More than 12,000 people have signed a petition protesting Scarlett Johanssen’s new role in the American adaptation of the 1995 Japanese sci-fi film "Ghost in the Shell." The petition’s signees are demanding that DreamWorks, the studio that’s producing the film, recast the role and stop whitewashing Asian characters.
"What concerns me is the fact that minority actors are so rarely given opportunities in big-budget leading roles," says Care2 petition author Julie Rodriguez. "It’s a self-defeating cycle: Hollywood insists viewers won’t be drawn unknown minority actors, but they’re never given the chance to break out of a narrow set of background roles to prove themselves. Ghost in the Shell could have been a perfect opportunity to buck this trend, but instead promising actresses are being passed over."
Recently, more than 25,000 people signed a petition targeted at director Ridley Scott, who decided to cast several white actors to play Biblical Egyptian characters in the recently released film "Exodus: Gods and Kings."