WHITE GUY.” The dude is talented. And yes, I’ve viewed Shredder as a character of Japanese origin for over twenty years. I saw the original movie a million times, James Saito is perfect. Ken Watanabe would have been as well. They still went with a talented person to play the role which should be the only thing that matters. Kind of like Jamie Foxx playing the character Electro in the next Spiderman movie. (white character, black actor. Doesn’t matter, because he’s entertaining)

  • Anonymous

    What’s this “we” stuff?

  • Anonymous

    I GOT BINGO

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    I admitted he is talented, I said I was a fan of his. Doesn’t make casting him as an Asian character any better on the eyes.

    No, casting Foxx as Electro doesn’t matter because Electro, as a character, isn’t defined by his race.

    As for voice acting, others in this thread have already addressed that.

  • https://www.facebook.com/OperationHotblood?ref=hl HeroOfGames16

    Are ‘Coloured people’ or ‘PoC’ better alternatives then, within context?
    Well, you said ‘darkening your skin’, so I thought Drows applied to it as well.
    I guess the problem is with blackfacing or whitefacing (and asianfacing, redfacing) that it touches upon racial dynamics that are present in a lot of countries.

    There are people who are still affected by it and you have people who tend to see skin colour as a mere part of someone’s appearance (and find it okay to apply it to their costume or whatnot) and nothing else.
    I guess that if the dynamics die out in the future, it may not be such a controversial thing to do, but considering they’re still present I can understand the discomfort and anger individuals may feel when someone goes blackface or whiteface, whether the intentions are harmless or not.

  • Anonymous

    This is also worth a look: http://www.matt-thorn.com/mangagaku/faceoftheother.html

    The “anime characters look white” thing rests on some uncomfortable assumptions about what is “default”.

  • Ashe

    “Anyways. Hollywood doesn’t cater to us because we keep making them a billion dollar industry.”

    I think that’s the only true and relevant thing I can agree with you on.

  • Bruce Wayne

    That’s funny because Jill’s last sentence was “Are seriously calling Megan Fox a slut?” She got 16 upvotes. But I list things that don’t make her so, and it bothers you all. Oy vey.

  • Anonymous

    WORLD SHOCKED AS WHITE GUY CAST IN NON-WHITE ROLE, DETAILS AT ELEVEN

    But seriously… ugh.

  • Bruce Wayne

    That seems to be a trend here.

  • Bruce Wayne

    You don’t pay for movies or games? Cable? We means all of us. Duhh. Unless you pirate them.

  • Anonymous

    Because we don’t use that language around here. All these different points, and you’re being equally dense to each of them!

  • RapidDescent

    Neither was Shredder in the animated series.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    You were downvoted because you suggested calling someone else a slut would be ok. It’s not.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t pay for movies whose casting practices I disagree with, because my life is just as good for not having seen them. Duhh.

  • Bruce Wayne

    I quoted. There’s a difference. You just don’t agree with my points,regardless of merit. My point about the industry,you didn’t get who “we” was. It’s cool. I get it. Gotta agree with your buddies.

  • Anonymous

    Well, they are making better arguments than you.

  • Bruce Wayne

    I said Farrah had more merit to what the definition is. Dies make it ok? No,I agree. I made valid points about the industry and yet it seemed to confuse. Its alright. I get it.

  • Bruce Wayne

    As I explained,customers drive the industries. On this particular one,Film Industry. The point here was white males taking non-white roles. They keep making millions because we keep giving it to them,regardless of the casting.

  • Lisa Liscoumb

    “Whether you like it or not, Megan Fox is known for over-sexualized roles that appeal best to hormone-driven teenage boys.”

    Thanks, Ryan – that was what I was trying to get across, albeit rather awkwardly. I don’t like it; I believe that a woman should be able to wear what she likes and not have assumptions made about her sexuality (or lack thereof) but, as we all know, that’s not how the majority of the world works.

    My objection to Megan Fox is that I haven’t seen her in a role that makes me think she could do justice to the April O’Neill I know and love but, as I said, Maybe she’ll prove me wrong. I sincerely hope so.

  • Anonymous

    Not the argument occurring in this thread, though I’ve disagreed with that one below. But maybe I’ll come to agree, if you keep repeating it…

  • Anonymous

    And yet I’m not going to be seeing this piece of crap. SHOCKING.
    But by all means, keep up your trolling.

  • Anonymous

    Wait, wait, let me just preemptively guess your next reply:

    a) *Sigh*
    b) All you feminazi SJWs are making different points, which is a logical fallacy because you’re supposed to believe exactly the same things!
    c) Whatever, I can see there’s no reason to be found round these parts! /flounce (comes back two minutes later)
    d) *Siiigh*

  • Anonymous

    I mean, the problem is that being Japanese is actually PART of the character’s story. Shredder’s NAME is Oroku Saki. He’s Asian! It’s part of his actual character.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t be a simpleton. Shredder’s voice needn’t be Asian in a cartoon because it’s a VOICE.

  • Words Have Meanings

    Thank you! People sometimes forget that this isn’t just an issue of ‘artistic integrity’ but the real economic issue of employment for a variety of working actors! It’s not even like we’re asking for an Asian Spider-Man or a Black James Bond here…it’s a role that an Asian actor could already fill, and now is out additional exposure and a bigger paycheck.

  • http://www.geekosystem.com/ Victoria McNally

    Well, when you put it that way it sounds exactly like Michael Bay’s wheelhouse.

  • https://www.facebook.com/OperationHotblood?ref=hl HeroOfGames16

    I wouldn’t mind an Asian Spider-Man. I hope they would use the Japanese Spider-Man from the 60s/70s as inspiration. Japanese Spidey had a MECHA, a Giant Robot!

  • Shauni Farella

    well, this was the script where Casey Jones was the main character, ala sam in the transformers movies.

  • Melodia E. McIntyre

    Thanks for turning a comment directed at me into “everyone” instead of talking directly to me. I just meant it’s double white-washing.

  • Melodia E. McIntyre

    True technically two. I did only see the movie once.

  • Melodia E. McIntyre

    So what if she had “over-sexualized” roles? Still no justification for “slut”. Actors and actresses play varieties of roles. I never saw Transformers 2, but I think what you’re describing lies more with Bay than Fox.
    The subtext I’m seeing in this discussion is that a woman plays “slutty” or “sexualized” roles a few times so now she can’t play roles that are supposed to be not as “sexualized” or “slutty”.

  • Melodia E. McIntyre

    White people CAN be victims of racism. It’s just not as often.

  • Words Have Meanings

    So, what you’re saying is because voice actors are the important thing here, Anakin Skywalker should have been played by an African-American kid?

  • Words Have Meanings

    Hilariously, the real reason MS made those changes is because they miscalculated that Sony would have done the same. In the end, Microsoft made changes based on complaints, buzz and preorders…since, y’know, the consoles haven’t started selling for real yet…not actual dollars.

    Your understanding of Hollywood economics leading to enlightened status is somewhat incorrect as well. Hollywood routinely loses money on big budget failures starring white male leads AND they never, ever see an issue with that. They return to that well despite the failures of John Carter, Green Lantern, Dark Shadows, Battleship, Total Recall, The Watch…and these are just recent bombs. Yet, they will go back to these formulas of action/comedies with famous white guy leads with abandon. Alex Cross bombs, and it’s “middle-America doesn’t want to see black leads not named Will Smith” (who incidentally just had his movie bomb).

  • Anonymous

    Yep, “it’s always been this way” is definitely a sound, logical argument. Good job!

  • Bruce Wayne

    Never claimed it as “enlightenment status” . Its business,nothing enlightening about that. They go with “who’s “Hot” at the moment. Of course don’t pan out all the times. I think Jaden Smith was the big turn off for people. They feel Will Smith wants to push his son into stardom,even though he doesn’t have his Dad’s acting charisma. As far as bombs with Black leads,that would go to George Lucas with Red Tails. No studio wanted a part of it.

  • Chris Nicholson

    The original comic book character was white.

  • Words Have Meanings

    Um “Hollywood will clamp down on budgets and might actually start listening to what we,the general audience,expects of them” — that’s as much enlightenment as I would expect out of a business, but whatever you want to call it, sure. Hollywood still doesn’t do what’s necessarily in it’s best interest because their notion of what works is entrenched and reinforced by selective bias. And seriously, the reasoning that the audiences may or may not (which is just gross speculation on your part) had gone to see a particular movie in my list is NOT the point. The point is that failures for movies with WHITE MALE leads are not as quickly used as an excuse to prevent the greenlight of their films. However, that excuse comes up frequently when we speak of female or minority leads. Red Tails is a complete non-sequitur and doesn’t affect my point in any way.

    Anyway, to get back on track, revenue flow is often rationalized in one way or another by the entertainment industry, and oftentimes a loss doesn’t change their behavior unless you accompany said reversal of fortune with a loud explanation as to WHY. Otherwise, they’ll do what you did and just ad lib an excuse about people being sour on Will Smith’s kid without any actual evidence to justify such a conclusion (for whatever movie…I’m not just speaking about After Earth, so please drop it). Then they’ll just mosey on and continue to budget the way they usually budget.

  • Mina

    You, um, missed the joke. And that’s fine! I just want to clarify that that was a joke (drawing on the absurd hate for “fake geek girls”).

  • Christopher LaHaise

    True, so that doesn’t bother me, really.
    But could you imagine if they tried to make Static Shock as a movie, and had him white?

  • Christopher LaHaise

    Now, now. I always feel it’s better to inform, then to dismiss.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    In short.
    A Japanese ninja clan and a Japanese samurai clan. These are _clans_, which means they carry a lot of heritage and tradition within them. You don’t tend to see many gaijin in such clans. You also don’t see many Japanese traditionalists teach gaijin clan secrets. You definitely don’t see such gaijin as leaders within such clans. Even if it was remotely believable, the next question becomes: “Is this really necessary for the plot?”

    What’s wrong with: Oroku Saki falls in love with the same woman as his friend. His friend ‘wins’ the contest for her heart, and flees to America. There, Oroku hunts them both down, kills them both, and gets attacked by his friend’s rat during the ensuing fight. Rat flees into the sewers, Oroku becomes even more bitter than before and decides to extend the Foot’s influence in New York. Meanwhile, the rat gets coated in some ooze from TCRI along with four turtles, and the rest we know.

    Is there any reason, whatsoever, to make any of these characters white?

