A series of tweets by Jon Tsuei:
I’ve been seeing a lot of defenses for the ScarJo casting that seem to lack a nuanced understanding of a Ghost In The Shell as a story.
The manga came out in 1989, the first film 1995. An era when Japan was considered the world leader in technology.
Everything hot in that era came out of Japan. Cars, video games, walkmans, all of that. Japan was setting a standard.
This is a country that went from poised to conquer to the Pacific to forcibly disarmed. They poured their resources into their economy.
And as a country that was unable to defend themselves, but was a world leader in tech, it created a relationship to tech that is unique.
Ghost In The Shell plays off all of these themes. It is inherently a Japanese story, not a universal one.
This casting is not only the erasure of Asian faces but a removal of the story from its core themes.
You can “Westernize” the story if you want, but at that point it is no longer Ghost In The Shell because the story is simply not Western.
Understand that media from Asia holds a dear place in the hearts of many Asians in the west, simply because western media doesn’t show us.
Ghost In The Shell, while just one film, is a pillar in Asian media. It’s not simply a scifi thriller. Not to me, not to many others.
Respect the work for what it is and don’t bastardize it into what you want it to be.