“Asso! Asso! I play an Asian better than an Oriental.”
One of greatest movies is “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. Yes, I was in love with Audrey Hepburn and that movie did it for me. I first saw it when I was in high school. Then I saw it again during college and this time, it pissed me off. For those of you who have seen it, you may know what I’m taking about. Mickey Rooney plays a Japanese and mocks a heavy accent with buck teeth in Japanese attire. He typified Charlie Chan. It was meant to be funny but it wasn’t funny at all. It is so profoundly offensive and annoying. If you watch it now, it’s just aggravating. It was so highly offensive on so many levels. Granted, times were different in the 50’s but dude…watch it again and your jaws will drop. It was common back in the day for white people to play Asian characters in movies. Marlon Brando did the same thing. And before then, white people played black people. And before that, men played women in the Shakespearen days.
You see, I hate it when Hollywood does not remain true to the ethnic and culture factors. Most recently, you had both Zhang Ziyi and Michele Yeo, both Chinese play Japanese characters in “Memoirs of a Geisha”. Hollywood today does this shit all the time. To them it doesn’t matter because white people think we all look alike. Why couldn’t they get Japanese actresses to play these characters? This is the very reason why I lost interest in wanting to see this movie. Why doesn’t Hollywood respect and appreciate the differences and the uniqueness of the culture and ethnicity of each Asian race? I mean, thank God, they actually hired real Koreans in “Mash” and “Lost”. To me, because I’m Asian, each Asian culture is so diverse, so different from each other, and so unique. Maybe they can’t tell what we are and we all look alike, but I can tell and it annoys me when I’m watching Law & Order and there’s fucking Thai actors playing a Korean grocer. Until Hollywood and mainstream media starts to respect and recognize and showcase each Asian culture as unique, the majority whites just won’t get it and they’ll continue to say, “All you’ll look alike”.