Johansson Talks “Ghost in the Shell” Whitewashing

Scarlett Johansson has featured in a new pictorial for Marie Claire magazine ahead of her starring role next month in the live-action film adaptation of the classic manga “Ghost in the Shell”.

Pilou Asbaek, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, and Michael Pitt also star in the film which follows the Major (Johansson), a human-cyborg hybrid who leads an elite task force devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists who want to wipe out advancements in cyber technology.

As part of an interview for the spread, Johansson was asked to comment on the backlash that arose from her casting and the accusations of whitewashing leveled at the film – something she had yet to officially comment on:

“I certainly would never presume to play another race of a person. Diversity is important in Hollywood, and I would never want to feel like I was playing a character that was offensive. Also, having a franchise with a female protagonist driving it is such a rare opportunity. Certainly, I feel the enormous pressure of that – the weight of such a big property on my shoulders.”

Director Rupert Sanders has previously used the argument that the character should be played by the person best suited to the role regardless of ethnicity. Nonetheless, the lack of an Asian actress in the lead will come under fire when the film opens on March 31st.