As a bi-racial, Chinese actress it's about time we talk about this.
In light of the recent exit of Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim from Hawaii Five-0 once again we are shedding the light on the unfair treatment of minority actors and actresses in Hollywood. Of course this comes as no surprise, we've heard the stories over and over again. The minority always gets the short end of the stick. Not only is it hard to make it in the entertainment industry but when you get there you're treated unfairly.
However, there is one fact that I've never quite understood. Why China seems to bank roll more than half of Hollywood yet, for some reason they don't want to see their own people on screen?
Now when I say, "bankroll more than half of Hollywood," I mean just that. There has been a giant influx of Chinese money pouring into Hollywood to the point where the US government and the elite within the film and TV industry are starting to get a little worried about what all this Chinese money really means? And what allowing large sums of foreign money to take over Hollywood means for the creative process.
Valid points but here's my thought. With all this money being invested you would think there would be a call for more Asian faces on screen, right? Sadly, not necessarily true. In talking to some friends that have lived or are from China, they explained that the thought process in China is that American films and TV should have white people in them, plain and simple. Not that they hate their own but that is what they've become accustomed to so that's what is expected.
Problem, that goes against everything that the Asian community in Hollywood is fighting for. Asian actors in Hollywood still only making up 1% of leading roles and are constantly fighting the tendency to be typecast into stereotypical roles. In an industry that seems to tell the Asian community, "we like your story just not your face," to know your own people don't seem to be helping to solve this problem is heartbreaking.
This is why I think it's important for the Asian community in the entertainment industry to learn a lesson from the Black community in the entertainment industry, make your own sh*t.
More and more in the Asian community are starting to create their own production companies. Daniel Dae Kim started his own production company, 3AD, that currently is working on three shows. Including, "Exhibit A," which if picked up to be a series will be the first U.S. non-action drama to feature an Asian-American lead. There are also smaller digital production studios that have gone on to help showcase more Asian talent like, Wong Fu Productions.
Asian representation in Hollywood is small now but it doesn't have to stay that way. I truly believe the only way to bring about change is to throw your entire support behind each other and the many projects and productions being created.
Just a thought from an Asian-American actress.