‘What do you mean, “I don’t do Asians”?’
Hollywood has a pretty bleak record when it comes to Asian people. From the decision to cast Scarlett Johansson as the lead role in the American adaptation of Japanese anime and manga series ‘A Ghost in the Shell’, to Chris Rock’s lazy joke about Asian Americans at this year’s Oscars, 2016 is not showing many signs of progress.
Born in South Korea, Max lives in London and works in the film industry. In this episode, we discuss the years he spent growing up in conservative Alabama, as well as his family’s experience of South Korea’s rapid transformation – from one of the poorest to one of the richest nations in the world.
Later, Max examines the social and sexual stereotypes of Asian characters in Western popular culture, questioning why we just can’t move beyond tired caricature or total erasure. But, while Hollywood’s record on diversity is pretty embarrassing, he points to some signs that things are (slowly) changing.