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Fil-Am actors join voices opposing 'whitewashing' of Asian roles in Hollywood

Yong Chavez, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at May 20 2016 09:19 PM

HOLLYWOOD – Filipino American actors are speaking out against the Hollywood casting practice called “whitewashing.”

Supporters of Asian talents who have been losing out on roles even in Hollywood projects with Asian characters are getting more creative in their bid to stop the casting practice called ‘whitewashing’.

Asians only make up 1 percent of Hollywood lead roles.

Recently, a social media campaign called “Starring John Cho” was created by William Yu to emphasize that Asian talents need to be seen as lead characters.

Movie posters were altered to show “Star Trek’s” John Cho as the leading man.

Fil-Am actor Mark Dacascos tells a common tale among Asians in Hollywood.

“I’ve lost roles because I was too Asian. I’ve lost roles because I was not Asian enough; because I’m mixed blood. It’s hard enough to get a job,” said Dacascos.

Marvel’s decision to cast Tilda Swinton as a Tibetan character in “Dr. Strange” has generated criticisms.

Prominent Asian Hollywood stars like “Fresh Off the Boat’s” Constance Wu spoke out against the perceived erasure of Asian characters by Hollywood.

The “Starring Constance Wu” Hash Tag on social media is continuing the “Starring John Cho” diversity conversation.

Dacascos said there’s progress in Hollywood as studios and production outfits become more inclusive of Asian talents.

He praises the CW for “Marvel’s Agents of Shield” for casting him and naming his villain character “Giyera”, which in Filipino means “war.”

“Perfectly named. My guess is they knew that. That was very specific. The writers on that show, the producers on that show, they’re on it,” he said.

Also speaking out in favor of inclusion is former “Hannah Montana” Fil-Am star Anna Perez de Tagle.

George Takei, who blazed the trail for Asians in Hollywood through “Star Trek”, also recently criticized the alleged whitewashing of roles meant for actors of Asian descent.

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