  • Ruby Dynamite

    Yeah. So? The movie and the comic have barely anything to do with each other.

    I could say ‘well, in the comic books, Nick Fury was white’. That has no bearing on Marvel’s choice to go with Samuel L. Jackson.

  • Nick Gaston

    …so I take it Ken Watanabe was already busy playing Macbeth in the “Gargoyles” movie adaptation?

    You
    know what, Hollywood, screw it…just for this, if and when I get the
    chance, I’m casting good person-of-color actors in movies specifically
    when it wouldn’t make sense. Peter Mensah? You’re now General
    Eisenhower. James Hong? Glad to meet you, Reichsritter Götz von
    Berlichingen! Wes Studi? Welcome back to the Justice League, Batman!
    Lead singer from the nuns’ choir in Cobra Verde? YOU’RE PLAYING FREYJA, GODDESS OF LOVE AND DEATH, RULER OF FÓLKVANGR!

  • Emily Krebs

    First, she played a demon from hell in a very risque and raunchy role (she’s actually a freaking succubi. Do you know what those are?). So the fact still stands that she has a trend of being included just for sex appeal. That’s what she gets hired for. Not her acting prowress. So if she’s put in the role of April, especially with Bay as director, guess what her primary inclusion is there for? And if you argue that’s not her fault, that it’s the movie people, well, doesn’t change the fact that if she’s cast, chances are likely that due to how she has been cast and what she sells, the character is going to take that route.

    Further, people seem to be under the impression that slut is an exclusively female term. It’s not. Men can be sluts, too. And by and large, because of our society’s erroneous attitude toward men being “studs” when they have a lot of free sex, I’d bet more men are sluts than women. If a woman wants to have sex responsibly with someone, that’s her business and doesn’t make her a slut. But if someone sleeps around with a ton of people irresponsibly and doesn’t actually care about said people one lick, that’s the definition of a slut, regardless of gender. Just because women have historically unfortunately been labeled as sluts unfairly when they have been responsible about their sexual partners does not automatically make all of us saints and says that no woman’s sexual behavior can be something immature and immoral.

    The characters Fox has played (note I say characters, not her) typify slut behavior and attitudes.

  • Bruce Wayne

    Great question for Jonathan Lieberman who signs off on the casting.

  • Mina

    That may have been your point, but it is not all of what you said. THAT was why you got downvoted.

  • Chris Nicholson

    So? So you’re being inconsistent. I don’t remember a peep of complaint when Brandon Lee was chosen to portray a white character, but look at the outrage of a bunch of self-hating liberal nerds over the possibility that a white actor might possibly portray an Asian character in the risible trash that is TNMT. Nick Fury should been white, by the way. Samuel L Jackson is a joke.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    Look. In the Ultimate series, Nick Fury was black, and that was what they went with. In addition, when you’re making a film where race and culture doesn’t matter, you can do race switch and it isn’t a big issue.

    When you’re taking a series where race and culture DO matter, then race and culture matters. If you’re talking about ninja and samurai clans, you’re talking about Japanese. You’re not going to cast Robin Hood as Japanese, or Aladdin as Irish (gods I hope not), King Arthur is not African, John Henry isn’t white.

    And that’s the problem. The comics had ethnic diversity. The cartoon white-washed everyone. April O’Neil was black. Baxter Stockman was black. Casey Jones was white. Oroku Saki was Japanese. What’s so bad with sticking with that?

    Oh, wait. Because Hollywood believes people of colour don’t sell.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    Your privilege is showing.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    Thank you. :)
    If they wanted to stick with the comics, April would be black, as would Baxter Stockman, IIRC.

  • Chris Nicholson

    Exactly. What so bad about sticking to the original races? Shredder should be Asian and the Doctor should be white, male, and apparently English judging by accent. That’s why David Tennant had to put one on.

  • Ruby Dynamite

    “So? So you’re being inconsistent.”

    Not particularly.

    “I don’t remember a peep of complaint when Brandon Lee was chosen to portray a white character,”

    Neither do I, but then at that point, the internet barely existed.

    “but look at the outrage of a bunch of self-hating liberal nerds over the possibility that a white actor might possibly portray an Asian character in the risible trash that is TNMT.”

    I don’t hate myself. However, I did grow up in the south, which is still racist as all hell (see: Paula Deen controversy), but I made an effort to be better and more informed than that. I also just think it’s a messed up notion to take a character who – in his FILM INCARNATION – was portrayed by a Chinese American actor and yank it away and hand it over to Mr. Homogenous White Dude #461 (somewhere between Josh Hartnett and Channing Tatum) for the reboot.

    “Nick Fury should been white, by the way. Samuel L Jackson is a joke.”

    Congrats! You sound like a racist neckbeard. I’m not going to bother paying any more attention to you, since you obviously can’t handle the notion of being challenged by a woman without hauling off and accusing her and everyone else of being ‘self-hating liberals’. Know who uses terms like that? Racist conservatives who worship Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

  • Chris Nicholson

    “The movie and the comic have barely anything to do with each other.” <– This statement is entirely contrary to fact, by the way, especially in regard to the relationship between the original comic and the Brandon Lee movie.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    It has already been determined that the Time Lords can change ethnicities (and even sex) when they regenerate, and don’t even need to regenerate human. River Song was black during a regeneration, which backs up this ability. Doctor Who is an entirely different kettle of fish.

    Also note, the Doctor has changed through a different number of English accents, there’s no ‘one’ English accent, just like there’s no ‘one’ American accent.

    Completely different argument there.

  • Bruce Wayne

    Sorry,it’s hard to distinguish jokes from seriousness on the web sometimes. Didn’t mean to snap.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    I’ll give you that. However, is there any cultural or ethnic component to the Crow storyline? If not, then a shift in race can be fine. But if there is an ethnic or cultural component which is part of the story, then yeah, I’d say keep with the race intended for it.

  • Ruby Dynamite

    Really? Do mansplain me how.

  • Chris Nicholson

    Congratulations. I am sure you have succeeded in convincing some that you’re not racist because you support the racism inherent in tokenism. Then, instead of addressing your hypocrisy head-on, you resort to both the racism and the sexism card. I do realize that your sex is weak in logic, so let me spell it out for you: it is a contradiction to be ok with an Asian portrayal of an originally white character and yet be outraged by a white portrayal of an originally Asian character. =><= QED

  • Christopher LaHaise

    Okay, dude. Uncalled for.
    Logic: You don’t put a non-Japanese person into a role that is built on Japanese culture and tradition.
    Logic: You can put any ethnicity into a role where culture and tradition isn’t a huge thing.

    I wouldn’t want to see a white-American guy or an African guy or a Japanese guy playing Michael Corleone. If you’re not using Italians or Italian-Americans for the role, you’re doing something wrong.

    However, if you want to tell the story of, say, Spider-Man, you could have Peter Parker by pretty much any ethnicity, because his race and culture aren’t part of the story. He’s a guy from New York. Does it matter if he’s white? Not really. Batman, on the other hand, you’d fully expect him to be white, because privilege is part of his identity.

  • Chris Nicholson

    It has been determined because of PC tokenism, yes. Retconned, if you will. It strains credulity to accept that an alien humanoid race (already straining credulity by the mere fact that they look pretty much like any human) would have a variety of people whose traits are exactly like those of Africans on Earth: from dark skin, to kinky hair, to thick lips. One or two of those traits, sure (that’s why Michael Dorn could play a Klingon without demanding too much), but all at once? I am torn, because I think the portrayal of Tuvok was the very best “pure” portrayal – the epitome – of what a Vulcan should be, but it remains distracting to process that amazing coincidence in physiognomy. I agree with most here: (pretending that I give a damn about trash like TNMT) Shredder should be Asian. It is wrong to take Asian roles from Asian actors. It’s also wrong to tokenize traditionally white characters in some misguided attempt to satisfy PCMC sentiments.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think pointing out the turtles are played by white men is relevant here since we won’t see it on the final product anyway but the Shredder casting sucks. I know asian actors who work in english are much harder to find than blacks or latinos (apparently, the producers of Memoirs of a Geisha tried really hard to have a Japanese cast but had to fill the parts with Chinese actors because Japanese actresses wouldn’t even audition) but this is Shredder we’re talking about. Having the character speaks the whole film with subtitles would’ve been perfectly fine. This parts require more action than talking.

  • Ruby Dynamite

    How is it tokenism, exactly, to insist that efforts be made to maintain the integrity of a character within their given universe? Methinks you don’t know wtf tokenism is.

    “it is a contradiction to be ok with an Asian portrayal of an originally white character and yet be outraged by a white portrayal of an originally Asian character. =><= QED"

    If you don't understand the big deal with white-washing characters of color out of their respective franchises, then I really can't help you.

    The point is, white men are the default POV in most entertainment. Seeing PoC in any mainstream media at all, much less as a protagonist or central figure, is particularly rare. As Christopher pointed out: taking a character who is traditionally, culturally Japanese — to the point of having a strong Japanese accent in most of the live-action and animated media he's appeared in — and casting a white character in that role is a *squeak* bit different to taking a character who could be basically ANYONE (as far as I know, James O'Barr never identified Eric's race in the books — all he's ever said was that he based Eric's physique on Iggy Pop's) and handing it over to an actor of color, only to yoink that character away again when reboot time comes along.

    Representation is the issue, here. Not… whatever your tiny, angry mind is thinking it is.

  • Chris Nicholson

    How about reading the comic? You never have, have you? I own it.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    No, it wasn’t retconned. This was determined in the 60s or 70s, that Time Lords could take any shape they wished when they regenerated. This isn’t tokenism.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    What does that have to do with anything?

  • Chris Nicholson

    if she had read the comic she would know how ridiculous it is to state “The movie and the comic have barely anything to do with each other.”

  • Chris Nicholson

    Do Kryptonians have to look like white human men?

  • Brian

    Well, they’re the leads, you see. If they weren’t white, how would the audience know that?

  • Christopher LaHaise

    I own the graphic novel, myself. The bare bones of the concept match, but the movie and the comic barely touch each other otherwise. One has the couple killed in the street, the other’s in the house. The ‘big bad’ is completely different, and the scenes are quite unlike each other. I’ll say that they barely have anything to do with each other – the only thing in common, really, is ‘guy dies, after witnessing something horrible happen to his lover, rises from the grave, and kicks all the butt in the world’. They also cut down on the torture porn from the comic as well, for the movie. He’s not carving himself up as much in the movie, and the sheer anger and sorrow in the comics don’t show up as much in the movie.

