So I’m all for equality in representation of all races in media: as I have mentioned before, the media is extremely influential in shaping our views – more influential than many give credit for.
But I say accusing Cloud Atlas of whitewashing/yellow-face is a ignorant overreaction.
Firstly, there is a mix of races in the cast: white, black and asian. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a cast with any leading asians at all, suggesting that the Cloud Atlas casting team might not be ‘racist’.
Next: fine, some asian characters are white people dressing as asians – but there are asians playing white characters too! This shows that there must have been some reason to the race makeup, that emphasizes the deeper meaning of the story.
What is that deeper meaning? Well, in Cloud Atlas, the characters all portrayed by one actor generally have the same roles in each plot (e.g. Hugo Weaving was ‘the bad guy’ in every story, and Halle Berry was always the hero, or the romantic couples in each story are played by the same actors). This taps into the major theme of reincarnation in Cloud Atlas, showing that one soul can take many forms through its lifetimes, despite gender – or race.
So to all those critics, try to put things into perspective and fully understand the movie, before labeling the movie as ‘offensive’ just because the actors get to dress up as other races.