Is Netflix’s New Death Note Whitewashing Japanese Culture?


Is Netflix selectively picking their cast via race, aka “Whitewashing”? Or is this just a stupid media trend that further perpetuates racism?

The entertainment world is buzzing over Netflix’s new live-action English-language adaptation of Death Note after they released the new teaser trailer yesterday. Since the release of the teaser trailer Netflix has been receiving backlash online for what is being called “Hollywood Whitewashing”.

If your not familiar with Death Note, its a very popular Japanese Manga the has been remade into an anime TV series, video games, several live-action Japanese films and even a musical. This should be exciting news for long time fans around the world right?

Video Source – Netflix US & Canada

So what is “Whitewashing”? It sounds funny and racist at the same time. To define the term I’d say its for Whitey to steal another cultures content and cracker it up. Sound about right?

So the virtual eye is looking at Netflix for not honoring Japanese culture properly. To port a series from another country you kind of have to American it up a bit, but there are plenty of Japanese-Americans who would have loved the role. The currently selected cast seems to be looking a little to cauc-asian for the public.

Netflix has already been looked at previously for Hollywood Whitewashing the movie Ghost in a Shell with actress Scarlett Johansson opposed to a Japanese actress. The new series The Iron Fist is also being looked at for its Whitewashing, being looked at as a white savior story.

So what do you think? Is Netflix picking favorites by race when selecting their cast members?

Personally this topic isn’t something I would have never thought about. Japanese culture has become a part of American culture. The United States are a melting pot of all cultures. Our countries forgave each other before I was born for all I’m concerned. Most American’s I know all enjoy different parts of Japanese culture. When anything is ported from another country I’m just happy its being made. I don’t really care what color the characters are.

Video & Featured Image Source – Fuminsho

I’m the least racist person, but the term Hollywood Whitewashing really gets my attention. Since there has been other cases when fans can accuse Netflix with this odd racial term, I think its worth examining. If you watch YouTube conspiracy video’s about Hollywood its said that Jewish people run Hollywood. I know Jewish isn’t a color, but when people say the J-bomb in America their usually not referring to white people. I read a couple reports and none mentioned that.

Is Netflix racially selecting their cast? From the perspective of a American content creator I think I should also add that when creating content a major goal is to please your demographic. I’m not sure of the percentage of viewers who are white opposed to Japanese expected for the new Death Note. If the expected viewers are going to be 75% white people should it be looked at as racist to cast a whiter cast. I have many black friends. They feel more comfortable watching movies with black actors because they can better relate. Nothing wrong with that.

I think racism is stupid. Creating a new term like Whitewashing only further perpetuates racism. I’m just saying before accusing a huge Network that probably has employees of every color of working for them, you should be sure. Japan and America are the greatest producers of entertainment in the world. Its only natural they share each others content, and alter as our cultures need.

Most media sources loves to harp on racist events. I see it as an opportunity to point out how stupid it is, and unproductive to the world at large. I’d love to see Japan do their own version of South Park with English subtitles. I’d even laugh if they made fun of Americans or White people.

Is this really a racial issue? We love to hear what our readers think. Let us know your opinion in the comment section below.

Article Source – USA Today

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