Starting today, I’ll post here and on other social media some articles and perhaps my own thoughts on media representations of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States. Here Media include movies, tv shows, books, and games.
Today’s offering from the New York Times, an article by Keith Chow, first published on April 22, 2016.
The TL:DR version:
Even a modest hit like the “Harold and Kumar” trilogy, starring John Cho and Kal Penn, was able to quadruple its production budget after box office and home media sales. Meanwhile, films with white stars fail at the box office all the time. Chris Hemsworth, who stars in this weekend’s “Huntsman” sequel, has had many more box office flops than successes, yet he is considered a bankable movie star.
Such facts reveal Hollywood’s dirty little secret. Economics has nothing to do with racist casting policies. Films in which the leads have been whitewashed have all failed mightily at the box office. Inserting white leads had no demonstrable effect on the numbers. So why is that still conventional thinking in Hollywood?
And don’t forget to scroll through the
Whitewashing, a Long History slide show, featuring slides such as this one:
And they didn’t even touch on Tilda Swinton cast as a Tibetan (now Indian?) Mystic (The Ancient One) in Marvel’s upcoming Doctor Strange or Scarlett Johansson as Mokoto Kusanagi in the American Remake of a Japanese SciFi film, Ghost in the Shell.