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The New York Times published a really good article about the state of Asian American actors in Hollywood and the persistent cases of whitewashing.

There's a lot to say about how Asians are still a somewhat targeted group for jokes in a way that other races are not. I also firmly believe that some of the negative reactions people are having to Asian Americans taking on a more proactive, vocal stance about this issues are heavily tied into the fact that as a group, Asians are seen as the passive, docile, and quiet. There is direct research that looks at how when groups behave in ways against a stereotype, they are seen as a problem rather than the situation.

Related to the casting of Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange, I thought the best argument someone made about this being a major problem even if we are going to accept that they have turned the character White (which alone is a problem), is that she is still dressed and styled as a Tibetan monk. If she truly is supposed to be a Celtic mystic as stressed by the studios than why a) did they not also move the location to not Asia and b) why is she dressed like the way she's dressed? This to me hits exactly at the problem of cultures being exoticised and appropriated in media.

Anyway, that's my soapbox entry for today!

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July 2016

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