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Tibetan Activists Are Boycotting "Dr Strange" Due To Whitewashing

Activists claim the film is an example of Tibet being erased from the media.

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Tibetan activists have been protesting at screenings of Dr Strange due to the removal of a Tibetan character from the film adaption.

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A number of Tibetans and Tibetan independence supporters have taken issue with the casting of Tilda Swinton in the role of the Ancient One, a character in the comics who came from Tibet. In the film, the Ancient One is said to be of Celtic origin.

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Several posts on social media have accused Marvel of censoring Tibet, and "banishing Tibet from global discourse." Marvel's treatment of the country has been compared to China's refusal to recognize Tibet's independence.

Protesting Tibet erasure and censorship at #DrStrange screening. @Marvel #TibetExists

Prior to the movie's release, members of the film industry noted that the inclusion of Tibet in the film might make it difficult to sell to a Chinese audience.

The Disney/Marvel negotiations to get Dr. Strange a China release will be fascinating given that Tibet & the occult are both huge landmines.

The film's screenwriter, Robert Cargill, stated in a podcast earlier this year that the inclusion of Tibet in the film would alienate the Chinese market.

Since the announcement of Swinton's casting, the film has faced accusations of whitewashing.

Me: ALL ABOARD THE DR STRANGE HYPE TRAIN Twitter: but white washing? Orientalism? Benedict Problematicbatch? Me:

Tenzin Dorjee, Research and Strategic Advisor at Tibet Action told BuzzFeed News that those participating in the campaign feel Marvel is siding with China and creating a "false narrative."

& Swinton can join all of these actors for whitewashing an Asian character #AStrangeWhitewashing

"The Tibetan people have been waging a nonviolent movement to ensure the survival of our nation. And now Marvel comes along and erases Tibet from the original story of Dr. Strange to fit Beijing's false narrative that Tibet never existed," he said. "They're using art to suppress the truth and promote censorship. This is a dangerous trend for Hollywood."

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Rachael Krishna is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Rachael Krishna at rachael.krishna@buzzfeed.com.

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