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#ExpressiveAsians Challenges The Hollywood Stereotype That Asian Actors Can't Emote

Have you even seen a Tony Leung film?

09/11/2017 15:07 EDT | Updated 09/11/2017 15:07 EDT
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Hollywood's attitude towards Asians is under fire yet again.

A recent Paste magazine article highlighted sociologist Nancy Wang Yeun's conversation with an unnamed casting director about why Asians are so underrepresented on screen and the response was startling.

Asians are a challenge to cast because most casting directors feel as though they're not very expressive.

The director reportedly told Yeun that casting directors struggle with casting Asians.

"I work with a lot of different people and Asians are a challenge to cast because most casting directors feel as though they're not very expressive," the director said."They're very shut down in their emotions ... if it's something were [sic] they really have to act and get some kind of performance out ... it's a challenge."

In response, Twitter did what it's best at and challenged that assertion pretty soundly with #ExpressiveAsians, a hashtag coined by author Maurene Goo.

Not only did users highlight their own expressive faces, but they shared Asian actors in their element.

And highlighted why non-Asians weren't necessarily always the most expressive either.

Paste Magazine's article quoted from Yeun's book Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism. In it, she also points out that 77 per cent of casting calls ask for white actors. The same article also quotes Glen Mazzara, "The Walking Dead's" showrunner who says he was asked if he had an "Asian fetish" for having two Asian writers.

All of this comes on the heels of recent conversations about whitewashing, the lack of Asian representation in the media and how to stop the problem.

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For example, actor Ed Skrein recently dropped out of the "Hellboy" reboot when he realized he was playing a half-Japanese character. Social media and his fellow actors commended him for the move and many wondered why if the relatively unknown Skrein could step away from the movie, A-listers like Scarlett Johansson in "Ghost in the Shell" or Tilda Swinton in "Doctor Strange" couldn't have done so when a similar outcry occurred over their past roles.

But the sooner Hollywood realizes its audiences aren't agreeing with its outdated views, the sooner a change will actually show on screen.

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