Rooney Mara Regrets Being The Centrepiece Of Pan's Awful Whitewashing

Rooney Mara Regrets Being the Centrepiece of Pan's Awful Whitewashing

For a movie that was meant to represent an "international and multi-racial world", Pan had a main cast that was as shockingly white as the one in Gods of Egypt — including the originally Native American Tiger Lily, played by Rooney Mara. Now Mara is washing her hands of the movie, including her own casting in it. Speaking in a new interview for The Telegraph, Mara addressed her thoughts on the recent controversy over the sheer lack of diversity in this year's Oscar nominees, by acknowledging that she had been on the "wrong side" of the debate, thanks to Pan:

[It was a] tricky thing to deal with. There were two different periods; right after I was initially cast, and the reaction to that, and then the reaction again when the film came out.

I really hate, hate, hate that I am on that side of the whitewashing conversation. I really do. I don't ever want to be on that side of it again. I can understand why people were upset and frustrated...

Do I think all of the four main people in the film should have been white with blonde hair and blue eyes? No. I think there should have been some diversity somewhere.

It's not entirely fair to place all the blame on Mara — if anything, it should be laid at the feet of the casting process that thought it was totally OK to cast a blonde haired white woman as a Native American character, and merely pass it off as a "different vision"... a vision that left Tiger Lily's village pretty much entirely non-white, except for Mara. At least the actress implies that she'd be unlikely to put herself in a position like this again.

While the list of things to regret about Pan includes more than just Mara's casting (arguably that list includes roughly 95 per cent of the movie), it's at least refreshing to see the people involved with it acknowledge the deeply troubling issue of the situation being just the latest example in a long line of terrible Hollywood whitewashing.

There's a big difference between acknowledging and actually doing something about it though — and whether Hollywood will do something about the problem sadly remains to be seen.

[The Independent via The Mary Sue]


Comments

    This nonsense needs to stop. It's hypocritical in the extreme to praise the casting of women in the role of male characters (eg. Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica, the new Ghostbusters female cast) and people of colour in the role of white characters (eg. Heimdall in Thor, Red in Shawshank Redemption), but then criticise white actors in the role of non-white characters.

    Acting is about talent, not what's between their legs or the colour of their skin. Personally I think any actor should be able to play any character, as long as they do it convincingly.

    Last edited 24/02/16 7:10 am

      Acting is about talent, not what's between their legsDepends what kind of films you're making.

      Agreed, it's just more SJW b#llsh1t, which for some reason is becoming irritatingly common on this site. I'm only interested in Tech, can you please stop posting this sort of SJW / feminist puff piece please.

      The Hollywood studios are a business, they cater to their largest demographic, which in the west ,like it or not, is a predominantly Caucasian population. If you look at most Bollywood films their casts comprise of largely Indian actors, no one of course gives a shit about that, because none of this is really important, it's just another cause to rally behind and be offended for.

    Because a story about a kid playing pirates and Indians isn't culturally offensive anyway?

    The Gods of Egypt fiasco is funny when you realise a lot of ancient Egyptians were mixed race due to the sheer volume of foreign invasions and a white Greek (Ptolemy I) ruled all of it for a long period of time, and neither cultures seem to have ever placed any emphasis at all on skin colour/tone/etc.

    Someone really needs to think of the children. I need to feel safe on the internet and know that everything is politically correct and regulated to death. This is my safe space.

    To be honest, there was a lot wrong with that movie (and it was so close to being good, too), and Tiger Lily being white was pretty low on the list. I found it more odd that the chief (and therefore her father?) was an Aboriginal*. I've got nothing against it, it just seemed a really odd choice.
    Even more odd was the music choice. Nirvana and Ramones? During WWII? In Neverland? And they would have made more sense the other way around in the movie...

    *Fun fact: I looked up Jack Charles to see where he was from, and Wikipedia says he was born at Cummeragunja Mission, which again according to wiki was mostly home to Aboriginals from the Bangarang collection of tribes. Funny coincidence there.

    Acting is something which should not put in genders. I like the idea of putting opposite genders in roles.

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