Actress Constance Wu is taking a stand against Hollywood's latest decision to hire another white man to play a hero.
The "Fresh Off The Boat" star released a statement on Twitter criticizing the casting of Matt Damon in "The Great Wall."
"We have to stop perpetuating the racist myth that only a white man can save the world," she wrote on her Twitter page on July 29. "It's not based on actual fact."
The 34-year-old actress added it's not about blaming individuals, but rather the result of continuously hiring white actors and actresses to play heroic roles instead of people of colour.
"It's about pointing out the repeatedly implied racist notion that white people are superior to POC [people of colour] and that POC need salvation from our own colour via white strength... We don't need salvation. We like our colour and our culture and our own strengths and our own stories."
The film, which is set to release in early 2017, is about the mysteries surrounding the construction of the Great Wall of China. It is also based on the book The Great Wall by Franz Kafka, Comic Book reports.
Actors Andy Lau, Matt Damon, director Zhang Yimou, Jing Tian and Pedro Pascal attend 'The Great Wall' press conference at Park Hyatt Hotel on July 2, 2015 in Beijing, China.
And it's not just about the racist notions — Wu says when excuses like not making enough money are brought up with casting, she argues Hollywood needs to try harder to give people of colour a chance to play these roles to begin with.
"If white actors are forgiven for having a box office failure once in a while, why can't a POC sometimes have one?"
Director Zhang Yimou, who is well known in the Chinese film industry, says the movie is about using a Western type of film-making to introduce Chinese culture, he told Entertainment Weekly.
"What I really want is to bring Chinese colour and cultural background to the worldwide audience through a film language that they are familiar with," he told the site.
Actor Matt Damon and director Zhang Yimou (R) attend 'The Great Wall' press conference at Park Hyatt Hotel.
Earlier this year, Scarlett Johansson was announced to play a Japanese character in an adaptation of popular manga series Ghost in the Shell. The announcement, which received all kinds of backlash and labels like "whitewashing," was just another example of the industry's ongoing issue of casting white characters in roles for people of colour — seriously, as IndieWire notes, the examples are endless.
Wu adds that while some people of colour may not see the problem with Damon's upcoming role, it's important to think about how these roles and depictions of characters impact younger audiences.
"Why do you think it was so nice to see a nerdy white kid have a girl fall in love with him? Because you WERE that nerdy white kid who felt unloved. And seeing pictures of it in Hollywood's stories made it feel possible."
Read Wu's full statement below:
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