Angry Asian Man sets the scene: "The Bagley Wright Theatre in Seattle is currently staging Gilbert & Sullivan's 'classic' comic opera The Mikado, which has historically required actors to perform roles in yellowface, and a bunch of shitty made up stereotypes for comic effect. This version is no different, with all forty Japanese characters played by white actors.". The Seattle Times weighs in with a negative op-ed. The Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan society had a response to the Times Op Ed: "I get it because as a black woman I am often confronted by issues of racism and sexism, be it blatant, subtle, institutionalized, or perceived. I too have reacted in a knee-jerk fashion. I believe when confronted with these issues I have always dug a little deeper, checked other sources, and did some research on my own before taking action. Given what I, and the Society have been through in the last few days, I hope to God that my actions were indeed merited. The idea that I may have caused the kind of damage that we are experiencing to some other organization, individual or institution because I took a head long rush to judgment based on a headline, or an opinion piece, and regarded those things as fact sickens me to my soul."
Yellowface: A Story In Pictures - A chronicle of Asian/Middle Eastern characters as performed by white actors. (Previously on MeFi)
Beloved anime classic Akira (previously) is in the process of getting a live-action adaption courtesy of Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. In fact, they're currently trying to assemble a cast. Oddly enough, despite keeping the leading characters' names Kaneda and Tetsuo, all the actors approached are white. This hasn't gone unnoticed, and Racebending.com is preparing a campaign to protest. Just last year M. Night Shyamalan's adaption of The Last Airbender (previously) drew massive criticism for having an all-white cast in an Asian setting. [more inside]
In the grand tradition of John Wayne1, Mickey Rourke is in talks to play Genghis Khan in an upcoming biopic. [more inside]
"Rhy Helro Miss GoRightwry!" A gallery of Yellowface and Blackfaces in Hollywood at the Makeup Gallery. (via Sharpeworld) Despite efforts of the MANAA to reduce Asian stereotypes in media, there is a long history of white actors portraying asian roles (warning: really bitter commentary). When will there be enough outcry (or demand) for movies with asian roles that don't know kung-fu or are exotic hookers? Or are we satisfied with Charlie Chan, Fu Manchu, and Mr. Wong?