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Now that both Marvel and screenwriter C. Robert Cargill have spoken out about the whitewashing complaints leveled at Doctor Strange‘s casting choice for a Tibetan character, Tilda Swinton has decided to weigh in on all the fuss over her character a second time.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly this week, Swinton waved off the complaints, calling the film “diverse.”
“Anybody calling for more accurate representation of the diverse world we live in has got me standing right beside them,” she said. “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.”
Swinton is referencing her role as Doctor Strange’s mentor, the Ancient One, in the upcoming film. In the comics, the character is male, wearing the long white mustache and beard associated with many portrayals of Asian wise men. Marvel Studios president addressed this in a previous interview with EW, saying it saw the comic’s version of the characters as “quite stereotypical.”
Perhaps Swinton’s comments reflect the choice of casting a woman in the role of the Ancient One as being particularly inclusive. Nonetheless, the decision has rankled fans, coming in the wake of many other whitewashing allegations sweeping Hollywood blockbusters.
Colette Bennett is a writer/editor who specializes in web culture, skincare, and all things geek. Her work has appeared on CNN, HLN, Engadget, Kotaku, Colourlovers, and Continue Magazine. She also writes horror and sci-fi fiction for Corona Books and is at work on her second novel.