The Chronicles of Swanson: The Lying, The Witches, and The Wu

YWhen it comes to the Doctor Strange film, it continues to be the Greek-bearing gift of racism that keeps on giving.

I had no doubts that the white supremacy would ensue the moment it was announced that the Grand Wizard would portray the eponymous Sorcerer Supreme.

The film didn’t disappoint in this regard. After all like attracts like.


Headlines were made when news broke that the film would whitewash Asian character the Ancient One and Tilda Swinton was cast for the role.

Before I go any further, let’s stop for a moment to appreciate the mental gymnastics and the hypocrisy of many whites:

Whitewashing the Ancient One: “Let’s do something new and original with the character and let’s put an interesting spin on it.”

Making Iron Fist Asian: “Danny Rand was canonically white and that’s like the Bible and the Constitution and that shouldn’t ever be changed, AT ALL.”

Recently comedienne and actress Margaret Cho revealed the racist microaggressions she suffered at the hands of Swinton.


In an email about her upcoming film role as a mystic Asian character, Tilda Swinton went ahead and unleashed her white feminism powers.

Comedian Margaret Cho revealed last week that Swinton had emailed her back in March and asked Cho to speak on behalf of all Asians everywhere. The two had never talked before, but Swinton wanted Cho to supply a crib sheet explanation as to why Asians were upset that Swinton was cast as “The Ancient One,” a Tibetan sorcerer in the Marvel Comics-based movie “Doctor Strange.”

Cho, who has been outspoken about a lack of Asian representation in the media, told Bobby Lee on his podcast “Tiger Belly” last week that the email made her feel like a “house Asian.” As a result, Swinton released the emails to Jezebel to let the Internet do what it does best: be the arbiter on race relations. 

Swinton’s release of the emails has the appearance of perhaps wanting to abscond from the backlash in a scrupulous way. A cursory read through the exchange paints Swinton as responsibly conscious in asking the hard questions about race. And critics have pointed out that white people should, of course, determinedly be talking about these issues. But a white person asking a person of color to do the emotional labor of explaining race relations is inherently problematic and privileged. It shouldn’t be on minority communities to do the work of turning white people into race scholars. 

The other issue is that Swinton said she wanted to listen to Cho, but it appears that she did not. Instead, she took a white feminist approach ― which is not a label that has anything to do with her being a feminist who also happens to be white ― but has everything to do with blatantly leaving out concerns people of color might have.

As was the case when Cumberbatch called black people “colored”, white fauxgressives have come out of the woodwork to victim-blame Cho and cape for Lady Skeletor. Chief among them, Congressional Hopeful Brianna Wu of Gamergate infamy.


When Tim Bruhn Yang, host of All Comics Considered and Race Invaders, called out The White Queen and her legions, Wu arrived and derailed Yang’s discussion on racism with the textbook white fauxminism derail tactic claiming ageism (for white women) is a bigger issue than erasing Asians from their own culture. It’s totes ok given that Miss Millie is a nice white feminist who’s married to an Asian herself.

Upon being called out on her blatant racism, the Congressional hopeful deleted her comments and flounced from the thread.

When Yang made a follow-up post yesterday on social media to clarify some points, Wu returned to defend Swinton’s bigotry yet again and provide an encore performance of dog whistle politics.





Needless to say PoCs were less than impressed with Wu pulling a Miss Millie, congratulating and promoting herself on talking about race more than other white feminists, especially when she had more important things to do.





Some thoughts.

Jackie Skellington claiming to Cho that she doesn’t use social media or understand why Asians are mad about the whitewashing of the Ancient One????? Really?


Whitewashing in Hollywood is a time honored tradition for white filmmakers.




If you, a white actor/producer/director claim to not know the history and culture about the industry and art you make your living in, then you’re an idiot, a liar, pathetic, or all of the above.

Please stop making excuses for your mediocrity. You’re disrespecting the artistry, embarrassing yourself, insulting our intelligence and wasting our time.

Regarding Wu, while the ordeal she endured during Gamergate is unfortunate and unacceptable, it is no excuse for her to exploit it as a platform to promote white supremacy and gaslight PoCs.

She’s planning on running for office? Sorry but we have enough racist white con artists ruining this country trying to make America great again. Case in point:


Suffice it to say, I’m NOT with her. I’m gonna need Aslan to drag the White Witches and their white fauxminism back to Narnia or Hell. Whichever.



Speculative Fiction Novelist. Author of Hollowstone, West of Sunset and other cool stories. Wordsmith, activist and nerd seraph. Saving the world and/or taking it over.

One thought on “The Chronicles of Swanson: The Lying, The Witches, and The Wu

  1. I have a great deal of sympathy for what Wu went through with Gamergate, but on this particular topic, she needs to STFU, sit down, and take all the seats.

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