When is Hollywood Going to Give Asian Actors the Shine They Deserve?
I have this crazy theory when it comes to casting in movies. Are you ready for your mind to be blown? Here it is:
More Asian actors should be cast in films. If we're feeling really wild and rambunctious, Asian characters should only be played by Asian actors.
Turns out, other people have a similar idea and this may or may not be a conspiracy that we're using to brainwash millions of people. Or we're just logical people who believe in the importance of diversity and representation.
For over a century, Hollywood has used white actors to portray Asian characters. Considering the history of the United States, it makes sense that a lot of the depictions of Asians were racists and added for their "comedic" value for most films before the 1980s and 1990s. But that still doesn't explain why Emma Stone played a half-Asian woman in 2014 and Scarlett Johansson played a Japanese woman in 2017. We live in a time where we see Asian actors in films and TV, so it's not like Hollywood has to go far to find Asian actors who are just as good as A-listers. It's going to be impossible for Asian actors to establish themselves as A-listers if Hollywood never gives them the opportunity to work in anything.
Another key issue in this problem is that film studios have used the same pathetic excuse that blockbuster films need stars in order to drive ticket sales. The gag is that's just not true. In terms of success and ticket sales, Star Wars: The Last Jedi definitely already had the advantage of being in one of the most beloved film franchises in film history. However, since the premiere, people can't stop praising Kelly Marie Tran, who everyone is identifying as the breakout star. If the only thing that people can agree on is that an Asian supporting character stole the show in a film with second highest opening day ever (it made $104.7 million the day it opened), then that should be enough to validate that we want to see more Asian faces on screen.
If that's not enough proof that diversity actually matters and that you don't have to white-wash a film to get people to buy tickets, here's a bit more evidence:
So seriously Hollywood, do better because we're not going to accept the lie that "diversity and representation don't sell tickets" anymore.