Star Trek Actor Petitions Against Akira 'Whitewashing'
posted on by Gia Manry
Last week, Japanese-American actor George Takei (Star Trek TV series' Mr. Sulu, Heroes' Kaito Nakamura) Tweeted a link to a fan petition opposing a shortlist of actors reportedly up for lead roles in the live-action film adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's manga Akira. The list included a variety of actors for the roles of Kaneda and Tetsuo, all of whom are white, including Twilight star Robert Pattinson, singer Justin Timberlake, and Star Trek film star Chris Pine. The list suggests the former for Tetsuo and the latter two for Kaneda, although Pattinson himself downplayed the report.
The website Racebending.com created the petition as an "event" on social networking site Facebook, which fans can sign by clicking the button stating that they will "attend" the event. At press time, over 11,500 people had signed the petition, which promotes the casting of Asian-American actors in this and other film adaptations.