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Ah-so! Yellow Peril Challenges ComicsAlliance to Samurai Duel over Iron Man 3 Whitewashing!

Written by Jude Terror on Tuesday, July 17 2012 and posted in News with Benefits
Ah-so! Yellow Peril Challenges ComicsAlliance to Samurai Duel over Iron Man 3 Whitewashing!

Yellow Peril took issue with ComicsAlliance assertation that the casting of Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin was "acceptable whitewashing."

Source: Yellow Peril

When Ben Kingsley was officially announced as The Mandarin in Iron Man 3, most comic book fans were pleased to learn that such a well-respected actor would be portraying a longtime fan favorite villain. ComicsAlliance, however, immediately embarked on a preemptive defense of whitewashing, the process of casting white actors to play Asian characters in movies, posting:

This is a rare instance where casting a non-Chinese actor in an Asian role may actually be the smart choice. Usually it's whitewashing, but given that the character originated as a horrifying yellow peril stereotype, casting someone like Kingsley (who is half Gujarati Indian) allows the character to break away from the cliche.

Yellow Peril stereotypes are stereotypes that grew out of late nineteenth century xenophobia based on an increase in Chinese immigration in the united states, and continued through the mid twentieth century fueled by misguided World War 2 patriotism, resulting in lots of unfortunate prejudice and some awesomely hilarious Bugs Bunny cartoons. Yellow Peril is also the name of a website dedicated to exposing and eradicating Yellow Peril stereotypes in comics, and they took issue with ComicsAlliance's whitewashing of the Mandarin's whitewashing. In response to ComicsAlliance, they posted:

Movies reinvent characters all the time. Peter Parker got parents in this latest incarnation. That's something that even the comics haven't dealt with. It's possible that Iron Man 3 could reinvent the Mandarin so he's not a pastiche of an Asian villain but rather an actualized person. The best villains in fiction never believe they are the villain. A sympathetic take on the Mandarin could be kind of awesome which is ultimately why I'm disappointed that he'll be portrayed by Ben Kingsley.

YP suggested Andy Lau or Chow Yun-Fat for the Mandarin role, and concluded by telling CA:

No, Comics Alliance, it's not okay.

What do you think? Is the excitement over Ben Kingsley enough to overlook a clear case of whitewashing? Does Kingsley's Indian heritage make the whitewashing better, or worse?

Written or Contributed by: Jude Terror

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About the Author - Jude Terror

Jude Terror is the Webmaster Supreme of The Outhouse and a sarcastic ace reporter dedicated to delivering irreverent comics and entertainment news to The Outhouse's dozens of loyal readers. Driven by a quest for vengeance, Jude Terror taught himself to program and joined The Outhouse. He instantly began working toward his goal of forcing the internet comics community to take itself less seriously and failing miserably. A certified trash eater ruining the pristine field of comics journalism with his sarcasm and goofiness, Jude Terror is secretly friendly and congenial, so if you've got a complaint, why not just bring it up to him instead of subtweeting like a jackass, jackass? You can find him on Twitter or try your luck with an email, but keep in mind that he is notoriously unreliable and may not get back to you right away. Unless you want to send him free stuff, in which case he'll get back to you immediately.

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