An Open Letter to Asian American Actors Regarding Movie ‘Stardom’ (Part II)

(If you haven’t yet, read Pt. I here. It provides the context for this letter and may answer questions not specifically addressed here)

Dear Asian American actor:

In part one of this letter, I discussed the fact that there is currently no true Asian American star and what goes into the making of a star and how that might apply to Asian American actors i.e. you. Let me continue on this thread today and also humbly offer some advice on the subject. Again, this is just one guy’s opinion so take it for what it is, but it’s also an opinion formed from many years of working in the biz, the community and with hundreds of Asian American actors on all sorts of projects.

Now, let’s say you’re lucky enough to book a significant role in a Hollywood film or a series regular on a TV series. These are major accomplishments and you should be justly proud, but this does not make you a star. I repeat—this does not make you a star. I bring this up because I’ve seen this happen on numerous occasions: an Asian American actor gets cast in the aforementioned film or TV show and all of a sudden they think they’re Brad Pitt or Sandra Bullock.

It’s not completely their fault. Our community is so desperate for role models that if one of our actors makes any sort of dent in Hollywood, they are almost treated as if they are the Asian Pitt or Bullock. They’re invited to every Asian American event, they’re given awards from every Asian American organization, their faces end up on the cover of every Asian American publication where they are anointed “superstars”—in short, we put them up on a pedestal. Is it any wonder that an actor being treated that way doesn’t begin to believe their own hype?

Again, there’s nothing wrong with being proud of our Asian American artists as long as you keep things in perspective. But it’s easy to lose that perspective when you’re inside that yellow bubble. Because the reality is—when you step outside of that bubble into the “real” world, you’re just another actor. You may be working more than some of your fellow actors but when that job comes to an end, you’re most likely going to be back on the cattle call/audition circuit with the rest of the masses.

Do you remember Ernest Liu? No. Well, back in the mid 90s, he booked one of the most coveted parts for a young Asian American male—playing Harvey Keitel’s adopted son in the Robert Rodriguez-Quentin Tarantino film From Dusk ‘Til Dawn. He was one of the leads alongside Keitel, Tarantino, George Clooney, Salma Hayek and Juliette Lewis. And what happened to his career after this breakout role? Well…nothing. I don’t know Liu and he’s probably a nice kid so this isn’t a knock on him, but Hollywood is littered with similar stories. Just because you get a shot doesn’t mean it will lead to other better or even comparable things. It’s a tough business so don’t delude yourself into thinking otherwise.

So in short…don’t act like a star because you are not a star. Even our most successful actors of recent years like Lucy Liu or Jason Scott Lee only really had a short run of a few years. Always be humble; always realize that no matter where you are, you will always have much room for growth. This may seem like the most obvious advice, but I’ve seen Asian American actors, who maybe have one legitimate credit on their resume, give “star” attitude to my fellow Offender Justin. And I’m thinking—you’re really going to piss off probably the most successful director in Hollywood who actually is invested in promoting an Asian American agenda? Is that smart? You don’t think he’s going to remember? Let me just add this in case you don’t already know…the one topic that all filmmakers talk about when they get together with other filmmakers is…actors. Specifically, actors who’ve made a strong impression on us. In particular, actors who’ve made a strong negative impression on us.

Now, what’s even worse is meeting Asian American actors who aren’t even at that level in their careers who display bad habits. I realize that this isn’t an issue that’s only true for our community, but there is a sense of entitlement present in many of the Asian American actors I’ve met that I find problematic: Actors who seem to think that partying and social networking are more important to their careers than working on their craft. Actors who can barely talk and walk at the same time who think they’re too big to understudy or take a small role in a play. Actors who blame their lack of career success on everyone else except themselves.

Even if everything I’m bitching about were all true, why should it matter? Well, because we always bemoan the lack of opportunities for Asian American actors but sometimes the powers that be will make an effort to try to be inclusive and…we’re not always ready.

Look, there are very real obstacles that an Asian American actor faces, but all actors face their own set of obstacles. Maybe if you’re white, it’s slightly easier to have a career like Tom Hanks, but it’s still really fucking hard. And as much as it is sometimes justified to put the blame on Hollywood or some other external power, other times we have to take responsibility for our own fucked up situation. I can give many examples from personal experience or from close colleagues of when opportunities arose for Asian American actors and you know what…they blew it. But in the interest of time, I’ll just share one such story from my fellow Offender Justin.

