On Death Note’s Whitewashed BS! Really Netflix?

I’m not gonna link to it, but I just have to talk about this Death Note nonsense. For all the good shit that’s been happening so far in 2017: Beyonce’s pregnancy, that dead ass KKK Grand Wizard, the upcoming Roast of Dylann Roof, etc., it has not been very kind to our Asian fellows. Off the top of my head I know of at least four recent projects that have either erased or appropriated from Asian peoples: the Ghost in the Shell adaptation starring Averagely Attractive White Actress #1756, Marvel’s Iron Fist, which sidestepped a perfect opportunity to cast an Asian American actor as Danny Rand – y’know, to show how dedicated they are to diversity – Doctor Strange, which managed to both erase and appropriate Asian culture, and the American remake of Death Note that is being produced by Netflix. This is some particular fuckshit, and here’s why…


1NE. White Dudes Is Already Out Here Killin’ Folks!!!

The Unabomber, the OKC bombing, the Boston Marathon bombing, Columbine, Chapel Hill, Charleston, the Planned Parenthood Clinic shooting in Colorado, Elliot Rodger, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and on and on and on. White men in this country have had a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG and well documented history of violence fueled by…really any and everything, and they rarely, if ever suffer the consequences of their actions or are held to the same level of scrutiny as people of color are when any one of us commits a crime. There’s always a rush to excuse their behavior or portray them as sympathetic figures that are actually “nice people”.

So, now you have a Japanese property about a man trying to “cleanse the world of evil” who develops a God complex, and repackaged it, shipped it off, slapped it right in the middle of suburban America, and placed the power of a LITERAL GOD OF DEATH in the hands of a WHITE AMERICAN MALE!!!

That’s not short-sighted at all.

How many of these “evil” people do you think will be men of color specifically? My bet it’s going to be more than 50%.

“Deathnote loses so much as a white story bc white boys already develop god complexes and go on killing sprees without a magic notebook.” – Rhad (@Rhadamus)

“It’s not a universal narrative, it fucks up so bad if you shift the cultural landscape.” – chira (@lionschmion)

“YOU CAN’T BASE DEATH NOTE IN AMERICA…YOU CAN’T…HAVE A WHITE BOY CLEANSE PEOPLE IN JAIL HERE. THERE’S…SOME THINGS ABOUT AMERICA – Olive (@OliveOilCorp)

BTW, I would suggest reading chira’s entire thread. It’s amazing.


2WO. Why White?

On another note (pun 100% intended!!!) this remake is also drawing a great deal of ire because it is yet another American adaptation that equates “American” to whiteness. This remake could have gone forward without any controversy had the studio cast Japanese-American actors (which there are plenty of!!!) to star in the film, that shouldn’t be that tall of a request considering Death Note is a Japanese property, but for some odd reason descriptors that come before the word American are literally foreign concepts in white Hollywood (unless the shit is about racism). Maybe that’s why there was almost an Americanized version of Akira put to film (hopefully it’s forever laid to rest now).

Also, why does there have to be an “Americanized version” of every goddamn thing? What demographic are you trying to reach? Like with Ghost in the Shell, who asked for this? Is Hollywood such a wasteland devoid of creativity that you have to mooch off the ideas of another culture’s creators to make money? Maybe if y’all would stop giving these writing and directing and producing and etc. jobs to the same damn people, you wouldn’t have to leech, but I digress.

Studios, you certainly can’t say, in 2017, that you still think casting Asians in lead roles is risky when we have hits starring both American and non-American Asian actors like Rogue One, Fresh of the Boat, and Into the Badlands (whose second season premiered this past Sunday), just to name a few, but you want me to believe the dude from The Naked Brothers Band is who’s gonna rake it in for you?

Yeah, I know what his name is, but I’m hot right now so lemme alone!!!

death note 4

Like, Hollywood, we’ve always know that you were trash, but now it’s like you don’t even try to hide your trashness. Don’t look away, Netflix, you ain’t shit neither. Don’t get it twisted, I’m not some Death Note fan girl, I don’t too much care for it. I thought it was boring and pretentious and long-winded, so I didn’t watch very much of it, but this whitewashing trend is getting on my last damned nerves!!!

Rant over.

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I blog about things. Pop culture, anime, books, movies, and whatever grabs my attention.

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