Doctor Strange. Iron Fist. Ghost in the Shell. It’s hard out there to be an Asian American actor. Or an Asian American consumer of media. Or someone who would prefer to see more Asian Americans on screen (and behind the scenes). That’s why guest host Valerie Complex (whose #IAmMajor clapback recently went viral) gathered an all-star panel to talk about being Asian in Hollywood: feminist pop culture writer Clara Mae, Geeks of Color Creative Director (and Finn Jones’ favorite person on Twitter) Asyiqin HaronMan in the High Castle actor Lee Shorten, and (the man who should’ve been) Iron Fist’s Lewis Tan.

Topics covered on the show include:

  • Reactions to Scarlett Johansson as the Major in Ghost in the Shell
  • Hollywood’s “bankability” excuse for justifying whitewashing (and how it doesn’t hold up to facts)
  • Asyi describes her twitter interaction with Finn Jones and the backlash she’s since received
  • Lewis reveals how he auditioned for Iron Fist and why he wanted to play the lead
  • How “racial ambiguity” always seems to translate to “white”
  • Lee and Lewis explain what it’s like to be Asian in Hollywood
  • The importance of solidarity between all communities of color and the support the Black community has shown AAPI actors throughout the process

All this and more on Hard NOC Life! Watch it on your screen, hit “play,” and check this.


Watch this space every Friday for new episodes of “Hard N.O.C. Life” and go to our YouTube channel to subscribe! You can also download the audio podcast on iTunes or Soundcloud!

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2 thoughts on “An All-Star Lineup Discusses Whitewashing and Asian Erasure

  1. I’ll say it again. Lewis Tan would have made an excellent Danny Rand for one he is biracial what better person to portray the essence of Danny Rand as a person of two worlds than someone who is of dual heritage. He is a trained stuntman he would have easily done most of the stunts I don’t think it should be required for a lead action star to have a martial arts background but it would be an immense help make it more aunthentic. But alas life is not fair. Off topic there’s a graphic novel coming out this month on Star Trek plot is what if the Romulans were the first alien species that humanity made contact with instead of the Vulcans?

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  2. I just saw 4 episodes of Iron Fist. Finn Jones is not the best or even most natural martial artist but I still find the show watchable and Danny Rand WAS a white boy in the comics so it is not a pure example of Hollywood white washing. P.S. Henwick is great as the Daughter of the Dragon/Colleen Wing.

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