Whitewashing is when Hollywood takes a character who is a person of color in the source material and casts a white actor — and it’s a prominent problem in Hollywood, from Liam Neeson in “Batman Begins” to Scarlett Johansson in “Ghost in the Shell.” But what about when a white character is played by a person of color on-screen? Some are claiming that “Blackwashing” is taking place, but this concept is not a problem.
People of color of still barely represented in the film world. So, when a prominent person of color in the cultural stratosphere is portrayed by a white person, it diminishes an opportunity for minorities to be seen.
However, if the opposite of this occurs, and a white figure is portrayed by a person of color, this doesn’t really diminish white people’s representation as much as it creates more opportunity for POC representation.
Having people of different backgrounds and ethnicities cast in major movies and television shows adds more diversity to a mostly white world. And since there is such a disproportionate amount of white representation in Hollywood, it’s not “blackwashing” or any sort of threat to give people of color platforms that they have been denied for so long.