By Ed Diokno
Views from the Edge
In researching the story about Preet Bharara’s firing by the Trump Administration, I learned something I hadn’t known before. The television series Billions is loosely based on Bharara, whose integrity and effectiveness earned him the monicker, the Sheriff of Wall Street.
It appears, Billions is another case of whitewashing, where Asian characters are turned into White roles?
The Showtime hit series is loosely based on the real-life investigation by Bharara of hedge fund manager Steve Cohen of SAC Capital, with Paul Giamatti’s character, the hard-charging, whip-smart Charles “Chuck” Rhodes Jr. playing a version of the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
We’ve seen this happen too often before to not acknowledge the possibility – recent examples include, Aloha, in which Emma Stone plays a hapa Hawaiian, Ghost in the Shell where Scarlett Johansson takes on the role that was originally Japanese; and in 21, based on a true story whose lead characters in real-life, were Asian Americans but whose characters were turned into White roles for the movie.
“You’re a great man, Preet. An inspiration. Can’t wait to see what’s next,” Koppelman tweeted, adding, “Tech advisor + cameo?”
Levien retweeted Koppelman suggesting that Bharara should join the writing team.
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