When The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift (which was directed by Justin) was released, some Asian American media reported that the studio behind the pic (in this case, Universal) would not let Justin cast an Asian American in the lead. This was untrue.

When Justin was hired, he asked the then head of the studio, Stacey Snider, if he could cast an Asian American actor in the lead role of the troubled high schooler who’s sent to Japan to live with his father. To her credit, she said he could audition Asian American actors and if he genuinely felt one of them was the best actor, he had her blessing to hire him. To make a long story short, the Asian American actors who came in were ill prepared and gave bad auditions. There was no way in good faith that Justin could cast any of them (Justin though, of course, created the role of Asian American character Han and fought for fellow Offender Sung who won the part through his hard work and talent).

It’s always heart breaking when we confront examples like this. As an actor, it’s up to you to be ready and make that great impression, even if you don’t get the role, because people will remember. I can’t stress that enough.

Here’s another example from another Justin audition experience that proves the converse: I know a lot of people in the community knock Bai Ling and dismiss her. But she came in on another project and knocked her audition out of the park. Justin didn’t cast her because she wasn’t right for the role, but you know what—she made a strong impression. Whenever someone disses Bai Ling in his presence, Justin (who doesn’t know her personally) always points out how she gave one of the best auditions he has seen from an Asian American actor. And you can bet if the right role does come along in the future, he’s not going to hesitate to cast her.

Which brings me to a question I posed in Part I of my letter that I said I’d answer here: Why am I blogging about this topic now? Well, two reasons…

First, I believe there is a genuine shift happening in the industry. Again, it’s my humble opinion, but I can’t ignore what I’m seeing around me. There are more opportunities opening up for Asians in the business and that includes for actors. It may not seem like it when you hear news about how Mickey Rourke is supposedly playing Genghis Khan or something like The Last Airbender casting controversy arises, but there is change afoot. Just look at how many Asian faces you see as series regulars on TV now, for example. True, they are mostly in supporting parts and we still have a ways to go, but I couldn’t have imagined coming even this far just five years ago.

Let me be so bold as to make this statement: I don’t think there’s anything preventing an Asian American actor from becoming the next George Clooney or Angelina Jolie anymore. And if I can be even bolder, I think you’ll see someone ascend to that status in the next five years. A genuine movie star. A genuine Asian American movie star. Something we don’t have at the moment. The only thing that I believe can get in the way of this now is…ourselves. It’s all on us to do it. Or not.

Which brings me to reason two and this is a more personal one.

I’ve hinted before that when my fellow Offenders and I started this blog, it was with the idea that we could use this as a foundation to create an online community so we could build upon it and use it to expand into even bigger and better things. Our launch of our Interpretations Filmmaking Initiative is one step toward this (BTW, a limited number of extra tickets to our sold-out filmmaking panel on May 2 will be released this Thurs. at the DGA box office only) and our ultimate goal is to expand into areas like YOMYOMF Films where we will develop and produce everything from webisodes to full-length feature films. To successfully do this requires a community of like-minded, dedicated and talented artists including actors. Let’s face it—as much as you may hear that stars don’t carry as much clout anymore, one of the best ways to still get a movie green-lit is to have a star attached.

Speaking from a purely personal and selfish perspective, I need Asian American stars in order to do the type of projects I’d like to do. We dream big here at YOMYOMF and we have ambitious plans for what we want to do. And if you think some of the advice I’ve passed on here is harsh, it’s because this is a harsh business. It’s easy to always put the blame on others for what we don’t have, it’s much harder to really look within ourselves and be honest about our own faults. That’s just human nature. But that might also be the difference between us having a shot at achieving something wonderful or not.

Believe me when I say it is difficult to find fellow kindred spirit artists—colleagues with the talent and all the other right qualities that make them a good fit. But when you do…or rather when we do, you can bet we will do everything to support and nurture those folks because we know how rare that is to find. And ultimately that is what this letter is all about. Strive for nothing less than to make that great impression. Work your ass off to be the best you can be. Have the right attitude and humility that will make you both a great artist and human being. I promise that if you genuinely are able to achieve these things, you will be noticed. And that is, as they say, the start of everything.

Break a leg, my friends…

38 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Asian American Actors Regarding Movie ‘Stardom’ (Part II)

  1. That was a great read. I’m white so I have no clue about the plight of the Asian American actor, just what I’ve heard from friends and now read. It’s really interesting to me. Some of fave actors are Asian.

