One criticism of the upcoming “Doctor Strange” film is the decision to change The Ancient One’s ethnicity from Tibetan to Celtic, effectively whitewashing the character.
To be fair the character himself was an outdated stereotype, and the change to make it a woman played by Tilda Swinton is both interesting and one hell of a casting coup.
Yet there is also an obvious profit motive at work here – removing Tibet from the title character’s origin to avoid offending China would help secure the film’s release in what is becoming the world’s biggest box-office market.
Well it worked with word coming today that “Doctor Strange” will arrive in China on November 4, the same day it’s opening in the US and will be released “without a single cut” from the country’s censors. China only accepts up to 34 foreign films per year.