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The 'Dr. Strange' director finally said something smart about whitewashing in the movie.

When Marvel Studios began working on their upcoming "Doctor Strange" movie, the creators found themselves in a bit of a pickle.

See, the character of Dr. Strange as he was originally created involves a once-arrogant surgeon who shatters his hands in an accident then travels to Tibet and learns magic from someone called The Ancient One and becomes the planet's "Sorcerer Supreme."


GIF from "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "Doctor Strange." Kind of.

That's all good and well and comic book-y, but it also reeks of the whole "white savior" trope, which is, erm, kinda really colonialist in a way that may have been overlooked 50 years ago when the character debuted.

But not so much in 2016.

Mind=BLOWN. GIF from "Doctor Strange."

Which makes their casting decision for the role of a Tibetan magic man even more puzzling.

According to the movie's screenwriter C. Robert Cargill, the filmmakers were concerned that acknowledging the Tibetan aspects of the story would anger China, the second largest movie market in the world, to the point of banning the film. And casting the part with a non-Tibetan Asian actor could, itself, be seen as cultural erasure.

Hence, the pickle.

In the end, the filmmakers made the choice that was best for their bottom line.

GIF from "Only Lovers Left Alive."

While the blow was somewhat softened by casting a woman — specifically the amazing Tilda Swinton — the decision also highlighted another glaring, grievous Hollywood problem.

Quite frankly, there aren't a lot of parts for Asians. In fact, there were no Asian actors in 40 of the 100 top-grossing films from 2007 to 2014. At all.

The roles that are available are already extremely limited, often to stereotypes or minor roles. The number of leading roles for Asian actors has actually shrunk over the years because the roles are whitewashed instead and given to marquee actors.

And don't even get me started on this:


GIF from "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

The reaction to the casting was swift and forceful. Prominent Asian entertainers like George Takei and Margaret Cho took to Twitter, where the hashtag #whitewashedOUT gained fast prominence.

"So let me get this straight. You cast a white actress so you wouldn’t hurt sales … in Asia?" Takei wrote on Facebook. "This backpedaling is nearly as cringeworthy as the casting. Marvel must think we’re all idiots."

"We have been invisible for so long we don't even know what we can do," Cho told IndieWire.

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GIF from the Webby Awards.

Marvel Studio and the "Doctor Strange" creative team tried several times to double-down, but the hole just keep getting deeper — until director Scott Derrickson issued his own response:

Certainly Marvel has and continues to make tremendous strides in the diversity department — heck, they cast Chiwetel Ejiofor as the Transylvanian Baron Mordo in "Doctor Strange." Would they have consciously participated in the whitewashing of Asian culture if not for those perceived political-economic pressures? Who knows.

The simple truth is that there's no magic that can change the multilayered oppressions of the past. There's not necessarily one "right choice" in these situations, but that's because it's not a zero-sum game.

It's not a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't scenario because the damning has already been done throughout history.

All there's left to do is help in righting the course of the culture.

GIF from "Doctor Strange."

Derrickson's simple statement is a humbling acknowledgement that sometimes when you screw up, all you can do is learn, move forward, and do better next time.

After all, that's basically how the arrogant Dr. Stephen Strange becomes the Sorcerer Supreme.

Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

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Man hailed 'Highway Hero' for running across four lanes of traffic

Holy cow, Bat Man! You're always supposed to be aware of other vehicles when you're driving but what do you do when you notice someone has lost consciousness while speeding down the highway?

It's a scenario that no one wants to see play out, but for Adolfo Molina, the scenario became reality and he didn't hesitate to spring into action. Molina was driving down the highway when he spotted a woman in a blue car who lost consciousness as her car careened down the shoulder of the highway. The concerned driver quickly pulled over in order to attempt to rescue the woman.

But there was a problem, he had to cross four lanes of traffic on the highway just to make it to the woman's still moving car. That obstacle didn't stop him. Molina sprinted across the highway, crossing right in front of a black pick up truck before running at full speed to attempt to open the woman's door and stop her car.

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Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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Internet

Relationship expert tells people to never get married unless you're willing to do 3 things

"If you and your partner (both) are unable or unwilling to do these 3 things consistently forever, you won’t make it."

Relationship expert gives people advice on getting married.

Being in a relationship can be difficult at times. Learning someone else's quirks, boundaries, and deep views on the world can be eye-opening and hard. But usually, the happy chemicals released in our brain when we love someone can cause us to overlook things in order to keep the peace.

Jayson Gaddis, a relationship expert, took to Twitter to rip off people's rose-colored glasses and tell them to forego marriage. Honestly, with the divorce rate in this country being as high as it is, he probably could've stopped his tweet right there. Don't get married, the end. Many people would've probably related and not questioned the bold statement, but thankfully he followed up with three things you must be willing to do before going to the chapel.

Before going into his reasons for why he tells people not to get married, Gaddis explained that he is a person that "LOVEs being married." I mean, it would probably make him a pretty weird relationship expert if he hated relationships, so it's probably a good thing he enjoys being married. Surely his spouse appreciates his stance as well.

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Humanitarian Helen Keller circa 1920.

In a 1954 documentary short, humanitarian Helen Keller expressed that her greatest regret in life was being unable to speak clearly. But given that she could not see or hear, her speech was quite remarkable.

Keller was born in 1880 and, at the age of 18 months, contracted an unknown illness that left her deaf and blind. But with the help of her teacher, Anne Sullivan, she was able to overcome her disabilities and become an outspoken advocate for the voiceless and oppressed.

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Pop Culture

10 years ago, a 'Stairway to Heaven' performance brought Led Zeppelin's surviving members to tears

Heart, John Bonham's son and a full choir came together for the epic tribute.

Led Zeppelin got to see their iconic hit performed for them.

When Billboard and Rolling Stone pull together their "Best Songs of All Time" lists, there are some tunes you know for sure will be included. Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" is most definitely one of them.

It has everything—the beauty of a ballad, the grunginess of a rock song, the simple solo voice, and the band in full force. "Stairway to Heaven" takes us on a musical journey, and even people who aren't necessarily giant Led Zeppelin or classic rock fans can't help but nod or sing along to it.

Of course, it's also been so ubiquitous (or overplayed, as some would claim) to become a meme among musicians. Signs saying "No Stairway to Heaven" in guitar stores point to how sick of the song many guitarists get, and when Oregon radio station KBOO told listeners they would never play the song again if someone pledged $10,000, Led Zepelin singer Robert Plant himself called in and gave the donation.

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