Care2Petitions posting has nearly 29,000 signatures already
Back in January it was reported that Scarlett Johannson signed on to play the lead in the live-action Ghost in the Shell film, and not everyone was too keen on the casting. A petition recently went up in an attempt to prevent Hollywood from white-washing Ghost in the Shell, and it's currently creeping toward 29,000 signatures.
Fans were quick to point out better casting choices for Major Motoko Kusanagi, such as Rinko Kikuchi (Pacific Rim, Babel). Marissa Lee posted some extensive thoughts on the issue over at the Racebending blog shortly after the news broke.
Here's more from the petition:
Fans of the iconic 1995 animated Japanese sci-fi film Ghost in the Shell have been anticipating a live-action remake for years -- but now, instead of casting an Asian actress, Dreamworks has selected Scarlett Johansson for the lead role! The film revolves around Major Motoko Kusanagi, a member of a futuristic security force tasked with tracking a mysterious hacker.
The original film is set in Japan, and the major cast members are Japanese. So why would the American remake star a white actress? The industry is already unfriendly to Asian actors without roles in major films being changed to exclude them. One recent survey found that in 2013, Asian characters made up only 4.4% of speaking roles in top-grossing Hollywood films.
Dreamworks could be using this film to help provide opportunities for Asian-American actors in a market with few opportunities for them to shine -- please sign the petition asking them to reconsider casting Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell and select actors who are truer to the cast of the original film!
(Thanks to Crunchyroll user Zeldalover93 for the tip)