Henry Golding of Crazy Rich Asians addressed his own whiteness with the hosts of The View, amidst claims of whitewashing, reports ABC News.
His casting has received backlash since he is partially Malaysian and partially White, with critics claiming that a fully Asian actor should have played the lead role.
“For me, being sort of half British, I’ve always struggled with my identity,” Golding said on The View. “And the one thing that I learned very young was to own my identity.”
Despite the criticisms, Crazy Rich Asians has also been heavily lauded for its all-Asian cast.
Golding plays the wealthy Chinese Singaporean Nick Young, who invites his girlfriend Rachel Chu (played by Constance Wu) to take a glimpse into his family’s lavish lifestyle in Singapore. Some familiar faces in the movie include actors Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina, and Ken Jeong.
Golding expressed to the hosts that he doesn’t harbor any hatred towards his critics. He thinks the conversation on whitewashing should continue “because it kind of just shows the studios that we’re watching; we’re very aware of how we want our films to tell authentic stories now.”
“I knew I’m Asian, through and through,” said Golding. “There’s nothing that I needed to prove.”
In 2017, Golding also spoke to Entertainment Weekly about his controversial casting. “I’ve lived 16, 17 years of my life in Asia, and that’s most of my life. I was born in Asia, I’ve lived cultures that are synonymous with Asian culture, but it’s still not Asian enough for some people. Where are the boundaries? Where are the lines drawn for saying that you cannot play this character because you’re not fully Asian?”
Crazy Rich Asians is scheduled to be released in U.S. theaters on August 15.
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