Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ignoring Asians Is No Longer An Option

For the longest time I have felt that Asian American voices have been ignored or simply drowned out by the cheers and jeers of non-Asian audiences, but this past 2012 election and the changing landscape of the world economy should serve as a wake up call to everyone that Asian Americans are no longer the silent minority.

In fact, Asian Pacific Americans pulled off the most historic wins in politics growing their clout in the US. And what about our social standing relative to the world economy? Well for one thing, my displeasure for Cloud Atlas's yellowface of Asian men probably isn't held in solitude, and I'll bet the collective outrage has adversely impacted their box office sales worldwide.

According to IMDB as of November 2012, Warner Bros raked in merely $18 million, roughly $82 million short of their initial investment in the film. I'm glad the film tanked and I think a substantial number of Americans, regardless of their ethnic background, are fed up with Hollywood's perpetual promotion of white heroines against the backdrop of other ethnicities, and they're speaking up about it, not just with their voices, but also their wallets. Looks like the executives over at the film studios didn't get the memo that its a bad idea to alienate the entire Asian male population.

James Cameron, the director of mega blockbuster Avatar, is as shrewd with business as he is talented behind the camera. Word has it Cameron is working on the incorporating Chinese Na'vi into an Avatar sequel.
“Within five years, China could easily be as big a gross-revenue market for film as North America, and there are very specific economic incentives for having both Chinese content and Chinese co-production."
I'll make another bet that Cameron is intelligent enough to include Chinese characters with equal or ample screen time as their white or blue counterparts. Unless he has no qualms about pissing off the largest country in the world that owns a huge chunk of our national debt, I doubt he'll portray these Chinese Na'vi as strictly antagonists.

1 comment:

  1. The issue is more to the portrayals of Asian males, rather than the mere inclusion. Afterall, misrepresentation is alot worse than not being represented.

    No point in having ill-intentioned insecure white directors portraying us with attributes that are so typically theirs.


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