With the casting controversy surrounding the about-to-be-released live-action version of The Last Airbender coming to a head (see both sides of the issue here and here), I’ve been hearing the familiar refrain of how we need more Asian Americans in positions of power in Hollywood so this sort of thing won’t happen. There is obviously a logic to this: more Asians=better Asian representation. But like many things in Hollywood, logic doesn’t always apply. So let me offer a different perspective that goes something like this: More Asians will not necessarily mean better representation. In fact, it could add to the problem.

You heard me right. And the reason I say this? Because we already have a fairly decent number of Asian Americans in those power positions and they aren’t helping us any. So what makes us think more of the same will improve our lot? Permit me to explain further:

I’m fully aware that there’s still a glass ceiling and we don’t have the people at the very top where it truly counts—the folks who can greenlight the projects and wield the real power. But as many Asian Americans in the biz are proud to point out, if you look at the ranks of the behind-the-scenes, decision-making positions–executives, producers, agents and so forth—you’ll find that there are probably more Asian Americans represented there than many other minorities. But the problem is that a lot of the people in those positions aren’t helping the cause and, in some cases, are making things worse.

Now, I’m not talking about those folks, usually working in the low-budget indie scene, who have supported Asian American cinema time and time again when there clearly is no market for it and it’s a thankless, money-losing and all-around impossible endeavor (see previous posts on this topic here and here). I’m talking about the Cherry Skys and the Mynette Louies and all the other good folk (and hopefully you can add YOMYOMF Films to that list in the near future) who actively create opportunities for Asian Americans when frankly they’d probably have much easier and financially rewarding careers if they didn’t.

And yes, there are also exceptions in the Hollywood system—those who say they give a damn about Asian American representation and actually back up their words with actions. I’ll always appreciate the support of people like Katy Lim, who is no longer in the business now but at the time was an exec at the Donners’ Company, who went out of her way to read my work, giving great feedback and championing my writing with her colleagues when everyone else saw me as the nobody that I was at the time.

Nor am I talking about the Asian Americans in those positions who are honest and upfront about the fact that they are there to do a job and who make it clear that their agenda isn’t to advance any sort of Asian American cause. I know there are many in the community who have issues with that way of thinking, but technically they’re right in that it isn’t their job to advocate for Asian America; their job is to make money for their bosses/companies so I personally don’t have an issue with these folks. They’re being honest about what they do and I respect that. 

But here are the two types of industry people I do have a problem with: those who talk on and on about supporting Asian America, but don’t do shit to actually show any real support. And even worse—those who actively and intentionally make an effort to hurt the cause. Sadly, from my experience and those of other colleagues, these two types are not uncommon (and sometimes are one and the same).

If you’ve been in the biz long enough, you’re probably well acquainted with the first type. You see them out and about in the community—attending various functions, speaking on panels about topics like Asian American pride and empowerment, getting awards from community organizations that don’t know better. They talk a good game and say all the right things, but they don’t back their rhetoric with any real action. When it comes down to it, they’re too afraid to make waves or stick their necks out to make a difference. Even if their hearts are in the right place, they’re never going to amount to more than just a bunch of nice-sounding rhetoric.

But the second type is more problematic. In the interest of space, let me explain this type by sharing an incident that happened to my fellow Offender Justin. When he finished Better Luck Tomorrow, he held the very first screening of the film at the Fotokem lab in Burbank. It was in a small screening room and mostly for friends and family, but there were also a few industry types in attendance. Now, you have to remember this was back before the film got accepted into Sundance, before it got picked up by MTV, before it got distributed by Paramount. It was just another indie picture made by an unknown wannabe filmmaker who had maxed out a bunch of credit cards.

So after the screening, everyone’s coming up to Justin to congratulate him on the work. One of the people who approaches him is an Asian American agent at one of the top talent agencies. Usually in these instances, if you didn’t like the film, it’s standard to say something like “good work” or give some other politely vague compliment. But what this agent does is rip into Justin for having wasted his time, effort and money by making this film. The agent goes on about how Justin should’ve made the film with a white cast instead of Asians and basically berates him for being an idiot and tells him the film has no future. I still don’t understand what the point of the tirade was and I question if the agent would have gone off in the same way to a non-Asian filmmaker. Unfortunately, stories like this are not isolated.

