John Cho is featured on Star Trek Beyond poster
By Ed Diokno
It’s a case of life imitating art. The internet viral sensation #StarringJohnCho — where actor John Cho’s face was superimposed on popular movie posters in order to show the plausibility of more diverse casting in Hollywood movies — has come true.
Paramount has released three new character posters to promote the upcoming release of Star Trek Beyond. Today’s posters feature Simon Pegg as Scotty, Zoe Saldana as Uhuraand and John Cho as Sulu.
Cho’s image is one of the very few times an Asian male was prominently promoted in order to sell a movie. The only other Hollywood distributed movie that featured an Asian male actor in its PR materials was Enter the Dragon featuring martial artist Bruce Lee.
The new posters follow the same aesthetic style of those released last week. Posters with McCoy, Jaylah, Spock and Chekov were unveiled on Wednesday and Thursday, in addition to a colorful international poster, last Monday.
RELATED: AAPI decry whitewashing of Asian roles
The lack of diversity in U.S.-made films has been a topic of discussion in the movie industry for several years but really picked up steam last year when the Academy Awards didn’t nominate a single actor of color for an Oscar. The 2015 Oscars spawned the Twitter hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.
#OscarsSoWhite became a more topical issue this year when the actors of color were excluded again. However, a pair of tasteless jokes against Asians during the awards show sparked a rare outcry of protest from the AAPI community.
RELATED: That’s a rap for #StarringJohnCho
The last straw appears to have occurred when several movies that had Asian roles in the source material of the comics and anime were given to white actors. AAPI actors began speaking out and articles about the protests began appearing in mainstream media giving birth to #StarringJohnCho, which in turn inspired #StarringConstanceWu.
Star Trek Beyond, which was directed by Asian American director Justin Lin, will be released July 22.