According to a new report from THR, Academy Award winning actress Tilda Swinton is in talks to star in Marvel's upcoming Doctor Strange film as The Ancient One, a 500 year old Tibetan mystic who serves as mentor to the Sorcerer Supreme. The move is a diversity "wash," as it does genderbend the male character to be female, which is a positive gain, but at the same time whitewashes an Asian character, canceling it out.
"We're excited to have made neither forward progress nor backward regression in this casting," boasted a proud and grinning Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige after making the announcement. "Often, the superhero film genre feels like it's making one step forward and two steps back when it comes to responsibly handling issues of inclusion in a universe of characters that was mostly created decades ago with outdated and occasionally offensive ideas of diversity."
"For instance, we brought a strong, empowered character in The Black Widow to the screen in our Avengers franchise, to which audiences responded very positively," Feige explained, "and then we shoehorned her into a romance subplot with Bruce Banner and refuse to give her a solo movie, resulting in a net loss."
"This time," Feige concluded, "we've made one step forward and one step back, for neither a net gain nor a net loss. That's good, right?"
At press time, uncomfortable social media users reluctantly consoled themselves with the fact that Swinton is a marvelous actress who will bring a certain level of class to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, despite the fact that this is still a clear cut case of whitewashing no matter how you look at it.