Originally Posted by Endeavor
The only thing that is perhaps a 'racist caricature' about the comics Mandarin is his physical appearance from when he was first conceived.
That appearance can be changed without changing his race.
If we're talking about changing characters races to appeal to the modern audience and to level the playing field for actors and give those struggling minority actors a chance at getting good roles then I don't see how this particular example is not a bigger deal. Hero roles aren't the only coveted parts for actors. Villain roles can sometimes be more successful in launching someone's career to the next level. Look at what playing a serial killer did to Anthony Hopkins and Charlize Theron's careers.
Why wasn't an asian actor given the opportunity of playing a great character with so much history? Because it's "racist"? It only would've been racist if Mandarin had been written as a joke of a character.
Replace the part played by Pierce in IM3, exactly as it was written, with an Asian actor and then tell me that would've been racist.
I agree that Killian didn't have to be white. They could've made him "Dr. Qi Lin" instead of Killian, made him a brilliant Chinese scientist and otherwise told Killian's story word for word, and making "Dr. Qi Lin" the actual Mandarin wouldn't have been racist, imho. But with Disney/Marvel walking on eggshells around their supposed Chinese benefactors, such a portrayal could've been seen as a lot more problematic to the Hollywood bigwigs.