    Still a good movie, but nowhere near as gut-wrenching as the comics.

  • Chris Nicholson

    You’re right, to a point. That’s why I think Brandon Lee was a pretty good choice for the role at the time. The race wasn’t all that important. However, you can say that there is no compelling reason that Clark Kent couldn’t be Asian or black in appearance. There is something to say for the traits being *iconic*.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    *snrks* :)

  • Christopher LaHaise

    Really? I don’t think so, myself. :)

  • Christopher LaHaise

    Mind you, Brandon Lee was only half-Chinese, too. I think he was chosen for that very, very lean build.

    There is something to be said about being iconic, that’s true, and if you’re going to change something like that requires some careful thinking, I will agree. But unless there is a real cultural / ethnic component to the icon, it could be changed – which is making a statement in and of itself. Having Superman be black? That would be… interesting. And it would have to be very, very carefully done.

  • Ruby Dynamite

    Well, no. You say, “statement is entirely contrary to fact” — and I’d like to know how?

    Because when I say the movie and the book barely have anything to do with each other, I’m not stuttering, I’m not talking in riddles. They axed tons of sections of the book from the finished film. Like, for example, Skull Cowboy. They actually shot footage of him for Brandon Lee’s film, and they wound up cutting it. The circumstances regarding Shelly’s death are entirely different compared to the film. The bullet shells tied into Brandon’s hair in the film are never explicitly explained, but they are explained very thoroughly in the books (one for every one of the men responsible for raping/killing his gf). And, again, as I mentioned in another post — far as I know, James O’Barr has never specified what Eric Draven’s race is meant to be. If you’re automatically assuming that he’s white, then that’s on you.

    By the way – that ‘do you even *lift*, bro?’ fallacy of yours? Really stupid thing to be doing around here. I read every single one of the original Crow comics.

    So yeah. Let’s talk about me being contrary and not knowing anything about the books. Yes, let’s.

  • Chris Nicholson

    I would put too much stock in Romanadvortrelundar’s antics. There are plenty of characteristics and abilities that appeared in the series since 1963 that contradict things later. They needed her to look like Lalla Ward and took liberties. Else, by does the Doctor never choose his next incarnation’s traits?

  • Mina

    Agreed! Easy mistake to make. There really needs to be a universal sign for “this is a joke” on the internet.

  • Chris Nicholson

    ” … far as I know, James O’Barr has never specified what Eric Draven’s race is meant to be”

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/8/85/The_Crow1_Cover.jpg/300px-The_Crow1_Cover.jpg

  • Christopher LaHaise

    According to what’s been explained – he’s tried to, but he does not have as much control of his regeneration as he might like – they did have one Time Lord regenerate and not change her appearance at all – he’s really underskilled. He keeps pushing, for example, to become a ‘ginger’. ;)

  • Christopher LaHaise

    You win. ;)

  • Ruby Dynamite

    I read the books, thanks. I know what the covers all look like. And a drawing doesn’t mean a whole lot. My housemate is Mexican American, and she’s almost as pale and European-looking as I am.

    I’m talking about actual QUOTES somewhere, where James O’Barr actually specified what race Eric was supposed to be, if any.

    Show. me. quotes.

  • Chris Nicholson

    Oh, I am all for Shredder’s being portrayed by an Asian. I am agreeing with you as long as you agree that it goes both ways. You would be perfectly fine with a black Clark Kent, wouldn’t you? I am a Triple Nine Society member, by the way.

  • Chris Nicholson

    It would be trash.

  • Ruby Dynamite

    *bows*

  • Chris Nicholson

    Eric
    Shelley
    Crow
    Makeup
    undead
    superpowers
    revenge

    How chivalrous of you, all the same, to attempt to defend a statement so laughably stupid and erroneous on its face.

  • Chris Nicholson

    If he didn’t want him to be taken as a white man, he wouldn’t have given him blue eyes. Does your Mexican housemate have blue eyes? My Japanese housemate sure as hell doesn’t. It’s genetically possible, of course, but highly unlikely, and impossible without more racial mixing than even Brandon Lee had. Why is your desire to proved you’re PCMC fly so forcefully in the face of facts?

  • Ruby Dynamite

    I agree with Christopher. I don’t see a reason why a black Clark Kent wouldn’t work. They’re aliens. They can look like wtf the creators want.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    That’s very superficial however. The story itself is the driving point, if they changed Eric and Shelley’s name, it wouldn’t have made a bit of difference.

    Hell, with the other Crow comics, you have everything there except for the names, doesn’t mean they’re anywhere near the same.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    Genetically, Japanese don’t get blue or green eyes.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I’m assuming they’re still going with Colonel Schrader. Either way, this is still being created by the guy that brought truck nuts to life on the big screen.

  • Chris Nicholson

    The point stands that “barely have anything to do which each other” is false on its face. The movie’s very existence, for crying out loud, utterly depends on the comic.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    …Ultimate Nick Fury was based on Samuel L. Jackson, so it is different. And the plot of the original Crow graphic novel follows the movie pretty closely, aside from Top Dollar’s super villain treatment.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Baxter and April were black? I didn’t know that…I am Googling with interest.

  • Ruby Dynamite

    Yeah, the torture and beatings in the book (as well as the death by shooting – blecch) were pretty gnarly stuff. There *was* violence in the film, but they didn’t linger on it or make it quite as … squishy, as the book did.

    And, that’s true – no self-mutilation. Also, no crow or Skull Cowboy talking to him and telling him what’s what. Entirely zero dialogue from the bird itself in the film. We also didn’t really get that much of Eric agonizing over Shelly’s death compared to how much he did in the book. Sure, we had him looking at photographs and some of her things, but sometimes the books would go on for pages where he raged and wept and grieved her.

    I do agree the movie isn’t exactly a true reflection of O’Barr’s intention behind creating the books in the first place, but to do the series true justice would take a mini-series or a 6-hour flick with several intermissions.

  • Guest

    Please follow the thread. You just supported my point, at least in regard to Asians. The cover, created by O’Barr himself, depicts the original character with blue eyes. That establishes the race well enough for me, and well enough for anyone who isn’t disingenuous.

  • Chris Nicholson

    You just supported my point, at least in regard to Asians. The cover, created by O’Barr himself, depicts the original character with blue eyes. That establishes the race well enough for me, and well enough for anyone who isn’t disingenuous.

  • Ruby Dynamite

    My housemate does have light-colored eyes, as a matter of fact.

    “It’s genetically possible, of course, but highly unlikely, and impossible without more racial mixing than even Brandon Lee had.”

    Right. Which is why the reason you’re insisting he HAS to be a white guy in the books seems a little… well, dumb. You just said it yourself — he could be anything. Thanks for proving my point for me. :)

    “Why is your desire to proved you’re PCMC fly so forcefully in the face of facts?”

    Have no idea what PCMC is but I’ve already proven you wrong, and YOU have already proven you wrong. So, y’know. Feel free to keep digging the hole, if you absolutely must, but it’s not going to help your case any.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    Oh certainly. I had a few goth friends who were really into the Crow – though more for the movie than the comics. My wife (girlfriend at the time) wound up picking it up, I read it, and… gah. That was really heavy stuff, but well worth the read.

  • ZeonChar

    Except that in the comics he was black and white and they decided to go with the black version of Fury.

  • Ruby Dynamite

    Yes, but I’m not talking about Ultimate Nick Fury. I’m talking about Stan Lee’s original character.

  • Chris Nicholson

    If your housemate has light-colored eyes then she has a large European admixture. So no, insisting that blue-eye person is likely to have a European background is not dumb.

    What is, dumb, plainly, is claiming that the Crow film barely had anything to do with the Crow comic book. Now that it is a whopper of stupidity.

    You’ve proven me wrong only in your fantasies.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    Baxter, definitely. April, I’m pretty sure – she had the dusky skin and curly hair – and it was a black and white comic, so I may be making a leap. Though even in the RPG (black and white), her skin was toned, which means she’s either black, or … Irish-Latina? o.O

  • Ruby Dynamite

    Pssssssst. He doesn’t know what tokenism actually is. Pass it on.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    I don’t mind supporting some points – I’m just throwing out relevant information. :)

  • Christopher LaHaise

    :D

  • Ruby Dynamite

    I’m goth and I still adore The Crow as a film. I love the books, too, and I was heartbroken when I lost my TPB when I was moving. I keep meaning to buy a new copy, but rarely have the money for that kind of stuff these days :/

    And it is *very* heavy stuff. But I can really appreciate why O’Barr did it. It’s a devastating example of an artist funneling his personal pain into his work.

  • Chris Nicholson

    Stan Lee’s original *white* character.

  • Chris Nicholson

    Never mind the Kingpin.

  • Ruby Dynamite

    “What is, dumb, plainly, is claiming that the Crow film barely had anything to do with the Crow comic book. Now that it is a whopper of stupidity.”

    I have yet to see a response from you to my comment enumerating all the ways that the book was VERY different from the film. Silence is the next best thing to acquiescence.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    Most certainly. White Wolf’s magazine (the name escapes me because they’d changed it) had an interview with O’Barr about the (then upcoming) Crow movie, and the catharsis he tried to gain from doing the comic. Apparently, it wasn’t as cathartic as it could have been, since writing the comic involved having to dwell on the pain, rather than allowing him to move forward.

    The movie is good – no question about that – though having the bad guys go the mystic bent and damage the crow (and in turn hurt him) was a change that I dislike. It is very much a piece of American filmmaking that you have to kick the hero for ‘dramatic tension’, which I felt detracted from the movie. In the comics, he was almost a force of nature, a revenant that would not be stopped, and if they had stuck with that, it would have been very interesting, as it would have been a horror-stalker movie, where you sympathise completely with the monster, but still feel that bit of guilt as you realize his enemies are simply doomed.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, it’s the guy I’m always confusing with Gary Cole!

  • Chris Nicholson

    It’s an enumeration of superficialities. It’s a dumb exercise. I could do the same thing with Peter Jackson’s LotR movies. “Hey, isn’t Glamdring supposed to glow in the presence of orcs, too?” Claiming that Jackon’s films have “barely anything to do” with Tolkien’s books would be hilariously stupid.

  • Ashe

    White people can be victims of prejudice. Not racism.

