Scarlett Johansson and Tilda Swinton Find Themselves in Whitewashing Controversy Again


Scarlett Johansson and Tilda Swinton are at the centre of another casting controversy following the poster release for their new animated film Isle Of Dogs.

The billboard for Wes Anderson’s new movie, which was released on Tuesday (25Apr17), features Johannson and Swinton’s names written in Japanese kanji, alongside their co-stars Bryan Cranston and Edward Norton.

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Critics have already taken to Twitter to slam Scarlett and Tilda, who have been hit with controversy surrounding their casting in Ghost in a Shell and Doctor Strange, respectively.

“Honorary Asians Tilda Swinton and Scarlett Johansson grace us in Wes Anderson’s Japan set ISLE OF DOGS,” one user wrote on

“They really placed Scarlett Johansson and Tilda Swinton in Isle of Dogs to reaffirm their Asian ethnicity?,” another added. “Hollywood killin (sic) Asians… STILL!”

Last year (16), Swinton was hit with criticism over her casting as the Ancient One in Doctor Strange. In the original comic book series, the character is a man from Tibet, but in the film Swinton was agender.

Marvel Studios

The casting decision angered fans who suggested it was another case of Hollywood studio bosses recruiting a white star to play an Asian character.

However, Swinton defended taking on the part and insisted it was an entirely new take on the Ancient One.

“Well, it’s not actually an Asian character – that’s what I need to tell you about it,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “I wasn’t asked to play an Asian character.”

Similarly, Scarlett took heat for accepting the lead in the movie adaptation of Japanese manga comic Ghost In The Shell. She also clarified her cyborg character in the film didn’t have a racial identity.

Paramount Pictures

“I think this character is living a very unique experience, and she is a human brain in an entirely machine body,” Scarlett explained on Good Morning America. “She’s essentially identity-less.”

“I would never attempt to play a person of a different race, obviously,” she continued. “Hopefully any question that comes up of my casting will hopefully be answered by audiences when they see the film.”

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