STARRING: ASIAN REPRESENTATION IN HOLLYWOOD
The year is 2018 and we are finally getting more diversity in mainstream media. Black Panther smashed box office records and made history on a global scale, and we have so many incredible black women gracing the covers of the coveted September issues of major magazines.
Media is now adding even more color to film and television shows by the way of Asian representation. ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat” introduces American audiences to an Asian-American family and the adventures of their daily lives. The series began in 2015, and has been received positively enough to continue on to its current fifth season. The success the series has met with likely made the developments of newer major motion pictures and films possible.
Netflix premieres its young-adult rom-com To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before today, featuring Lana Condor, a Vietnamese-American actress, as the lead. In addition to the Netflix film, the movie Crazy Rich Asians premiered this past Wednesday, which hosts an all-Asian cast, the first in 25 years for a major motion picture.
While the plot of the films aren’t exactly ground-breaking, the fact that they are breaking the mold of stereotypical Hollywood Asian characters is incredible. Too often do we see shows and movies shoehorning Asian actors and actresses as a studious, obscure, or exotic character role. These films are significant exactly because they cast Asian faces in roles that are typically unavailable for them. Normalizing audiences to see that there are in fact Asians who aren’t exactly the “nerdy” type or your “exotic fantasy,” but rather can be your normal, everyday person is huge. I hope that these films can be eye-opening to the people that need it, and gratifying for those who have been waiting long and hard to see their own faces represented in the Hollywood. The success of these movies will surely open doors for more opportunities for the future, and I can’t wait to see what they hold.
- Ima Linzag