    Racism is a systemic injustice that causes structural inequalities in housing, education, media, politics and labor.

    I’d love some examples of where this systemic injustice affects white people on a grand scale.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    Actually, I hadn’t read the book in ages – but yeah, I picked up that the other swords didn’t glow, when I was sure they should have, in the movie. >.>

    But that’s not what she’s saying. It would be more:
    The Fellowship gather, to get the ring to a master smith in Mordor, who will unmake the ring, and involves a party of three elves, two hobbits, two dwarves, and there’s a romantic subplot between one of the hobbits and one of the elves.

    It has elves, the ring, orcs, dwarves, hobbits, and the Fellowship, and a trip to Mordor to end the ring, but that doesn’t mean that it’s ‘close to the books’.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    There was so much wrong with that choice…

  • Ashe

    You just HAD to remind me of that…

    *shudder*

  • Ruby Dynamite

    Yeah – after seeing the artwork and prose in the book, it’s really obvious that it wasn’t helping the way he hoped it would. You definitely get this sense of frustration.

    I actually didn’t mind the supernatural aspect of part of the showdown in the movie so much, mainly because.. well, The Crow is a metaphysical construct, itself. It’s a dead person that’s alive again, through who knows what means, who’s set on a single-minded course of revenge. So it makes sense that Top Dollar’s lady friend would reach out in that direction when trying to find a way to defeat Eric.

    Eric in the book was imminently more brutal compared to Eric in the movie. I think, in a sense, Brandon’s portrayal really communicated Eric’s grief very well and even his rage and occasional madness, but Eric in the book was approaching Joker levels of gleeful violence and brutality. Maybe that’s why they mellowed it a bit, so it wouldn’t be *quite* so difficult for the audience to sympathize with him as the hero.

  • Chris Nicholson

    Why is “close to the books” in quotes? No one said that. The quote was “movie and the book barely have anything to do with each other.” Are you really trying to make this case? Just admit that at the very least such a statement is a gross exaggeration. Surely you’re honest enough to do that.

  • Ruby Dynamite

    You’re really not doing much to disprove that ‘I’m a racist dickbag’ thing, you know.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    I wound up Googling that. Good lords, no. >.<

  • Ashe

    You sound awfully Eurocentric.

    ‘Light-colored eyes’ are not the original property of European people. There are plenty of people that have ‘light-colored eyes’ that have never been anywhere NEAR a European individual.

  • Chris Nicholson

    It would be outrageous, to answer you – at least it would be outrageous to me if I thought Static Shock was a worthwhile character.

  • Ruby Dynamite

    “It’s an enumeration of superficialities.”

    I use “big” words because they’re the ones I know. Don’t use big words to try to seem more intelligent than you actually are. I named off a lot of core differences between the book and the film. It’s the kind of stuff neckbeards have shrieking rage-fueled groanfests about: canonicity, accuracy and continuity. So, seriously, don’t try to tell me that stuff is superficial. If you want to dismiss it, fine, but don’t walk away from this thinking that it’s for any other reason than I proved you wrong and you don’t want to admit it.

  • Chris Nicholson

    “The brown melanin pigment is still dominant. However, following the last Ice Age, Europeans developed this rare mutation that differentiated them from the rest of the human race.” – by way of a sympathetic voice: http://chickgeek.org/blue-eye/

  • Chris Nicholson

    I am member of the Triple Nine Society who went to university on full academic scholarship. I have no doubt that my intellect, education, and vocabulary dwarf yours. No small part of that certainty lies in the fact that you are *still* trying to defend such an absurdly stupid statement as “”[t]he movie and the comic have barely anything to do with each other.”

  • Anonymous

    Actually Shredder is very much defined by his race, in animation and film and comic book form. His culture is at the very heart of the turtles’ origin. Its the where the whole ‘ninja’ thing comes into play.

    A black actor voicing an Asian character is fine as long as the character is portrayed as Asian.

  • Chris Nicholson

    Don’t let Ashe hear you claim that. This site is full of neurotics.

  • Chris Nicholson

    I don’t have any need to disprove such a perception. That in your purview, by your own admission. I really frankly don’t care what anyone thinks of my views on race. The truth is that I am a raging liberal – just not a PCMC self-hating one.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    I like to think that Static Shock was worthwhile. It showed what it was like living in something other than an affluent society, and dealt with a lot of the disenfranchised. It dealt with a number of issues that wouldn’t normally be seen on TV (I checked out a few of the comics later, admittedly, which also dealt with this some).

  • Chris Nicholson

    Fine if you do. De gustibus non est disputandum. The irony is that I think TNMT – at least after the first few parody comics – is far from worthwhile as well.

  • Mark Brown

    And the Nick series has the best Splinter ever.

    *poof*
    “Michaelangelo said you wanted to see me.”

  • Chris Nicholson

    “Enumeration” is hardly a big word, by the way. We programmers encounter it fairly often.

  • Anonymous

    Except the customers don’t drive the industry.

    51% of film-goers are women. 51% are 35 years old or older. Hispanics are 16.4% of the US population, 18% of the film-going population, but none the less account for 25% of films seen–that is, they go to see movies more often.

    Tell me again why the market is driven by young white men?

    (stats from Nielsen here: http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/newswire/2013/popcorn-people-profiles-of-the-u-s-moviegoer-audience.html )

  • Chris Nicholson

    A better source: “Blue eyes have their hue because of a single genetic mutation that occurred fewer than 10,000 years ago in one individual and swept rapidly through the European population, according to a study published in the journal Human Genetics in January.” http://discovermagazine.com/2009/jan/042#.UceW1jS17Dt

  • Anonymous

    lmao what show did you watch? He totally was meant to be Japanese – you miss the whole Ninja thing? Very much a Japanese tone.

  • Anonymous

    No, Electro didnt have a integral ‘white background’ or anything. Shredder was very much a Japanese dude. Hence Ninja and killing Splinters Master. Whom was Japanese.

  • Anonymous

    Well, if it makes you feel better. I saw that Megan Fox was going bald because of the hair dye.

  • Anonymous

    Totally forgot about that sigh

  • Marie

    Where’s that clapping gif? :)

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I don’t believe in suffering alone.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I liked Brandon Lee in the movie and never thought once about his race. I never got hung up on it.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Right, but…Nick Fury in the film wasn’t based on Stan Lee’s original character.

  • Ashe

    What about specific albinism? Unique mutations?

    Hell, blonde hair was thought to be a European trait, until it was found all over the place.

    I won’t dispute that it can be traced to a European ancestor in many cases: but it’s not all cases. Not even close.

  • Anonymous

    мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kkEj

    Why is “close to the books” in
    quotes? No one said that. The quote was “movie and the book barely
    have anything to do with each other.” Are you really trying to make
    this case? Just admit that at the very least such a statement is a
    gross exaggeration. Surely you’re honest enough to do that.

  • Ashe

    Someone’s gotta balance out the elitists.

  • Herbert West

    In the Eastman & Laird comics, April was white, with dark brown, curly hair. In the RPG (TMNT and other strangenesses), they’re reproducing some of the comic panels, but the b&w seems to be off a bit. Contrast and copying, no idea, but there you have it. Also, even in the original comic books, she doesn’t entirely look the same throughout the run, artistic evolution, I suppose?

  • Ashe

    “I have no doubt that my intellect, education, and vocabulary dwarf yours.”

    Show, don’t tell.

  • Herbert West

    Oh hey, remember when they cast Christophe Lambert as the japanese god of thunder and called him “Ray-duhn”?

  • Brian

    If it’s that important, just replace “go with Samuel L. Jackson” with “Make him black in the Ultimate Universe.”

  • Brian

    Huh. One downvote. Wonder where that came from.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    Err. April didn’t look black to me (though she could have been multi-ethnic, I guess). Baxter Stockman definitely was.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    Ah, thanks for the clarification. And yeah, artistic evolution, I guess.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    He was based on the Ultimate version of the character whose likeness was based on Samuel L. Jackson. Samuel L. Jackson is black. I don’t understand your point.

  • Anonymous

    KHHAAAANNN!!!!

    …I mean…

    BAAAAAYYYY!!!

  • Brian

    “However, you can say that there is no compelling reason that Clark Kent couldn’t be Asian or black in appearance.”

    Dean Cain.

  • Brian

    “I wouldn’t put too much stock in established continuity if it disagrees with my existing opinions.”

    – Chris Nicholson

  • Brian

    No, again, it’s because you called someone else a slut.

  • Brian

    The actress that plays Shae on Game of Thrones was in actual pornography, and she’s a fine actor. Heck, Sylvester Stallone was in a softcore flick. So who cares whether she’s usually clad scantily or not? It has no bearing on her performances.

  • Brian

    Ruby’s point was that his former whiteness didn’t matter when they cast Samuel L. Jackson. The same goes for them deciding to make him black in the Ultimate comics; his former whiteness was irrelevant. It’s a good point to make, even if she was off by one iteration.

  • Anonymous

    Fuck ‘im. David Hasselhoff is the definitive Nick Fury!

  • Ruby Dynamite

    lawl Don’t hassle The Hoff!

  • Laura Truxillo

    Missed the part where anyone here was saying anything about Frank Miller. Because really, site like this…probably not everyone’s favorite writer.

    Nothing wrong with sending Wolverine to Japan though. Not even anything particularly wrong with an assassin using sai as a weapon of choice.

    Casting a character who has previously been defined by his culture as someone of a different race entirely? Hawkward. See Avatar.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Cosplay–that is fans choosing to dress up as their favorite characters for fun because they love those character so much–and casting decisions–that is, people who are paid money to find the best actor for a give part, who then pay that actor money to portray a certain part–are two vastly different things.

    All Asians aren’t samurai or ninja, but it’s reasonable to say that character who is a samurai or ninja would be Asian.

  • Dessa Brewington

    Having a high IQ doesn’t make you win the argument, dude. Assuming her IQ isn’t as massive as yours (and it very well could be), she’s still making better points. If you’re smarter than her, then why aren’t you proving it?

  • Dessa Brewington

    See, the thing about being underprivileged is that it’s difficult to make a story about us that doesn’t involve that which makes us underprivileged. In the world of comic books, being not-white is unusual enough that it almost always becomes an element of the story.

