‘Doctor Strange’ Director on Whitewashing, Asian Stereotyping: ‘I Am Listening and Learning’

Doctor Strange” writer-director Scott Derrickson is the latest industry figure to weigh in on Hollywood’s pervading “whitewashing” issue.

“Raw anger/hurt from Asian-Americans over Hollywood whitewashing, stereotyping & erasure of Asians in cinema. I am listening and learning,” the director, who’s also known for horror films like “Sinister” and “The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” expressed in a Wednesday tweet.

Doctor Strange” was recently under fire for being “whitewashed,” an accusation spurred by the casting of Tilda Swinton, a white Scottish woman, for the role of the Ancient One — a mystical character that originated from Tibet in its original Marvel Comics depiction.

Amidst the controversy, Marvel released a statement to address the accusations. “The Ancient One is a title that is not exclusively held by any one character, but rather a moniker passed down through time, and in this particular film the embodiment is Celtic,” the statement read, adding that the studio routinely casts diverse talent for its projects and “regularly departs from stereotypes and source material to bring its MCU to life.”

Swinton has also responded to the casting’s negative reception, clarifying, “I wasn’t asked to play an Asian character, you can be very well assured of that.”

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