Asian Actors

United States
December 26, 2009 3:11am CST
Ok so I don't know why but why are there so few famous asian actors? Besides Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li. Im sure there are others but those were the 3 I knew best. But back to my point. Ive seen so little asian actors. Why? Is it because they have little roles for them? Is it because they dont audition? I am just curious because all the movies I have seen only either have 1 asian or NONE. They are ALL WHITE! haha Not to be racist but why aren't there any asians in movies? Are they scared? I have Asian parents, and I am sure other Asian parents said the same but they told me there arent that many Asian actors because we are the minority and asians wont make it out in the acting industry. WHY IS THAT? hmm? Why is it that asians are the minority and cant make it in the acting industry?. We can change that. c mon Asians! UNITE! Audition for things. GET KNOWN! haha =] But seriously. I am curious why there are few asians as actors? Anybody know?
4 responses
• United States
27 Dec 09
Hey Aaron, This is like the second of your discussions I've decided to join in the last couple of days. Your topics are very interesting, and they just so happen to fall into subjects that I study. Have you ever seen the documentary "The Slanted Screen"? I haven't had the opportunity to watch it in its entirety, but it talks about the history of Asian men (I believe it focuses on East Asians, and I think its just men, not women, but am not sure) in Hollywood cinema. It addresses "yellow face", demonization and then feminization of Asian males by producers/directors in this country, and I think it might also connect this to the lack of Asian Actors in Hollywood film. There are two answers to your question, the official story of the producers, and the reality of this country's social issues. According to Hollywood U.S. audiences do not want to see Asian stars unless they are kicking butt. Now this just isn't true. First of all think about all of the people you know of all races who watch HK films, Japanese Shock/Horror, Korean Romances/Thrillers, Bollywood, etc. There is an audience, and not just for stereotypical martial arts roles. The reality of our country's social issues is that the U.S.A. was built on racism, and Hollywood reflects this by erasing nonwhite people. While you see black actors now, its likely you can name all the regulars, and it took a very long time before they were on the screen. You also see more Latinos, but note that they tend to be whiter looking (so do the black women, who are also becoming rarer). The Asian American actors who have made it in Hollywood are mixed and do not look Asian, like Keanu Reeves. What about the indigenous population? Have you ever seen a big hollywood movie with contemporary Native Americans? Mostly they are in historical or cowboy movies as stereotypes. Hollywood is about perpetuating stereotypes. So is prime time TV and the news for the most part. Now we might say racism has nothing to do with it, but consider that Native Americans, Asians, Latinos, and Blacks have been in this country for centuries, but there has never seen a Big Hollywood movie where there was no leading white character aside comedies like Rush Hour, and a very few historical pieces often written by whites like Memoirs of a Geisha (and note that neither leading Asian characters were Asian Americans). As a brown person (I include all nonwhites here) I love to see other brown people who have strong ethnic features play in films and on TV in diverse roles. I tend to watch foreign and independent movies in order to see this. Although Ninja Assassin deals with a big old stereotype I was very excited to see it because the two main roles were filled by two of the most underrepresented, and surly over-stereotyped characters in Hollywood; an Asian Man and a Black woman. Neither of them are U.S. citizens, and the film didn't take place in the U.S., but Seven's character was much deeper than most Asian characters in films, and although Naomi's character wasn't as fleshed out, it was a strong role that had nothing to do with music or wasn't randomly played by a pop or hip hop star. I would really love to see a serious Hollywood drama or thriller featuring an Asian couple, as well as one with a Black couple (which has disappeared from hollywood), Native couple, or more identifiable Latinos. I would buy a ticket in a heartbeat. On another note, if you think about the Matrix movies (despite the fact that its an action movie) these were composed of the most diverse cast ever seen in Hollywood films. There were Asian men (in the Animatix their is an Asian female in one of the shorts), Black men and a whole lot more black women than I'm used to seeing, Maori's (representing Aboriginals). For me this was another aspect of this work that made it great. Sorry this is so long, lol. I got excited and couldn't shut up. :)
• United States
27 Dec 09
That was amazing. This response was awesome! Don't even worry about it dude. I get that way too. Sometimes when I like and get all excited I never shut up also. The things you mentioned were really interesting, and the funny thing is...ITS TRUE. I never thought about it like that but it all makes sense. I would LOVE to see more asians, and non-white people play the leading roles. I would love to see more of them IN GENERAL. This was a really good response. haha I wish I can rate this comment more than 5 stars. =] I don't know what else to say because its like you just took everything out from my brain that's been hiding their for a long time. Its right infront of me and NOW I can see clearly now. WHOO! haha I wish I can make a long response like yours because Im super excited right now if you can't tell. Everything you just said just sums it all up and I don't want to repeat what you just said because yours is already a good response. haha Anyways Thanks for the response! =]
• United States
27 Dec 09
Thanks for the topic. I have a feeling I'll be posting in a lot more of your discussions, lol.
@fsll518 (304)
• China
27 Dec 09
Hi, i think it depends on the location of the producer. If it is in HongKong, then of course, most actors are Asian, but if it is in Hollywood, then most actors are white people. If Hollywood movie stories have any Asian characters involved, then those Asian actors will go and perform, otherwise they don'tespecially forcus on Asians. If there are some Hollywood movies with Asian characters, then that good enough, it would be strange if Hollywood make a movie with all Asian actors. I guess it is not a matter of race. It is more about social thing.
• United States
27 Dec 09
But thats the thing, I dont understand why they dont focus all races equaly as whites. I know there are more asians out there who audition for things but why cant they focus on them? Is it because they are scared? Im just curious. Unless there are little asians who audition, which might be true but at the same time I doubt it.
• United States
27 Dec 09
Thanks for the response! =]
• United States
27 Dec 09
Yeah, I know what you mean. There's plenty of Asian actors and actresses in Asian movies and dramas and such, but in America, we don't see them quite as often as we do other races. Maybe because a lot of Asians just choose to be famous in their native countries? I don't really know why. It could be for various reasons. I think one of the reasons could be also because of the parents. I mean, I have Asian parents too and while I was growing up, all they told me was to study really hard to become a doctor or a lawyer. They made me stray away from careers that seemed like it wouldn't make too much money or would seem very unlikely for me to attain and not 'professional'. I think that there are definitely more Asians out there now that are auditioning, usually the latter generations, like 2nd generation and so forth.
• United States
27 Dec 09
There ARE various different reasons. I agree. Yea I know how you feel on asian parents. I just don't see why they don't see a future in their kid being an actor or actress? I mean I know it's not like they hate television or movies or the entertainment industry, but what is so intimidating about it to them? Why do they want us to become lawyers/doctors/etc. so much. There has to be another reason besides the money. Thanks for the response! =]
@warvial (1154)
• Singapore
26 Dec 09
Hi, do you watch HK movies? There are lots of Asian actors around but few venture into Hollywood. Most are into Asian movies and dramas and most ventures into China, Hong Kong, Taiwan film and entertainment industry. I think you missed out a great actor as well. Mr Chow Yun Fatt. He is one of the great actor which I would introduce you to if you haven't seen his movies.
• United States
26 Dec 09
Oh that is right! I forgot Chow Yun Fatt. Ive seen him before. haha see? There are so few asian actors that I cant even remember that many. Ive seen HK/Korea/Asian dramas before. But that their mainland, of course they would get a role somewhere. Im just wondering why not many of them or even Asians in general go for Hollywood? Thanks for your response! =]