    Often, stories about white people don’t deal with “whiteness” because that’s precisely what privilege can grant: it means you don’t HAVE to face your race all the time. You’re the “normal,” the “anyman.” And of course, by “anyman,” we mean “any white, cis, able bodied, etc. -man”

  • Dessa Brewington

    “Names Oroku. Comes from the Oroku Highlands of western Germany. Saki was my grandfather’s name. He ran a store, “Saki’s Schnitzel mart.”

    I’m sorry, but there’s really no way the shredder is a white guy.

    Question, do you 999 people ever get dyslexic satan worshippers trying to join?

  • Roane Swindon

    I agree with Shadowmaat – there’s not a remake in history that has bettered the original series, and I doubt there ever will be. Megan Fox is definitely not the April I picture in my head, and now with all the Asian characters replaced by white people (although I bet they’ll have Asian stunt doubles), it’s bound to be terrible. :(

  • Anonymous

    I vote we boycott the movie. Hollywood is continually degrading and defiling our beloved childhood characters. This movie needs to be thoroughly ignored. Save your curiosity for when it comes out on video, or pirated on Youtube (not that I condone that).

  • RapidDescent

    Aside from the whole “betrayed his sensei”, the animated Shredder had almost nothing in the show that was a racially defining aspect to him. He took orders from a brain-robot-monster and led an army of robot ninjas. Never once was there a big deal with him following some cultural notions – or even showing any cultural awareness. His character was always defined by the vague understanding that an American studio had about Japan in the first place at the time.

  • Herbert West

    Some remakes are better. But they are rare. John Carpenter’s The Thing comes to mind.

  • Roane Swindon

    Technically, that wasn’t a remake – it was a follow-up to the original story, wasn’t it?

  • Roane Swindon

    Actually, I think it was a prequel?

  • Andrew Orillion

    Wow, if fan boy pissing and moaning could be converted to energy, we could power the Earth for year with this threat alone.

    1) William Fichnter is good actor. Stop taking this out on him. And why should he turn down a paid job in what will undoubtedly be a successful film if Bay’s track record is any indication?

    2) Fichnter didn’t get the job because he was white, he got the job because he and Bay already have a working relationship. Fichtner was in “Armageddon”.

    3) If they’re casting a white actor, then they’re obviously going to change the character’s origin so Fichtner won’t even technically be playing an Asian.

    4) It’s not like the Shredder is some sort of iconic role that must be filled by an Asian actor like Sulu from “Star Trek”.

    5) In the original cartoon Shredder wasn’t voiced by an Asian actor, he was voiced by an African American actor. No one complained then, why is it an issue now?

    6) WTF does if matter if the turtles are played by white actors? They not even human! Why even bring that up?

    7) It’s a freakin’ Ninja Turtle movie! The way some of you are carrying on you would think this was a remake of “Ran” or “The Seven Samurai” or something uniquely Asian that was being Americanized.

  • OdinsEye

    Clearly you’ve never seen American ninja, GI Joe or Beverly Hills Ninja :)

    Playing Shredder, Chris Farley style = Awesome,

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Samuel L. Jackson isn’t white. They gave the character Jackson’s likeness. Jackson was psyched to play the character. They cast him. I don’t think it’s really the same or has anything to do with the original after a point. That was, what, 10 years ago? Did anyone care? They recently had Ultimate Nick Fury going undercover as the white version of himself. I don’t remember reading a single article. Either way, 10 years ago. Old news.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    Actually, I’ve seen all three. The first was an 80s action film which knew nothing about actual ninjutsu. The third was a comedy, and good lords. GI Joe is an interesting case, since Snake Eyes is the only white ninja in the group, everyone else is Japanese – not counting Cobra Commander’s son. That being said, I’d take most of that with a grain of salt, even then.

    The American fascination with ninja in the 80s was fun, I’ll give it that, but the one thing that was ignored most of the time was the Japanese culture and how it would influence these things. TMNT, strangely enough, played that very straight. The Foot Clan are a Japanese ninja clan, full stop. Splinter trained four specific students as his sons, to help him seek revenge on Shredder. Okay. In the comics, the turtles were not very Americanised… they were trained in hiding, everything dedicated to the destruction of the Shredder. They were assassins, first, last, and foremost.

    The thing is, ninjutsu was originally a subset of other certain martial art styles – you learn martial art X, and as part of your training you learn ninjutsu – which consists of learning how to move quietly, how to attack quickly and efficiently, and how not to get caught or killed. Until the very recent past, ninjutsu was not its own school, that didn’t come in until the ninja craze, and then you had people who had learned martial arts spinning off their ‘ninja dojo’. I find it somewhere between amusing and interesting when I see American Ninjutsu advertised as a legitimate martial art – by this point it IS a martial art, there’s no arguing that, but to say it came from a ‘long line of ninja masters’ is disingenuous. It is true after a fashion, but if you follow it back about a generation or two, and the ‘ninjutsu’ aspect of it vanishes, since it was part of (I believe) a kung fu or shotokan dojo. Take it far enough back and you’re going into a specific branch of Buddhist monks from China, who were hired as assassins during the Sengoku period.

  • Anonymous

    1) Yep, he probably is! I’m pretty sure that 99% either think he’s a fine actor or know that that has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion. Also, as Jill and others note elsewhere, it would be awesome if white actors would occasionally turn down roles like this as a public statement.

    2) And there’s no possible way that Bay’s circle of actors with whom he has worked could be in any way limited by the extreme difficulty Asian actors have getting established in the business. And he definitely couldn’t have put out a casting notice for a specifically Asian (or even specifically Japanese!) actor instead of pulling from his own limited acquaintanceship. (Note: it’s possible that there was such a casting call! In which case, it would have been cool if he’d not, you know, ignored its parameters!)

    3) True. That is kind of the very definition of “whitewashing.”

    4) Nope, a character on a popular show from the childhoods of the demographic at whom this movie is aimed, who is established to be Japanese, is not in any way iconic.

    5) I’ll just refer you to the rest of this thread, where this argument is thoroughly and appropriately ridiculed.

    6) Wouldn’t it be awesome if more actors of color could actually earn a paycheck in a major film and get a chance to meet more people in the industry (point #2!)? This is kind of a big missed opportunity to include under-represented actors in the cast without pissing off racists (ie, not hurting the bottom line)! And, of course, if (as you say) the race of the turtles doesn’t matter, because the actors don’t appear on screen, your point #5 is extra irrelevant.

    7) Absolutely. Only things that are 100% made in Asia with only Asian people creating them are *really* Asian. Other stuff (like, um, Star Trek?) doesn’t really count and can be Americanized by using white actors, because everyone knows that there are no Asian-American people and Americanized=made whiter.

    Thanks, btw, for this amazing summary of so many of the terrible arguments in this thread! It’s so convenient to have them all in one place for sarcastic evisceration!

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I reeeally don’t want to get into this discussion, but mansplain is a pretty condescending term.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Those of us somewhere in the middle do enjoy the show.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    If you’re goth, I want to be rock & roll.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    There probably IS an unintended (by O’Barr…or possibly, intended) ethnic or cultural allusion since the crow must symbolize something to someone in some faith or mythology, but I’m drawing a bank and Google is too far away.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I’m not crazy about Samuel L. Jackson. Until Django, he had kinda become a self parody. But…the character’s likeness was based on him and it fit. So…I disagree.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    “Your sex is weak in logic.” Dude.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    There are rich non-white people. Although I’m not really in support of race swapping. It’s shitty. Make new characters. Everyone should be sick of Batman, anyway. The dude is boring.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Now you’re starting to sound like a Daily Show parody of yourself. Like how John Kerry kept whipping out those purple hearts.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Haha! I actually enjoyed that performance more. Not liked, as such…

  • Anonymous

    You’re thinking of the second one–the one from the 80s is a remake of a 50s movie. The 2000s one is a prequel to the one from the 80s.

    Make total sense? :P

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I can’t agree with that. DOWNVOTE, SIR.

    Nah, I’m kidding.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Is…that what the film is saying?

  • Anonymous

    …good god, I’d pay money to see those movies, and hear the anguish in internet comments. It would be even better than Idris Elba as a Norse God.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Hey, if you need to Google or read the lore before commenting, then you should have to take an awareness test before voting for the president.

    …and I agree with myself.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Agreed. She’s filmed like a sexy wall poster, but she doesn’t act slutty.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Fuckin’ A.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    First, I absolutely agree that casting white people in Akira is a bad move. I can’t imagine that movie would work AT ALL, but definitely not with, say, Channing Tatum as Tetsuo.

    But. I think that while the plot stems inherently from a Japanese reaction to the bomb, I’m not sure if the characters are ever defined by their race. Yes, biker street gangs are a thing in Japan, yes, they have Japanese names, but I’m not sure if that’s the same thing as Shredder being a fricken samurai.

    Wait, hold on. Okay, so I’m arguing for renaming the characters, apparently, and then their races could be changed. But then they wouldn’t be the same characters. *head bang* Nevermind.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    When companies or schools need to meet a nationally mandated quota and you, the individual, are not accepted because they had already reached the high water mark set by that quota, and would have been accepted, given less whites in attendance, given that your grades or credentials are the same as others, then you’re shit out of luck because of your race.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I don’t particularly agree with either of you, but people usually do end up being pretty condescending and insulting in most of the lengthier discussions around here. And by here, I mean the Internet.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    It sounded like he was describing a 1:1 ration, which is not a false equivalence, but…I’d have to say that there are no straight pride parades because who cares?

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Trying to find the end of this thread and I THINK this might be it…kay, so, I think whoever started this argument (Emily, maybe?) about Megan Fox’s casting being a travesty because it’ll sex up a character that isn’t known for that is so far off course I can’t even think of a decent metaphor.

    First of all, since April showed up as one of the first few human female characters in cartoons targeted to boys, she has always been considered a very early incarnation of a cartoon sex symbol of sorts, again, watched by young hormonal boys. She pops up in lists of this sort of thing all the time. So, it’s not an entirely inappropriate direction to take the character. Arguably. I would disagree with that argument, but I can see it.

    Secondly, regardless of who is cast, everyone KNOWS or SHOULD KNOW by this point that Michael Bay is going to stick the camera right up her ass. Because he’s one of those hormonal boys I mentioned earlier. So, it’s not that the actress or character will be bringing any sex appeal so much as Michael Bay is LIKELY going to treat the character as a sex object because he’s an incredible jackass.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Psh, and I thought your name was Bruce Wayne. You liar.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Yup.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    And it was still a huge controversy. So, you’re wrong about it not being one.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I’m from the U.S. and I knew that Indians were normally categorized as Asians.

