The Japanese anime film Ghost in the Shell (1995) garnered a cult fandom as well as academic attention due to the originality of its cyberpunk narrative, female embodied cyborg lead character and international acclaim. In considering the 2016–2017 controversy surrounding the ‘whitewashing’ of the live-action remake of the film starring white American actress Scarlett Johansson, there are multiple levels from which to analyse the cultural backlash as a memetic ‘event’. This chapter explores the specifics of this moment of racial controversy by examining the arguably ‘ambiguous’ racial categorisation of the media discussed (anime to live-action reboot) and fan activists associated with source material genre that continue to push for diversified casting. Examining the relationship between international media, racial representation, online discourse and science fictional imaginings of technological futures, this chapter points out the many nuances and complications of this memetic event. Using the history of yellowface and Hollywood whitewashing, I theorise the stakes of these events through discussions of racialised animation and social media campaigns to bring attention to the whitewashing of Asian characters. Meme cycles that situate the actress as symbolic of the larger issue of Hollywood casting choices further my discussion of the endurance of a meme-able Johansson. I examine select online arguments within this controversy to analyse how they reveal claims about race, gender, sexuality and humanness within digital discourse.