Marvel supremo Kevin Feige comments on ‘Doctor Strange’ whitewashing controversy

Fan anger grows of casting of Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One

The man in charge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has finally spoken out about the controversial casting of caucasian actress Tilda Swinton in the role of a character who is ethnically Tibetan in the comics.

Swinton is playing the Ancient One, an enigmatic figure who teaches the mystical arts to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange in the upcoming magical epic Doctor Strange. Many fans of the character have criticised the casting, claiming Marvel Studios are ‘whitewashing’ a part which could have gone to an Asian actor.

Kevin Feige, the boss of Marvel Studios, has finally broken his silence on the matter, claiming that he “didn’t want to play into any of the stereotypes found in the comic books, some of which go back as far as 50 years or more”.

In an interview with Deadline, he said: “We felt the idea of gender swapping the role of The Ancient One was exciting. It opened up possibilities, it was a fresh way into this old and very typical story line. Why not make the wisest bestower of knowledge in the universe to our heroes in the particular film a woman instead of a man?”

Scott Derrickson, the director of Doctor Strange, recently tweeted to reassure fans that Marvel was listening:

Marvel has weathered considerable criticism for its decision to cast Swinton in the role. George Takei, who played Mr Sulu in the original Star Trek, and who spends his time advocating for more roles for Asian actors, blasted the studio in an angry post on Facebook earlier this week.