“The other night I watched the Oscars and the roster of the only yellow men were all statues…”
While whitewashing of Asian actors and actresses has been an ongoing epidemic in the film industry for decades, recent decisions made by Hollywood bigwigs, such as the casting of Scarlett Johansson in the lead role of The Major (Motoko Kusanagi) in Dreamworks’ live adaptation of the 1995 Japanese animated cult classic Ghost In the Shell has fully opened the door to shed light on the prevalent racism saturating the trade.
Other examples of whitewashing of Asians include the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, where Mickey Rooney wore “yellowface” in his portrayal of Mr. Yunioshi, or Marvel’s decision to cast Tilda Swinton, a white actress, in the role of The Ancient One (a historically Southeast Asian character in the comics) in the upcoming Doctor Strange film. Even Chloe Bennet of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — who is of Chinese and white ancestry — was not able to book a role until she changed her last name from “Wong” to “Bennet”.
Korean-American emcee Dumbfoundead — dissatisfied with such blatant bigotry and prejudice, has used his celebrity to address these disturbing affairs in a new, socially-charged video titled “SAFE.” The Jay Ahn-directed clip (it’s important to note that the entire production staff hired are all of Asian descent) replaces the roles of prominent white actors in iconic films with the face of Hollywood’s biggest fear: a person of color. “Cut! There’s something going on with this scene that’s just not quite right. Something about your face. It just doesn’t have that “Hollywood” star quality.” Watch the video up top, and purchase the single on iTunes.
“After the last Academy Awards and the regular whitewashing of hollywood roles, I wrote this song and made this video to add my piece to the conversation.” – Dumbfoundead