Why Bullet Train Casting Caused So Much Controversy

As mentioned above, the movie is based on a novel by Japanese author Kotaro Isaki and of course takes place in Japan on a train from Tokyo to Kyoto. However, the film differs from the novel in that all the characters in the book are Japanese. The film stars only two Japanese-born actors: Andrew Koji and Hiroyuki Sanada. Masi Oka and Karen Fukuhara are also cast but in minor roles. Because of this, the Rapid Passenger Express faced accusations of whitewashing.

Earlier this year, in March, Rachel Tao wrote an extensive article for Asam News keep a chronicle of the proposed whitewash. Here, she interviewed Japanese American Citizens League executive director David Inoue, who said he thought the criticism was fair. “I am absolutely certain that the whitewashing allegations are true as this story is based on what were originally Japanese characters and is still set in Japan,” Inoue said. “Foreigners, or gaijin, remain a distinct minority in Japan, and to fill a film with so many leads is to ignore the setting.”

Inoue also addressed Brad Pitt directly, adding, “Watching a movie set in Japan with only Japanese characters as background is offensive and some of them should have asked questions about it. Someone of the caliber of Brad Pitt can do it and he didn’t say anything.” Inoue then added that due to Brad Pitt’s popularity in Japan, he understands why his choice makes sense, but he will still see it as a problem until Asian actors are more likely to play roles that are usually given to white actors. .

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