This August, we’ve seen several Asian actors take the leading roles in movies. For years, Hollywood has been whitewashing Asian characters. In movies like “Ghost In The Shell” and “Death Note,” white actors are seen playing roles that are meant for Asian actors.
In the show “Iron Fist,” there was an opportunity to give more roles to Asian actors, but those roles were given to white actors as well. Yet, the movies “Crazy Rich Asians” and “To All The Boys I Loved Before” have leading characters and a whole cast that are Asian; this is something you don’t see everyday. These aren’t your typical Asian characters. They don’t roll over when someone tells them to and they aren’t the typical typecast roles of a delivery boy, the lonely nerd, or the martial arts experts- their roles don’t embody stereotypes.
“To All The Boys I Loved Before” puts a spin on the typical good girl, popular guy story everyone’s seen before. Most Asian characters are stepped on but the main character Lara Jean doesn’t let her bully step on her, and instead confronts her. To “All The Boys I Loved Before” also represents an interracial relationship between a white and an Asian person. Not only is the main character’s relationship interracial, but her parents had an interracial relationship; her father was Caucasian and her mother was Korean. The movie is major for the Asian community but it doesn’t show the struggles of bullying from other classmates.
“Crazy Rich Asians” is a movie of the likes of which we’ve rarely seen before, especially from Hollywood, with an all Asian cast. This is one of the few all Asian cast movies since “The Joy Luck Club.” “Crazy Rich Asians” also shows the struggles of someone who’s Asian-American. Many Asian Americans aren’t accepted by Asians from different cultures, but they aren’t accepted by some Americans because they look different.
It’s amazing seeing these movies and seeing Asians being acknowledged more by Hollywood, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings in the film industry for diversity.