I’ve often wondered about this and have had long discussions with my colleagues about why it oftentimes seems like we’re our own worst enemies. And I think it might have to do with our baggage as Asian Americans. We’re taught to assimilate, to not make waves, to be followers. Maybe once we’re allowed into that exclusive club, we want to fit in so badly that we don’t want to give the impression that we’re favoring “our own,” sometimes to the point of going in the opposite direction and making an effort to reject our community. Maybe it’s insecurity or self-hatred or just plain fear. But when a film like Better Luck Tomorrow pops up and our own community can’t support it until MTV and Paramount validate it and it gets the white man’s seal of approval first, then there’s something wrong. We should be at the forefront of championing works like that, not following behind the curve after the train has already passed us by. As producer Dan Lin said at our INTERPRETATIONS panel last month, we really have to fight against our own Asian upbringing.

I know many of my Asian American colleagues are frustrated and don’t think there’s a place in Hollywood for stories featuring faces that look like ours. But I think that’s bullshit. The fact that white filmmakers are able to make movies like the Harold and Kumar series or Ninja Assassin or Letters From Iwo Jima (which I should point out was written by my fellow Offender Iris) shows it can be done. When I interviewed the Harold and Kumar writers at the time of the first film’s release, I asked them if they faced any resistance in getting the project made with two Asian American leads. They admitted they were fully expecting to face opposition as novice screenwriters with no real clout, but for the most part, the race of the leads was never a real issue. Which goes to show that if you have the right project with the right elements (and believe me that’s much harder than it sounds), Hollywood doesn’t have to be the enemy. But it’s true there is still a lot of work to be done.

Maybe it shouldn’t matter but I am a little disheartened that I haven’t met more Asian Americans in the biz like Stephanie Allain who, as an African American studio exec in the late 80s/early 90s, went out of her way to advocate for first-time minority filmmakers like John Singleton, a fresh out of USC film student with zero features under his belt, who got to direct Boyz N The Hood at Columbia because Allain saw a young, talented African American who simply needed someone to give him a shot. And it wasn’t just charity on her part, her efforts helped make her own career too as she explains in her own words:

I was fortunate to find John and Robert Rodriguez and Darnell Martin and my tenure at Columbia was really marked by my own niche which was urban indie movies that had the blessing and the money and the studio behind it; so those filmmakers were able to elevate their game and graduate to the big times pretty effortlessly after their first movies because the studio — Columbia was just so supportive and their work was so good that they got out into the world and I’ve benefited from that frankly.

As The Last Airbender controversy illustrates (a protest led by Asian Americans against a film directed by an Asian American over the issue of Asian representation), the model is no longer one of us (Asian) against them (white people). Things have changed and we need to acknowledge this new world in order to successfully navigate through it. So let me start by throwing in my two cents and say that I don’t care about having more Asian Americans in Hollywood power positions. Not if it’s going to be the same song and dance. What I care about and want are people who are going to be true allies, who are willing to take risks and stick their necks out on behalf of Asian Americans, regardless of what the color of their skin is. Or at the very least, stay out of the way of those of us who do genuinely care about the future of Asian American film and are trying to do something about it. We’ve already got a long, hard road ahead of us. The last thing we need is another obstacle.


  1. I don’t know what else to say other than that’s pretty offensive and outrageous, especially coming from the director himself, who not only NOT understands the problem but felt justified in the casting. This casting makes absolutely no sense. I’m sure there are plenty of other more appropriate young actors who can play Aang’s character if the director tried to look for more than a minute. And that goes for Katana’s and Sokka’s characters as well. I’m not in the know nor am I in the industry, but they don’t look to me like they are famous actors who can “carry” the film just by using their names. So why not use an unknown Asian face? It just boggles my mind. Then again, I’m just a nobody who doesn’t know anything about the industry. Will I still go see the film? Yeah, most probably I will, just not as excited about it if the casting were a better reflection of the original story’s characters.

