Constance Wu Calls Ghost in the Shell’s CGI Testing the ‘Practice of Blackface’

The 21st Annual Critics' Choice Awards - Arrivals
Constance Wu has some opinions. Photo: Steve Granitz/Getty Images

Constance Wu is not having it. During a conversation with fellow Asian-American actresses Joan Chen, Ming-Na Wen, and Lynn Chen, the Fresh off the Boat star sounded off against the casting of Scarlett Johansson as beloved manga and anime character Major Motoko Kusanagi. Paramount had admitted to testing out race-bending virtual effects, but says that they didn’t run these tests on Johansson’s images. “It was particularly heinous because they ran CGI tests to make her look more Asian,” Wu said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Some people call it ‘yellowface,’ but I say ‘the practice of blackface employed on Asians’ because that’s more evocative.”

Her fellow panelists didn’t necessarily agree with her. Joan Chen argued that there should be “creative freedom” for directors to do what they want. “The Chinese and Japanese have adapted many works from the West,” Chen said. “I cannot the blame the director. Censorship is terrible for art.” Wu responded: “Agreed, but many people’s vision of who they see as a hero is rooted in systemic racism. It’s not blaming; it’s asking for awareness. It’s good for artists to think outside the box and stretch their imagination.”

Constance Wu on Scarlett Johansson & Yellowface