Friday, November 02, 2012




Movie attacked over 'yellowface' make-up

Someone seems to have lost sight of the fact that movies are allowed to be unrealistic

Cloud Atlas, Warner Bros' $100 million adaptation of the novel by David Mitchell, has been criticised by Asian-Americans after casting white Western actors in "yellowface" make-up. Directed by Tom Tykwer and Lana and Andy Wachowski, the film stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Jim Broadbent in a narrative that hops between countries and across the centuries.

"It's an artistically ambitious approach to film-making," said Guy Aoki, founding president of the Media Action Network for Asian-Americans. "Unfortunately it reflects the same old racial pecking order that the entertainment industry has been practising for years."

Aoki was particularly concerned by a segment set in a futuristic South Korea, in which actors Jim Sturgess, James D'Arcy and Hugo Weaving are made up to play Asian characters.

"Every major male character in the Korean story is played by non-Asian actors in really bad yellowface make-up," he said. "The Asian-Americans at the [preview] screening burst out laughing because [Weaving] looked terrible - like a Vulcan on Star Trek."

The Media Action Network went on to contrast the Korean segment with a sequence in the South Pacific starring Afro-British actor David Gyasi as a Maori slave. "You have to ask: would the directors have used blackface on a white actor to play Gyasi's role?" Aoki said. "I don't think so: that would have outraged African-Americans. But badly done yellowface is still OK."

Source

16 comments:

Bird of Paradise said...

Is this just publicity to make people come to see this movie?

Anonymous said...

They seriously couldn't find an asian looking actor? I mean they used Italian Americans for Native Americans in the 40s westerns at least.

Anonymous said...

Using a black guy for a Maori is also pretty silly.
How hard can it be to find an actor of the correct ethnicity?
Its Kung Fu all over again.

Anonymous said...

Um, maybe that's why it's called "acting"?!? I can't help but laugh that the Asian community is so worried that a non-Asian can act the role more convincingly.

Anonymous said...

Annon 11:56, the question remain, why not use a blacked face white actor? Also the movie didn't use a white female for an Asian female character. Can't a non-Asian female act the role more convicingly? I wonder? Maybe it's their not so suttle bigotry or racism?

Anonymous said...

So how is it racist, bigotry, or disrespectful for an actor of one race to imitate a character of another race? Whatever happened to "the greatest form of flattery is imitation?"

Consider Eddie Murphey's roles in "Coming to America" where at least one character was white. Did whites get all pissed because a black man dressed up as a white man? Doubtful. But had a white man dressed up as a black man, the "black double standard" kicks in and it's immediately called racist.

Yes "black face" ala Al Jolson might be disrespectful, because it parodies. But with today's makeup, it can be very convincing. Think "Tropic Thunder" and you'll know what I mean. Or do you consider THAT racist as well?

Anonymous said...

Though Murphy's portray was not controversial, it did raise a few eyebrow. It was explain that the scene was set to have only two actors: Murphy and Hall. In tropic thunder, I did recall objection to Downey's portray, but was quickly overwhelmed by the mental disability controvercy. Otherwise I'd think the race baiters would have attacked. Now in everyone of the pseudo-Asian character, there is really no need to cast non-Asian MALE actors (and almost always male characters, not FEMALE characters). I ask again, why is using non-Asian male actor in Asian character role so easily accepted? Answer Hollywood is racist and they should be called to task for their offense on what they've accused others. Hypocrits are worse than their accused.

Anonymous said...

get a life dummy.

Anonymous said...

I will tell you want I tell every critic...

Don't like it? Don't go see it. Vote with your wallet, otherwise put a cork in your pie hole!

Go Away Bird said...

Can anyone remember those chinses mouse cartoons? Cant remember the name though

Anonymous said...

Guess when liberals, openly or closet, can't argue facts, they resort to name calling. A true sign of a failed arguement.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:54 PM said, I ask again, why is using non-Asian male actor in Asian character role so easily accepted?

Because it is called ACTING, not REAL LIFE. For some reason, people keep forgetting that movies, while they may portray real life events, are not real life.

Anonymous said...

Than why shouldn't we see a white actor portray a black character accepted? Or an Asian actor potray a white character (it's acting for a white man potray a yellow man or a black man playing a white man, so how about an other combo)? Or even white actresses given roles of Asian female characters? Until these are common, the only logical conclusion is an accepted institutional and social racism in the media. By the way Othello has always been played by a white actor until the sixties. Can we go back and why?

Anonymous said...

You mention Othello - all female roles in Shakespeare's original plays were acted by young men! So a white guy in black-face would have been having a sexual relationship with a white boy in drag. Hmm the theater has always been kinky.

Anonymous said...

Was wondering how quickly Old Globe's plays of using actors for actresses role would be brought up. Do you recall 'The Crying Game' and receiving critcal acclaim? Guess Hollywierd did welcome from the Old Globe's Queen's country such roles. So why not an Asian female role by a non-Asian actress or a white actor in a black character role? Answer: RACISM.

Anonymous said...

In Shakespeare's day it was considered unsuitable for a female to play a part on stage, and not much later such female actresses were regarded as whores or were actual whores. But even today maybe many still are "whores" in one way another, whether in Hollywood or other equivalent global "celebrities".