Poor Steven Paul is having a hard time of late. Ghost in the Shell is not a big deal to the average Japanese person. They have no reason to care about a relatively obscure anime property. But on the flip side try and shoot a film about a culturally significant events in Japanese history and cast western actors, and see how well they take that. From comments made by other people/groups related to the film or the Ghost in the Shell franchise the only people who thought a Japanese actor was the “only good/right decision” are entitled social justice warriors. Casting Scarlett Johansson in the movie makes perfect sense since she has brought in over $3.3 Billion Dollars, making her the highest grossing actress in movie history.
It was a financial/business decision, based on China being the third largest movie market in the world preferring Caucasians in their foreign movies. As seen with the financial success of the Warcraft movie, making over $145 Million in China alone. And you can throw darts all day at where you want to lay the blame. Is Hollywood racist? Is Paramount full of entitled old white men who don’t understand that it’s 2016 and having non-white actors is totally a thing? Or maybe just maybe the Chinese market and its deep prejudice against the Japanese is so large, that concessions needed to be made to accommodate its influence and make the movie profitable? Seems we got a winner right there. So someone please explain to me why privileged social justice warriors are fighting an Asian battle that does not need to be fought in the first place?
[Editorial Note:] I have written a 3 part series on the casting controversy you can find here, here and here. And I still stand by my opinion that casting Scarlett Johansson is/was the right choice to make. As she definitely has the star power to make the movie work.