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

Today in things that make us scream incoherently

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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Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."