  2. I decided last month that I wasnt going to see the film. But not because I have never even seen Avatar on tv or internet, but because of the issue. I first heard about it on twitter actually. Instantly I searched for the trailer, watched it and my stomach started hurting.
    So, I’m not watching Avatar because the casting is utter foolishness and it makes my stomach hurt.


  3. I wonder how much of what M. Night is saying is simply ‘towing the company line’ so to speak. I’m sure many of us have been put in a position where even though we don’t agree with something, in the end we publicly agree with the other party in front of someone else. That said, his argument is someone contradictory. In many interviews he goes into how he’s grouped the nations around a race and that once he casted Dev Patel as Zuko he logically had to find Middle Eastern/South Asian actors for his family and the rest of his group. Yet he had no problem making Katara and Sokka completely different from the rest of their nation…

    On a side note, I wonder how much of an issue this actually is. Sure many of us are aware of this controversy because we’re Asian but to the rest of the world? I get the feeling that the rest of the world perceives this like other issues that only affect a smaller group, “STFU”.

  4. Here’s a video that tears apart both the movies 21 and The Last Airbender for their whitewashed casting.

    21 Reasons Why This Movie Sucks
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFzAoQ01rKU (part 1)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTOzXcVR1iU (part 2)

  5. It’s funny how we look back at history and realize how racist black face was, yet white people donning yellow face is seen as ok and normal. What the fuck is wrong with society?

  6. I agree with this article. Sometimes the higher up you are the less willing you are to “rock the boat.” M. Night is probably trying to save his own ass by bending to higher-ups who demanded he cast white leads. He hasn’t had a hit in a long time and figured this was his last shot at staying relevant. I’m not paying to see this film nor am I even Netflixing it. I refuse. We don’t need more Asians in power. We need more supporters and evangelists who get shit done no matter what ethnicity they are.

  7. I think the term you are looking for is “sellout.” Not the Tickle-Me-Elmo kind, but the kind in which a minority is so desperate to be part of the cool crowd that they abandon any sense of dignity and independent thought. Synonyms include race traitor, Uncle Tom, and tool.

  8. Sadly, backstabbing / frontstabbing is all too common among Asian Americans. Based mostly on insecurity that stem from their perception of themselves as second-class, fighting for the crumbs from the Man’s table that they have to resort to f*cking their own kind over to get their share of the crumbs. Any accomplishment we make is looked at as one less crumb they misguidedly think they are entitled to.

  9. It’s one of those Ironies of Ironies. That’s one of the reasons “Asians” will always be in the minority in this country. The most successful of us will assimilate and live out lives like any other Americans, sometimes even hating the backwardness of a lot of things “Asian”. I say Just Fuck it and let shit be, just be the very best at whatever the hell you’re doing and don’t really count your hopes on the AA “community”. We are the most fragmented group of Minorities in the US, no one it’s so easy to divide and conquer.

  10. It’s the same deal with the phenomenon of women in power promoting sexist things just to prove they are like men. Here we have what I call dominant Asian male syndrome…a smattering of Asian faces will lead them to try to be alpha and push other Asians to be beta.

    Phil, I think the answer is still more representation. The idea is that a tipping point has to be reached where there are enough Asians in Hollywood that we are no longer fighting amongst ourselves to be the one token, and instead can change company culture to reflect our reality. Well, it’s a dream anyway.

  11. If I may…

    I believe that the most overbearing issue we (Asian Americans) face in having limited exposure in Media is due to the idea that we probably won’t pull as strong an audience as casting a Caucasian or Black lead(s).

    Now, this can change. As noted by Phillip, filmmakers like Rodriguez and Singleton made great strides in the direction away from the norm. It’s also my belief that we are in limbo right now, waiting for the right film to come along that invokes audiences across the board to want to watch that flick.

