‘Whitewashing’: recall criticisms of the choice of actors with lighter skin than their characters – Emais


Actress Gal Gadot Photo: Angela Weiss / AFP

The term whitewashing, which refers to the whitening of characters from other ethnicities, brought an increasing discussion in the choice of list From movies of Hollywood in the last years.

Recently, for example, the announcement that the Israeli actress Gal Gadot will play the role of Cleopatra, an African queen, has yielded criticism. Remember below this and other remarkable cases of actors who gave life to characters from other ethnic groups in the cinema and were criticized for it.

Gal Gadot and Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra

“Hollywood always scales white American actresses like the Queen of the Nile. Can’t they find an African actress at least once?” Tweeted author James Hall, also referring to Elizabeth Taylor , who played the character in the 1963 classic, Cleopatra.

Elizabeth Taylor in 'Cleopatra', 1963 classic

Elizabeth Taylor in ‘Cleopatra’, 1963 classic Foto: Twentieth Century Fox

Gérard Depardieu como Alexandre Dumas

In 2010, the actor Gérard Depardieu, white, blond and blue-eyed, his skin was darkened and he wore a wig to interpret Alexandre Dumas, who was black, in the film The Other Dumas, from 2010. Black movement activists considered the choice as an “insult”, but Frank Le Wita, the film’s producer, said the choice was due to Depardieu’s “liveliness”.

In life, Dumas referred to himself as “a black man” and was the grandson of a former Haitian slave. He was also constantly the subject of offensive comments because of his features. His father was a general in the French Army in the 19th century. Click here to learn more about the author’s work and life.

Taís Araújo as Joana D’arc

Taís Araújo and scientist Joana D'Arc Felix de Souza

Taís Araújo and scientist Joana D’Arc Felix de Souza Photo: Ellen Soares / Globo / Disclosure | Alex Silva / Estadão

In May 2019, the actress Taís Araújo gave up on interpreting Brazilian chemistry Joana D’Arc Felix de Souza in a film that would bring her as a protagonist because her skin tone is lighter than that of the scientist.

“I thought the criticism was fair. I thought: ‘How could someone who works with it, like me, be on the alert? They are absolutely right’. I reflect all the time on inclusion, representativeness and the importance of everyone participating in the market,” he said. the actress, in an interview with the newspaper Or Balloon.

Subsequently, a report by the Estadão demonstrated that the chemistry degree in Harvard it was false, also pointing out other inconsistencies in its curriculum (click here to read more), which hindered the development of the film.

Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone

Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone (left) and at an event (right)

Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone (left) and at an event (right) Photo: Estadão

Zoe Saldana and RLJ Entertainment, the studio that produced the film Nina, about the life of singer Nina Simone, received numerous criticisms for the makeup used to create darker skin and the use of a prosthesis on the actress’ nose for the recordings.

RLJ Entertainment founder and chairman Robert L. Johnson said that Saldana, who has ethnic heritage from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, should not be judged on the color of her skin, but on her performance.

In August 2020, four years after the release, she revealed regret for accepting the role: “I should never have played Nina. I should have tried everything I could to choose a black woman to play an exceptionally black woman perfect “.

Scarlett Johansson como Motoko Kusanagi

In the movie A Vigilante do Amanhã: Ghost In The Shell, Scarlett Johansson played the protagonist Motoko Kusanagi. At the time, several criticisms were made due to the choice of an actress without oriental traits for the role.

Whitewashing in soap operas

Similar criticisms have been made in recent soap operas. Between them, Second sun, Globo’s 8 o’clock soap opera that took place in Bahia and brought few black actors in the cast, especially among the protagonists.

On the occasion, the Public Ministry of Labor (MPT), through the National Coordination for the Promotion of Equal Opportunities and the Elimination of Discrimination at Work, sent Rede Globo a notification recommending the broadcaster proper racial representation in the soap.

Already in Rising Sun, the choice of Luís Melo and Giovanna Antonelli as protagonists of a Japanese family also generated controversy. The controversy led to a movement calling for a greater representation of Japanese artists on TV and in the cinema.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here