||This article may lend undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, controversies or matters relative to the article subject as a whole. (August 2013)|
East Asians have not always been accurately represented in Hollywood. Many times, Asian characters have been portrayed predominantly by white actors, often while artificially changing their looks with makeup in order to approximate East Asian facial characteristics, a practice known as "yellowface". Media portrayals of East Asians in the American media's history have predominantly reflected a dominant Americentric perception rather than realistic and authentic depictions of true cultures, customs and behaviors.
- 1 Early Asian American Actors
- 2 Early history
- 3 Early Film
- 4 Classical Hollywood Cinema
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
- 8 External links
Early Asian American Actors
Around the same time, Sessue Hayakawa began appearing in films. Signed to Paramount Pictures, he had roles in more than 20 silent films including The Wrath of the Gods (1914) and The Typhoon (1914). When Hayakawa's contract with Paramount expired in 1918, the studio still wanted him to star in an upcoming movie, but Hayakawa turned them down in favor of starting his own company. He was at the height of his popularity during that time. His career did suffer due to Anti-Japanese sentiment in the 1930s, but he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the The Bridge on the River Kwai.
Anna May Wong, considered by many the first Chinese-American movie star, was acting by the age of 14 and in 1922, at 17 years old, she became the first Asian to break Hollywood’s miscegenation rule playing opposite a white romantic lead in Toll of the Sea. Even though she was internationally known by 1924, her film roles were limited by stereotype and prejudice; tired of being both typecast and being passed over for lead Asian character roles in favor of non-Asian actresses, Wong left Hollywood in 1928 for Europe. Interviewed by Doris Mackie for Film Weekly in 1933, Wong complained about her Hollywood roles: "I was so tired of the parts I had to play." She commented: "There seems little for me in Hollywood, because, rather than real Chinese, producers prefer Hungarians, Mexicans, American Indians for Chinese roles." In 1935, she was considered for the leading role in The Good Earth, which went to Caucasian actress Luise Rainer. Wong refused the role of the villainess, the stereotypical Oriental Dragonlady.
Keye Luke was one of the most successful actors of his time, starring as the "Number-One Son" Lee Chan in the popular Charlie Chan films (which also featured white actors Warner Oland or Sidney Toler playing Charlie Chan in yellowface), as well as the original Kato in the 1940s Green Hornet, and Detective James Lee Wong in Phantom of Chinatown (1940), another role previously played by a caucasian actor (Boris Karloff).
Korean-American actor Philip Ahn, after rejection for speaking English too well, braved death threats after playing Japanese villains. Ahn would go on to have a prolific career, however.
Some Asian-American actors nonetheless attempted to start careers. Merle Oberon, a mixed-race Anglo-Indian, was able to get starring roles after concocting a phony story about her origins and using skin whitening make-up. There were others pioneering Asian American actors like Benson Fong (who played the Number Three son in the Charlie Chan films), Victor Sen Yung (who played the Number Two son in the Charlie Chan films), Richard Loo (who also played many Japanese villain roles), Lotus Long (known for her role as Lin Wen opposite Keye Luke in the Phantom of Chinatown), Suzanna Kim, Barbara Jean Wong, Fely Franquelli, Chester Gan, Honorable Wu, Kam Tong, Layne Tom Jr., Maurice Liu, Rudy Robles, Teru Shimada, Willie Fung, Toshia Mori and Wing Foo; all began their film careers in the 1930s and 40s.
With the number of Asian-American actors available, actor Robert Ito wrote an article that described that job protection for Caucasian actors was one reason Asians were portrayed by Caucasians. "With the relatively small percentage of actors that support themselves by acting, it was only logical that they should try to limit the available talent pool as much as possible. One way of doing this was by placing restrictions on minority actors, which, in the case of Asian actors, meant that they could usually only get roles as houseboys, cooks, laundrymen, and crazed war enemies, with the rare "white hero's loyal sidekick" roles going to the big name actors. When the script called for a larger Asian role, it was almost inevitably given to a white actor."
In 1767, Arthur Murphy's theatrical work The Orphan of China was presented in Philadelphia. In this early production, the actors and the audiences had never seen an Asian. On screen, Mary Pickford, a white Canadian, played Cio-Cio San in Madame Butterfly in (1915).
The Welsh-American Myrna Loy was the "go to girl" for any portrayal of Asian characters and was typecast in over a dozen films, while Chinese detective Charlie Chan, who was modeled after Chang Apana, a real-life Chinese Hawaiian detective, was portrayed by several white actors including Warner Oland, Sidney Toler, and Peter Ustinov.
The list of actors who have donned makeup to portray Asians at some point in their career includes: Lon Chaney, Sr., Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young, Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Anthony Quinn, Shirley MacLaine, Katharine Hepburn, Rita Moreno, Rex Harrison, John Wayne, Mickey Rooney, Marlon Brando, Alec Guinness, Tony Randall, John Gielgud, Max von Sydow, Linda Hunt, Jamie Lee Curtis, David Carradine, Joel Grey, and many others.
