Whitewashing is bad.
Representation is important.
I feel as if these are axiomatic enough statements now that they don’t require further elaboration here.
What’s interesting sometimes though is to peek behind the curtain in order to try and parse whatever nonsense justification is currently being used by the folks behind the camera to ignore the sentiment behind those statements.
For example, a recent Paste Magazine piece quoted Nancy Wang Yuen, sociologist and author of ‘Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism’ and her experience of Hollywood:
“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. “They’re very shut down in their emotions … 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.”
Tired and lazy racist tropes abounding in Hollywood! Who’d have guessed it?!
After the article and message spread far and wide the #ExpressiveAsians of Twitter decided to make some glorious noise in response to this gibberish:
'Asians are not very expressive hey lets make fifteen Twilight movies with a couple of puppets.' #ExpressiveAsians— David Lo Pun-ch Nazi (@helpmeskeletor) September 9, 2017
'Asians are not very expressive, lol let's make Steven Seagal an martial arts action hero.' #ExpressiveAsians— David Lo Pun-ch Nazi (@helpmeskeletor) September 9, 2017
'Asians are not very expressive how many declining quality Hemsworths can we cram into everything?' #ExpressiveAsians— David Lo Pun-ch Nazi (@helpmeskeletor) September 9, 2017
White people don't think we're "expressive" bc they're invested in Orientalist narratives that present us as all the same #ExpressiveAsians— Ju-Hyun Park (@Hermit_Hwarang) September 9, 2017
And the someone decided to bring out the big guns.
And I mean like the biggest fucking gun:
Because I mean…