I think that’s a lot of what people are saying except it is the white guys saying it most likely. Responses from people who see this as a form of yellow face have come from some Asian creators, and it is more of a problem with Marvel’s claim to be promoting diversity but completely ignoring problems with diversity when they pop up in its management.
Now, I’m someone who likes the stories where white people go to a different culture and somehow become heroes in that culture. DANCES WITH WOLVES is still one of my favorite movies. I’ve been a big TARZAN fan forever. Recently, you got a version of the same thing with WIND RIVER. Not so much a fan of The Last Samurai, but I liked SHOGUN a lot.
That’s also apparently the sort of stuff Akira Yoshida wrote.
Marvel’s white heroes go to a fantasy ideal of Japan and becoming Samurai or Ninja heroes to the people there. Again, I don’t mind those kinds of stories and generally get into them. I don’t necessarily expect Sioux tribespeople to like DANCES WITH WOLVES (though they might have loved it and real Sioux did act in the movie) or Japanese people to get into THE LAST SAMURAI or KILL BILL (though I believe those films were very popular in Japan), but I would find it a little distasteful if the people who wrote those movies used a false name and claimed to belong to the race or nationality depicted. It implies an authority on the cultures that I would find deceptive even if I liked the movies.
It’s not as if there is all this outrage for no reason. The reason it is so intense is that everyone in authority has been ignoring it for so long. From sexual harassment and actual assault not just in the entertainment industry, but in the corporate, academic and military spheres, to severely unaddressed situations among poor minorities - things like not just the police shootings that lead to only very light or no punishment, but the fact that so many poor black people and immigrants find themselves incarcerated simply because they can’t pay parking tickets or municipal fines or homeless because they can’t pay property taxes and then see the house they bought and paid for years ago sold for next to nothing to rich speculators who bought the tax lien from a government that is supposed to represent and protect the poor.
This outrage is of course more intense at Marvel now because of a few problematic statements they made about their own diversity initiative at a convention not that long ago. Essentially, Marvel asked for it, and outrage is always going to be more intense when it comes to entertainment because, naturally, that’s what people are looking at. It’s the reason so much more attention is given to sexual harassment in Hollywood while hardly anyone has seen The Invisible War.
At the same time, like you point out, Marvel has been doing better when it comes to diversity and they really should be able to and should be actively addressing this problem by pointing out that Cebulski was hired even with his past mistake taken into consideration because he will be able to make their diversity goals a reality.
Not sure if this is the way to go, but it’s a start:
Now, I do take the position that people take offense rather than give it. If I’m offended then, honestly, it’s my action, not the fault of what offends. I have to express that rationally than expect others to defend it.
However, though some outrage over racial and social problems may be too extreme or irrational, I can see where it is coming from, and honestly, it is really up to the authorities to address it after so long ignoring it.