Dr. Jocelyn L. Buckner
Ethnic representation goes beyond color blind casting, the diversity of actors, or non-stereotypical casting choices. It is not just a matter of minorities being included in mainstream storylines, but minorities being able to tell their own stories as well. The relevance and relatability of storytelling in film and theatre transcends culture, which is in part the beauty of these mediums. But the impact of Asian Americans seeing stories from their own culture cannot be exchanged for anything less because there is no substitute for visibility. Movies are the source of inspiration for many. Movies can also reinforce a transparent ceiling of what is and is not possible for specific groups of people. Asian Americans are no exception. It has only been within the last two years Asian American representation has become a hot topic in the entertainment industry. The conversations happening right now are at the highest level of visibility and traction it has ever had, due in part to the 2018 film, Crazy Rich Asians. With the debut of this movie came an exponential growth of discussions about the importance of Asian representation. The momentum from Crazy Rich Asians has continued to build with new films, namely, The Farewell (2019) and Always Be My Maybe (2019), and more Asian actors gaining visibility in recent years such as Lana Condor, Alex Landi, and Awkwafina. I will make a case for the importance of Asian American ethnic representation in casting and the stories being created by demonstrating through my research and analysis, the importance of Asian Americans having Asian American role-models on screen and their experiences accurately portrayed.
Kaino, Sarah, "Here to Win, Not Here to Settle" (2019). Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters. 369.
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