Screencap of Constance Wu if she were to star in Ghost in the Shell instead of Scarlett Johansson, from #AsAmStar
Two years ago, I featured William Yu’s initiative #StarringJohnCho, highlighting the lack of roles for Asian actors in Hollywood. For this year’s Asian American Pacific Heritage Month, Yu is back at it again with his latest project, #SeeAsAmStar.
The project uses Deepfake technology to graft the faces of Asian American stars like Steven Yeun, Arden Cho, Constance Wu and yes, John Cho, over the faces of actors like Chris Evans, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett Johansson to reiterate just how few roles there are for actors of Asian descent and the few roles that are available usually get whitewashed, as is the case with Johansson in Ghost in the Shell.
“Yu creates videos that provide a living depiction of Asian American as the heroes, romantics, and leaders that Hollywood refuses to cast because it ‘can’t see’ Asian movie stars,” states #SeeAsAmStar’s website. “Studies continue to show that films with diverse casts result in higher box office numbers and higher returns on investments for film companies, yet whitewashing and the marginalization of Asian American stories continue to exist. #SeeAsAmStar demonstrates what a world could look like if Hollywood starts to cast accordingly.”
Check out the technology in action:
More about William Yu (from SeeAsAmStar.com):
William Yu believes in blurring the line where passion and discomfort meet. As a Senior Strategist at agencies like TBWA\Chiat\Day and SapientRazorfish, Yu worked on projects for Fortune500 companies like BNY Mellon, Accenture, Verizon, and Mastercard.
Yu created #StarringJohnCho, an award winning social movement that calls for greater Asian American representation in film. The project has garnered over 1 billion impressions worldwide and continues the conversation of how Asian Americans are perceived in our society today. His work has been featured on major media outlets such as The New York Times, BBC, and CNN, among others.
To take #StarringJohnCho and #SeeAsAmStar to the next level, Yu is currently writing a debut screenplay that features an Asian American lead.