‘The Martian’ Criticized For Cutting Asian Characters
The Martian director Ridley Scott has come under fire from campaigners for cutting Asian-American characters from the sci-fi film. Activists of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA) claim the moviemaker changed the race of a doctor featured in Andy Weir’s 2014 novel.
Dr. Venkat Kapoor, who is of Southeast Asian descent in the book, has become Vincent in the film and is seen as a black character played by British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor. Critics also suggest a Korean-American character called Mindy Park was changed to be played by white actress Mackenzie Davis. “So few projects are written specifically with Asian-American characters in them,” says MANAA founder Guy Aoki in a statement. “And he’s now changed them to a white woman and black man… This was a great opportunity to give meaty roles to talented Asian American actors – and boost their careers – which would’ve enabled our community to become a greater part of the rescue team. This feel-good movie, which has attracted Oscar buzz, shouldn’t get any awards for casting.” The Martian, which stars Matt Damon as a stranded astronaut fighting for survival on Mars, has proved a big hit since its release earlier this month, topping the box office on both sides of the Atlantic.