  2. I also heard that the female lead in Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift was not Asian because Justin couldn’t find any Asian/Asian American actresses who were good actors that fit the part. I had several (Asian American) friends audition for the role so I know that they were definitely looking for an Asian American actress. Unfortunately I think that a lot of actors think they are more talented than they actually are, both Asian Americans and non-Asians.

    That being said I agree with most of what you wrote here. Except the part about how there’s nothing stopping an Asian American from being the next George Clooney or Angelina Jolie/genuine movie star. I’d love to agree with that but I don’t think Hollywood is there yet, nor will they be there in 5 years. I hope I’m wrong and you’re right. But I think Hollywood needs to realize Asian Americans will see movies that cater to them and that have Asian American actors. Once Hollywood sees Asian Americans flocking to movie screens to see a crap movie just because some popular Asian American is in it, there’ll be room for a genuine Asian American movie star.

  3. Wonderful words of wisdom and experience. And it is all the more valuable and worthwhile because you “shared” it in hopes of making the world a better place for all of us. Thanks.

    Almost makes me want to become an actor now…. ;->

  4. I love this series and feel it’s the most truthful thing I’ve read about Asians and our biz. That said, I also want to note that there are some AA actors I know who do get work but also stay humble & dedicated to their craft. Which does not contradict anything you’ve written. Well done!

  5. I KNEW there was a reason I’ve been reading these blogs… Thank You!

  6. Thanks for writing this, Phil. I completely agree with what you’re saying; looking at the changes in the Hollywood landscape over the last 10 years, and in society in general, the white people in charge really want to see minorities succeed, but there is still a lack of talent out there in the artistic fields (as well as the legal, where I work).

    Asians in the arts seem to forget the lesson the rest of us got drilled into us by our parents: as a minority, you have to work 50% harder to get to the same place. So how much more do you have to work to get to the top?

  7. Actually I should have said “some of the artistic fields”; from what I’ve seen, Asians excel at behind-the-scenes artistic stuff, and maybe music (are there a lot at the top in music? Certainly not in pop anyway).

  8. @Lisa, the studio did want an Asian actress to play the female lead in Tokyo Drift but in that instance it wasn’t because there wasn’t a qualified Asian actress for the part that didn’t happen. Once a white lead had been cast in the lead, I believe Justin fought to not cast an Asian actress opposite him. This wasn’t to deny an opportunity to an Asian actress but rather he wanted to avoid making a white guy goes to Asia and hot Asian chick falls for him movie.

  9. Great advice! I know at least for Indie projects, when the producers and writers get together to talk about directors and possible casting, personality does come up, because let’s face it, nobody wants to work with difficult people if they don’t have to. BTW, one of the biggest and most talented and yet most humble actors I’ve met is Hiroyuki Sanada. So please cast him!

  10. Justin, as far as I’m concerned is the only “Star”, he has held true with supporting my friends Sung, Alden, John etc. and the Asian community. We spend so much time in complaining about the lack of presence of stars and projects, that we have forgotten the one thing that we can accomplish ourselves. That is to get off our asses and do something about it. I got so frustrated with hearing about how hard things were and are, (my first acting job was on the longest running TV western), that I decided to do something about it myself, that was to create my own projects. Granted we don’t have current star power now, (the Asian-American community is so fragmented), which makes it quite difficult to reach the general middle American population.
    As long as you give a great performance, be proud of it. Don’t stop there, keep perfecting your art and also mentor those following you.
    I agree with Phillip, whole heartily, step up. See you all at the festival

  11. Thanks everyone for your comments. And of course feel free to disagree.

    @Iris, I love Sanada. Been a fan since RINGU. I’m trying to get the producers of a script I wrote to consider him for a role opposite Michelle Yeoh who’s already attached so I hope his higher visibility on LOST helps in the cause.

    @DDH, you’re absolutely right that there are actors at that level who are great and humble and those are the actors you want to work with all the time, where you’ll go out of your way to try to cast or write roles for.

    @Lisa, I still stand by my we’ll have our Asian American movie star soon statement. But like I said, I believe it’s on us now. Like Dragon said, it’s time to step up now ’cause the conditions are right for it to happen.

