Scott Pilgrim author says it "sucks" that the story was "so white"

Bryan Lee O'Malley is the author of the incredible comic book Scott Pilgrim, which became a movie with Michael Cera called Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Now O'Malley has written a fascinating post about what it meant that the world of the comics looked so white in the movie.

Scott Pilgrim author says it "sucks" that the story was "so white"

The post is in response to a question from a fan, who asked why there are so few people of color in the movie, but also the comic book too.

O'Malley replied:

I think it sucks that Scott Pilgrim came out so white!!!!!!!!!!!

I am mixed (white + korean) and grew up being told that race didn’t matter — that race was kinda over. As with many things you’re told as a kid, it took me many years to realize that it wasn’t really true… It was kinda wishful thinking on the part of my parents, who were in a mixed relationship. I mean, I wish it was true, we all wish it was true, but it’s not true.

I did grow up in an extremely white environment. In northern ontario during the time I was growing up it was really just white people and Native / First Nations people. i moved to a bigger town in high school and i think my school had like 3 black kids and 4 asian kids or something. later in high school and in college I hung out with asian kids a lot, but White Canadian Culture was like 99% of everything around us.

so anyway, I guess what I’m saying is, what I knew in the first 20 years of my life was white people and a little bit of asian people and so that’s what I put in Scott Pilgrim. I had an unexamined non-attitude towards race and I didn’t think about it until years later.

Honestly, when i saw the Scott Pilgrim movie it was kind of appalling to see just how white it was — to not even really see myself represented on the screen… At least in the comic they were just cartoons. You can project yourself into a simple drawing of a person so easily; race seems to matter less (look at the global popularity of manga, where everyone is ostensibly Japanese).

He goes on to talk about how "complicated" the whole situation is, in a post that is both thoughtful about the movie's whitewashing — as well as how white his comic book already was.

Read more on O'Malley's Tumblr.

Author photo via Radiomaru