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Blog: #HollywoodSoWhite – The incredible ‘whiteness’ of being

Hollywood has a long history of ‘yellow face’ with some pretty big names taking part including, from left: Marlon Brando, John Wayne and Mickey Rooney. Can you name the films they were in where they played Asians? (For answers, see below.)

By Ed Diokno

I can’t wait until Chris Rock comes on stage to host the 88th Academy Awards this Sunday. The comedian has not been shy when talking about about Hollywood’s portrayal of America and the impact that message has on the definition of who is an American. You can be sure he will have something to say about the ongoing #OscarsSoWhite and #HollywoodSoWhite controversy.


There is a good possibility that we’ll see an Asian American receive an Oscar. Ronnie del Carmen, co-director and co-writer with Pete Doctor for Pixar’s Inside Out, is up for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Screenplay. Del Carmen is one of the Filipinos employed by Pixar who call themselves the Pixnoys, some of whom drew the characters in the movie.

Embarrassed by the all-white nominees in the acting categories for the second straight year, the Oscars is adding a bit of color to its telecast by inviting minorities as presenters. (See, folks, we don’t discriminate!)
Among the presenters are a few Asian Americans including: Priyanka Chopra, Olivia Munn, Dev Patel, Syrian American Sacha Baron Cohen and Byung-hun Lee. The last name might be unfamiliar to American moviegoers. He’s a big star in Korea and has appeared in a few Hollywood films such as two of the G.I. Joe movies and Reds 2.

For those of you who can’t wait for the Academy Awards, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver presented this “report” on the film industry’s diversity problem that explains why there aren’t more AAPI actors being nominated – all the big roles are going to non-Asians. The video is pretty darn hilarious … if … It. Wasn’t. So. True.


(Ed Diokno writes a blog :Views From The Edge: news and analysis from an Asian American perspective.)
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