On the heels of my last post, I’ve been contemplating this question. Which has plagued me for years, because as we have broken down color lines in some areas we are exceedingly lacking in this one. For example, when I watch my favorite show on TV, So You Think You Can Dance, I see that many different colors are and have had the spotlight on this show. Latino’s, Asians, Blacks, and White’s. Why? Because the color of a person is secondary to whether they can dance all the genre’s the producers want. I wish the same could be said for what we see in the movie theater.
Also, since I’m a true movie goer I would love to see more of ethnic American culture other than what White culture gives us. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with it. But, it would be lovely to see other American cultures represented. Because, that is truly real life in this country. Especially, in metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, Manhattan, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami and others. I know one answer to this question is more people of color have to start writing about their culture and as that happens maybe producers will take notice.
Here’s another question, that I’ve been contemplating. Would it be absolutely unbelievable to see an Asian man in the lead in a movie about Wall Street? Or what about the movie Old Boy? Why couldn’t there have been an American Asian actor playing the title role? Especially since the original movie was made in Korea, with a lead Korean actor. Certainly, someone like John Cho, or Karl Yune could have been just as good and both Korean Americans. I’m sure the movie would have been just as interesting if they had used someone like that in the movie since the Korean movie already was a classic and had a following here in the states. It would have at least been more authentic to the original as it also might have had better box office revenue here in the states. But instead they chose Josh Brolin, a White actor whose father James Brolin, was a leading White actor from years past. And the industries thinking was probably, Brolin would bring in more of an audience than some Asian guy. However, the sentence just before this one is pure speculation on my part.
Interestingly enough, I don’t think Josh brought in more of an audience. I know I went to see Old Boy, because of Spike Lee directing and because I liked the original. But would rush to see a movie with a Asian American actor in the lead because it’s so rare, no matter what correlation to the original movie, for sure. And what about all the “people of color” that would be pouring in? Statistics show on average, the people going to these movies are “people of color.” So why not give us what we want at the movies?
I found this quote from actor John Cho on IMDB on his acting career,
“It’s difficult having to hustle for jobs. Not knowing when the next job is coming in. It’s hard. There are not enough roles out there. I try not to get wrapped up in it or I’ll get depressed.” – on being an Asian American actor.
This is a sad commentary on the state of things in American cinema. A place where American’s spend a lot of time and money since we are entertainment junkies, which I totally include myself. Also, since these are the facts about Americans why can’t we do more to bring all races a little more in focus? Let’s keep it interesting, and give other races an opportunity to showcase their culture to the masses. We all who live in the US are for the most part Americans, but there are little nuances and foibles about each culture that make us unique and interesting that should be shared. Because not only would we come to respect everyone better, but we wouldn’t feel so detached from some. Oh, and in my opinion let’s put all Tyler Perry movies out to pasture, YUCK!!!