  12. It’s definitely a tough road but if you have the guts, the perseverance, and the talent, the thought is that you will work. For those of us who have all three…do everything you can to get better and get out there. Be ready…I know I am!

    http://www.iamthatgirlmovie.com
    (My feature film that I wrote, produced, and starred in)

    http://www.amasiangrace.net
    My blog that keeps me sane while I figure a way to fund my next projects…

  13. There are a lot of things I definitely agree with and support in this article. But the main question that came up for me is – “Well, how do I get an audition for Justin or Philip?” I am an Asian-American actress that can’t seem to get called into an audition UNLESS the role is specifically for an Asian chick. But because I’m intentionally not allowing myself to go out for prostitute parts and roles that require full-nudity (been there, done that), those opportunities have become almost none-existent. Am I not hanging with the right crowd? I just Facebooked an old friend of mine from East-West Players, and admitted to him that I realized – I have no Asian friends anymore, except my fellow table-waiters at the sushi joint I work at. But none of them are in the industry. I was hoping to attend the panel this Saturday to begin the process of bridging this gap – but, I’m filming a project that afternoon. Boo. I personally feel that I have to write and produce my own projects in order to cast myself in the lead role of a character that I would never even get called in for otherwise. So that’s what I’ve done. But it’s an expensive way to go and I can’t do it more than, say, once every year or two. So now I’m fantasizing about starring in the movie version of David Mack’s graphic novel, “Kabuki.” It’s been “in the works” for over 5 years now….where did it go? Justin? Philip? Come-on – let’s do it! I truly believe the only way to do it right is to do it ourselves. We can’t wait for the primarily-Jewish Hollywood community to do it for us :)

  14. @Julia, the panel is actually Sunday not Saturday. There isn’t one way to have an acting career but first and foremost it’s the persistence and commitment. If you look at Sung’s past couple of blogs you’ll see the sort of crazy stuff he had to go thru when he was trying to secure a foothold in this biz. But I don’t know anyone who’s successful who hasn’t worked extremely hard and went thru all sorts of hardships and rejections to get to where they are. I don’t know if there’s really a magic formula beyond that. But it’s great that you’re creating opportunities for yourself but yes, that is difficult.

    And keep in mind as I tried to show in the Bai Ling example, just because you don’t book a role doesn’t necessarily mean you weren’t good. There’s all sorts of reasons why someone does or doesn’t get a role and talent is just one of them. If the male lead has dark hair and they really want a blonde to play opposite him, that may be the factor that takes you out of the running. But if you’re good, you will make an impression and that’s very important because people will remember.

    The other key thing is that it really helps to have a community of like-minded artists to support you. They don’t have to be Asian, they just have to be people you gel with artistically and personally. There’s a reason why Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman and Robert Duvall were all struggling actors/friends/comrades together and all made it together. That support is invaluable.

    I know this may not be the answer you’re looking for but one of the things we’re doing on this blog is to share our thoughts and experiences in the hope that some of that may be helpful for people like yourself so these are all issues we’re aware of and will do our best to try to address through our experiences (and often through our mistakes).

    INTERPRETATIONS, which we’ll launch at our panel is one of the programs we’re creating to try to support aspiring artists like yourself. We know it’s hard out there–all of us on this blog started not knowing anyone in the biz, not having any connections or clues about what to do and believe me, and it’s still a learning experience–it’s not easy for us either so know it’s a continuing struggle for all of us. But we’re creating things like INTERPRETATIONS with the mind-set of “we really wish we had something like this when we were starting out.” It may just ultimately be baby steps but it’s a start. And we hope that once the details are announced it’s something you and everyone else in a similar position will consider being a part of.

    Thanks to you and everyone else for their comments.

  15. Big ups for Mr. Lin….Fabulous read, Phil.

    However, how accessible are these auditions? You speak as if this was announced to every Asian male talent in the bay area and only the talentless ones (ill prepared, same difference). There is a lot of talent in the pool. Maybe you guys are fishing in the wrong pond? I don’t know.

    It’s not like the casting call was geared “specifically” at getting a lead Asian American role in the first place. If it did, I’m sure many aspiring Asian male talents would’ve had their boots shine before walking in the door.

    Do you do hardcore MMA training to step into the ring with a monkey? I think not. Juggling eggs would suffice. Maybe if some of these guys knew they were potentially being cast as a LEAD — not a villain — in one of the next big blockbusters within the next two years with one of the biggest cheese winners they would’ve come in a little more gung-ho.

    Not to sound like a dick, just trying to play Asian male advocate here.

