Like all viral moments, it started out with good intentions. And a meme. From there it went on to become a troll-fest against Scarlett Johansson and her role in the movie Ghost in the Shell. The internet, and the public, have been making their stance very clear on Johansson being cast to play the Asian lead character. Now, they've even taken over the film's advertising campaign on Twitter — and it's epic.
Here's what happened: this weekend, the production company behind the live-action film adaptation of the popular manga series on which the film is based, revealed a meme generator where anyone could log on to the movie's website and upload their picture along with an empowering statement stating what they "are." The prompt on the site reads "What Makes You Unique?" For example, here's ScarJo as her character, The Major, a cyborg created to fight cyberterrorism, explaining that she is more than what meets the eye. The premise of the message is to make a custom meme that lets you state why no one should underestimate you.
Well, critics of the film decided to take matters into their own hands, as Uproxx pointed out. Initiated by Twitter user @VeronicaComplex, there is now a hashtag for users to tag their troll-y Ghost in the Shell memes.
Many centered on the controversial whitewashing aspect of the film. They're pretty hilarious.
Beyond using the memes to bash Ghost in the Shell, people are also using it highlight other recent examples of whitewashing in Hollywood.
Here's one dedicated to Marvel's Iron First which premiered on Netflix this month.
Here's one referencing Emma Stone's character from Aloha where she was meant to be a part Chinese-Hawaiian woman.
And here's another one with Tilda Swinton, who was cast to play The Ancient One in Doctor Strange.
Humor is one way to get across to Hollywood how essential it is to have diverse actors play diverse roles. And I hope they listen, because here's one more meme for you: I Am Sick Of It.
Ghost in the Shell is out March 31.
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