The Sheikh1921

Character: The Sheik — Arab

Actor: Rudolph Valentino

The Thief of Bagdad1924

Character: Arab Main Character

Actor: Douglas Fairbanks

The Son of the Sheik1926

Character: The Sheik — Arab

Actor: Rudolph Valentino


Charlie Chan Carries On1931

Character: Charlie Chan — Chinese

Actor: Warner Oland

The Good Earth1937

Character: Main Characters — Chinese

Actor: Paul Muni, Luise Rainer


Dragon Seed1944

Character: Jade — Chinese

Actor: Katherine Hepburn

Anna and the King of Siam 1946

Character: The King — Siamese

Actor: Rex Harrison

Fiesta 1947

Character: Maria Morales — Mexican

Actor: Esther Williams

Lost Boundaries1949

Character: family — part African American

Actors: all white cast

Pinky 1949

Character: main character — African American

Actor: Jeanne Crain


Show Boat1951

Character: Julie — Mixed race

Actor: Ava Gardner


Character: Warrior — Apache

Actor: Burt Lancaster

The Conqueror1956

Character: Genghis Khan — Mongolian

Actor: Yul Brynner

The King and I1956

Character: the King — Thai

Actor: Yul Brynner

The Teahouse of the August Moon1956

Character: Sakani — Japanese

Actor: Marlon Brando

The Ten Commandments 1956

Character: Biblical character — Middle Eastern

Actors: All white cast

Touch of Evil1958

Character: Miguel Vargas — Mexican

Actor: Charlton Heston

Imitation of Life1959

Character: Sarah Jane — Mixed race

Actor: Susan Kohner


Breakfast at Tiffany's1961

Character: Mr.Yunioshi— Japanese

Actor: Mickey Rooney

King of Kings 1961

Character: Jesus Christ + Biblical Figures — Middle Eastern

Actors: Jeffrey Hunter + All white cast

A Majority of One1961

Character: Business man — Japanese

Actor: Alec Guinness

The Outsider1961

Character: Ira Hayes — Native American

Actor: Susan Kohner

West Side Story1961

Character: Maria — Puerto Rican

Actor: Natalie Wood

Lawrence of Arabia1962

Character: Prince Faisal — Arab

Actor: Alec Guinness


Character: Alma — African American

Actor: Patricia Neal


Character: Othello — Moorish

Actor: Lawrence Olivier in blackface

The Party1968

Character: actor — Indian

Actor: Peter Sellers


The Wind and the Lion1975

Character: Mulai Ahmed er Raisuni — Berber

Actor: Sean Connery


The Year of Living Dangerously1982

Character: Dwarf — Chinese Australian

Actor: Linda Hunrt


Character: Tony Montana — Cuban

Actor: Al Pacino

A Passage to India1984

Character: Professor Godbole — Indian

Actor: Alec Guinness

King David1985

Character: David — Middle Eastern

Actor: Richard Gere

Remo Williams: the Adventure Begins1985

Character: Martials art master — Korean

Actor: Joel Grey

Short Circuit1986

Character: Character — Indian

Actor: Fisher Stevens

The last Temptation of Christ1988

Character: Jesus Christ + biblical figures —

Actor: William Dafoe

Short Circuit 21988

Character: Character — Indian

Actor: Fisher Stevens


Not Without My Daughter1991

Character: Sayed Bozorg "Moody" Mahmoody — Iranian

Actor: Alfred Molina

The House of Spirits1993

Character: Family — Chilean

Actor: Glenn Close, Meryl Streep


Character: Terry Fitzgerald — African American

Actor: D.B Sweeney

Starship Troopers1997

Character: Juan Roco — Filipino

Actor: Casper Van Dien


Pay it Forward2000

Character: Eugene Simonet — African American

Actor: Kevin Spacey

A Beautiful Mind2001

Character: Coleman Silk — African American

Actor: Anthony Hopkins

Batman Begins2005

Character: Ra's al Ghul — Middle Eastern

Actor: Liam Neeson

World Trade Center2006

Character: Jason Thomas — African American

Actor: William Mapother

30 Days of Night2007

Character: Sheriff — Inuit

Actor: Josh Hartnett

A Mighty Heart2007

Character: Mariane Pearl — Mixed race

Actor: Angelina Jolie


Character: Brandi Boski — African American

Actor: Mena Suvari


Character: Original character — Asian American

Actor: Jim Sturgess, Jacob Pitt, Kevin Spacey

