After Marvel’s Iron Fist by Netflix faced criticism for its depiction of a white man learning martial arts and outdoing his Asian counterparts, Netflix is coming under fire again for whitewashing Legend of the Monkey.
Mashable reports that the streaming service’s new series Legend of the Monkey stars absolutely no Chinese actors, even if it’s a retelling of a Chinese tale dating back to the 16th century.
Legend of the Monkey is based on the epic tale Journey to the West and is considered one of the four great classic novels of Chinese literature. The tale is so popular that there’s basically a remake of it every couple of years or so in China. It’s no surprise, that Asian viewers were not happy to see the tale without any representation.
However, there are Asian actors in the series. Mashable reports that Thai actor Chai Hansen is in the role of Monkey. Additionally, there are two Maori actors cast in lead roles, which didn’t satisfy many fans. The Internet lit up with angry responses as nobody is shy about calling out the production company’s whitewashing. Even China’s social media platform Weibo flooded with criticism as well.
— Fooi-Ling Khoo (@oofarchitecture) April 21, 2017
“I really hate it when foreigners do not understand Chinese culture…and tamper with it,” one user wrote. “I’m starting a Beijing version of Romeo and Juliet,” a user added, showing just how important Journey to the West is to Chinese culture.
— Beryl Bai (@BBaiology) April 25, 2017
Earlier this year, The Great Wall faced criticism for casting Matt Damon in a lead role and Scarlett Johannson’s Ghost in the Shell remake also came under fire for whitewashing. Hollywood, you can do better than this.
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