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Hollywood's 'Whitewashing' controversy returns to the big screen

'Ghost in the Shell' is latest film drawing criticism

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It's an ongoing topic of criticism in Hollywood.

Movie studios casting Caucasian actors for characters that are historically not-white is nothing new when it comes to the big screen.

Some examples include actors in 'black face' in 1915's Birth of a Nation to Mickey Rooney as a Japanese landlord in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

The latest film accused of 'whitewashing' is Ghost in the Shell which stars Scarlett Johansson as 'Major.'

The film, which hits theaters Friday, is based off a Japanese manga that was later turned into animated films and animated series.

Critics say the role of 'Major' should have been played by someone with an Asian descent. 

However, the director of the animated film, Mamoru Oshii, told IGN that "there is no basis for saying that an Asian actress must portray her", adding "The Major is a cyborg and her physical form is an entirely assumed one."

More recently, films such as Doctor Strange and The Lone Ranger fell under the same controversy with the casting of Tilda Swinton as 'The Ancient One' and Johnny Depp as 'Tonto,' respectively.