    Also, I thought the new thing was American Indians?

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Gotta disagree. Anyone here from Russia? Can we poll some Russians and see how many of them think of themselves as being the same as the Germans, Americans, French, or English? Or can someone drop pamphlets on Ireland so that everyone understands the division has all been a big misunderstanding because they’re all white, so who cares?

    I’m fairly certain that I wasn’t born in Caucasia…

    I think this is an American concept more than any other.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Agreed.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    You could’ve made all of those points without slut shaming Megan Fox, and you could also lay the blame for that continuous objectification and sexualization of Fox at the correct doorstep, the directors who do it.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I doubt most of us knew. Although if we knew, we probably wouldn’t have cared, so yup.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    When was the last time you criticized a male actor as a slut, or for bringing his slutty ways to a role?

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    There was a whole plot arc about his assassination attempt on Splinter and it’s set in a dojo in Japan.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    It’s a condescending term for a condescending behavior.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Actors need to work, so I don’t agree that they should turn down work.

  • Anonymous

    I never said they *should*, just that it would be cool if more of them did, when doing so could benefit others (even symbolically).

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I’d agree that, overall, he’s being a total ass, but the specific comment he made prior to ‘mansplain’ was “This statement is entirely contrary to fact, by the way, especially in regard to the relationship between the original comic and the Brandon Lee movie.” Didn’t seem appropriate to me.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Ah, well. Hm. I suppose.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Usually Michael Bay. Wonderful.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I can’t think of a single female actor that has been called a slut (prior to this particular situation). Is that a thing?

  • Anonymous

    Changing race/gender of characters is the new way to gen up buzz, it seems. Ask anyone about Man of Steel and the changes to Perry White and Jimmy Olsen. Go back to 2003 and Michael Clarke Duncan as Kingpin.
    When is it “okay” and when is it “outrageous?”

  • Joanna

    Of course he did >_>

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    When it’s giving POC more opportunities in film, it’s ok. When it’s white people being placed in what should be a POC role, it’s outrageous.

  • TheChief

    Do people look at this casting differently than ones where they replace white characters with black actors (ie Kingpin, Nick Fury, Human Torch, etc)? Seems there might be a bit of a double standard in regards to race swapping. Though with a history of having mainly white main characters in movies (particularly males), I sort of understand why.

  • Robert Vary

    “Either you’re for more diversity and so cheer for diversity in any form
    (which could mean taking a classically black character and making him
    white, if you’re really down with being different and changing up a
    cast).”

    But when the vast majority of characters and actors in mainstream American movies are already white, taking a classically black character and making him white makes things LESS diverse, not more.

    It’s like… say that you own 100 t-shirts. 97 of them are green. Two are blue, and one is purple. You think to yourself “Hey, all my t-shirts look the same! I need a more diverse collection.” You can either add more t-shirts of different colors or (if space in your dresser is limited) replace some of the green t-shirts with, say, some more purple, or some orange. What you’re not gonna do is take one of your blue shirts and replace it with green, because that makes things even MORE homogenous. And I think people would be forgiven for wondering why you almost never wear anything but green t-shirts.

  • OnyxPrimal

    Shredder (AND Splinter for that matter) being Asian is part of the back story. That origin just does not work with a white guy (if they call him Oroku Saki its going to be even weirder). And quite frankly if they are changing the origin then it’s not TMNT. They keep handing us reasons not go see this train wreck. I say we take them up on the offer.

  • Robert Vary

    It is a false equivalence because it’s not a 1:1 ratio. There are way more white male roles than there are non-white, non-male roles. If you have a million dollars and I have a hundred, it makes a big difference which of us gives the other a loan of fifty dollars.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Yes. Kristen Stewart was the last one to receive the treatment, but it’s common for actresses to get shamed for their sexuality(or lack thereof)

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    It was because he assumed, because he’s a guy, that he knew more about the comics than Ruby, who he’s assuming is a woman, and that she can’t possibly know more about comics than him.

  • Robert Vary

    Yeah! And why didn’t Robin Hood steal from the poor and give to the rich, just to keep things even?

  • Fisty

    The real story here isn’t the whitewashing, it’s the fact they’ve picked exactly the WRONG KIND OF PERSON IN GENERAL. This guy should play the nerd, not a bad ass like Shredder. I can’t see him playing a badass character at all. Fuck Michael Bay

  • Anonymous

    So a Caucasian Robbie Robertson shouldn’t be any more cause for concern than an African-American Perry White, because neither’s race is integral to the character of the comic. Likewise, JJJ could be played by Judi Dench, because it isn’t necessary for the character to be male to be an anti-wallcrawler crusading publisher.

  • Robert Vary

    Your last sentence. Yes. That’s the one. Giving a drastically under-represented group a part that otherwise would’ve gone to a drastically over-represented group is most distinctly not the same thing as the other way ’round. If you have two kids, and one has twenty toys and the other only has one, it’s not a double standard to ask the first kid to share a couple of their many toys with the second kid, rather than ask the second kid to give up their only toy to the first kid. Ideally, yes, they would each have equal access to all the toys, but to work towards that we have to focus on rectifying the inequality by evening it out some, and that only goes in one direction.

  • Amanda Feijoo

    It’s Michael Bay, he’s sexist, racist, and an all around jerk of a human being. I’d be surprised if he wasnt shocking us with his idiocy.

  • Amanda Feijoo

    I don’t know why my comment was deleted but suffice it to say this is the sort of behavior we expect from Michael Bay.

  • RC_cola

    Not to detract from your point, but your off-the-cuff suggestion might have made the prequels bearable. At least then I could imagine that Mace Windu was Anakin’s dad rather than some midichlorians or some shit.

  • RC_cola

    I believe the working title for the film was “FratBoy: The Movie starring Megan Fox’s ass”.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    It looks to me like you’re assuming his assumption was based on being male. Maybe it was based on him thinking that people commonly discuss topics with which they are not familiar and since he has apparently read the comics, he assumed he knew more than she did? He keeps mentioning that 999 thing as if it matters. It seems like he does a lot of assuming. If you think that’s because he’s a man, that’s your prejudice. I just thought he was because he was an ass.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Ah, yeah. Forgot about that. Big debacle. Nothing to do with her roles. Ruined lots of fan girls dreams. Good point.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Does it? That sounds like a huge bias to me. Who cares who needs the loan? I’d be more concerned with whether I’m going to get the fifty back and if there’s interest involved (woohoo, interest). His words…not yours, his…were “A…role”. Not many roles. A single role. You can add up all those singles roles however you want, but that’s another discussion. I’d like to think that each role is unique, that every actor isn’t a signifier for their entire race or gender, but I live in the United States of No One Can Be Happy Until We’re All Happy.

  • Joie Young

    I would be a LOT less bothered by this if – and only if – traditionally white roles were race-bent with frequency (and even then…). Practically EVERY lead role is a traditionally white role and, while I love old movies, leads have never been representative of the populous and POC’s were almost always rude caricatures of beings just barely human enough to pass as such.

    Not okay with this. Not at all.

  • Brian

    I think you’re arguing against a point nobody’s making. Ruby was trying to say that when they adapted Nick Fury, they didn’t care that he used to be white in the other comics. She had thought this adaptation was for the movie, but it was for the comics. Her point still stands. You don’t have to point out that it has nothing to do with the original after a point, because that’s what we were saying in the first place.

  • Ashe

    Affirmative action was created to counteract white people being chosen too often, regardless of whether or not they were qualified.

    Granted, it’s a pretty flawed method: it was discovered that not only did white people STILL gain the most scholarships and attendances, but white woman were the top beneficiaries (meaning it sorta worked and sorta didn’t). I appreciate the sentiment, but not necessarily how it was implemented.

    Nonetheless, affirmative action was set up to balance out decades of past racism and its snowball effect (inherited wealth, legacy, etc). It was still white privilege that shot itself in the foot here.

    It sounds biased in isolation, but in the grand scheme, it’s an attempt (albeit a flawed attempt) to balance things out.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Not the case. You’re saying that since the adaptation and the original are not the same, you can change whatever you wish. I don’t agree. What I’m saying is that Nick Fury in the films has NOT been changed. It’s different.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Right, so it qualifies people based on sex, gender, race, what have you. Sounds awful to me.

  • Robert Vary

    But it’s not another discussion. Choices like this one don’t happen in a vacuum. Arguments can be made for this single role, or that single role, but all of those individual roles do add up, and in this case they add up to an overwhelming majority of screen roles going to white men. If you want to change the big picture, where groups of people are being erased into invisibility, you HAVE to start with individual roles.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    If it is done with care and thought, and race or culture was not a significant part of the culture, then it’s okay. If it’s done without due consideration, or ignores race or culture, then I’d say it’s more outrageous.

    Now, if you’re altering race, and keeping the shift in culture as part of that, I think it would be interesting. You’d need to be careful of that however.

  • Ashe

    My sex and race(s) already work against me and that’s pretty awful.

  • Anonymous

    I just can’t bring myself to care.

  • Matthew

    “but he does not have as much control of his regeneration”

    That is key. The Doctor has no control over his regenerations. If he has no control and the Time Lords are the sort of race where it doesn’t matter what gender they regenerate into, then why does the Doctor always pick a male body? It makes more sense that the Time Lords are like humans in the sense that they are born with a certain predisposition. River always picks female. The Doctor, since he has no control, would seem to be male by default but not necessarily “white”. The Corsair might have been a transgendered Time Lord so therefore, he/she can regenerate into any sex, or at least, “wants” to. And Romana, in that infamous regeneration scene, tried on “alien” bodies that were not clearly male. So while it’s no problem to have the Dr. regenerate into a POC, a female Dr. will have to be written with a little more care. He can’t “choose” a female form because he can’t. If he becomes a woman, then some care will have to be paid to how it’s done. It can’t be “oh, i’m a woman now, no big whoop”. He’s been a man for a thousand years or so. Regenerating into a woman can not be “just another” regeneration.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I agree.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    I was astonished by how good that cartoon was! And they made Baxter Stockman the right colour.

  • Anonymous

    And it doesn’t strain credulity to accept that an alien race could have a bunch of people with white traits? We’ve got to stop treating white skin and other Caucasian traits as this mystical miraculous default, and all other racial traits as deviations from that norm.

