Also appearing in “The Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame,” The Ancient One is, almost always, portrayed as an Asian character. Yet again, Hollywood whitewashing comes to the fore, but this time the actress pushed back. The character is famously a title, not a single person, and Swinton went on record saying this iteration of the character is a Celtic woman instead of an Asian man.
Most of the controversy passed when viewers saw her role in the action, but there are still people who raise a stink for yet again denying an Asian actor a powerful role.
Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars
There are plenty of ways to level criticism at the Star Wars prequel trilogy – special effects far too flashy, spectacle takes away from the story, the story isn't that good anyway. And the dialogue – but yet again, a big one is the main character casting. Hayden Christensen appears as Anakin Skywalker in Episodes II and III and is unable to stand next to big names like Natalie Portman, Samuel L. Jackson, and even wilts opposite Ewan McGregor.
His exaggerated portrayal of the Sith Lord takes power away from the proceedings and thus drags the trilogy down even farther than it would have.
Emma Stone as Allison Ng in Aloha
Nobody liked "Aloha." Not even Stone herself, though she only joined the "this is whitewashing" crowd after she had been paid. Allison Ng is a Chinese-Hawaiian, two cultures that Stone is not, which was one of the biggest criticisms the film garnered. Overall, the film was a big flop for director Cameron Crowe, though there were plenty of poor reviews and a lack of interest to add to casting mistakes that buried this film.
Stone told the Los Angeles Times: "I've become the target of many jokes. I've learned a lot about the insane history of whitewashing."
Gary Oldman as Rolfe in Tiptoes
There are few casting choices as perplexing as Gary Oldman in 2003's Tiptoes, which plays a dwarf. A little person. The film features plenty of incredible actors who are dwarfs (including everyone's favorite, Peter Dinklage), but the lead dwarf role going to a man of standard stature raised plenty of little eyebrows.
The movie is even about the rights and portrayals of little people, which makes the choice of Oldman an even stranger choice. Dinklage is right there, for Pete's sake! The film was poorly received and ended up going straight to DVD. The preview looks like something from a comedy show.
Jake Gyllenhaal as Dastan in Prince of Persia
Movie adaptations of video games have a pretty rough history, much rougher than comic books. The odd choice to make the "Prince of Persia" series into a big-budget Hollywood flick came with Jake Gyllenhaal as the title character. They gave him all the long hair and scruffy beard they could, but it's just not that easy to turn Donnie Darko into a Middle-Eastern prince.
We're seeing more and more examples of opportunities to cast an ethnic actor or actress squandered by Hollywood who want the biggest name attached to their project. Still, it's clear it has a bad track record – the only "good" example in recent history is Tilda Swinton. The movie's not very good, either.