A live-action Golden Kamuy movie is in the works and some people on the internet are looking to stir up controversy over the character of Asirpa.
In the story of Golden Kamuy, Asirpa is an Ainu girl. According to Google: “The Ainu are an indigenous people traditionally inhabiting the northern region of Japan (Hokkaido island), and also the Kurile and Sahkalin islands. They have a well-defined culture, as well as a language other than Japanese (known as Ainu Itak ) and a rich repertoire of oral literature.”.
Soon Yuki Matsuzaki, a Japanese actor who spent 20 years making movies in Hollywood, according to his own account, helped companies to hire Japanese actors for roles and claims that Hollywood is racist for not hiring people of certain ethnicities to roles.
He wants an Ainu person to be cast as an actress for the role of Asirpa, for representation, but polls of the Japanese audience show that the general public doesn’t care about that.
He made a huge thread on Twitter angry saying that the Japanese don’t know how important representation is in the media, that it’s also the fault of companies that don’t put representations of minorities in movies and series.
He also pointed out that Golden Kamuy would have homophobic jokes, and he became angry after showing the Japanese the homophobic scenes and seeing that the Japanese people simply didn’t understand why they would be homophobic.
[4/🪡] Japanese people are SO FAR BEHIND when it comes to the concept of minority representation in media, even after I pointed out these scenes👇 in Gold Kamuy are homophobic, they still couldn't get what's so homophobic about. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! What's NOT homophobic?!?! pic.twitter.com/W6CI5NB77p
— Yuki Matsuzaki 松崎悠希 (@Yuki_Mats) October 25, 2022
Some opinions from the Japanese:
“Being Ainu is not important, who should play Asirpa is who is best for the role. What do you think movies are?”
“Now what? Do all actors have to take a DNA test to make sure they match the role? They can’t hire actors based on their ability anymore. Some actors can lose jobs because of it. Injured should only be done by hurt people?”
“Hiring an actor who is right for the role, who can do action and is good at comedy is 1000 times more important than being an Ainu. Stop making films based on ideology. If you want to make ideological films, create your own.”
“If movie roles should only be played by real people, then they have to hire only veterans for war movies, and if the protagonist is half human and half demon, good luck looking for an actor. If you want Ainu actors for Ainu roles , stop watching movies”
“I asked several actors what fun being an actor is and they replied, ‘It makes me someone else’. That’s the beauty of acting and restricting actors by their race is against the rules of what acting is.”
“Ainu roles must only be played by Ainu people means that Ainu actors cannot be hired to do anything other than Ainu roles. I hope everyone understands this.”
Overall that’s it, this actor who spent most of his life in the US wants representation but the Japanese audience just wants actors who match the role to be put in the movie, regardless of who the person is.