Another White Actor Has Been Cast in a Movie About Hiroshima and Asian Americans are Pissed

The casting of White actress Evan Rachel Wood in a new movie on post-war Hiroshima has sparked ire among Asian Americans on social media.

Wood, who currently stars as Dolores Abernathy in HBO’s “Westworld,” will play the role of Eleanor Coerr in “One Thousand Paper Cranes,” a film based on the true story of Hiroshima survivor Sadako Sasaki.


Wood will star alongside another White actor, Jim Sturgess, and Japanese actress Shinobu Terajima, Variety reported.

According to the outlet, the film tells the story of Sasaki, who was 2 when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

Atomic cloud over Hiroshima (1945).

Diagnosed with leukemia following radiation exposure, Sasaki draws strength from a Japanese legend which stated that one’s wish would come true after folding 1,000 paper cranes.

Coerr, an aspiring journalist, learns of Sasaki’s story and publishes a children’s book in 1977 titled “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,” which has since become a bestseller.

Sadako Sasaki in 1955.

While the movie has not been accused of whitewashing, sociologist Nancy Wang Yuen argued that Hollywood “cannot deal with U.S.-Asia wars without co-opting Asian voices.”

“I wondered whether a story about the devastation of Hiroshima told through a white author’s lens would ever address the fact that the United States committed an act of war that killed a total of 192,020 people (including those killed instantly and those killed by the radiation in the aftermath),” she told HuffPost.


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Asian Americans took their disappointment over Wood’s casting to Twitter:

Featured Images via Flickr / Jennifer Morrow (CC BY 2.0, Left) and Instagram / @evanrachelwood (Right)

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