After long-time Death Note fans discussed online and not just in whitewashing press talks, Roy Lee, one of the producers of the Netflix Death Note Live Action film, now expresses the accusations.
Whitewashing – white actors for the roles of different color characters to cast – is a represented phenomenon in Hollywood. In an interview on Wednesday with Buzzfeed, Roy Lee takes a position on the allegations that the production team of Netflix Live Action production of Death Note would operate whitewashing.
Lee does not believe that the film was running whitewahing. “I can understand the criticism … if our version of Death Note were to play in Japan and include Japanese characters with Japanese names,” he says. But the film plays in Seatlle instead of in Tokyo and the protagonist, played by the white actor Nat Wolff, is called in the Netflix implementation Light Turner instead of Light Yagami. According to Lee, changes in the story would have been necessary to make them “more accessible to US viewers and the English-speaking market”.
“Using the term whitewashing is also somewhat offensive … one of our three main roles accepted by an African actor,” Lee added to Keith Stanfield’s role as L. The film also features Margaret Qualley as Mia Sutton, Paul Nakauchi as Watari, Shea Whigham as James Turner, and acting legend Willem Dafoe as the voice of Ryuk.