Marvel Comics may have said all they are going to say about the CB Cebulski/Akira Yoshida story.
But Marvel’s director of content and character development Sana Amanat (and co-creator of Ms Marvel) was in Singapore for the Asia TV Forum and Market and was asked by Channel NewsAsia for comment. They report she said it was “something that he was trying to do to just be a writer.”
This is a world he understood. He’s one of my favourite people (and) I think many people who know CB will know that he is one of the most globally minded, and very culturally sensitive as well. That man has lived in Japan, speaks Japanese, and has lived all over the world. He very much associates with Japanese culture. And I think that him writing, for whatever time it was, was him trying to be a writer more than anything else.
I think we have to be very sensitive about cultural appropriation and whitewashing. But I do think, fundamentally, that if there’s an opportunity to create more awareness about a particular type of character, whether it’s an Asian character or a black character, that should be our primary goal – telling as authentic, as honest, as fun, as real a story as possible about that character. Because that’s what’s really going to build more awareness about a particular cultural group.
Of course we want cultural authenticity and make sure we’re casting those people behind the scenes, but the primary goal is getting those kinds of characters out there.”
And she cited Brian Bendis creating Miles Morales.
He is as white as they come (but) he happens to have a daughter who’s African American. So it meant something to him. We have to stop dismissing people when they want to be able to promote that. Because then we’re actually going to create a deepening dividing line between cultures in a way that is antagonistic. We have to start communicating and not being so angry,”
Amanat is the only Marvel staffer to have commented on the situation outside of Cebulski himself. But there will be more reaction to come.
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