  16. Judging by the poor acting of the white guy and Bow Wow in Tokyo Drift… they could’ve picked up any guy on the street and have better results. Why not cast Han as the lead role?

  17. Phillip – I hope that you’re right and I’m wrong about the whole Asian American movie star statement :)

    Thanks for the tid bit about Fast and Furious casting. I think Justin definitely made the right decision by avoiding that image (although I’m sure it disappointed many Asian American actresses hoping for their big break)

  18. That’s why we won’t see an Akira live-action adaptaton anytime soon (even though I have good faith in the Hughes), imo. I’m all for supporting more Asian representation in American propaganda (that’s really what it is and we should see it as such, because there is a bigger picture), but I just can’t see YouTube’s KevJumba as a Kaneda archetype (or even Nigahiga, despite his questionable millions of views per vid, and him being a fan favorite). They seem like nice kids, but from what I’ve seen, I don’t think they can act. It’s one thing to imitate “white” archetypes, it’s another to exude it naturally. It’s like watching Ken Leong, Daniel Dae-Kim, and your very own Sung Kang act (yes, even Bai Ling). I find their performances amazing, but not in a “white” archetype of way, a more realistic “Asian-American” way (for theatrical depiction, not in real life; nobody is like that in real life). So, yeah, have to agree with you, if Asian actors want to kickstart/prolong their careers, they have to step up their game more akin to the acting skills of politicians because they really do end up representing “us” in American propaganda. We need to train ‘em young, because we shouldn’t have 40-somethings playing teenagers anymore (not that that’s bad).

  19. “It’s not completely their fault. Our community is so desperate for role models that if one of our actors makes any sort of dent in Hollywood, they are almost treated as if they are the Asian Pitt or Bullock.”

    This is a great point and very true. Yet I can’t help but wonder if the target of criticism is misplaced. It seems unfair to fault actors and the general Asian-American community for craving a celebrity role model, when for much of the past two decades that’s what leaders of Asian activism have defined as the main goal and priority of Asian activism.

    If the Asian community and it’s actors are faulted for craving a superstar and will accept any Asian for the role regardless of their quality, then surely it’s logical to take criticaly question those amongst the Asian “intelligentsia” (in scare quotes for want of a better word) that promote this notion of the all-importance of a strong media role-model.

  20. There really isn’t much I can add to this post, one of the best I’ve read on YOMYOMF. I’m glad Philip speaks the truth, even if it is sometimes difficult to hear, and his “big picture” outlook is a breath of fresh air. If YOMYOMF is still around in 5 years (and I hope it is), it will be interesting to revisit this post.

  21. @Bond:

    I know you were just kidding, but no, you don’t want to be an actor. I’ve never tried, so I don’t know what it’s like, but I’ve been on the job hunt hardcore for the past month, attending career fairs and information sessions, sending out resumes, and having both phone and onsite interviews. I’ve finally come to a waiting stage (okay, I could start the process over, but I’m TIRED), and I haven’t had the strength to leave the house in 3 days. I imagine being an actor might be like that, except it never ends.

  22. It’s really inspiring to hear that you believe we’ll have an Asian American star in the next five years. A straight-up “state of the industry” for Asian American performers has been wanting for a long time, and this piece definitely meets the need.

    I have to side with Rodney on Tokyo Drift, though: I do not believe Lucas Black is a stronger actor than Sung Kang.

  23. @Bill

    “…craving a celebrity role model, when for much of the past two decades that’s what leaders of Asian activism have defined as the main goal and priority of Asian activism.”

    Is it really? I feel like the really big Asian American organizations are all about political activism.

    JACL and APAs for Progress leap to mind. There have been smatterings of activism around things like Miss Saigon or the Rising Sun film, but mostly I see activists campaigning about civil rights, anti-Asian violence, solidarity with other communities, etc.

  24. great initiative, interpretations, thanks justin and phil and roger.sounds really well organized , website looks decent, and just maybe needs more publicizing?

    studio politics being what they are and businesses being what they are, i think you guys should build on what you have. the initiative is great, but as someone has already mentioned here, the real star here is justin and his connection to hollywood. personally aside from this small initiative i think justin should just make his next feature with roger, sung and the others. finishing the game was amazing. in fact, highly underrated, not sure why – whether it came out at a bad time or what. but you know, another film like that, but with say, john cho in the lead? i mean the guys known for harold and kumar so he can do comedy. and from reading this blog. its some funny shit. you guys need to do AA comedy. it also makes asians seem more human. i think after all this talk about talent and etc, basically Asians are too serious. if justin can do another finishing the game with you guys or something as good, that would be worth watching, with john in the star seat. justin needs major asian breakthrough before anything else happens. indie sensibility, with studio backing, in other words.

  25. Hi Guys, i’m from the UK. Just started out acting.
    real nice to read this article and it is great because there is nothing here for the oriental actors.

    Hope to see an Asian star soon myself too!

    Best
    Chris

  26. Thank you so much for this. Being a struggling Asian-american actress, I understand the frustration of auditioning and “not being right for the part.” Then I see other actors (I will not mention who) who book one or two big jobs and they start thinking they are better than everybody. Don’t set a bad rep for AA actors! It just makes it harder for others to excel in this profession (harder than it already is).

    but again thank you for your blog!

  27. i think most of it is true. i dont get auditions or castings UNLESS its for “asian guy”. but at the same time, I havnt seen a performance by an asian american actor that deserve much credit. im not saying im a better actor(trying to be). JUST SAYING

  28. Obviously, Justin COULD have chosen to cast an Asian American in the lead role, but he was scared too that it would have been risky financially speaking, and it was his first big feature film.

    Somehow I just can’t believe Lucas Black was that much of an acting powerhouse to get the part over Asian American actors e.g. John Cho and just about anyone else Justin could have chosen.

    I hope now he has more confidence after some smash hits under his belt, to do a big studio feature with lead roles for Asian American actors. THERE IS NOTHING TO FEAR. That goes out to Justin, Hollywood and anyone else making the racist decisions in this industry.

  29. Wait, wait, you’re saying that Justin Lin couldn’t find an Asian-American actor that was good enough for the lead role, but somehow you ended up choosing Lucas Black!??

    He was terrible in that movie! Film reviewers thought his performance was a joke. That’s the “best actor” you guys found? You’re sooo funny, I can’t believe you kept a straight face while writing that!! Lucas Black was the best actor you could find, and LeBron was going to stay in Cleveland, right!!

    You could have cast a brick wall for the role of Sean, and that brick wall would have made that character as equally believable as Lucas Black.

  30. This is late. But I am sorry I do not agree with what you were saying about tokyo drift. I personally know the white girl lead and bow wow and it is known they were casted for marketing reasons. It means nothing even if the studio did humor the director and let him audition asian americans. They would not be cast as leads. The plight of asian american actors goes a lot deeper than that; acting ability is expected but the types of mainstream roles offered are many times ridiculous and degrading. It is naive to think that racism does not play a role in hollywood. Bai Ling is a good actress but the roles that she gets further promotes racial stereotypes

  31. Why don’t we just face the reality that asians just suck at acting; not to mention the guys are ugly and the girls are just one dimensional sex objects. Go be doctors or engineers or something because that’s what you’re better at.

  32. @philip: very nicely written article. This is a very late response but I just want to emphasize that none of us is as good as we think we are. We must continue to train, and work hard, and be reliable. Every professional I know work tremendously hard and always be on time. Even I’m only starting out, I see how flaky people can get and it’s a drag. On the other note, I strongly disagree with Justin’s decision not to casts an Asian female lead next to a white leading man. So because opportunities are so few for Asian actors, Asian actresses must also remain in obscurity with them? Matter of fact, I am tired of the insecurity and bitterness most Asian women encounter daily from their male counterparts and the rest of the world. Woman are not properties, we can date whomever we want. It’s a matter of compatibility, not race. I have turned down men and women from every single ethnicities, it’s not about race. Yellow Fever is disgusting and offensive. There are gold diggers and mistresses in every single ethnicities, and I’m tired of the reality being painted that Asian women are salon workers who moonlight as mistresses to all men. I would like to see ONE film that depicts interracial romance in a positive or at least authentic light. Especially with the recent generation where the language difference is no no longer an issue. The leading Asian lady doesn’t have to be a weak damsel needing rescue, fawning over a white American for a ticket to a US citizenship (please!), why not WRITE a better non-stereotypical role instead of REFUSING to cast an Asian actress? God forbids there is fiercely intelligent, or independent, or bohemian, or politically-active, or complex woman in Asia… I get sickened by watching movies that degrade Asian women, and the reality is just that much worse. How can we expect to grow as artists when even people who should understand our flight are actually against us and fighting to erase opportunities that don’t fit their fancy?

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