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- The original Aladdin takes place in China, though everyone is a Muslim (except for one Jew), everyone has an Arabic name, and the government is Islamic in structure. So it's not surprising that the Disney version as well as every other adaptation in existence sets the story in the Middle East.
- Islam did reach China, along with other parts of South and East Asia, so that is not absurd.
- Averted in the 2000 "Arabian Nights" TV Miniseries where Aladdin is played by Jason Scott Lee.
- The French film The Crimson Rivers (Les rivières pourpres) changed the Moroccan-French detective from the novel to an Armenian-French detective played by white actor Vincent Cassell. Cassell claims this was because he was talking with the director which Arab- or black French actor could best portray the role, and upon hearing the description of the character, insisted that he had to play it. The character was made Armenian to maintain the backstory of a marginalized minority "from the streets".
- Having a white actor play a half-Armenian character is scarcely a race lift because Armenians are, you know, white. Some Moroccans can be quite Caucasian too.
- In the comics, Thor supporting character the Hogun the Grim is generally drawn as decidedly non-Nordic, and the only thing revealed about his origin is that he's not an Aesir like his fellow Asgardian warriors. Therefore, why not cast an Asian actor to portray him in the movie?
- For the past years, the comic Hogun has been drawn as kinda Mongolian.
- This has become something of a trend for the Iron Man movie adaptations:
- In the comics, Iron Man's origin comes from being captured during The Vietnam War. The film, however, updates the war being fought to the conflict in Afghanistan. So villainous Viet Cong soldiers became multiethnic terrorists. Notably, Tony Stark's doomed helper Yinsen keeps his name despite his origin being Afghan.
- Ben Kingsley portrays the Mandarin in Iron Man 3. The Mandarin, as his name implies, is a half-white, half-Chinese Yellow Peril villain, while Kingsley is half-white and half-Indian. Rumor has it the character's race was changed to make him less offensive to Asian audiences, especially in light of the Chinese government contributing a sizable amount to the costs of producing the film. Anyways, it turns out that Kingsley's Mandarin is merely a British actor pretending to be the Mandarin, with the white Aldrich Killian claiming to be the real Mandarin near the end. To add a further twist, All Hail The King reveals that Killian was also an imposter; the real Mandarin's ethnicity remains unknown for now.
- In the Green Lantern film, Hal's sidkick Tom Kalmaku, who is Inuit in the comic, is played by a Maori actor.
- In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Batroc's lieutenant Machete is changed from South American to Somalian.
- In the Japanese version of Wreck-It Ralph, the Ambiguously Brown Minty Zaki was changed to a Japanese racer, Minty Sakura. Certain scenes in the film were reanimated to showcase the new Minty design, such as the start of the Random Roster Race, but other scenes left the original Minty Zaki model intact, creating confusion. Nevertheless, Minty Sakura is featured prominently in the Japanese film poster and even has a small bio on the site, referring to her as "the Japanese girl racer".
- In Power Rangers (2017), the formerly African-American Zack has become Asian, while the formerly Asian-American Trini was played by a Hispanic actress. This was presumably done to avoid the Unfortunate Implications of the Black Ranger being black, and the Yellow Ranger being Asian from the original. To balance, the originally white Billy Cranston is now Black. Confusingly, Zack's surname is officially still Taylor and Trini's surname, though not mentioned in the dialogue, is still Kwan (via Word of God that her father's name is Mr. Kwan).
- In-universe example: In Sewer, Gas & Electric, set 20 Minutes into the Future after a racist-engineered plague wiped out nearly everyone of black African descent, Australian aborigines find plenty of work in Hollywood filling black roles in period pieces. One elderly aboriginal woman makes a career of playing Rosa Parks in commemorative ceremonies.
- Practically every recent adaptation of the story of Aladdin depicts him as Middle Eastern, even though he's Chinese in the Thousand and One Nights version, because the original author and his contemporaries had no real idea what Chinese people looked or acted like besides vague accounts.
- The character Friday in Robinson Crusoe is identified as a Carib Indian (the tribe the Caribbean was named after) in the original text, but various illustrators and film adaptations over the centuries have portrayed him just about anything but Native (South) American. The most common one is black African, but he's also been New Guinean (the 1997 Film of the Book with Pierce Brosnan).
- In the Cartoon Network film Re Animated, the main character Jimmy's best friend Craig and his sister Robin were Asian, then when the film was recycled into the show Out of Jimmy's Head their new actors were African-American.
- The proposed American remake of Sailor Moon would've had the Japanese cast reimagined in America, with Sailor Jupiter becoming African American and Sailor Venus becoming Latina. Sailor Mars is the only one who would've actually remained Asian.
- In Battlestar Galactica (2003), Boomer, who was played by African-American actor Herbert Jefferson Jr. in Battlestar Galactica (1978), is given a Race Lift and a Gender Flip and played by Korean-Canadian actress Grace Park. Since this version of Boomer is a Cylon, another iteration of her takes the role of Lieutenant Athena (white to non-white).
- Guerrilla: Critics have accused the series of invoking this by making Jas South Asian and not black. Actual members of the British Black Panthers have defended the show, however, saying the Black Panthers were also often South Asian (women included) and "black" then was used as an umbrella term for both.
- The Western port of Persona made most of the characters Caucasian, but had Masao changed into a black teenager named Mark.
- As cited above, Bane is Chinese rather than Latino in the Bat Man of Shanghai shorts from the DC Nation block.
- 1940s superhero Black Marvel was Native American in his original comic, but became African-American when he appeared in Spider-Man the Animated Series. As he put it,
Why do you think I called myself Black Marvel?
- The Chinese-American Chan Clan became the Japanese band Shoyu Weenie when they were brought over to Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.
- Beware the Batman sees Lady Shiva changed from Chinese to, as her name implies, South Asian.