Following the release of “Crazy Rich Asians,” Hollywood opened its doors to Asian representation in films. The movie was the first to star a lead Asian female in 25 years, since the release of “The Joy Luck Club” in 1993. Although Asians have been prominent in producing films, they have struggled to make it onto the camera, but the major success of recent films inspired Hollywood executives to seek out Asian actors for the future.
Ever since the release and success of “Crazy Rich Asians”, many movies with Asian leads have emerged. Two notable examples include one of the highest viewed Netflix original films of all time, “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” and the drama/thriller “Searching.”
Many Asian actors and directors in Hollywood, such as Lisa Cullen, have expressed that they feel Hollywood has become more open to Asian representation following the breakout films. After a long period of white washing, which means casting white actors to play minority intended roles, many individuals worried for Asian representation in Hollywood. However, the release of the three Asian led films ignited the fire for Asian representation.
Currently, multiple movie and television show producers are preparing to launch Asian led projects, including the live action adaptation of Disney’s “Mulan” and romantic comedies “Always Be My Maybe” and “Singles Day.”
“Many shows are now adding Asian characters and casting Asians in roles not intentionally meant for them, which wasn’t frequently happening before,” Samantha Lee (’20) said. “It’s amazing to see that Asians in film are moving away from stereotypes and that there’s more diversity, in their appearance in films and the amount of Asian cultures included.”