    Unfortunately, this industry sucks. Many can venture to speculate as to why Asian Americans don’t get screen time, but it’s not simply chalked up to a race issue. It is, but not entirely. We (everyone) has to accept that the success rate in the industry may be the smallest in percentage, when thinking in terms of the amount of people who attempt to succeed, versus those that actually do and those who are sent home crying. It’s a screwed up industry. And let’s note that as a general statement, “industry” translates to Hollywood.

    That being said, this change we all seek in Hollywood… most likely isn’t going to begin IN Hollywood. The studios aren’t going to cut any breaks. For anyone. And let’s assume that the unnamed agent noted by Phillip IS Hollywood. Thus, don’t expect him to do us any favors.

    This change, will start in the independent sector of filmmaking. One way, or the other. Someone is going to write something. Someone else is going to want to produce it. They’ll find the director. The cast will be set. And when it’s completed, the masses will enjoy it. From there it will happen again. Once it’s established that there’s something marketable there, we’ll move upward and onward.

    So, we have to disregard what the studios think. What Hollywood thinks. Take that judgement from that prick agent and ignore it, let it fuel us to make more, better pictures, the way we want to and sooner or later, successfully.

    We can’t sit around moping about whether or not Hollywood is going to allow us to have an Asian American film made, with like director, writer, talent, etc. We just go and do it ourselves.

    It can be done. We just have to do it. It’s a struggle but we have to start somewhere. Justin is some proof, as are others, including, but not limited to Chris Chan Lee and Michael Kang.

    (Lastly, my best advice is to not rule anything out. If you want to make that project happen and want to keep it true to your vision, go ahead and submit your script to an agent or studio. The worst that could happen is they don’t call you… or well, they steal your idea and produce it with Brad Pitt. But seriously, it doesn’t hurt to take that script to an independent production company that is willing to back Asian Americans. They exist. Some of them run by Asians/Asian Americans, some of them not. You’d be surprised.)

    Best of luck.

  12. I work for a major Hollywood film studio in an executive position and I almost shed a tear reading about Philip’s observations. The entertainment and media industry has no shortage of Asians in place of power but unlike African American (or even Jews if you will) we don’t act like there is a stake in the business for fair representation of us on TV or film. Other minority groups view their advocates as an ally. The APAs in the industry often think of APA advocates as outsiders.

    I am too not sure that having more Asian faces in the executive suite will change anything since I’m pretty sure we are already over represented in terms of our % in the industry vs. overall US population. Look up the corporate directory at Fox, NBCU, Warner or Disney… practically every other name is Asian. You can’t read Variety and not come across at least 2 or 3 Asian names EVERYDAY. APA executives make anti-APA decisions out of fear (fear of rejection, failure, being “ghettoized”, whatever). They don’t make these decision to gain strength.

    So what is the solution? I don’t know… But I believe this issue is largely related to the fundamental view of Asians in America as foreign. The whole Asian=Exotic=Foreign meme permeates US culture and it is hard to unpack that and deal with it when you are presented with APA material. Basically, what I’m saying is that APA executives sabotages APA projects/talents from a position of weakness. This won’t change until Asian themed content get a fair shake as American (vs. foreign). But of course, the perception of Asian=Foreign won’t change until we have more APA content being circulated in popular culture. Chicken and egg… I may shed that tear after all.

  13. Asian American fans are very divisive. We project a lot of our own hopes, fears & insecurities onto people who would be potential role models, but end up with a incohesive mashup of separate voices. Those supporting them, those deriding them, and everything in between.

    There really isn’t an Asian American sense of culture- a pan-Asianism. There’s Chinese American, Vietnamese American, etc. but no pan-Asianism that unifies us. So instead of one voice that could be uplifting, we have a cacophony of a crowd. The message and support (and the purchasing power) gets lost.

  14. Wonderful post, Phil. So true.

    The only thing I am pleased about in regards to the current controversy happening with the slew of movies being examined right now by the Asian Am community is that it’s forcing us to think about our positions more critically and stepping up our own game. Your post encourages me to consider the reality of Asian Ams in Hollywood and, hopefully, for those who are executives to give themselves a reality check.