Speed Racer2008

Character: Principal cast — Japanese

Actors: Principal white cast


Character: Fox — African American

Actor: Angelina Jolie


The King of Fighters2010

Character: Kyo Kusanagi — Japanese

Actor: Sean Faris

The Last Airbender2010

Character: Principal cast — Asian + inuit

Actors: Principal white cast

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time2010

Character: Prince Dastan — Persian

Actor: Jake Gyllenhaal

The Social Network2010

Character: Divya Narendra — Indian

Actor: Fisher Stevens (mixed race)


Character: Irene — Latin

Actor: Carey Mulligan


Character: Tony Mendez — Mexican

Actor: Ben Affleck

The Big Wedding2013

Character: Alejandro Soto Griffin — Colombian

Actor: Ben Barnes (in brown face)

The Lone Ranger2013

Character: Tonto — Native American

Actor: Johnney Depp (claims some Native American ancestry)

Star Trek Into Darkness

Character: Khan noonien Singh — Indian

Actor: Benedict Cumberbatch

Warm Bodies2013

Character: Nora — Ethiopian

Actor: Analeigh Tipton

Edge of Tomorrow 2014

Character: Keiji Kiriya — Japanese

Actor: Tom Cruise

Exodus: Gods and Kings2014

Character: Biblical Figures — Middle Eastern

Actors: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver


Character: Principal Cast — Middle Eastern

Actors: Principal white cast


Character: Allison Ng — Mixed race

Actor: Emma Stone

The Martian2015

Character: Mindy Park — Korean

Actor: Mackenzie Davis


Character: Tiger Lily — Native American

Actor: Rooney Mara


Characters: Actual characters — largely African American

Actors: white fictional main character

Doctor Strange2016

Character: Ancient One — Tibetan

Actor: Tilda Swinton

Gods of Egypt2016

Character: Principal cast — Egyptian

Actors: All white principal cast

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot2016

Characters: Main characters — Afghan

Actors: Christopher Abbott, Alfred Molina

Ghost in the Shell2017

Character: Major Mokoto Kusanagi — Japanese

Actor: Scarlet Johanssen

The history of


Warner Oland stars, in yellow face, as the eponymous protagonist Charlie Chan in "Charlie Chan carries on". Chang was intended to be a benevolent Asian character in contrast to the racist depiction of Asians as conniving villains at the time. However, the cariacature re-enforced stereotypes of Asians as subservient in nature.
Katherine Hepburn stars, in yellow face, as Chinese protagonist Jade in "Dragon Seed"
Marlon Brando stars, in yellow face, as Japanese man Sakini in "Teahouse of the August Moon"
Mickey Rooney plays I.Y Yunioshi in "Breakfast at Tiffany's". Arguably one of the most infamous examples of blatant racism in American cinema.
Laurence Olivier in blackface as the eponymous protagonist Othello in "Othello".
Caucasian actor Joel Grey in yellow face as a Korean martial arts master in "Remo-Williams: an Adventure Begins".
British actor Alfred Molina (who is of Italian and Spanish descent) plays an Iranian physicist and abusive husband in "Not Without My Daughter".
Liam Neeson as Arab villain Ra's al Ghul in "Batman Begins". The name translates to "the demon's head" in arabic.
Kevin Spacy and a majority white cast play real life Jeff Ma and other Asian MIT students in "Twenty One".
M. Night. Shamalan employed a majority white cast to play characters that were heavily implied to be East Asian and Inuit in the original animated series. Noah Ringer was cast as Aang, the air-bending, martial arts practicing, monk protagonist.
Sean Faris plays Kyo Kusanagi in the hollywood adaptation of Street Fighters, a Japanese video game franchise.
Ghost in the Shell is the 2017 Hollywood remake of a Japanese cult classic. The American remake features Scarlet Johanssen as the protagonist Motoko Kusanagi. There were reports the studio did CGI tests to make Johanssen's features appear more Asain.

Let's do something about this.