    Not to mention, if multiple colors/variations of the same species could evolve on Earth, they could evolve on Vulcan or Kronos or whatever.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    It is another discussion. It’s not what he said, you’re adding to it. I’m not. I’m not interested in that larger discussion because I believe that the individual roles matter in a different way than you do. I’m not interested in those individual roles becoming part of the collective you’re describing that deals with people like numbers and symbols and groups.

  • Brian

    YES. And I’m saying that Nick Fury was changed from his original version when adapted into the Ultimate Universe. Hence my first comment pointing out that if you sub that in, the point still stands. And the point, once again, is that when Marvel created a new version of Nick Fury, they did not care that he had been white up until that time.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    Yeah, it’s not like whites get the majority of roles in Hollywood or something!

    …Oh wait.

  • Robert Vary

    But the big, collective picture IS about the individual roles. For instance, it’s about how difficult it is for, say, Asian actors to find work in the United States. For each of those individual actors trying to get these individual roles, the big picture – in which most of the parts are for white men, and even some Asian characters get given to white me – matters a great deal. I’m not talking about numbers and symbols. I’m talking, at least in part, about people not being able to get work because they’re being made invisible on a large scale.

  • Carl Jackson

    Honestly, I think outrage has more to do with attention at this point. I keep looking at this story and thinking, “you know it’s funny Johnny Depp got green stamped until The Lone Ranger actually came out” at which point a few people had a problem with Tonto being a white guy. And frankly, I find less Native American representation in general, so what gives?

    This thing has everyone in a tizzy, and yet this character is based off a nick name (The Shredder) and you can’t exactly make the case asian actors face nearly the invisibility in pop culture that Native Americans do although they’re far from white representation levels. Why so much more angst on THIS character?

    Long story short, I actually find this whole thing silly, not because the cause is wrong, but because this is a Michael Bay film people were complaining about already (because Michael Bay) and the anger seems… well disproportionate and arbitrary.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    The point, the original point, was Ruby saying, “I could say ‘well, in the comic books, Nick Fury was white’. That has no bearing on Marvel’s choice to go with Samuel L. Jackson.” And that’s what I have been arguing. You’ve altered that original incorrect statement.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Right, which is another discussion. Different from the one I began arguing. Having nothing to do with what I was saying. I don’t disagree with you, but it has nothing to do with what I was saying.

  • Brian

    “because I’m white.”

  • Brian

    No, I’m saying that even though she was misinformed about when the change was made, her point stands. Hence my initial post: “If it’s that important, just replace “go with Samuel L. Jackson” with “Make him black in the Ultimate Universe.”"

  • Brian

    Okay, you say a white character made into something else, and we’ll say three minority characters made white, and we’ll see who runs out first.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Argh, not the same thing. Actors do not work or remain unemployed because comic books switch things up.

  • Brian

    “Fichtner was in “Armageddon”.”

    And Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa was in “Pearl Harbor”, so why can’t he be the Shredder?

  • Brian

    And it’s not like Fitchner’s hurting for work. He’s the bad guy in The Lone Ranger this year, as well as being in three other films.

  • Brian

    Technically it’s a re-adaptation of the original novella, which the first movie seemed to have only a passing knowledge of.

  • Brian

    Let’s not go nuts. Wes Studi is like 70. He can’t be Batman… unless it’s in a Batman Beyond movie… HOLY CRAP! AWESOME!

  • Brian

    What has that got do do with whether the character’s race is an essential part of the character? We’re saying that characters’ races can change. Yeah, she was wrong on when the change happened, but change it did.

  • Anonymous

    Really? Well, I guess that tells us something about how much racial sensitivity comes into play when he chooses projects.

  • Brian

    Oh, that’s just silly. Johnny Depp is as much as one-sixteenth maybe-Cherokee. It’s totally fine. A white guy on Facebook said so.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Okay, if that’s the argument, then it’s a lousy example. It’s not the same universe. It’s a different character altogether. There’s a black Superman and a gay Green Lantern but nobody cares because it’s in Earth 2.

  • Brian

    And films and comics aren’t the same universe, either.

  • Aaron kooienga

    My thoughts are on this is ridiculous I was an old fan of TMNT from when I was a kid but this makes me sad so very sad.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    Re: James Bond, we do?

    Putting that aside, I’ve said this is the article and several times in this comment section but I’ll say it again, it’s about representation in media. POC are underrepresented, letting one play a character whose background is not dependant on being “white,” is an acceptable way to give them more roles.

    James Bond has nothing in his background that would be affected were he another race and it’s canon Time Lords can change gender in regenerations.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Then you need to see him in more. I like him a lot, he’s played prison guards, FBI agents, shuttle pilots, he was a Delta Force soldier in Black Hawk Down.

    He’s also done roles where he’s played the nerd or a wimpy guy, but that’s just his acting ability, not his actual persona.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    But people care. And we’re talking about adapted works. Not characters that have the same name but take up different space. Nick Fury’s actions in the Ultimate Universe do not change what happens in 616. Ultimately, his portrayal in the films is an adaptation of the Ultimate Universe character and it’s a close adaptation of his mannerisms and likeness.

    If you took the regular universe Superman and decided to make him black in the movies, people would argue about it. But nobody really cares about Nick Fury’s portrayal because the character wasn’t altered. It’s not a good example.

  • http://arewerobots.libsyn.com/ DarthBetty

    Somebody explained to me that this technically could be done because Shredder is just a title, so it doesn’t have to be a Japanese guy. Can anyone shed light on this? Conversation is more stimulating that google searching.

    I would prefer a Japanese actor, but I’m interested to know how my friend has come about this conclusion. It would still mean that they would have to Last-Samurai Shredder.

  • Fisty

    I’ve seen him plenty. You’re missing the point this guy is not Shredder, regardless of race.

  • Brian

    “Nick Fury’s actions in the Ultimate Universe do not change what happens in 616. ”

    Nor do his actions in the film.

    “But nobody really cares about Nick Fury’s portrayal because the character wasn’t altered. ”

    HE WAS ALTERED, BUT NOT IN THE FILMS. He was altered when they made Ultimate Nick Fury. And the movies aren’t based on the Ultimate Universe. They take elements from the 50 years or so of Avengers comics out there. There’s no possible way to take the regular universe Superman and make him black in the movies, because the movies are a universe unto themselves. And yeah, people complained about Samuel Jackson, just like they complained about gay Alan Scott and about Miles Morales and about Ultimate Fury back in 2001.

    The fact is this: When Marvel redesigned Nick Fury, they made him black, despite the fact that he’d been white for 40 years at that time. The fact that Ruby was off by 10 years and one iteration when she made this point is immaterial. They did change Nick Fury’s race.

  • Brian

    Nope. Shredder isn’t a title, it’s one dude. Oroku Saki. There’s the occasional pretender, and once Saki was an alien in disguise, but it’s the one guy.

  • http://arewerobots.libsyn.com/ DarthBetty

    Whoa okay, so it sounds like there is the absolute Shredder and then some lame butt posers. Thanks

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    It’s not the same at all. The original Nick Fury still exists in ongoing adventures. He wasn’t replaced. He even got his own terrible adaptation into a film.

    In either case, all of these conversations have been about actors being cast in “white-washed” roles. That isn’t the case with Nick Fury because he’s black in the comic, black on film. They didn’t change his race. Whether they created a black comic book character (that did NOT replace the other version of the character, since he’s still around), no one’s going to lose any sleep because there’s no actual human being involved. No actor is playing the role. It’s not the same goddamn thing.

  • Dan Griffin

    I didn’t expect any less coming from Bay.

  • Anonymous

    Take a look around you, where advertisements and/or media is showing you a picture of a human being. What color is that human being’s skin? It’s okay, I’ll wait……

  • Brian

    The only one that really stuck was his daughter, Karai, who makes the occasional appearance in other media.

  • Blaze Gunn

    Imo this is almost as equivelent to the making a Daredevil Franchise reboot and having him not lose his eyesight…

  • Brian

    It IS the same goddamned thing, because it was being used to demonstrate how race is not important to the portrayal of certain characters. Actors don’t necessarily enter into it. And it’s completely irrelevant whether they “replace” a character, because ALL the regular characters continue to exist in comic book form, even if they make a movie of them. I honestly have no idea what point you’re trying to argue. Ruby was wrong to say they changed Fury’s race for the movies. But the essential point that race is not important to the character of Nick Fury remains.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I never said that race was important to the character of Nick Fury. I’m saying that the race of Nick Fury was never changed. Therefore I don’t see how it enters into an argument about Shredder’s race being changed. If they’re changing the character from a samurai named Hiroku into what I remember hearing was that he would be named Colonel Schrader or Chraeder or Schraeder or some other nonsense, then it sounds as if they might be eliminating his race from the equation. They might taking away that racial component, so they can make him white or whatever else, thereby supposedly white-washing the character. Changing that character’s race when bringing him to film and completely altering the character is NOTHING like NOT changing a character when adapting it to film. It’s a stupid comparison. It doesn’t compare at all. BUT. Even if it DID. Changing a character’s race in the comics (such as making him white in the ultimate universe, which doesn’t really compare anyway since the ultimate universe is in a divergent line and both characters continue to exist therefore nothing is overwritten) doesn’t matter at all because no one loses a job, no actor goes out of work. So, if what she meant to say was, “Fury was changed from white to black in the comics,” that is incorrect. Another character with the name and base identity now exists alongside the previous character. Nothing was overwritten.

    Back to Shredder…I agree. The comic and the film are not the same. If they change Shredder to Colonel something-or-other and change his background and race, the cartoons still exist, the comics still exist. Yet people are still in an uproar. So. Apparently, it does matter to some people whether a character is portrayed a certain way in a film adaptation. It IS like they are being replaced. But Fury is not a good example of that.

  • Maddie Hong

    So if Shredder and Splinter are both Japanese wouldn’t making them caucasian be taking the ‘ninja’ out of ninja turtles?

  • Brian

    A – No actor loses a job over this. One actor gets cast for any part, and a thousand don’t, but that doesn’t mean they’ve ‘lost their job’.

    B – Nothing is overwritten when making a character on film, either. People aren’t upset about something being overwritten.

    C – People did complain, loudly and longly and racistly, about Ultimate Fury, and about Miles Morales, and about Alan Scott. If you think bigots look at this and say “Oh, it’s an alternate universe, no big, you are wrong.

