A petition calling for the boycott of Netflix’s supernatural manga movie adaptation Death Note, on the grounds that it is “whitewashing” the original, has gone viral and attracted 12,000 signatures.
The protest comes after Netflix released a trailer for Death Note which features white actor Nat Wolf in the role of Light Turner, a student who finds a supernatural notebook that allows him to kill anyone he can identify by name and face. (In the original Manga series, the character was called Light Yagami.)
Black actor Lakeith Stanfield plays detective L but this hasn’t placated irate progressives. Sarah Rose writes in a Care2 petition: “White actors have been cast to play the main characters in this adaptation. Death Note shouldn’t be cast with all white actors—as it goes against the very soul of the story.
“Adding fuel to the fire, Asian-American actor Edward Zo was refused a part in the series after auditioning for show.
“This would have been an amazing opportunity for an actor of color, for an Asian actor, to take the global stage and break barriers and break stereotypes… (but) they were not looking to see Asian actors for the role of Light Yagami,” said Zo.
Despite the fact that Death Note actually features a leading actor of color, Lakeith Stanfield, and the petition essentially serving as a press release for Edward Zo, nevertheless it has attracted 11,661 signatures.
New Manga movie adaptation Ghost in the Shell has also faced widespread accusations of cultural appropriation.
Netflix also took heat recently for its newest comic book series Iron Fist again featuring a hero that was white and not Asian-American.
Watch this space. Or should that be “wash” this space?