Offensive Movies Actors Should Have Thought Twice About

Sarah Kester
Eddie in 'The Danish Girl'
IMDb | Universal

Almost all of us have taken on jobs that we regret. As much as it sucks, not too much damage is done besides wasted time. 

But what if you’re an actor taking on the wrong roles? That one decision could affect your reputation, your career, and so much more. Here are the offensive movies and roles that actors should've thought twice about.

Gwyneth Paltrow - 'Shallow Hal'

Gwyneth in 'Shallow Hal'
Diply | Conundrum Entertainment

The actress, a thin woman, donned a fat suit to play the role of Rosemary, a 300-pound woman. This was offensive enough without the plot of the movie, which is about a man who is hypnotized to see "unattractive" women as beautiful.

Jake Gyllenhaal - 'Prince of Persia'

Jake Gyllenhaal - 'Prince of Persia'
Boulder Weekly | Disney

Jake may look like a prince, but he's not of Iranian descent. This ended up being yet another example of whitewashing in Hollywood, one that the actor reflected on years later in an interview with Vanity Fair.

"I think I learned a lot from that movie in that I spend a lot of time trying to be very thoughtful about the roles that I pick and why I’m picking them," he said.

Jake shaking his head

"And you’re bound to slip up and be like, ‘That wasn’t right for me,’ or ‘That didn’t fit perfectly.’ There have been a number of roles like that. And then a number of roles that do.”

Scarlett Johansson - 'Ghost in the Shell'

Scarlett in Ghost in the Shell
Vulture | Paramount

Since the film is based on Japanese manga and anime, fans believed that the role should have gone to a Japanese actor. This led to the actress coming under fire in 2017 for "whitewashing" accusations.

Tilda Swinton - 'Doctor Strange'

Tilda Swinton
Giphy | Focus Features

Although Tilda's character was a man in the comics, Marvel decided to cast a woman as a way to avoid Asian stereotypes. This ended up backfiring, with Marvel's Kevin Feige even calling it a mistake.

"We thought we were being so smart and so cutting-edge,” he said.

Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange

“We’re not going to do the cliché of the wizened, old, wise Asian man. But it was a wake-up call to say, ‘Well, wait a minute, is there any other way to figure it out? Is there any other way to both not fall into the cliché and cast an Asian actor?’ And the answer to that, of course, is yes.”

Mickey Rooney - 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'

This one goes without saying, but we'll say it anyway. Mickey, a white man, played the character of an Asian man, Mr. Yunioshi. His character was filled with so many racist stereotypes that were not okay.

Hilary Duff - 'The Haunting of Sharon Tate'

Hilary as Sharon Tate
Ready Steady Cut | Saban

Hilary's movie career was looking squeaky clean up until she starred in the movie about the real-life murder of Sharon Tate. Tate was brutally murdered by the Manson Family in August 1969.

This was upsetting to Sharon's family, who are still alive.

Sharon Tate

Debra Tate, the sister of the late actor, slammed the movie as “extremely hurtful and hateful." She added that it's “extremely exploitative and socially irresponsible,” before adding that it takes “Sharon’s life and spins it for a new generation on the 50th anniversary of her violent death.”

Rooney Mara - 'Pan'

Rooney Mara in 'Pan'
youtube | Warner Bros.

The actress played the role of Tiger Lily, a Native American character. This led to accusations of whitewashing the role and even a petition to cancel it.

"I don’t ever want to be on that side of it again," she told The Telegraph. "I can understand why people were upset and frustrated.”

Adam Sandler - 'Jack and Jill'

Adam as Jack and Jill
Vulture | Happy Madison

In addition to being one of his worst films, it was one of the actor's most offensive. The film saw him, a cisgender straight man, playing the role of a male and female for comedy.

Emma Stone - 'Aloha'

The actress was accused of whitewashing when she, a white female, played a character who is of Chinese and Hawaiian descent.

She ended up yelling out "I'm sorry!" when Sandra Oh addressed it at the 2019 Golden Globes.

Sam Claflin - 'Me Before You'

Sam Claflin with Emilia Clarke
Giphy | MolaTV

This film really missed the mark. Instead of casting a disabled person to play the role of Will, a tetraplegic, it was played by a non-disabled actor. This angered a lot of disability rights groups and activists.

Eddie Redmayne - 'The Danish Girl'

Eddie in 'The Danish Girl'
IMDb | Universal

In the Oscar-nominated film, Redmayne plays a transgender character. This angered those who believed that the role should've gone to a transgender actor. After much controversy, the actor said that he regretted taking the role that earned him an Oscar nomination.

"The bigger discussion about the frustrations around casting is because many people don’t have a chair at the table," he told the publication.

The Danish Girl

"There must be a leveling, otherwise, we are going to carry on having these debates," he added.