It's no secret that Hollywood has a problem with racial representation. The vast majority of leading roles in the film and television industry go to performers who are white. The ratio of white actors
to POC actors in leading roles is so dismal, generally hovering between 1 to 10-20. Even in supporting roles, it often seems like the only acceptable excuse for casting a person of color is when the film's story explicitly demands a non-white performer.
While the overall situation is frustrating enough, the real kick-in-the-pants is when black characters
, Asian characters, Latino characters, or other characters who are described clearly as people of color (either in the movie's script, or in the source material that inspired it) are "whitewashed," meaning that white actors get to play the roles of black (or latino, or asian) actors, too. Why does Hollywood have such a big problem with casting POC actors? Whitewashing comes in two major varieties - white people playing non-white characters (sometimes with the help of makeup or prosthetics that darken their skin, and/ or make them appear more "ethnic"), and non-white characters being rewritten entirely, thereby allowing a white actor to take on the role.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, it's very rare to see a black character cast as a white character
What are the worst examples of Hollywood whitewashing? Shocking as it is, plenty of them are depressingly recent. Scroll down to vote up the worst offenders. Collection Photo: Orion Pictures, Universal Pictures