The use of yellowface makeup continues to endure in modern Hollywood as a common practice while blackface makeup has become a social taboo. In the 21st century, Grindhouse, Balls of Fury, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Crank: High Voltage, and Cloud Atlas all featured yellowface and non-Asian actors as Asian caricatures.
Recurring stereotypes such as the Fu Manchu-style Asian villain or the Madame Butterfly-style Asian female love interest (with a white hero) were going largely unchallenged.[when?] Asian Americans formed advocacy groups such as the East West Players and Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA) to counter the practice.
The Motion Picture Production Code was the set of industry censorship guidelines which governed the production of the vast majority of United States motion pictures released by major studios from 1930 to 1968. It was originally popularly known as the Hays Code, after its creator, Will H. Hays. With these guidelines, portrayals of miscegenation were forbidden.
Anti-miscegenation laws, also known as miscegenation laws, were laws that banned interracial marriage and sometimes sex between members of two different races. In North America, laws against interracial marriage and interracial sex existed and were enforced in the Thirteen Colonies from the late seventeenth century onwards, and subsequently in several US states and US territories until 1967.
Madame Butterfly was originally a short story written by John Luther Long. An Italian opera, Madama Butterfly was created by Giacomo Puccini after he saw a London play by David Belasco that was based on the short story. The original production premiered on February 17, 1904, at La Scala in Milan.
It is the story of a teenaged Japanese maiden, Cio-Cio San, who marries and has a child with a white American navy lieutenant named Pinkerton. The Lieutenant leaves Cio-Cio San and returns home where, unknown to Cio-Cio San, he marries a white American. When he returns to Japan with his new wife, Cio-Cio San, who has given birth in the interim to Pinkerton's baby, kills herself.
The opera remains immensely popular but it has been criticized for misogyny and racism and has generated much controversy for its worldwide use of Yellowface. It is seen as perpetuating the notion of the dominant white male lording it over the subdued Asian female, who can be cast aside at will. Nonetheless, the opera does paint Pinkerton's conduct as reprehensible and the libretto seeks to portray Cio-Cio San as a wronged individual worthy of sympathy and respect.
There was also a film version of the stage musical, Miss Saigon that featured East Asian actors as well as caucasian actors playing East Asian roles.
The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City was released in 1918. The plot centers around an inter-racial romance between a Chinese princess (Norma Talmadge) and an American. When palace officials discover she has fallen pregnant she is sentenced to death. In the latter part of the film Talmadge plays the now adult daughter of the affair, seeking her father in the Philippines.
Mr. Wu was originally a stage play, written by Harold Owen and Harry M. Vernon. It was first staged in London in 1913; the first U.S. production opened in New York on October 14, 1914. The actor Frank Morgan was in the original Broadway cast, appearing under his original name Frank Wupperman.
Matheson Lang was the first actor to portray Mr. Wu (in the 1913 West End production), who became so popular in the role that he starred in a 1919 film version. Lang continued to play Oriental roles (although not exclusively), and his autobiography was titled Mr. Wu Looks Back (1940).
Lon Chaney, Sr. and Renée Adorée were cast in the 1927 film. Cheekbones and lips were built up with cotton and collodion, the ends of cigar holders were inserted into his nostrils, and the long fingernails were constructed from stripes of painted film stock. Chaney used fishskin to fashion an Oriental cast to his eyes and grey crepe hair was used to create the distinctive Fu-Manchu moustache and goatee.
The film Broken Blossoms is based on a short story, "The Chink and the Child" taken from the book "Limehouse Nights" by Thomas Burke. It was released in 1919, during a period of strong anti-Chinese feeling in the USA, a fear known as the Yellow Peril. Griffith changed Burke's original story to promote a message of tolerance. In Burke’s story, the Chinese protagonist is a sordid young Shanghai drifter pressed into naval service, who frequents opium dens and whorehouses; in the film, he becomes a Buddhist missionary whose initial goal is to spread the word of Buddha and peace (although he is also shown frequenting opium dens when he is depressed). Even at his lowest point, he still prevents his gambling companions from fighting.
Classical Hollywood Cinema
The Good Earth
The Good Earth (1937) is a film about Chinese farmers who struggle to survive. It was adapted by Talbot Jennings, Tess Slesinger, and Claudine West from the play by Donald Davis and Owen Davis, which was itself based on the 1931 novel The Good Earth by Nobel Prize-winning author Pearl S. Buck. The film was directed by Sidney Franklin, Victor Fleming (uncredited) and Gustav Machaty (uncredited).
The film's budget was $2.8 million, relatively expensive for the time, and took three years to make. Although Pearl Buck intended the film to be cast with all Chinese or Chinese-American actors, the studio opted to use established American stars, tapping Paul Muni and Luise Rainer for the lead roles. Both had won Oscars the previous year; