Asian American representation
If this is not a big deal, I don’t know what is.
In April 2016, I tweeted “America is still deciding what to think and do with Asians beyond offering comic relief in stereotypical roles” when Scarlett Johansson was casted as Major Motoko Kusanagi in the film adaptation of the Ghost in the Shell manga. The excuse is that there aren’t big enough Asian/Asian-American names to choose from. Well, without a conscientious effort, how will anyone ever break through and become familiar enough with the audiences to allow producers to confidently cast them to be a lead in a film?
In no way are these two films made to represent ALL Asians and all experiences, but it’s a beginning that will hopefully shift Hollywood executives’ thinking and affect their behaviors of funding more works from diverse voices.
In an opinion editorial, Jenny Han writes “What would it have meant for me back then to see a girl who looked like me star in a movie? Not as the sidekick or romantic interest, but as the lead? Not just once, but again and again? Everything. There is power in seeing a face that looks like yours do something, be someone. There is power in moving from the sidelines to the center…Because when you see someone who looks like you, it reveals what is possible. It’s not just maybe I could be an actress. It’s maybe I could be an astronaut, a fighter, a president. A writer. This is why it matters who is visible. It matters a lot. And for the girls of 2018, I want more. I want the whole world.” Read Jenny’s piece here.