The makers of Cloud Atlas have come under fire from the Media Action Network For Asian Americans after applying make-up to white Caucasian actors to make them appear more Asian in spite of the film being set in South Korea, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The storyline is set in the year 2144, but we’re pretty sure South Koreans will still be South Koreans then, and not Americans living out there having to apply make-up every morning. The MANAA fumed “In the modern age of movie make up, it is disturbing to see poorly done Asian eye prosthetics to make Caucasian men look Asian.” Continuing, they added "Cloud Atlas missed a great opportunity. The Korea story’s protagonist is an Asian man - an action hero who defies the odds and holds off armies of attackers.”
"He’s the one who liberates [a clone played by actress] Doona Bae from her repressive life and encourages her to join the resistance against the government. It would have been a great, stereotype-busting role for an Asian American actor to play, as Asian American men aren’t allowed to be dynamic or heroic very often." In the film it is actually Jim Sturgess who plays the lead, whilst Hugo Weaving and James D’Arcy have also been cast as Asian actors. It is baffling that, considering blacking up was deemed distasteful years ago, there’s been less of a grumble about this.