    I’m so over their bullshit rhetoric… while we may not need more Asian Americans in executive positions to help us, it would be nice if those who are already there could be accountable for the role they DON’T play in helping other Asian Ams trying to get ahead… and DO something to change their ways.

  15. Don’t worry, according to the Twitter comments about Avatar the Last Airbender…the movie is altogether atrocious.

  16. I’m not a Hollywood head, but the post and comments sound very sensible. I’m hearing two themes:

    1. Asian Americans in positions of studio power can’t or won’t do anything to support equitable representation.
    -Is this really a surprise? The more invested a person is in a system, the less likely they are to upset it. Consequently, we can never, ever trust the “well-placed” to have “the community’s” interest in mind – the high-ups don’t perceive our interests as theirs.(Good call, Irwin!)

    2. Asian American community fragmentation leads to a “divide and conquer” mentality in Hollywood (and possibly elsewhere) which contributes to misrepresentation.
    -Can’t speak to this in Hollywood or elsewhere. I haven’t seen enough of it, but if it’s true – it sucks.

    That said, I’m glad the movies getting bad ratings – can you imagine if Shyamalan had actually cast up-and-coming Asian actors and actresses? Their careers might be over right now =P

  17. Roger:

    1. I’ve stated this before and will say it again…

    You are a damn good writer and really get me motivated to make a fucking difference in the world (not just acting, but everywhere).

    2. As I was reading this blog, a thought popped into my head…you should take this and others experiences with the resistance of Asians (and non-Asians) to actually advocate for better representation and create a documentary. Maybe a silly idea, but I would work for free to help out anytime. Seriously…

    3. Thanks to tabloids, there are a bunch of people who prefer to see lesser known or new faces in movies. This way, you aren’t thinking about Tom Cruise’s absurd antics while watching him make $100 million as a stunt man. I know that this statement doesn’t help with “The Last Shamalan” movie (he just doesn’t cut it), as his
    new faces were white kids (with Dev Patel being the exception), but thought I’d throw it out there.

    4. When I was applying to med school, I found that women make up more than 50% of most med school classes, yet there are less than 10% of female med school grads who get positions as Dean’s, Surgeon Generals, and other top positions. My goal was not to become a female neurosurgeon anymore (which my mentor, a male surgeon said I wold never become anyways and to stick with OB/GYN or Dermatology), but to become THE best fucking brain surgeon in existence while opening the doors for more women to take lead roles. Now, current personal events have changed my career path, but the ideology is the same. Don’t sit too comfortably at the top while ignoring why you are suppposed to be there in the first place, because someone better and more deserving is gonna knock you down.


  18. Oh, and I have watched the cartoon “Avatar” because my son is 12…and he, on his own…had a philosophical fit when he found out the cast was mostly white. My boy is the most colorblind person I have ever known and is proud of his heritage which includes Cherokee, German, Japanese and a smattering of Eastern European cultures.

    So, I believe that kids are smarter than us and should run the world…

  19. Philip…why did I think Roger wrote this? I am beyond embarrassed…;P ok, you are an excellent writer too. Arg, I followed Roger’s link from his facebook page and didn’t see who the author was before I commented. So sorry!!!

  20. thanks for the shout out!! But man is this part depressingly true- “clearly is no market for it and it’s a thankless, money-losing and all-around impossible endeavor.”

    i think the next step for asian american film is good scripts with diverse ensembles with great actors like LOST or GREY’s ANATOMY but in a feature film. can we do it and make money? we’ll see someday.

  21. Airbender aside, it wouldn’t matter who sat in the greenlight position chairs in Hollywood if Asian and Asian Am stories WERE COMMERCIAL. We are, of course, but on a limited basis.

    If our stories were box office boffo, it wouldn’t matter who was okaying production. My 2 cents.

  22. That story about the agent talking smack to Justin after screening of BLT, man, that pisses me off.

    There’s also a lot of Asian haters out there. Asian guys hating on Asian guys because of insecurity and jealousy. Just like that agent fella, he wanted to be “Big Bro” and lay down his one-dimensional advice instead of seeing the potential in Justin’s vision. It’s hard to find that type of empathy among Asians and way too easy to find harsh critics who magnify everything with Asians in it.

