Petition Demands Sony Pictures Cast Asian-American to Play Jill Valentine

May 8, 2020

You can find the link for the petition here

Jill Valentine is the lead protagonist in Resident Evil and was created by Shinji Mikami and Isao Ohishi over 20 years ago. She is meant to be Japanese-French, however, casting over at Sony wants British actress Hannah John-Kamen, who is half Nigerian to play the role. Kamen is most recently known for playing Ghost in Ant-Man and The Wasp.

Columbia Pictures, also known as Sony Pictures is a Japanese owned movie studio since being purchased from Coca-Cola in 1989. We currently complain about white-washing Asian characters, but there is also black-washing of Asian characters as well. Most recently, Ridley Scott’s 2015 The Martian, which white and black-washed two main Asian characters.

Chiwetel Ejiofor played Vincent Kapoor, the NASA Director of the Mars Mission. However, in the 2011 novel by Andy Weir, Vincent Kapoor is not half African-American, but full Indian and Hindu. Another important character white-washed in The Martian was Mindy Park, a satellite communications engineer at NASA, portrayed in the movie by Mackenzie Davis. Author Andy Weir did state Mindy Park was Korean-American in the novel.

Although this little grievance may not seem like much, these little things Asian-Americans allow to be taken away works its way up to bigger things. From allowing ourselves to be capped in higher-education for the greater good, Western society knows it can pluck away at what’s ours little-by-little. These little things they take are like raptors from Jurassic Park testing the electrical fences. They’re testing how much more they can take; including the Western employees of Columbia Pictures.

The most notable white-washing of an Asian character would be Casper Van Dien who played Johnny Rico in Sony’s Starship Troopers. Robert A. Heinlein, author of Starship Troopers wrote Johnny Rico as Juan Rico, the son of a wealthy Filipino businessman.

Columbia Pictures is Japanese owned, Sony Corporation has mostly managed the movie studio with a “hands-off” approach. Although this management style proved profitable in the past, it has raised many issues in the last few years. From the studio’s handling of the Spider-Man franchise, the Sony hack scandal that ousted Amy Pascal from the leadership role to casting issues meant for Asians.

Feature Images via Capcom & The Hollywood Reporter

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