Articles, Blog

Hollywood’s Asian Problem


Crazy Rich Asians is a landmark movie
for one very big reason: it’s the first all Asian Hollywood film in 25 years. Featuring an entirely Asian ensemble cast, the romantic comedy comes at a time when opportunities for Asian actors in Hollywood are extremely limited. Only 5% of characters in 2017’s top hundred grossing films were of Asian descent
with just four of the movies featuring an Asian lead character. And 37 of those
top hundred movies had no Asian actors at all. I would say you know we
are normally called in to be either the gangsters or the food delivery
guys or you know Asian women are often called in to be either the prostitute or
you know the tiger moms and it’s sort of it sort of exists on these two poles but
it’s really interesting like most of the roles tend to be sort of on the
periphery of the story. We tend to be sort of the information givers. I’m
envious of the privilege that a lot of white people have or that all white
people have when they go see a movie or turn on their TV set that they will
always be able to see themselves represented in the stories they’re
watching. Whitewashing continues to be a major problem in Hollywood. From Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell to Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange,
major studios continue to cast high-profile white actors playing Asian
roles. But the backlash those castings received along with the rise of the
#OscarsSoWhite hashtag shows a groundswell of support for greater
diversity on our screens. The absence of Asians, the continued invisibility of
Asians, becomes increasingly unacceptable because we’re no longer going to
sit on the sidelines. These are our stories, and I’m
not a supporting player in the story of my life you know. And we’re demanding to see our stories out there. The hope is that similar to
Black Panther, the success of Crazy Rich Asians at the box office, would pave the
way for more opportunities for Asian actors in Hollywood.
Some positive steps have been taken recently, such as Kelly Marie Trans
appearance in Star Wars: The last Jedi. Disney have also announced a live-action
adaptation of Mulan is in the works that will have a Chinese actress in the
lead role. And for the Asian-American community, the hope is that going forward there will be more opportunities to have their
experiences depicted on screen. Asians for one reason or another still
continue to be the perpetual foreigner, the outside or the other
and I think so many Asian Americans are hungry for stories where it’s just about
their experience you know. It doesn’t have to be because they’re Asian. I think
that the demographics of America have absolutely changed. I think there
are more Asian actors than ever before and I think that hopefully movies
like this will provide the groundswell of support and I’m seeing it
a lot of like the Asian American community is so jazzed, and hopefully if
the movie is successful, more movies with Asian-American leads will be produced. you

13 Comments

  1. food Author

    Hollywood is racist garbage. how can they sleep at night for all their damn racist sins. u.s killed 10 million Vietnamese. let workers either away building railroads. put Japanese American citizens in concentration camps ..how does America and Hollywood sleep at night knowing this and not do a fan thing to try to make up for some of their injustices and cruelty.

    Reply
  2. devydu Author

    Musical-romance-comedy “Flower Drum Song” came out in 1961 with awesome singing, dancing, love stories, Chinese immigrants, Chinese-American younger generation and elders. This movie starred Asian cast of Nancy Kwan, James Shigeta, Miyoshi Umeki, Jack Soo, Reiko Sato, Victor Sen Yung, Benson Fong, Kam Tong and James Hong. It also starred Juanita Hall, an African-American, who played Asian character roles. This film was adapted from 1958 Broadway musical and based on a book by C.Y. Lee. Some may say the movie/musical had stereotypes and offensive, but it depicted Chinese family life and romance, set in San Francisco Chinatown. Like “Crazy Rich Asians”, it has love, culture, comedy, but also beautiful singing of Rodgers & Hammerstein songs and incredible dancing. Talented Nancy Kwan is Eurasian, but so is Gemma Chan (Astrid) who is Chinese/Scottish and Henry Golding (Nick) who is Malaysian/British. In Flower Drum Song, leading Asian man was handsome James Shigeta, who was torn between two love interests, plus his Chinese heritage and American culture. As little girl watching “Flower Drum Song” on TV in ‘60’s and living in SF, I identified with this wonderful Asian musical, which was revised on Broadway again few years ago. So with “Flower Drum Song”, Asians were represented 60 years ago on Broadway stage and in the movie musical. Check out this Asian musical classic "FDS".

    Reply
  3. Adam James Author

    Crazy rich asian "success" is in NO WAY COMPARIBLE to Black panther. Black panther is top 10 highest grossing movies of all time globally. Black panther was a movement. Why do you people always have to piggyback off black people's fight for equality and representation.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *