Hollywood's Whitewashed Ears: Listen To The Crowds

Hollywood's Whitewashed Ears: Listen To The Crowds

A performer can't be qualified if you never give him or her a chance.
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Over the recent years, the cries of crowds have become louder and louder. They protest over many things, but in this article, I will hone over one particular sentiment: Asian representation in media.

How many times has an Asian featured as the main lead, received an equal amount of screen time and lines without having to play a stereotype? How many times have Asian characters been played by actual Asians? How many times have Asians been given roles that only fit into the small spectrum of what whitewashed Hollywood thinks they can only be?

We are geeks, we are aloof posses, passed-over love interests, scantily dressed women, over-sexualized men, and walking advertisements of Asian brands. Pocky? Hello Kitty? Of course our characters on the screen have them. Noodles? Chopsticks? Rice?

The point is, when Hollywood decides to be inclusive of Asians, they limit them to roles that not only cages them in labels, but also restricts them in the interests and characteristics they have.

Recently, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park, two main characters in the long-running series, Hawaii Five-O, have quit from their jobs. Why? Because of unequal pay. A television show centered around tropical Hawaii, which is known to have a large Asian-American population, is losing its two prime Asian actors because of unequal pay.

Even more recent, was actor, Ed Skrein's, choice in leaving his role in the Hellboy movie reboot. Why did he choose to leave? Because he and other fans have noted that his character was of "mixed Asian heritage." A born and raised English man, Ed Skrein quickly realized the problem in hiring a white actor for an Asian role; it ignored the rightful cry for representation and denied people of said heritage from achieving a voice in media.

As a popular mention, Marvel Studios, echoes this sentiment of whitewashing Asian roles. In the movie, Doctor Strange, not only does a quarter of the film focus in on a Tibetan setting, but it also features Tibetan monks which Dr. Strange has to train with. The problem? His teacher, the Ancient One, canonically received as a Tibetan monk, is played by a white actress, Tilda Swinton. From her Asian garbs to her shaved head, her whole character begged a comparison to the narrow-minded yellow face that was popularized back in the twentieth century. Have we not progressed at all, Hollywood?

Are we regressing? Are you getting worst?

Must I expand anymore? Must I bring up the mistake that was the live action mess, Avatar: The Last Airbender? A television series turned movie that was heavily if not primarily founded upon various Asian cultures, opted to cast white actors as Asian, and dark-skinned Asians as antagonists. Not only did this film fail at giving Asians heavy film exposure, but it also played with the rampant prejudice theme that dark-skinned Asians are below their paler counterparts.

Hollywood, what is wrong with you?

Many times, to defend their choices, directors will say that there are no available A-list Asian actors and actresses for their role - that there are no big enough Asian performer names out there that will do their film justice. I wonder why.

How can a reputation be built if a person isn't given the chance to even make one? Argue the old adage of, "if there's a will, there is a way," but I will simply refute back that there is definitely a will, but all the ways are blocked. Asian performers cannot build the box office attraction that their white counterparts can because they simply have not been given the chance to by close-minded directors.

Besides that, look overseas. There are a clamoring number of Asian performers, all fluent in English and followed by millions, who can be called over to act in these so-coveted Asian roles. And if at that point, a director can't see the potential in those talented celebrities then that director is outright being discriminatory towards Asian performers in general because that means he or she is denying their hard work.

Oh, but what about those few successful Asian films? Like Harold and Kumar, one might argue? Take a closer look at films like those. Harold and Kumar, while fair comedic hits, take jabs at how Asians are portrayed. (I.e. Stereotypical Ivy League Students and the cameos of some racist punks.)

And as an insert, there is also the Fast and the Furious franchise to look at it. With a very diverse cast, it inserts many performers of various ethnicities in a right light without exaggerating or ridiculing their origins. And, it's still a popular franchise.

So Hollywood, open your eyes, please?

Give our performers the roles that was theirs to begin with. Don't be the wall in this social issue.

Cover Image Credit: rclassenlayouts

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6 Places in New York City Every "Friends" Fan Needs to Visit

Grab a cup of coffee at Central Park.
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As a Friends fanatic myself, I often wonder about the places in New York City featured in the various episodes and whether I could actually visit them. Most of them are fictional or no longer exist, but there are a few places you can go to reminisce about your favorite Friends moments. So, here are 6 places in New York City you definitely need to visit as a Friends fan.

1. The Apartment Building, Obviously

The building used for the exterior shot of the apartments in Friends is real, and is located at 90 Bedford Street at the corner of Grove Street in Greenwich Village. It's an obvious must-see.

2. The Pullitzer Fountain

This is the fountain that the friends danced around in for the iconic theme song, and it's located right in Central Park.

3. Bloomingdale's

This is the department where Rachel worked before she moved on to Ralph Lauren, where she met Joshua, and where she started her career in fashion.

4. The Plaza Hotel

This is where Monica and Chandler celebrated their engagement in The One WIth Monica's Thunder, and is actually really gorgeous.

5. The Central Perk Replica

While Central Perk isn't a real coffee shop, a pop-up replica opened up in 2014 on Lafayette Street and it's definitely a must-visit.

6. Chandler's Office

The fictional Chandler works in the real Solow Building, located on West 57th street.

Cover Image Credit: Fame Focus

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10 Pros And Cons Of Having A Broken Family

Some are better, while others are definitely worse.

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Having a broken family can have its pros and cons. But no matter what you go through, you will realize that you will always have both your families.

1. Two houses

Photo by Kevin Delvecchio on Unsplash

Living in two different houses means you have:

Two different set of rules.

Two different types of responsibilities.

Two different rooms.

Everything suddenly becomes doubled.

2. Holidays

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Some might think having two birthdays, Thanksgivings, and Christmases are fantastic, and in a way, they are. Instead of having one day of food you get two sometimes, even three. After awhile , however, you dread the holidays because you are always on the move going from one family to another. You never have the time to just sit and relax.

Sometimes having a drink or two helps you get through it all.

3. You will miss out on things

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When you live mostly at one house and not the other, you begin miss out on things, and sometimes they are really cool things. Its not because the other family doesn't want you to be there, but sometimes you just cant be apart of everything.

4. Siblings

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Broken families means you have a lot of siblings. Luckily, I only have the three at my dads house. But some have siblings at both homes so they end up having eight siblings total — imagine explaining this to someone who doesn't come from a broken family...it can be interesting. They can be a pain, but you always know that one person will have your back.

5. Double the family

Photo by Megan Leong on Unsplash

Unlike having the standard four grandparents, a couple aunts and uncles, when you have a broken family the family members double. The step-parent families adopt you as their own flesh and blood and suddenly you have so many family members, and you have no idea what to do.

6. Double the pain

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When you have double the family, you also have double the heartbreak.

7. The food

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You get to experience so many different types of food and different variations of making the same types of food. It makes it hard when you want a certain type of food but you aren't sure which family members recipe you want to use.

8. Family drama

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There will be times where everyone will get along and all will be great. Other times its like World War 3. Both parents just refuse to speak to each other — but that's part of the roller-coaster of life of broken families.

9. Vacations

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The amount of vacations you get to go on and experience on those is so much fun. Sometimes they are experiences that you might never had experienced if it wasn't for having two families.

10. Double the love

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Pretty self explanatory. Love all around.

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