Hollywood is at it again, this time round with Zach McGowan who has been cast in the lead role as a native Hawaiian WW2 Hero, Ben Kanahele in the historical drama “Ni’ihau”. This comes hot on the heels of the very recent Ghost In The Shell whitewash controversy and it seems Hollywood is nowhere near to learning their lesson.
The film will be based upon the historical Niihau incident where a Japanese Pilot crash landed on the island after having participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor. The pilot, a wounded Nishikaichi, was found and assisted by Ben Kanahele up until the point of realizing exactly who and what the pilot actually was. Nishikaichi took several hostages on the island in an attempted takeover and was later defeated and killed by Ben Kanahele and Kealoha Kanahele.
A very historic event in Hawaiian history indeed – Kanahele is considered a hero who prevented Japanese occupation of the island and now the film being made won’t even star a native Hawaiian person…or even someone born in Hawaii.
McGowan, best known for his role on Black Sails as Captain Vane will portray the epic figure in the upcoming film which begins filming later this month. How McGowan will pull off looking Hawaiian (with a tan?) remains to be seen and while he isn’t the best choice for the role, he is a semi-decent actor in his own right. I just don’t believe he’s suited for this role and casting him is showing both blatant disrespect and complete disregard for the rich cultural history and people of Hawaii.
To further showcase just how blatantly stupid this is – I’ve gone ahead and made a quick list of people who are actually born in Hawaii who could easily fill the role of Kanahele on screen without any makeup.
- Jason Momoa (Aquaman, Stargate: Atlantis)
- Mark Dacascos (Drive, Iron Chef America)
- Tahj Mowry (Baby Daddy)
Actually, you know what? – You could cast Bruno Mars instead, he’s actually from Hawaii too. Oh, or, I know – Barack Obama – he was born in Hawaii and not only was he The President Of The United States – he actually won’t need any makeup to have brown skin. Not to even mention that anyone actually from Hawaii would be more than willing and honored to portray someone like Kanahele on the silver screen. What does it mean to McGowan? About as much as his shirt does, probably…
At this rate – When they make the Obama movie they’ll probably cast Matthew McConaughey in the lead role.
How did we get to Zach McGowan here exactly? Similar looks to Kanahele? Has he been to Hawaii and someone saw him in a picture on Instagram? What? How? I mean…fuck, dude.
Ugh…this brings back too many painful Last Airbender memories.