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10 Most Awkward Instances Of Hollywood Whitewashing

Because we've come too far for this, surely?

Whitewashing has always been prevalent in Hollywood, but nowadays people are taking it a lot more seriously than they used to - and rightly so. Back in the day a white actor being cast in the part of an ethic character wasn't even frowned upon, though; audiences took it as inevitable and moved past it with little concern. If a white actor turned up playing an Asian or black character, it was the norm. It was often played for laughs. Few felt like it was a problem because of the attitudes of the time. Times have changed, of course, but that doesn't mean whitewashing has died away as a concept (or an issue); it's still happening in all kinds of motion pictures. Some Hollywood whitewashing is so subtle that people don't tend to notice it, even. Those movie-goers who never read The Hunger Games books probably thought Jennifer Lawrence made for a wonderful Katniss Everdeen, and - to an extent - she did. It's just that, in the source material, Katniss is clearly described as having "dark hair and olive skin," which suggests she isn't white. Hollywood, however, casually ignored this description of the central protagonist and opted for Lawrence - and in the process destroyed a lot of what made the The Hunger Games' great in book form: its explorations of race. Whitewashing can be a whole lot more insulting or awkward than that, however; there are times when an ill-judged moment of blatant whitewashing is enough to make you want to curl up and die. Here are 10 such examples from across the span of Hollywood history...
Contributor

Sam Hill is an ardent cinephile and has been writing about film professionally since 2008. He harbours a particular fondness for western and sci-fi movies.