The Conundrum in The Shell


A conversation about whitewashing, cultural appropriation, and how Hollywood just can’t stop itself from making things worse.

For this week’s episode of The Big Idea, my show in our fancy new One Perfect Pod channel, I’m tackling the issues of whitewashing and cultural appropriation. It’s a conversation that has reached its peak with the release of Ghost in the Shell. Here’s the thing: I’ve seen Ghost in the Shell and I’m not convinced that it’s a bad movie. In fact, there’s a lot about it that I like quite a bit. Scarlett Johansson, wrongly cast as she may be, kicks a lot of ass in an undeniably slick futuristic setting as Major, the first ever successful fusion of a human brain and an android body. The film, directed by Rupert Sanders (The Huntsman), blends a lot of futuristic technology with a pop grunge aesthetic and characters that, while very self-serious, do a lot of damage. As an action movie, it’s pretty solid. As an exercise in Hollywood rebooting and appropriating a popular anime from the mid-90s, it’s a minefield of problems.

To discuss in-depth, I invited Keith Chow of The Nerds of Color and Angie Han of Mashable onto the pod to talk about Ghost in the Shell and Iron Fist, the conversations around them, and how their creators just couldn’t stop making things worse along the way.

Listen to this week’s episode here:

Also this week, we’re doing a special giveaway for anyone who subscribes to our email newsletter. We have three (3) copies of the Blu-ray to give away. All you need to do to enter is be a subscriber to our newsletter. We’ll be selecting winners randomly next week and reaching out via email.

You can also watch an exclusive clip from the Blu-ray release here:


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