Whitewashing Was One Of Hollywood's Worst Habits. So Why Is It Still Happening?

July 10, 2014 7:06 PM

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Whitewashing Was One Of Hollywood's Worst Habits. So Why Is It Still Happening?

It probably won't surprise you to learn that early Hollywood's mainstream films were far from racially, ethnically or culturally sensitive. When minority characters were represented at all, they were typically characterized as immoral, criminal simpletons, used as comedic contrasts to their white protagonists, as outlined in the book Racism, Sexism, And the Media. Meanwhile, Hollywood's mainstream starring roles have long been monopolized by white actors; even though it's meant whitewashing history. What may surprise you is how frequently this still happens today.

Warner Oland depicted comic book detective Charlie Chan in several films, the first of which was "Charlie Chan Carries On" (1931).

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