APAHM: Representation Matters

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and on its first day, Lucy Liu became just the second Asian-American woman to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In her speech, Lucy paid tribute to Anna May Wong, the first woman who received her star in 1960 – almost 60 years ago.

Ex-1

While Anna May Wong is considered the first Chinese American movie star, she was not cast in the film adaptation of Pearl S. Buck’s “The Good Earth” — a story about a Chinese family. MGM didn’t want Chinese people playing Chinese characters, so the role went to Luise Rainer…who ended up winning an Oscar for it.

Ex-2

But yellowface isn’t something from decades ago. A special shout out to the white actors named on my t-shirt who took on Asian roles – a couple who double-downed when called out on it, but Emma is straight with me.

Ex-3

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