‘Doctor Strange’ screenwriter C. Robert Cargill has landed in hot water after attempting to defend the casting of Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, a character depicted as an ancient Tibetan man in the comics. The casting has drawn the ire of some critics who view it as a form of Hollywood whitewashing, a hot button topic in the last year. While Marvel and even Swinton herself have responded to these accusations, it’s Cargill’s remarks, made while on the Double Toasted podcast, that have garnered the most controversy.
In case you missed it, here was his original statement:
“The thing about the Ancient One is it is Marvel’s Kobayashi Maru. There is no other character in Marvel history that is such a cultural landmine, that is absolutely unwinnable…
The Ancient One was a racist stereotype who comes from a region of the world that is in a very weird political place. He originates from Tibet, so if you acknowledge that Tibet is a place and that he’s Tibetan, you risk alienating one billion people who think that that’s bulls**t and risk the Chinese government going, ‘Hey, you know one of the biggest film-watching countries in the world? We’re not going to show your movie because you decided to get political.’ If we decide to go the other way and cater to China in particular and have him be in Tibet… if you think it’s a good idea to cast a Chinese actress as a Tibetan character, you are out of your damn fool mind and have no idea what the f**k you’re talking about.”
Cargill sent a letter to the New York Times to clarify his remarks, basically owning his statements as his own and not representative of the views of anyone at Marvel Studios:
I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, but none that I regret as much as choosing to answer a question to which I had no place in speaking. I tried to make it right by clarifying my position on Twitter Monday but unfortunately — perhaps ironically, given that this story gained so much steam on social media — those comments were not picked up by those reporting on my statements from the original podcast. Those original statements were my own personal musings about a character, and although I worked on the film script, I came to the project after the first draft and was not part of any casting discussions or decisions so I had no right or knowledge to speak about them as if I was. It was a moronic decision, and worst of all, I embarrassed my friends and colleagues by coming across as if I were speaking for them. I was not.
It sounds like someone got a… stern talking-to.
Cargill’s original remarks still stand as his own opinion but are in no way official.
‘Doctor Strange’ has completed filming and is now in post-production.
‘Doctor Strange’ directd by Scott Derrickson, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benedict Wong, and Mads Mikkelsen emerges on this plane on November 4, 2016.
Source: Comic Book Movie