Our View: Cast appropriately for movies

Recently, news of an upcoming live-action film has emerged and received criticism over the choice for lead role.

Scarlett Johansson was selected to play the lead Motoko Kusanagi in “Ghost in the Shell,” also known as a Japanese media franchise that started as a series of shows, movies and more.

The manga tells the story of the human-cyborg squad leader in Public Security Section 9, a fictional law-enforcement team that takes place in mid-21st century Japan.

Following the casting announcement last year, people criticized the choice. The displeasure has resurfaced again after Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation released the first images of Johansson as Kusanagi.

The main criticism brought up is the fact that a white woman was cast to be the lead in an adaptation of a Japanese series. Many have instead pointed to possible replacements who would fit the role better, such as Japanese actresses Chiaki Kuriyama and Rinko Kikuchi.

This isn’t the first case where a white actor or actress has been cast as non-white character:  In “The Martian,” a white actress played the role of Mindy Park, a Korean-American scientist in the book. “Pan” and “The Last Airbender” also serve as some examples.

There’s talent everywhere, and the fact that major movie studios have been known to “whitewash” these roles shows there is a large portion of a talented acting community not even having the opportunity to be in the spotlight. That needs to change.