The Torch

Break the bamboo ceiling in Hollywood

Sabrina Lau, Contributing Writer

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We live in a world where most characters that we witness on television, in films and in plays still remain predominantly white. Recently, many people have become outraged by the casting of Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One in “Doctor Strange” and Scarlett Johansson as the Major in “Ghost in the Shell.”

According to the 2016 Hollywood Diversity Report done by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, film studio heads were 94 percent white and entirely male, senior management was 92 percent white and 83 percent male, and studio unit heads were 96 percent white and 61 percent male.

These are the people that make the big decisions in Hollywood, choosing who is fit to be the next big star.

Now the biggest question remains, why doesn’t Hollywood like to cast Asian actors for Asian-intended roles? I believe the answer is because they insist that movies with minorities in lead roles are too big of a gamble. They claim there are no A-list Asian celebrities right now on an international level, that there aren’t any Asian movie stars, according to the Media Action Network for Asian Americans.

This circular argument just goes on and on, never allowing any Asian actors to break in. They refuse to cast Asian actors for leads for fear of losing money, yet they complain that there are no famous Asian actors.

Minorities are strikingly underrepresented, especially Asians. Despite protesting and boycotting these whitewashed films, Hollywood still turns a blind eye toward proper representation of our world today.

There is no doubt that Hollywood still remains incredibly racist, taking away opportunities for minorities meant to play minority characters and giving them to white actors and actresses.

Try as they might, Hollywood’s little white lies have been exposed and people are demanding representation.

Their argument over losing money remains highly unsupported, with examples including the racially diverse cast of “Fast and the Furious” franchise. In fact, films with whitewashed leads fail miserably in the box office, including “Pan” and “Gods of Egypt,” according to the Internet Movie Database.

Most of the time, when Asians are represented in film and television, they enforce racial stereotypes, further maintaining the idea that all Asians are perpetual foreigners. Male Asians are stereotyped as nerds, scientists, mobsters, emasculated, and weak, whereas female Asians are fetishized, considered submissive, geisha-like and built to fit the ultimate schoolgirl fantasy.

There has to be a more accurate representation of who we are and what we stand for. There’s plenty of room up at the top and I think it’s time for fame to reach all minorities.

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Break the bamboo ceiling in Hollywood