I really hope they do it right…
I’ve talked before about de-sexualisation of Asian men in Western media. We shouldn’t have to wait until a live-action version of Mulan to have a romantic lead who is Asian and it would be even more disturbing if they cast a white actor in the role of Shang. I really hope this movie isn’t white-washed.
Hugh told me about how growing up in Korea that he could watch many Korean and Asian movies where the lead males are Asian. Of course it’s normal for the romantic lead to be a Korean man because it’s in Korea. But slowly as he grew up, there is a gradual realisation that there is never an Asian man as a romantic lead in Hollywood movies. He has talked about the assumption Asian men then have that other women have no interest in them, because they are never shown as a love interest in the media. Western women definitely absorb what movies are telling them as well. I’ve had many well meaning friends say things like, “Your husband is good looking for an Asian guy”.
In fact, there are so many negative stereotypes about them that in movies they are usually only represented as the silly side-kick, the bad guys, or very occasionally an action hero in action movies. Hugh has talked about the impact Western media can have on self esteem and confidence, especially when interacting with people in other countries. If you’d like him to talk about it more, we could make a video discussing this topic. Let us know!
The live-action version of Mulan won’t be out for several years so I hope that by then that there is better representation of Asian men in movies. I really like Mulan, so I hope they do it well. Hugh has already said that if they cast white actors, he won’t be seeing it.
Because Australian internet is so bad, it’s hard to upload many videos while we are here. We won’t be able to upload much until we go back to Korea in 2 weeks.