Article: Newsweek – World War II Movie About Hawaiian Civilian Hero Plagued by ‘Whitewashing’ Controversy

So many layers here that I would like to highlight:

1) Yellowface and Whitewashing is still a problem. See Aloha, Ghost in a Shell, The Great Wall, and this terrible movie Ni’ihau that is about to be made with a White actor playing a Hawaiian real life person.

2) Asian Americans are not going to be put in the “model minority” box.

3) Anger is a healthy emotion that serves a positive purpose to simultaneously bring to light observations that others are reluctant to acknowledge are wrong, and to create mutual discomfort to incentivize others to take action to make things right.

4) Angry Asian American voices make a difference and aren’t going away. We’re woke. Despite having A-list White Hollywood stars, Aloha, Ghost in a Shell, The Great Wall all bombed at the box office because of Whitewashing casting and the negative press received before these films were released. Ni’ihau will bomb too.

In the mean time, we finally have shows and movies that talk about the unique Asian American experience like Fresh Off the Boat, Master of None, and Crazy Rich Asians because our unique Asian American stories matter and accurate representation matters.

Written by Joseph Lee, M.D.

I'm a Psychiatrist in private practice in Redondo Beach, CA. I completed both medical school and residency training at UCLA. My practice is psychotherapy based with a health-oriented focus on personal growth and wellbeing. I also teach about mental healthiness and advocate for social emotional learning (SEL) in all contexts.

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