    We need more visionaries and champions of virtue running around and less of the hacks whose only interest is power accumulation and being some kind of Hollywood asshole.

    BTW, I love these types of posts from you, Phillip. I think you hit a lot of things right on the head, and more importantly, hit it in the right way. I agree with much of the way you see things.

  23. so , simply

    1. asians dont have a cohesive enough voice to create a singular change because they are all korean , japanese etc…’all look the same to me’ blanket statement seems closer to ‘all act the same to me’

    2. hollywood has its white agenda and green is the only color it sees.

    so asian american agent doing his job for his white agenda company?nothing new there either. gotta keep his job before race pride. whether had any is beside the point.

    nowadays everyone’s a whore just to different degrees just to survive. question is, if you’re too busy whoring do you eventually forget what a diamond looks like, never mind, care?

  24. I agree with this. The real issue, whether it is disproportionately low American representation in politics, entertainment, media, casting, or glass ceilings in the corporate world, is all related to what is basically lack of ethnocentrism. There are so many “Uncle Tom” Asian Americans out there. The system is almost set up so that that some or many AA’s who rise the farthest in Western societies are the ones who pandered the most. To use Malcolm X terminology, these “house slaves” actively put down “field slaves”, or at the very least do nothing to help. I agree that part of this is due to the assimilation mindset many Asian Americans have, in contrast to a multi-cultural mindset.

  25. Fantastic article Philip.

    There are a couple of points I’d like to make.

    1. This article is a wake up call for me to embrace my Asian-American brothers and sisters even further. One thing I’ve noticed among Asian-Americans is that we do lack cohesion unlike African-Americans. Ever notice when you’re hanging out with one of your black friends and he sees another black guy in his line of sight? The standard operating procedure is to make eye contact and then give each other “the nod”. It is a sign of brotherhood and kinship.

    Now with Asian-Americans (guys AND girls), I rarely see this kind of behavior suggesting an AA amalgamation. Perhaps we are just too damn competitive individually; always trying to get ahead of everyone else even if that means to trample or simply disregard someone of our own color. This has got to stop if we want to advance as a community. So next time an Asian-American guy gives you the head nod or says “what’s up?” remember my comment here.

    We’ve all been guilty of not wanting to “rock the boat”. I can attest to that. However with time, I for one, have been becoming more vocal and realizing that staying silent is doing a complete disservice to everyone Asian-American trying to get ahead. So for those of you who say that its not a big deal then I say I *HOPE* you are taking an alternate route of improving your own game and showing yourself through action if you refuse to be vociferous. Because doing neither the walking or the talking is being complacent with the status quo, and THAT is a trap.

  26. this is the worst movie of 2010 based on a animated series,the last airbender should been the best movie instend is worthless like the live-action dragonball movie and the other movies don’t featured asian american actors in lead roles only sterotypical roles that offend asian american communty,i mean what the hell were they thinking when they making this crappy movie?! i mean WHAT THE HELL!?,one advice for asian americans:avoid hollywood movies that are racist to asians and watch asian movies, here’s my last message to hollywood:MAKE MOVIES FEATURING ASIAN ACTORS IN LEAD ROLES AND STOP STEROTYPING ASIANS.

  27. Our mistake is that we’re trying to force Hollywood to accept us. Sorry to say, but, haoles won’t budge when you “insist” something upon them. It places them in an advantageous position, where they can smirk down at our desperation for their approval.

    It’s only when they’re left out of something that their curiosity is piqued. Think rap music, hip hop, etc… Haoles HATE feeling left out. The more you keep it exclusive, w/ a taboo stamp on it, the more they’re gonna want it.

    What we need to do is create entertainment for us, by us. Solely for ourselves and others be damned! Trust me…the mainstream will want in as soon as they realize they’re being left out.

