On Friday, "Fresh Off the Boat" star Constance Wu slammed the casting of Matt Damon in the upcoming blockbuster "The Great Wall."
photo (c) Constance Wu
How dare she! Bloody woman. Well, as she repeatedly pointed out, because people never read her statement, she was not blaming Damon, nor the Chinese financiers. Wu spoke out about the racial stereotypes reflected by the film's choice of a white man as its hero.
"Can we all at least agree that hero-bias & 'but it's really hard to finance' are no longer excuses for racism?" Wu went on:
Now, we all saw how in Gods of Egypt turned the Egyptian pantheon "white", or "near white" since Chadwick Boseman played Thoth. This isn't a new thing. Now if Billy Bob Thornton portrayed Barack Obama in a movie who would complain?
Sillyness aside. Idris Elba. "Black" actor who played...Heimdall in the Thor movies. Now hang on a second there Heimdall was not "Black" in the Norse mythology. But, then, Hogun was not Japanese yet a Japanese portrayed him -Tadanobu Asano. Ahh, but Hollywood got round that one -the Asgardians are aliens. Sorted. After all, it was not meant to be an historical drama.
Neither is The Great Wall but histotically you can argue about Caucasians in ancient China. Look up The Mummies of Urumchi or Cherchen, Cherchen woman or Beauty of Loulan. Here: http://decodedpast.com/the-takla-makan-mummies-chinas-first-caucasian-immigrants/66
2,500 -4,000 years ago there were Caucasians in what we now call China. Okay, none of them had American accents but you can still say "why not?"
But I do think it is important that Chinese actors portray more leading characters just as I think more suitable actors could have been found for Gods of Egypt.
Note that in the UK we refer as people from India, Pakistan etc., as "Asians" whereas America dumps a number of nationalities into that tag. And bearing that in mind, does Hollywood have any "Asian" male actors that fill the "hunk" and heroic look for such films?
Well, of course they do. And this is not my list: https://www.buzzfeed.com/mattortile/asian-leading-men-who-deserve-more-airtime?utm_term=.nup9G7AOk#.tyWX67xjP
So, Wu was correct in a way. But I think it is the case that America prefers "white" or "black" leading men and you just have to look at the movies to prove it.
China is a great country, has great actors and already produce great movies (I have a few on dvd).