Author Topic: Doctor Strange  (Read 574 times)

Online Jeff

  • Administrator
  • Jedi Council Member
  • *
  • Posts: 22374
  • what is it? it's it.
    • View Profile
    • www.JediDefender.com
Re: Doctor Strange
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2016, 01:20 PM »
The movie is supposedly sticking to the comic origin, where Strange travels to Asia to learn mystical powers from the Ancient One.  Rather than have an Asian play the guy from Asia (!), we're getting a rich white guy travelling to Asia where a powerful white woman will teach him the secret mysteries of an Asian culture.  I have to think it's a lot more offensive to write an Asian out of an Asian role, but whatever.

Angry Asian Man doesn't seem too thrilled by it...

NICE TRY, MARVEL. 'DR. STRANGE' CASTING IS STILL WHITEWASHING

TILDA SWINTON TEACHES DR. STRANGE THE MYSTICAL ASIAN STUFF
Editor-in-Chief  - www.JediDefender.com
On Twitter?  Follow JediDefender -> @jedidefender / Follow me -> @jlsmentek

Offline JediJman

  • Jedi Guardian
  • *
  • Posts: 15547
  • I don't get drunk, I get awesome.
    • View Profile
Re: Doctor Strange
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2016, 03:38 PM »
Why didn't they just get Michelle Yeoh to play the ancient one? She was amazing in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

She's too Asian for the role.  :-X
"After Tuesday even the calendar goes W T F. "

Offline Matt_Fury

  • Jedi Master
  • *
  • Posts: 6822
  • I aim to misbehave.
    • View Profile
    • Every Action Figure Parody has a beginning.
Re: Doctor Strange
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2016, 01:22 AM »
Because she's busy with the sequel.
Peacekeeper, when it absolutely, positively has to be nuked in 30 minutes or less.  Or the next nuke's free!

Offline JediJman

  • Jedi Guardian
  • *
  • Posts: 15547
  • I don't get drunk, I get awesome.
    • View Profile
Re: Doctor Strange
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2016, 02:04 AM »
Angry Asian Man doesn't seem too thrilled by it...

NICE TRY, MARVEL. 'DR. STRANGE' CASTING IS STILL WHITEWASHING

TILDA SWINTON TEACHES DR. STRANGE THE MYSTICAL ASIAN STUFF

That was a fun read, if for nothing other than this line, "As far as I can tell, the Mystical Asian Stuff includes out-of-body karate (hey, that rhymes), in which you can hit someone so hard, your body farts out a glowing version of yourself."   ;D
"After Tuesday even the calendar goes W T F. "

Offline BillCable

  • Jedi General
  • *
  • Posts: 9680
  • CreatureCantina.com SUCKS!!
    • View Profile
    • CreatureCantina.com
Re: Doctor Strange
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2016, 04:09 PM »
Why the Ancient One is a white woman...

The Tibet v/s China angle didn't even occur to me.  It's crazy the stuff they need to consider to keep from financial catastrophe.
Bill Cable - Steeler Fan & Star Wars Collector
  http://CreatureCantina.com       
"Cable is incapable of contributing anything positive to this world" - cstoj

Offline JediJman

  • Jedi Guardian
  • *
  • Posts: 15547
  • I don't get drunk, I get awesome.
    • View Profile
Re: Doctor Strange
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2016, 10:42 AM »
Why the Ancient One is a white woman...

The Tibet v/s China angle didn't even occur to me.  It's crazy the stuff they need to consider to keep from financial catastrophe.

That still doesn't really explain it. He just whines that someone would be complaining with whomever they selected.  Are they not going to have her come from Tibet now?  Seems like including Tibet at all would be upsetting to the Chinese versus whomever they decided to cast.  I guess I don't know enough about the conflict there, but not seeing how making the Ancient One a white woman solves any of it.
"After Tuesday even the calendar goes W T F. "

Offline BillCable

  • Jedi General
  • *
  • Posts: 9680
  • CreatureCantina.com SUCKS!!
    • View Profile
    • CreatureCantina.com
Re: Doctor Strange
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2016, 10:58 AM »
His point is that it's impossible to "solve."  There is no choice that'll make everyone happy, so you decide which damage you want to inflict on yourself.  And they chose to upset "traditionalists" instead of upsetting the Chinese market. 

That's probably the most financially sound decision, since it's unlikely a bunch of comic book geeks are going to skip Dr. Strange because Tilda Swinton is the Ancient One.  If they'd cast someone from Tibet (following comic canon), then it's possible the Chinese government wouldn't even allow it to be released in their country.

FWIW, Tibet is disputed territory.  China says it's part of China.  Tibet claims independence.  And ethnic Tibetans are not viewed favorably by many Chinese.
Bill Cable - Steeler Fan & Star Wars Collector
  http://CreatureCantina.com       
"Cable is incapable of contributing anything positive to this world" - cstoj

Offline Nicklab

  • Jedi General
  • *
  • Posts: 9576
  • Deceived? WHAT?!?!
    • View Profile
Re: Doctor Strange
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2016, 04:27 PM »
The New York Times picked this up, too.  And their article also cited the concerns about stereotypes and tensions regarding China and Tibet.  Tibet is a very touchy subject in China.  Just look at how the Chinese government regards the Dalai Lama, one of the most peaceful men in the world, as an enemy of the state because of his advocacy for a free Tibet.   

