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Why Doesn’t Hollywood Cast Asian Actors?



Hollywood Whitewashing and Asian Erasure

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As the American entertainment industry continues its strategy of rebooting everything under the sun, it makes sense that they would turn their sights on other cultures. For better or worse the West has always had an infatuation with Asian culture but it feels like there’s been an uptick in eastern and eastern themed stories for western audiences. And one controversy that seems to follow these controversies is who is cast in them. When telling stories using Asian characters for a western audience, do you cast based on the source material, on the race of the intended audience, or some other factor? The practice of casting characters of color to be played by caucasian actors has come to be called “whitewashing” which both includes and is distinct from “asian erasure.” And that’s what we’re going to talk about today with our friend Kevin Nguyen, editor at GQ.com who has written extensively about the issue. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Special thanks to Kevin Nguyen for chatting with us this week!
http://www.gq.com/contributor/kevin-nguyen
https://twitter.com/knguyen

–COMMENT RESPONSES TO LAST WEEK’S EPISODE–
Coming on Friday!

–TWEET OF THE WEEK–
https://twitter.com/LukeBeeman/status/86095054101018214

–FURTHER READING & EXTRA LINKS–
Mutant Menu:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrDM6Ic2xMM

Twitch and Mr. Rogers
https://www.twitch.tv/misterrogers

–ASSET LINKS–
00:43 25 Minority Characters That Hollywood Whitewashed
http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2013/04/25-minority-characters-that-hollywood-whitewashed/

00:46 Commentary Hollywood’s glaring problem: White actors playing Asian characters
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-racial-erasure-essay-20160418-story.html

00:49 The Psychological Impact of Whitewashing Asian Characters
http://www.shrinktank.com/psychological-impact-whitewashing-asian-characters/

1:49 Whitewashing Was One Of Hollywood’s Worst Habits. So Why Is It Still Happening?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/10/hollywood-whitewashing_n_5515919.html

1:54 12 Biggest Whitewashing Controversies Of 2016
http://screenrant.com/movies-worst-whitewashing-biggest-controversy-2016/

2:15 Hollywood’s best Asian roles still go to white people
https://www.vox.com/2016/4/21/11477914/hollywood-asian-whitewashing

2:20 10 Hollywood Films Where Asian Characters were ‘Whitewashed’
http://www.yomyomf.com/10-hollywood-films-where-asian-characters-were-whitewashed/

11:06 What Japanese Think of Whitewashing (Ghost in the Shell, Death Note, Interview)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DhoBuU1Dtc

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