Blogger Michelle "Mimi" Villemaire takes pictures of herself as Asian characters played by white women in film.
John Cho could be your hero, your spy, your boyfriend. Given that a few well-known directors are unfamiliar with any "Asian movie stars", and others are less than thrilled with the notion of casting one in the lead, William Yu has taken on the effort of re-imagining various movies with Korean-American actor John Cho as a lead. [more inside]
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?