I am talking about whitewashing and stereotypes. This is a topic that has been covered by many. Even John Oliver has covered this topic, but it would seem that there is not even traction yet or most western companies just seem to outright prefer having a majority White cast in a increasingly globalist society.
Look at it this way, growing up, all the other children seemed to be able to fit into their role-models of various Marvel characters or whatever popular action flick was on. I mean, in the 90s and 2000s, there was what? Jackie Chan? even then, his role was one of mostly comedy mixed with action.
Of course, I am just putting recent examples but you’d assume that having actors like Steven Yeun or Vincent Rodriguez III on The Walking Dead and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend respectively, times would have changed. No, but it seems that many products companies have yet to catch on that have a positive Asian male character is going to detrimentally affect your final product, in fact it gives the millions of young Asian children living in the west a role model that I didn’t have when I was younger and this is a very important factor in development for self esteem in my opinion.
Having positive Asian male and female characters in western media would do much to mitigate the identity crisis and the issue of being a perpetual foreigner. Just having that casual immersion, knowing that despite Asian people looking different, they are still citizens of what respective country they belong to. It teaches kids that race should not be a barrier to entry. It also provides the impetus for more Asians into a more diversified career path.
The news of Doctor Strange whitewashing characters was made evident late last year but after watching the trailer, it just became more and more evident about how awkward it all looks.
Near the beginning of the trailer, I saw a person with black hair walking forward. I was like, oh great! This means there’s going to an Asian character in this movie, who isn’t going to be a negative stereotype hopefully. I was only rewarded later with an awkwardly dressed Tilda Swinton.
Yes, I lazily picked out a picture comparing Tilda Swinton and the Ancient One from the original source. It is lazy but just judging from the amount of comparative images on google image searches alone, shows perhaps there is some public support for the casting of Asian characters in Hollywood. Yes, the Ancient One can be pushing the stereotype of wise Asian old men, but if they can revamp him into a Caucasian women, why not into a young Asian male or female?
I mean, surely the days of Genghis Khan being played by John Wayne are over, but it does seem like it’s far too hard for them to cast Asian actors even in a supporting role.
Likewise, with Vikings, which I just could not proceed to watch. Yes, it’s a show that takes huge amounts of liberty in terms of historical accuracy already.
But…why an Asian women slave out of all the possibilities you could have, and a love interest as well? I mean, does pushing Asian women into some kind of docile sex object role appeal to people? I should stop asking these stupid questions, because they do, unless the History Channel has been incredibly misled. They will certainly lose many Asian viewers except for the Asian women who have fantasies rubbed into them of some White guy coming to take them away for a green card to the west. I am speaking out of nothing here, but I’m going to take a guess that there were not many Asian viewers anyway so this was perhaps a poorly executed ploy to gain them.
Yes, of course me talking about it is going to have little affect, but getting the conversation out there again and again, will spread awareness. Every little bit counts in the long run of these negative stereotypes and whitewashing that persists within much of Western media.
EDIT: The blame game has already come out from Hollywood. China is the first target as usual. People don’t give a crap. There are heaps of shows with Tibetan characters in China. Unless they stick FREE TIBET signs everywhere in the movie, there will be no problem. I don’t get why they have to keep shifting the blame.