‘AHEAD OF ITS TIME’: Ralph Macchio Dismisses ‘Too White’ Criticism of 1984’s ‘Karate Kid’

1984’s “Karate Kid,” starring Ralph Macchio, has been criticized by “woke” leftists for not including enough Japanese cultural aspects of karate.

Macchio, 60, said, “People have said it’s a very White cast, that it didn’t dive into the Asian story.”

He continued, “But I always say this: The film was ahead of its time because it was a popcorn movie that talked about Japanese internment camps during World War II.”

The former child actor has a new book “Waxing On: The Karate Kid and Me.”

He added that late co-star Noriyuki “Pat” Morita said when he won the Academy Award nomination because it was revealed that revealed he lost his wife and son in one of the camps.

The scene was almost cut out of the movie due to the length of the movie.

“The studio’s main concern was that with the movie running over two hours, they would lose a daily screening time, and essentially, money in the process,” he said. “They all shut up once we screened it for them with an audience.”

Macchio said, “Pat himself spent two years in the camps. So it had a double meaning and some depth.”

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The powerful scene midway through the movie shows the always sober Mr. Miyagi drunk and desperately emotional as he struggles to deal with the memories of his wife and son on his anniversary. Macchio’s character, who puts his sensei to bed after he passes out, finds out that Miyagi’s wife and son died in childbirth in 1944.

And while the first “Karate Kid” took place in California, the second one in 1986 revolved around Macchio’s character Daniel spending time with his sensei in his childhood home of Okinawa.

Macchio, who wasn’t involved with the Will Smith remake of the film in 2008, currently stars in the show “Cobra Kai” in which he plays Daniel as an adult.