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“I work with a lot of different people, and Asians are a challenge to cast because most casting directors feel as though they’re not very expressive,” one other casting director told Yuen. If it’s a look thing for business where they come in they’re at a computer or if they’re like a scientist or something like that, they’ll do that; but if it’s something were they really have to act and get some kind of performance out of, it’s a challenge.” I’m at a loss. “I can’t mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such. So the question doesn’t even come up.” —Ridley Scott, in a Nov.

25, 2014, interview with Variety about Exodus: Gods and Kings The bankability excuse doesn’t hold water, either, says Adam Moore, National Director of Equal Employment Opportunity at actors’ union SAG-AFTRA.

The story of a washed-up white dude getting his groove back with Asian mumbo-jumbo and then proving to be better at it than his teachers is admittedly some regressive-as-hell ground to be treading on in a 2016 film.

But the subtext is all still there, and the final product we got didn’t bother to even include more than one comic relief Asian character. “I think this character is living a very unique experience in that she is a human brain in an entirely machine body. I would never attempt to play a person of a different race, obviously.” —Scarlett Johansson, talking about Ghost in the Shell The controversy surrounding Johansson’s casting in Ghost in the Shell opens up a whole other broad subcategory of Asian invisibility, which is in anime-to-film adaptations. ” It is as baffling to consider a movie about Dragonball’s Son Goku played by a white actor as it is to consider a Captain Americaplayed by a British citizen who votes Tory.

(I nominate Michelle Yeoh, who can fluently speak English, has been dispensing wisdom and Wing Chun to insolent fools since the ’90s, and would’ve pretty much guaranteed Doctor Strange a box office breaking opening weekend in her native China.) Instead, we are left with a story in which a white woman is schooling a white man in Wisdom from the East while all the other people who are actually from the East have next to nothing to do with it.

Was Marvel too terrified to play that hoary old trope straight?

A blockbuster that demands an actor with sufficient star power, which axiomatically means nobody descended from the cultures on the planet’s most populous continent.

“There are a number of factors that collectively explain why we are where we are,” Hunt says.“Never in all the more than 40 years after we made it—not one complaint.Every place I’ve gone in the world people say, ‘God, you were so funny.’ Asians and Chinese come up to me and say, ‘Mickey you were out of this world.’” —Mickey Rooney in a 2008 interview talking about his portrayal of Mr.The past couple of years have brought us several object lessons in the above, and every other iteration of Hollywood’s baffling tendency to quietly fight tooth and nail not to have an Asian actor on screen. Commission on Civil Rights when it issued its report “Window Dressing on the Set: Women and Minorities in Television.” It issued that report in 1977. In the intervening period, it’s barely gotten any better.As someone of just enough Asian descent that you need to be at least Midwestern levels of racist to see it in me without me first informing you, I can’t help but notice the total lack of representation. The Year of the Invisible Asian (not the Fun, Ninja Kind) “Well, it’s not actually an Asian character—that’s what I need to tell you about it. Whitewashing is taking a character who, by every interpretation of the script, ought to be portrayed by a person of color and instead casting a Caucasian person.

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Some fan outcry demanded the character be cast with an Asian actor, arguing it would have subverted the very same white savior trope that last year’s Doctor Strange similarly found itself dogged by.

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