30 July, 2016 - NME.com
The Great Wall filmmakers have been accused of trying to whitewash Asian history.
The forthcoming movie is set in China more than 1,000 years ago, yet its lead role is played by white actor Matt Damon.
The first trailer for the fantasy adventure was released on Thursday (July 28) and caused much outrage.
Damon plays a solider in ancient China in the film, a move that provoked comedian Constance Wu to write on Twitter that it is a "racist myth that [only a ] white man can save the world."
As the Guardian reports, the Angry Asian Man blog also called the film "the latest movie in the grand cinematic tradition of the Special White Person."
Can we all at least agree that hero-bias & "but it's really hard to finance" are no longer excuses for racism? TRY pic.twitter.com/mvNet5PrtH— Constance Wu (@ConstanceWu) July 29, 2016
Its author also said: "You can set a story anywhere in the world, in any era of history, and Hollywood will still somehow find a way for the movie to star a white guy."
Wu also added: "Our heroes don’t look like Matt Damon. They look like Malala. Ghandi. Mandela. Your big sister when she stood up for you to those bullies that one time. We don't need salvation. We like our colour and our culture and our strengths and our own stories."
She continued: "Money is the lamest excuse in the history of being human. So is blaming the Chinese investors.
"Remember, it's not about blaming individuals ... Rather, it's about pointing out the repeatedly implied racist notion that white people are superior to POC [people of colour] and that POC need salvation from our own color via white strength."
Earlier this year, Scarlett Johansson was caught up in a similar controversy after it was revealed she would play a Japanese character in Ghost In The Shell.
Marvel were also accused of whitewashing after casting Tilda Swinton as a Tibetan character in Doctor Strange.
The Great Wall is released in February 2017.