Next: What Hollywood’s doing right and wrong
To paraphrase Lee, Hollywood once had the likes of James Shigeta, one of the few Asian American leading men in Hollywood. “Unfortunately,” he wrote, “no one has recently attained the level of stardom as James Shigeta since.”
Even still, while it might seem like there’s not any movement being made in Hollywood in regards to Asian American exposure and representation, there’s a lot of movement under the surface.
“I think film and television are two different beasts. I see lots of positive movement being made in television with the production of shows like Fresh Off the Boat and Dr. Ken,” wrote Jackson. “On the flip-side however, whitewashing is still very prevalent in films like Doctor Strange, Ghost in the Shell, and Death Note. I’m seeing more biracial and interracial relationship representation but again, they’re mostly black/white.”
“I see positive movement in the direction that we are now seeing ourselves on the big screen,” wrote Sethi. “I still feel we are far from representing our true identities but we are getting there.”
Keodara wrote that the progress is being hampered by what he called “bullshit excuses” from Hollywood execs. “There’s been a modicum of a burgeoning positive representation of Asian representation on TV in Hollywood. Well, at least when it comes to Fresh Off The Boat. Dr. Ken still relies on stereotypes for laughs. Ken Jeong built a career on that,” he wrote. “On the movie front, for as long as Hollywood has been in business, there has yet to be an Asian superhero. We still get bullshit excuses from Kevin Feig, Scott Derrickson and his minions about why they cast a white woman as a Tibetan man in Doctor Strange. It seems every week there is news coming out that another movie whitewashes Asian characters and it looks like things will get worst because now we have the Chinese trying to compete with Hollywood by casting white movie stars in Chinese productions, case in point The Great Wall.”