There are so many opinions about why Asians can’t take lead roles in Hollywood, but I think they can. With numbers and ratings for TV shows going down, I believe it has, in large part, to do with the fact that the minorities aren’t represented, therefore, the show takes a backseat to others. Not only that, but Asians are seen as jokers, comedic relief, and background actors so that they’re not ignored, but the truth of the matter is, Hollywood needs to start putting in minorities. With America being the great melting pot it is, there is no longer a valid excuse for their absence on shows.
Hollywood has long since experimented with this aspect in gender; to get girls to watch the show, make the show about girls and add hot guys. The CW has perfected this skill for their dramas, featuring simple stories and beautiful people to bring it to life, every girl knows about the Salvatore brothers and, what girl wouldn’t want to be fought over by them? This strategy, in fact, echoes that of Asian Dramas, which are vastly popular amongst women of all countries because of the dramatic storylines and very attractive male cast. This small factor makes the series all the more appealing and addictive, which is why they still stream very well today.
The smart ones who took notice and jumped on the bandwagon are Netflix and Hulu, which both grow in popularity weekly and render Cable more and more useless. Before, everyone outside of Asia could only see popular Asians shows on Crunchyroll and DramaFever, but since deals have been made, Netflix features the most popular of Asian movies and shows, thus increasing their international popularity, reach, and subscribers, as reflected in their stocks. Hulu had some series on it, but, having been banned in China, decided to stay up to beat with the American TV series, and have made it a point to do just that.
Everyone knows it would be difficult for a minority to succeed in Hollywood, let alone America. Hundreds of Asian singers and artists have ventured to auditions for South Korean, Chinese, and Japanese shows and agencies, hoping to find a contract ready for them. Some artists include Wang LeeHom, Vanness Wu, and Hwang Young-Min, found it difficult to succeed in America so they chose to go to Asia to make it big. Without having gone, they wouldn’t have had a chance when competing with so many other actors of the ‘exotic’ look.
Of the many opinions out there, according to Paul B., Asians can’t handle the lead and mentions ‘21 and Over’ and ‘Ninja Assassin’ as examples. Unfortunately, Justin Chon wasn’t conscious for much of the movie, therefore, can’t be fully responsible for the film taking so badly. And as for Rain in ‘Ninja Assassin’, there’s no way a bad script can become a great movie. It was as if all the producers wanted to do was show off his body, and though it may have drawn a big audience in Asia, where he’s most popular, the movie was pointless and made in a rush, and so it tanked.
With patience, hard work, and paying their dues, some actors are trickling in, slowly, and managing to land some good roles in highly anticipated movies. For example, it has been reported that BingBing Li has joined the cast of ‘Transformers 4‘. A graduate of the Shanghai Drama Institute, Li debuted in Asia in 1999 in the film ‘Seventeen Years’, directed by Zhang Yuan. Having worked extensively in Asia on romantic comedies, dramas, and action, Li is most well-known in America for her role in ‘Resident Evil: Retribution’ (2012). Her upcoming involvement in ‘Transformers 4‘ is gaining a lot of attention in Asia, bringing the expectation of the film up on an international level.
In other conversations, John Cho will continue his role of Sulu in ‘Star Trek’ movies to come. The franchise, gaining momentum, disappointed the numbers at the box office. Being released so close to so many great titles really cramped its chances to reign at #1. ‘Fast and Furious 6’ brings back Sung Kang as Han, the power-driving dangerous and funny friend who runs with Dom. Lucy Liu plays Watson, the sidekick of Sherlock Holmes, as Kunal Nayyar sits richly in the role of the brilliant unable-to-speak-with-females-unless-drunk buddy of the four in ‘The Big Bang Theory‘. As for ‘The Wolverine’, the Silver Samurai will be played by Will Yun Lee, with Brian Tee, Rila Fukushima, Tao Okamoto, Ken Yamamura and Nobuaki Kakuda involved in the cast.
With Hollywood slowly coming about a big change, small steps are taken in many films set on different stages. As if waiting for the right actor to take the stage and capture the attention of Hollywood the way Jackie Chan had once, many are rising to the challenge, the question is whether or not Hollywood would accept them. As hard as it is to hear, though Hollywood may not be ready, the audience is. It’s about time the entertainment industry catered to the audiences again, right?