  28. This movie was bad but it was not because of they were white. I t was the script and the pace. You guys put to much realization on race.You honestly act like they stole something from you. We are all equal because we all have to pay the same fee to watch this. Nowhere in the show did they say they were asian.

  29. Excellent article Philip, as per usual. :]

    “As The Last Airbender controversy illustrates (a protest led by Asian Americans against a film directed by an Asian American over the issue of Asian representation), the model is no longer one of us (Asian) against them (white people). ”

    This would be a great example to sum up your article if the protest/boycott were actually led by Asian Americans. The reality is that more than HALF of Racebending.com supporters are Caucasian, with only about a quarter of the supporters identifying as Asian (-/American/Canadian/etc). So in a way, it’s still very much Asian vs. white, just not in the way you’d normally expect.

    But to prove your point even further, I think this just goes to show that many non-APAs “get it” even better than APAs do. Or non-APAs are at least more willing to speak out and try to do something about Asian American representation than many APAs are.

  30. Philip,
    Thank you so much for your insight. For a while I have thought that there needs to be more Asians in positions of power, but your article is going to make me rethink that. Just like Hollywood, we have to stop thinking in a dichotomy. Asians can be just as hurtful to the cause as much as anyone can be helpful. I am a young college film major myself and thinking about the problems in the industry is frightening. But I want to say that I will be an ally to Asian/minority American representation in Hollywood. Not to boast, but to revive hope that there are real people who care about this. The genuine outcry against The Last Airbender proves it. Just how many will continue to take action, I don’t know, but just keep speaking. It worked on me. And not that it matters in the least, but I am Asian, but more importantly, American.

  31. hmmm…. sounds strangely familiar. i totally agree that there needs to be more asian representation in film. unfortunately, the same type of stuff (still, in 2010) happens with black (african american) filmmakers. on one hand, we desperately need more representation in the higher echelons of the biz (directors, producers), one the other–the ones who are in those power positions too often sell out black culture by pathologizing black life (think lee daniels and ‘precious’). when will it end???!!! i’m tired of seeing lame stereotypes and white male fantasies portrayed on screen. we need a movement. seriously.

  32. When you say that Asians are in a position of power, I think you are making a largely incorrect and ignorant statement.

    I grew up around many Asians. Their parents just worked really hard, and pushed their kids to work hard. Asians like other races for the most part, which makes me wonder. Why all this hate?

  33. “Asians like other races for the most part, which makes me wonder.”

    Except when it comes to movie roles and going out with white females on dates. Most white females will not even sit next to an Asian male in public transport. So, no, Asians are not like other races, at least in the eyes of many white people.

    “Why all this hate?”

    Once a vicious circle of hate is started, it is very difficult to break and yes, the white people started it and Asians are saying they will end it in their own time.

  34. We are gradually being taken over by Asians. Look at the mess the UK, Australia, Scandanavia and Canada are in. First they move in small numbers, then larger numbers of family join the originals, then the PR machine talks about multiculturalism (failed concept) then about how hard working and intelligent they are (well they must be to milk the societies they move to). It doesnt occur to anyone that you are being colonized. That these lazy penpushers are taking what you have and turning into an Indian slum with all the prejudices, crime, corruption they left behind but now emulate. Wake up to this cancer that is spreading around the world.

  35. Aha. Like Asians in their origin countries are so fond of whites (though they do everything to try to look more like ’em). Their culture, society and economics fuel strictly their own. It’s not just the mindset of the people themselves – they have laws to keep foreigners out.

    Look at the extent of imitation when they are prepared even on a genetical level to ‘change’.

  36. Here’s a great video about why it’s important for Asian Americans to become actors, writers, and producers. http://youtu.be/qOwBGPkY0ZU

  37. In the show a lot of the light skinned characters had yellow, green, eyes, and some characters’ eyes were completely on a normal size so that they actually looked white, not asian. And that’s another thing with anime: a majority of the time you can’t tell who the heck is white or asian (or in some cases some characters look so over the type and unrealistic they hardly resemble a human). Really, after the awkward acting in the last airbender, I just want the movie makers to hire good actors.