The type of people who get up in arms about the whitewashing of Hollywood roles were given a pretty good weapon in their arsenal after it was announced that Rooney Mara would be joining Pan in the role of Tiger Lilly, a character who has historically been represented as Native American, or at least not white.
In case the name Pan isn’t ringing any bells, it’s a “gritty re-telling” of the Peter Pan story with Garret Hudland as Hook and Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard.
This is reminiscent of the kerfuffle surrounding Johnny Depp playing Tonto in Disney’s The Lone Ranger. Bad casting seem to be the least of that film’s troubles, but it did put the film at a disadvantageous position from the start. Of course, there aren’t many bankable Native American actors to draw from when you compare their numbers to white ones, but that’s sort of the point of this whole exercise.
If you won’t even seek one out for a specifically Native American role, it’s a little hard to defend your position. But it will be interesting to watch them try in the coming days.