Famous white actors who played people of color

Tilda Swinton has spoken out about her controversial casting in 'Doctor Strange'

Stars Insider

01/07/21 | StarsInsider

MOVIES Controversy

Casting choices have become a sore spot in Hollywood, what with the amount of white actors who have been cast as characters of other races—the so-called "whitewashing" of Hollywood. 

But despite there being waves of protest when actors of color are considered for fictional roles like Spider-Man or James Bond, there hasn’t always been major backlash when white actors played characters of color, even when those characters were based on real-life people of color.

'Doctor Strange' was released by Marvel in 2016, with Tilda Swinton cast in the role of the 'Ancient One.'  The movie was based on a comic book series which originally portrayed Swinton's character as an elderly Tibetan man. It was decided to cast a woman for the film adaption, but controversially, they chose to cast a white woman. Years later as conversations about whitewashing have finally come to the forefront, the casting choice has been widely criticized.  Swinton addressed the incident in a recent interview with Variety. She recalled questioning the decision herself at the time and paid attention to the public response, but was surprised that it was met with no resistance that she was aware of. She expressed "an enormous amount of sympathy" for the perspective shift that has now occurred.  

Many of the most revered and beloved white actors have at one point in their career taken on a non-white role on screen. Click on to find out more.


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