Is Asian Representation Getting Better In Hollywood

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According to a 2010 study 17 million people in the US identify with the ethnicity of Asian or Asian American so why has white washing has always been a problem in Hollywood with countless movies with a white male lead role, and the first movie with an a all Asian cast in 25 years released this year (2018). This movie being Crazy Rich Asians and that before it The Luck Joy Club released in 1993. So this essay will investigate whether or not Asian representation in Hollywood is improving or not. I will give my opinion on the subject through out the essay.

A big win for Asians and Asian Americans was Crazy Rich Asians a book turned movie written by Kevin Kwan, it is classic rom com where girl meets boy. Amazingly Crazy Rich Asians has made more money than any rom com in the last decade, grossing $117 million and $36 million in the first week, surpassing the $110.2 million earned by a movie Trainwreck in 2015.This movie is very important to the Asian community because it proves a Asian cast can do just as good as any one else. It is a good thing but it is ridiculous that it has taken this long of a time for this to happen. This shows that it is getting better for Asian or Asian American in Hollywood,

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A controversy in 2017 was when Scarlett Johansson, a white women, played the character Motoko Kusanagi a Japanese character in the film adaptation of the Japanese manga Ghost In The Shell. The movie is set in Japan and most of the cast was Japanese so why cast a American women to play a Japanese character? After it was released Screencrush revealed that the studios that made the film Paramount and Deamworks even tested post production visual effects to make Scarlett Johansson look more Asian and not a lot of people were happy about this because not only is it morally wrong it’s a waste of money. Constance Wu and many critics pointed out this was wrong and it would have just been easier to hire a Japanese actor. This shows an aspect where representation has not improved.

Another big win for Asians and Asian Americans is when, in 2016 Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson a former wrestler now actor with Polynesian heritage become the highest paying actor in the world and just last year (2017) he made $65 million but just this year (2018) he asked the film Red Notice for $22 million and box office profits which is unheard of in Hollywood. He has quickly become a house hold name with him being in at least 39 movies. Not a lot people thought he could make when started acting 15 years ago but boy were they wrong. But even with his huge success Asian characters in top grossing movies is only at 5%. This shows reputation in Hollywood has improved from but not all.

Another thing to consider is when there are Asian characters in movies a lot of the time they are playing a character with lots of stereotypes like being very intelligent, good at maths and wares glasses or them playing the evil villain. This isn’t ok but movies get away all the time an example being Fantastic Beasts 2 a Harry Potter spin off. The series has a run time 1207 minutes and people with colour only speaking for 5 minutes and 40 seconds of that time but in the movie there is a Asian main character, this being the human form of Nagini. You would this is great for a movies series with so few Asian characters but the character plays the stereotype that Asian woman are cunning and villainous.Jk Rowling the writer of the books replied to this saying that the character is based of Asian legend of a half woman half snake called Naga so it would also be fitting to make the character Asian.I believe this shows Asian reputation getting because it is bring a Asian actor in a series where there is so few.

In conclusion I think there is some places it has improved like with Crazy Rich Asians and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson but as a whole I don’t think it has improved much with white washing still being very big problem and Asian stereotypes in movies. 


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