The Internet Bites Back After Director Attempts To Justify Whitewashing

It all began with an article by Paste, highlighting the issue of industry bias against Asian American actors in Hollywood. Stating that people of Asian origin are still massively underrepresented in the world of film, the article points out that 77% of all showbiz auditions ask specifically for caucasian actors. 

But there's one problem in particular that is aggravating the issue: whitewashing. Making the headlines repeatedly in recent times, the phenomenon refers to when a white actor is hired to play a part that was originally represented by a person of colour. 

The ever-expressive Lucy Liu in Kill Bill. (Photo: Miramax)

Investigating the frightening depth of the issue, the article cites Nancy Wang Yuen's book on the topic Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism. 

In her study into racial bias in the world of film, the article quotes an anonymous casting director interviewed by the sociologist. Attempting to justify whitewashing in the most awkward way possible, the Hollywood talent agent notes:


"I work with a lot of different people, and Asians are a challenge to cast because most casting directors feel as though they're not very expressive. They're very shut down in their emotions… 

If it's a look thing for business where they come in they're at a computer or if they're like a scientist or something like that, they'll do that; but if it's something where they really have to act and get some kind of performance out of, it's a challenge."


Yup, seriously. It goes without saying that social media was quick to react and the quote soon went viral. The Twitter community has been particularly vocal on the topic with the hashtag #ExpressiveAsians, originally created by US author Maurene Goo, making the rounds. 

Since Goo's first tweet on September 8, many (many) others have joined in the anti-whitewashing campaign. Check out some of the best reactions below:

Read more -> After Whitewashing Controversy, Actor Ed Skrein Quits 'Hellboy' Reboot


Journaliste cinéma. Experte en Timothée Chalamet, Quentin Tarantino et Martin Scorsese.