Friday, April 20, 2018
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What White Washing Says To Asians (Video)

Asian actors make up 1.3% of leading roles in films and it's painful to see opportunities for us to be on screen given to white actors who are deemed better than us.

How many think pieces can there be about white washing? In my opinion, never enough! As a film and television lover, it’s impossible to escape their influence over me. I realized at a young age that seeing someone that really represented who I was on screen wouldn’t be a luxury that I could expect. Despite my grandpa being an actor, I never saw Hollywood as a place that I could belong. I didn’t fit the stereotype roles for Asian actors and the ones that I thought could be me, were given to the top, white actors.

It became a fact that I accepted and took my place in the audience, letting myself believe that it was okay. I never stopped looking for myself in characters and I clung to anyone that looked like me. Secretly, I hoped to see more Asians on screen, but Hollywood continually let me down.

You Can’t Have Our Stories Without Us

After seeing so many stories that should belong to me and my community, taken away from us and turned into something a white washed Hollywood could profit off of, I couldn’t stand idle anymore. I’ve been trying to figure out why white washing keeps happening and I think I’ve finally found the answer.

What White Washing Says To Asians (Video)

Ghost in the Shell (2017) – source: Paramount Pictures

I’ve compiled my thoughts and awkwardly recorded them in this video with the hope to bring more awareness to the misrepresentation and underrepresentation of Asians on screen. I break down why it happens and what it means with the goal of changing it. In this breakdown I’ll be focusing primarily on recent white washing culprits, Ghost in the Shell and Death Note, as well as touching on a couple other films through the years as well.

Asian actors make up 1.3% of leading roles in films and it’s painful to see opportunities for us to be on screen given to white actors who are deemed better than us. If you take away anything from this video, I hope you realize how it feels to constantly be ignored and I hope that would inspire you to help change that.

What are your thoughts on Ghost in the Shell and Death Note? Any fans? Any other representation controversies you think should be covered? Let me know!

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Opinions expressed in our articles are those of the authors and not of the Film Inquiry magazine.

Akemi is a recent graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and still cannot write a proper biography. She has a B.A. in Cinema Studies with a minor in Producing and has no idea what she is going to do with that. She loves comedy in all of its forms and wants desperately to be a stand-up comedian but has stage fright and all of her writing is incredibly sad. She hopes to one day to be a film professor because trapping a bunch of people to listen to her talk about movies all day would be a dream come true.

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