In the Doctor Strange comic books, The Ancient One is an elderly Asian man and something of a racist stereotype. Despite that, there’s been at least some controversy on social media about Marvel Studios’ decision to “whitewash” the character by casting Tilda Swinton as the Sorcerer Supreme’s mentor.
Now, following the release of some new images from Doctor Strange, Entertainment Weekly has talked to Swinton to find out how she feels about some of the backlash.
“Anybody calling for more accurate representation of the diverse world we live in has got me standing right beside them. I think when people see this film, they’re going to see that it comes from a very diverse place, in all sorts of ways. Maybe this misunderstanding around this film has been an opportunity for that voice to be heard, and I’m not against that at all. But I do think that when people see the film, they’ll see that it’s not necessarily a target for that voice.”
It’s hard to argue with that, especially when we know that Doctor Strange features a prominent Asian character in the form of Benedict Wong’s Wong. A manservant in the source material, he’ll actually be on the same level as Karl Mordo – played by black actor Chiwetel Ejiofor – in the movie and a friend/adviser to Stephen Strange.
It’s definitely going to be interesting to see how Doctor Strange ends up portraying The Ancient One and whether the character’s race/gender has a significant impact on the story. Either way, it’s hard to find fault with Marvel for hiring an actress as talented as Swinton, and after the mixed response to Suicide Squad, this comic book movie can’t get here soon enough.
Source: Entertainment Weekly