    CONCLUSION – Bringing up comic Fury is perfectly relevant when discussing changes of race in a new adaptation, because when they made the Ultimate Universe, it was a new adaptation of Fury, and they changed his race.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Alrighty, wacko. You can change the topic of discussion to fit your example as many times as you like. And then you can talk to someone else about it. Bye bye.

  • Ashe

    Hm! Maybe it’s a regional thing. From people I talk to, Indian always seems to get its own specificity.

    And I’m far from an expert on this-I think Native American is used as a general catch-all term whereas American Indian is for someone who identifies with a tribe-and even then, it’s preferred to use that tribe’s specific name. Sioux, Cherokee, etc.

  • CMFTW

    Slut shaming…..*sigh* …Never gets old. -_-

  • CMFTW

    Another one brainwashed by the patriarchy. Take your sexism elsewhere.

  • Brian

    Yes, when discussing changing the race of characters in adaptations, someone had the temerity to bring up a character what had their race changed in an adaptation. Of all the malarkey.

  • Matthew

    They got rid of the half human thing a long time ago. It hasn’t been mentioned in the new series and was reversed in the BBC novels.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Nick Fury did NOT have his race changed in an adaptation. In an alternate timeline, there is a black version of the character. THAT character received an adaptation. The first Nick Fury ALSO received an adaptation. There was no change. It has nothing to do with anything. It is not the same thing.

  • Porco Rosso

    Because it’s a Michael Bay movie based on a cartoon that wasn’t exactly groundbreaking in any way. There are better things to get upset about.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    I’m just gonna repeat what I’ve said to several others in this thread who are also missing the point.

    It’s about representation in media. POC are underrepresented, letting one play a character whose background is not dependant on being “white,” is an acceptable way to give them more roles. So no, we weren’t upset over Laurence Fishburne being cast because it gave a POC a high-profile role that wasn’t dependent on color.

    Oh and whitewashing? I didn’t add it to the lexicon, it’s been around for a while because it’s an actual thing. Google whitewashing (or racebending) Hollywood and find out just how bad it is.

  • Brian

    They adapted the character into the new comics. It’s as much of an adaptation as the movies are.

  • Brian

    Okay. Except they are obviously Asians, and every Avatar fan I’ve ever spoken to has known that’s obvious. They may not have a place called “Asia” on their world, but they’re explicitly based on Asian cultures and designed to look like Asian people.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Nope. Different.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    I agree that he shouldn’t play Shredder, I’m just taking umbrage at your statement that he should play a nerd, not a badass.

  • Mr Lawless

    The novels aren’t necessarily canon.

  • Brian

    It’s not. You’re acting like a film version is less of an alternate universe than a different comic.

  • Tamara Brooks

    What you’re talking about is phenomenon that happens when viewers imprint their own ideas on what a character is based on their own biases despite evidence to the contrary. Ex: People who read Hunger Games and thought Rue was white regardless of clear descriptions.

  • Tamara Brooks

    People do find it troublesome but the character of Tonto is also highly problematic so it’s a hard one to digest. On the one hand, he should be played by a Native American. On the other hand, historically the character is a racist caricature and I’m not so sure he’s been updated that much so I’m fine that he’s not being played by a Native American. It’s complicated.

  • Tamara Brooks

    ALL OF THIS.

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree Fichtner is wrong for Shredder but seriously? Fichtner is a total badass! He’s the best thing about Drive Angry and that has Nicolas Cage acting insane to bolster it as well!

  • Raiden

    Maybe he’s being based on the 2002 cartoon version of shredder? where he’s the Utrom in the robot suit, and not an Asian stereotype?

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Because there’s more to it than that.

  • Brian

    There’s not. It’s making a new version of an established character.

  • Brian

    The robot suit that was designed after an Asian man and operated under the civilian name of Oroku Saki. And how was he a stereotype? Yeah, Asians are all the time leading criminal syndicates with steak knives taped to their elbows.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    We are never going to agree on this.

  • Brian

    Only because you are speaking arrant nonsense, but okay.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    And you can’t see an obvious difference between drawings and roles filled by human beings.

  • http://wrongsirwrong.blogspot.com/ Magic Xylophone

    In hindsight, though, isn’t it good Last Airbender went that way? If that shitty flop had as diverse a cast as the source material demanded, you’d get executives saying it just goes to show you can’t make a successful movie without white leads.

  • Guest

    I’d say it’s a little more complex than that. If you had a black Iron Man, the drunken belligerence and indulgent lifestyle might have unfortunate implications. And there are tons of supporting characters who, were they played by black people, would be dismissed as “Magic Negros.” More jobs for POC is important, but they have to be the right jobs or it’ll do more harm in terms of representation than good.

  • Brian

    No, I can’t see the relevance when it comes to representation in the given medium and whether or not the character’s former race is relevant. Just because a formerly-white character is drawn by Mike Allred or played by Michael Clarke Duncan doesn’t make a difference to the character’s past.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Okay.

  • Raiden

    Hey, I’m as unhappy about this as you are. But I try to assume good faith. Many people the world who aren’t familiar with the TMNT mythos may see Shredder as the “Asian Villain” Stereotype, so Paramount and Bay changed his ethnicity to avoid ticking off the foreign Market.

    Basically Michael Bay is too lazy to rewrite the script to make Shredder a Non Stereotypical Villain, so avoid racist implications, he cast a white guy. Cop out.

    All we can do is not go see it, and tell our friends to not go see it, and pray to God it flops.

  • Anonymous

    First, let’s see the movie before we judge. Fichtner is a fantastic actor and I think this movie will be better by having him.
    Second, lay off of Megan Fox. Those that come out and attack her just sound stupid. She’s a fine actress and as far as most Hollywood starlets she’s a god damn saint. She’s never in the tabloids doing stupid things/drugs/alcohol and appears to have a strong marriage. Also, yes…she is going to be typecast into the pretty girl role. Who the fuck cares! Arnold Schwarzeneggar, Tim Allen, Sean William Scott, Jonah Hill, etc, etc etc have been typecast in every role they have ever played. It happens.

    I’m not saying this movie is going to be great. But let’s wait until the movie comes out until we judge.

  • Raiden

    I try to assume good faith. But after the Boondoggle of the Last Airbender, (where Asian Characters were cast with White Actors) can you at least understand why we are so worried?

    I understand WHY they did it, but that still doesn’t make it hurt any less, and I’m not even Asian!

  • Anonymous

    It’s just wierd that it only “hurts” when it’s one way…when a white person replaces someone else. No one was “hurt” when Whoopi Goldberg replaced a role that, in every version of TMNT, has been a white male. Let’s just let the casting, director, and creator of this movie do what they get paid to do and then we can talk it out afterward. It’s their story to tell. Maybe Shredder isn’t asian in this movie. Maybe it’s a totally new direction. Let’s wait and find out.

  • Raiden

    I recommend this article, it may clear up a few misconceptions. And explain why it’s supposedly a “Double Standard”

    http://www.racebending.com/v4/featured/academy-awards-2012-putting-blackface-context/

  • Travis

    Judi Dench playing JJJ would be worth the price of admission, even 3-D admission.

  • Melodia E. McIntyre

    No. Racism is being prejudiced against someone based on their race. If someone is prejudiced against a person just because they are white, it’s still racism. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/racism?s=t See definition #3.

  • Ashe

    Words are constantly being redefined, challenged, reassessed and reclaimed.

    Quoting the dictionary, which is used as a basic tool in the first place and is in no way the be-all, end-all source of knowledge on any topic, is a little weak.

    And there’s my last word.

  • Anonymous

    How about Zimbabwe since 2000?

  • Ashe

    Disclaimer: I speak only for the United States.

    Zimbabwe is a separate country with completely different identity politics and histories which I, honestly, know jack shit about.

  • Anonymous

    “It has been revealed that actor Mos Def will be playing the villainous mad scientist Baxter Stockman”

    and nobody complained… lol

    Well ok… of course someone probably will complain… IDK, the only time I really care about this kind of thing, is when they try to portray the character as a race they aren’t… as long as they don’t have him doing ‘asianface’ and keeping the story that he’s still Japanese, I really don’t give a sh** what race the actor is as long as he does a good job. From what I’ve read it sounds like they are portraying the character as an American (Erick Sachs or something?)- I don’t know what changes they’ll make to the backstory or if they’ll just ignore Shredder’s backstory, but if they want to put their own spin on the origin story, that’s their business. I can get if some people think it’s heresy to the TMNT origins, but I don’t really think it’s racist. And if you don’t like the change to the story, just don’t see the movie. And I would also say… come on guys… the whole deal of TMNT since it became an 80′s cartoon is not that true to the comic book origins, haha. But for those of us who grew up with the 80′s stuff, I get that… If they DO still try to portray him as Japanese, then I think that would definitely be a mistake.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe you should check your privilege then.

  • Ashe

    Check my privilege about the plight of white people in other countries? I’m full up, thanks.

  • Ashe

    Avatar fans are more than welcome to try erasing our current social inequities, racial categorizations/divides and cultural markers.

    The show doesn’t exist in a void. Just because that is what you want to see doesn’t mean that’s what society does.

    Society sees a bunch of Asians running around in an Asian world, and, funnily enough, if we’re to GET to that colorblind philosophy you’re toting around? We need to recognize that they are Asian.

    Not. Fucking. White.

  • Brian

    Why would anyone complain? Baxter Stockman was black.

  • Anonymous

    damn, you got me there, lol. I didn’t get that into the original comics, I just know it’s really different in tone than the 80′s cartoon which (I assume) is what most of the crowd that has a problem with this ‘holds dear’. I was just joking on that one though, I still personally don’t find the casting choice racist as long as they aren’t trying to portray the character as Japanese.

  • http://www.justplainsomething.com JustPlainSomething

    Yeah, but it’s still disappointing that in a world where everything that’s not a movie seems to get adapted into a movie, a franchise that prides itself on beautifully written characters with awesome representation got not only a poorly written mess but also a production that thought whitewashing the leads was totally okay and normal.

    They didn’t even have the excuse of “Well their skintone is ambiguous” or “It’s interpretation.” The show made it pretty damn clear. It took EFFORT to mess up the casting this bad, is what I’m saying.

  • kofybean

    The all white cast of ninja masters probably crosses the outrageous line of Hollywood whitewashing.

  • Draco

    I THINK THIS MOVIE WILL BOMB.