Having the Ancient One be Tibetan does run the risk of alienating the Chinese market.  And from a business standpoint, the international box office has proven to be incredibly important in making a big budget film a financial success.  And you'll probably also notice how two Iron Man films very deliberately avoided the casting of a Chinese actor in the role of the Mandarin.  Disney/Marvel probably wants to play nice with such a huge marketplace. 
"You were entrusted to lead the Republic." - Vote for Ven Zallow from THE OLD REPUBLIC in figure polls!

Feedback

Offline JediJman

  • Jedi Guardian
  • *
  • Posts: 15547
  • I don't get drunk, I get awesome.
    • View Profile
Re: Doctor Strange
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2016, 04:52 PM »
Makes sense.  It still feels wrong to me, but it's probably the best move for them financially. 

I guess we won't be seeing any Asian actors in any mainstream movies until this gets resolved.   ::)
"After Tuesday even the calendar goes W T F. "

Offline Nicklab

  • Jedi General
  • *
  • Posts: 9576
  • Deceived? WHAT?!?!
    • View Profile
Re: Doctor Strange
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2016, 05:11 PM »
I agree that it sucks if this sort of casting decision was made based purely because of direction from the studio.  Marvel has had a good track record of honoring the source material pretty well. 

There's also Tilda Swinton.  The woman is an amazing actor!  And I think people will probably be impressed by her portrayal of the character.  She has put together so many consistently strong performances, and I don't have any reason to doubt her in this case. 

As for Asian actors in key roles?  I think if there's a fairly positive role for an Asian actor to play, and they can find the right actor?  I can see them going in that direction.  Funny thing though about one Marvel related film that featured a lot of Asian actors - The Wolverine. Granted, that story took place in Japan, and it called for a largely Japanese cast. But one of the key villains, Viper, had her ethnicity changed for the movie. Viper was an Asian woman in the comics, but depicted as a Russian in the movie. 
« Last Edit: April 26, 2016, 05:18 PM by Nicklab »
"You were entrusted to lead the Republic." - Vote for Ven Zallow from THE OLD REPUBLIC in figure polls!

Feedback

Offline McMetal

  • Jedi Master
  • *
  • Posts: 5052
    • View Profile
Re: Doctor Strange
« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2016, 08:48 PM »
Dalai Lama is a great point. An aged, learned, spiritual wise man who happens to be Asian. He is no more a racist caricature than the Ancient One. It's not like they drew the guy with buck teeth and thick glasses. There is a long tradition of the learned wise man in eastern mysticism. I just don't think the character as was originally written was so awful that they had to totally reimagine him.

The Tibet thing is something I had not considered, but I feel like they could just be vague about it and say "the Himalayas" or something like that. That's not anything that has to be called out specifically and doesn't impact the story either way.

Definitely a lot more aspects to this issue than you would think at first glance. One way they could have side stepped the whole thing would have been to skip the origin story altogether and just hit the ground running. Shake up the usual formula.

Don't even act like I didn't buy that doughnut...I got the documentation right here...

Offline JediJman

  • Jedi Guardian
  • *
  • Posts: 15547
  • I don't get drunk, I get awesome.
    • View Profile
Re: Doctor Strange
« Reply #26 on: April 27, 2016, 10:55 AM »
I like that they're making it an origin story and not departing too far from the comics.  As has been discussed before, if you're going to radically change the characters and story, then just call it something else (looking at you Fantastic Four reboot).  I'm with you though - I don't know how casting an Asian person is somehow offensive to the Chinese.  This might be a case of Marvel addressing a sensitive issue without really understanding if it's a concern for the audience.  There are a dozen ways to have cast an Asian and made things more vague if the concern was really China vs. Tibet. 
"After Tuesday even the calendar goes W T F. "

Offline BillCable

  • Jedi General
  • *
  • Posts: 9680
  • CreatureCantina.com SUCKS!!
    • View Profile
    • CreatureCantina.com
Re: Doctor Strange
« Reply #27 on: April 27, 2016, 12:01 PM »
I don't know how casting an Asian person is somehow offensive to the Chinese.  This might be a case of Marvel addressing a sensitive issue without really understanding if it's a concern for the audience.  There are a dozen ways to have cast an Asian and made things more vague if the concern was really China vs. Tibet.

You don't know how casting an Asian person is somehow offensive because you haven't rigorously studied the issue.  Disney has poured probably hundreds of thousands of dollars into market research on casting, and thus THEY KNOW exactly how casting an Asian person in this role is offensive.  They know in excruciating detail.  They have reams of spreadsheets detailing projected losses for every possible casting scenario.  Disney doesn't do things half-assed.

For us to speculate on what is or isn't offensive is silly, honestly.  We have no idea.
Bill Cable - Steeler Fan & Star Wars Collector
  http://CreatureCantina.com       
"Cable is incapable of contributing anything positive to this world" - cstoj

Offline JediJman

  • Jedi Guardian
  • *
  • Posts: 15547
  • I don't get drunk, I get awesome.
    • View Profile
Re: Doctor Strange
« Reply #28 on: April 27, 2016, 12:58 PM »
I have some idea - I took an Asian-American studies course in college and have Asian friends that I've talked to about this.  I also work in market research, so I know the data doesn't always tell the whole story (or the right story).  I don't have spreadsheets of casting options or focus groups with the Chinese, but I can tell you that excluding Asians from traditional, non-offensive Asian roles can also alienate moviegoers. 

I'm sure Tilda will be great and no one will care once the movie is out.  It's just an unfortunate scenario in my opinion. 
"After Tuesday even the calendar goes W T F. "