Asians in Hollywood fight against “whitewashing”

World Today

The term “whitewashing” is almost commonplace in Hollywood these days. Several films have been accused of casting a white actor to play what was originally an Asian character.

CGTN’s May Lee reports.

Asians in Hollywood fight against "whitewashing"

The term “whitewashing” is almost commonplace in Hollywood these days. Several films have been accused of casting a white actor to play what was originally an Asian character. CGTN’s May Lee reports.

In the back room of a small apparel printing business two friends are busy inspecting, packing and shipping out t-shirts.

But these aren’t ordinary shirts – four recognizable names show up on the shirt: Scarlett and Emma and Tilda and Matt.

Hollywood A-listers accused of whitewashing – playing roles meant for Asians and in Matt Damon’s case, acting as a white savior of China in “The Great Wall.”

The mastermind behind the shirt is actor-comedian Will Choi, who also created “Asian AF,” a fledgling comedy show in Los Angeles featuring Asian performers. 

For Will, the bold t-shirt serves two purposes.

“To raise money for the show mainly, that’s why we did and at the same time kinda jab what’s been going on,” Choi said.

The shirts sold out immediately and demand went through the roof, especially after actress Michele Selene Ang, one of the stars of Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why,” posted this photo on Twitter.

Will needed help fast so he enlisted the help of friend and director Steven Brandon, who is white.

“Inclusion is the main goal. And I think that’s a cause that we should all support,” Brandon said.

And that support continues to grow here in LA and beyond. 

Will’s dream is to take the “Asian AF” show across the country to entertain, but also enlighten.   

“Maybe it will do some work. It might slow; it might be hard, like I said, we’re on the ground floor so we’re trying to make it better, “added Choi.

Standing up for a cause isn’t easy, but Will Choi is doing just that one t-shirt and one laugh at a time.