A new Twitter campaign is taking up the baton for whitewashing in Hollywood films, using the hashtag #StarringJohnCho. While an unconventional and hilarious method, in a era when equality is meant to be strongly represented in society and the arts, the lack of leading Asian-American is anything but a laughing matter. StarringJohnCho has become a Twitter handle, hashtag and website, with each platform hosting a number of photo-shopped posters of John Cho in leading male roles, to highlight the inequality in everything from big-budget movies right through to romantic comedies.
The website states: 'If studies show that films with diverse casts result in higher box office numbers and returns on investments, why doesn't Hollywood cast lead actors to reflect fact?' And it is an undeniable fact that Hollywood continue to cast white lead actors in roles that are traditionally Asian. From Emma Stone as Alison Ng in Aloha (2015) to Scarlett Johansson as Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell (2017), studios continue to claim that there simply aren't any A-list actors of Asian ethnicity.
Sadly, it's a Catch-22 situation, because for actors to become A-list, they must first be cast in leading roles. And with only 1% of leading roles supposedly going to them, it's a losing fight. So New York strategist William Yu has sparked the discussion by removing the 'perception issue'. Will it work? Only time will tell. Until then, I'm hoping Yu continues his movement with a female version, to show that gender equality too is something Hollywood can work on.
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