Netflix is having a rough time these days with casting controversies. Earlier this month, the site came under fire along with Marvel Studios because of its lead for Iron Fist. The newest comic book series was lambasted by critics as its protagonist Danny Rand was brought to life by Finn Jones. While the character is canonically white in the comics, many fans had petitioned for Danny to be made Asian-American given the hero’s eastern roots. When a white actor was cast, plenty of fans said the show promoted cultural appropriation, and now another Netflix original program is getting heat from netizens.
Today, the first live-action teaser for Netflix’s Death Note dropped earlier today, and lots of conversation has spawned from it. The most popular topic has been centered around the film’s casting. Rather than having leads like Light and L come from Japan, the protagonists have been westernized. Nat Wolff will play Light Turner while Lakeith Stanfield takes on the genius detective L. Fans have taken to the Internet to bemoan the film’s brand of race-washing.
However, it doesn’t look like Stanfield is too bothered by the accusations.
Taking to Twitter, the up-and-coming actor posted a message that has caught the eye of netizens. Stanfield didn’t nod to Death Note in particular, but the actor did write a message to coincidental to be an accident. “Currently blackwashin sh*t,” he wrote.
For some Death Note fans, changing L’s race has not been a difficult alteration to accept. Adam Wingard has stressed his adaptation of the franchise will not be a tight one and instead loosely based on the thriller. However, in light of recent casting debacles, the topic has become a sensitive one for fans. Projects like Ghost in the Shell and Iron Fist have brought the pressing issue about diversity in Hollywood to the forefront.
So, what do you think? Are you troubled by the race-bending featuring in Netflix’s take on Death Note? Hit us up at Twitter @ComicBook to let us know!
You can read up on Death Note below thanks to Viz Media’s Synopsis:
“Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects—and he’s bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But will Light succeed in his noble goal, or will the Death Note turn him into the very thing he fights against?”
Currently blackwashin shit— Lakeith Stanfield (@stanfield_keith) March 22, 2017
What if you had the power to decide who lives and who dies? We suggest you obey the rules. Based on the famous Japanese manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, Death Note follows a high school student who comes across a supernatural notebook, realizing it holds within it a great power; if the owner inscribes someone's name into it while picturing their face, he or she will die. Intoxicated with his new godlike abilities, the young man begins to kill those he deems unworthy of life.
Death Note will be available to stream on Netflix beginning August 25, 2017.