The fact that Hollywood tends to be less than diverse is far from a secret. The Oscars get called on it every year, when tons of pretty white people are up for awards and actors of color net only a handful of nominations. Movies get boycotted when they whitewash ethnic rolls — think Johnny Depp as Native American Tonto or Scarlett Johansson as Japanese Major Kusanagi.
The film, directed by Jon M. Chu, is based on Kevin Kwan’s best-selling 2013 novel of the same name. The book follows the intersecting lives of Asian families in Singapore, especially Rachel Chu — the lead role that just went to Wu — an American-born economics professor who travels from New York City to Singapore to attend a wedding with her boyfriend. Upon arriving, she learns that because of her boyfriend’s insanely wealthy family, he’s considered one of Singapore’s most eligible bachelors. Her presence is met with the jealous antics of just about every woman she encounters in his hometown.
Wu, whose breakout role was on ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat, has been vocal about whitewashing in Hollywood. Her casting, and the fact that she’s part of an all-Asian cast, has been met with extremely positive reactions.
Yep, it is real life, and it’s a huge step forward for Hollywood.
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