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Matt Damon Defends Against Whitewashing Accusations in 'Great Wall'

Matt Damon Defends Against Whitewashing Accusations in 'Great Wall'

Matt Damon is responding to accusations of whitewashing with regards to his role in next year’s The Great Wall.

“That whole idea of whitewashing, I take that very seriously,” Matt told the AP. “Once people see that it’s a monster movie and it’s a historical fantasy and I didn’t take a role away from a Chinese actor … it wasn’t altered because of me in any way.”

In the same interview, Matt admitted he believed whitewashing to mean that a white actor puts on makeup to make them appear to be of another race.

Stars who have also recently been accused of whitewashing include Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell and Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange.

Watch the trailer for The Great Wall below, and look out for the film, in theaters on February 17.

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Photos: Getty
Posted to: Matt Damon, The Great Wall

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  • bbm

    everyone is offended by everything these days

  • Absurdist

    the jews of hollywood are just pandering to the chinese audiences. gotta get that commie cash!

  • Eyes Wide Open

    No sweetie we don’t get offended by everything, but an actor thinking white washing and black face are the same thing is actually offensive. You think all those red neck Trump supporters would be okay with a black man playing John Wayne in a movie?

  • alex

    I guess Meryl Streep will be starring in the “fantasy version” of the Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad movie.

    When white people embed themselves in other cultures and then reserve the people from that culture to the background in subservient roles, it’s insulting and offensive.

    There was an opportunity for an Asian person to be the lead with Matt Damon EP-ing the project. That didn’t happen. The excuse of marketability and box office is also very stupid and a cop out. We’ve seen movies with an A-list All-white cast crash and burn, time and time again.

    Some stories are just not yours to tell or be the lead in, but historically, white people don’t know how to respect boundaries so this isn’t surprising.

  • Gina

    He’s kind of a dumb ass.

  • Visitor

    Clueless. It’s a movie you shouldn’t be in the first place. It’s a movie that takes place in Ancient China. I remember white people defending Lord of thr Rings by claiming it took place in prehistory/medieval Europe. The same defense is used for Game of Thrones, and both of these are fantasy shows.

  • Jack Jones

    It’s embarrassing how quickly people lose their sh*t and they haven’t seen the movie yet. There’s 5 heroes; 4 are Chinese actors. Damon is a white guy playing a white guy. Is it historically accurate? Of course not, it’s a fantasy monster movie. I imagine (don’t know, haven’t seen the movie yet) he’s there to sell the movie to western audiences. The same way the Chinese saved the day in The Martian and Transformers 4 is set in China (mostly) for the Chinese market.

  • Jack Jones

    How is being one of 5 heroes (the other 4 played by Chinese actors) pushing anyone into the background? Maybe we should wait to see the movie and if Damon saves the day (or get the majority of camera time) before we pass judgement.

  • Mrs. Freeze

    That’s a wee bit harsh.
    Do you always upvote your own posts?

  • Anon

    i didn’t upvote it tho?

  • Mrs. Freeze

    You did. Since I mentioned it to you you erased the upvote.
    I’ve seen your posts here before today and they’re always upvoted … by you.

  • Anon

    i’ve been on the site for like 2 days and checked my comments. literally none of them have been upvoted by me. idk wtf you’re on about.

  • Mrs. Freeze

    yes you do.
    Absurdist • a day ago
    people can’t tell she’s black? i could spot this harambe from a mile away! lol
    1 •Share

  • Anon

    now I get it, you’re just a racist.

  • Mrs. Freeze

    You missed my point. I reposted What Absurdist posted (and upvoted) a couple days ago. Those are their words, not mine.

  • Anon

    i don’t find any evidence of what you’re talking about, racist.

  • Mrs. Freeze

    So now you changed your user name.
    Fuck right off you moron.

  • Daniel Malice

    It is the same thing you dumbass.

  • Anon

    triggered, eh?

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  • alex

    You completely missed the point. Those 4 other Chinese actors that you are using to counter my argument aren’t even in the marketing materials. They aren’t being marketed/promoted. Regardless of how the movie plays out, they are marketing this as traditional white savior movie. That’s the issue. It may not be a white savior movie (it could be a rom/com/horror for all we know) but it’s being presented as such, which is why people are taking offense. No one is going to spend their hard earned money on a ticket to see this movie based on how they have chosen to promote this film. And if it is a movie that showcases other Asian actors and their talent, then they are doing themselves a disservice by not mentioning/promoting that.

  • alex

    You completely missed the point. Those 4 other Chinese actors that you are using to counter my argument aren’t even in the marketing materials. They aren’t being marketed/promoted. Regardless of how the movie plays out, they are marketing this as traditional white savior movie. That’s the issue. It may not be a white savior movie (it could be a rom/com/horror for all we know) but it’s being presented as such, which is why people are taking offense. No one is going to spend their hard earned money on a ticket to see this movie based on how they have chosen to promote this film. And if it is a movie that showcases other Asian actors and their talent, then they are doing themselves a disservice by not mentioning/promoting that.

  • jomama

    This. Thanks.

  • http://imackblog.wordpress.com/ Mackenzie Lambert

    I’ve seen the Chinese trailers and they focus more on the Chinese cast and setting, with some appearances by Damon.

    As for the Western marketing focusing on Damon, he is a draw and general audiences in the West recognize him, so of course our region’s advertising will focus on him.

    Distributors market the film based on what appeals to which region.

  • alex

    Clearly, it’s not appealing in this region.

  • Leah

    Wait, he’s playing a white guy? Unbelievable.

  • http://imackblog.wordpress.com/ Mackenzie Lambert

    Take some pro-active measures to change that. Share the Chinese trailer. Share the Chinese posters. That feeds into the analytics collected by the Distributor. If they see the Chinese marketing materials are leaving an impact on Western audiences, they’re likely to showcase those elements more.

    If not, then at least there was some effort to make that change.

  • alex

    Or just don’t go see the movie. This movie will crash and burn, just like the Gods of Egypt. If the studio refuses to change their outdated white savior marketing and movies, then it isn’t the consumers job to “take pro-active measures” and do the job of their market research department. These studios will learn the hard way – through dismal box office sales.

  • http://imackblog.wordpress.com/ Mackenzie Lambert

    If Transformers and the last Bourne movie can make serious bank, so will this movie.

  • alex

    Sure thing.

  • Nina

    Lol. You love black cock in your mouth and ass at the same time.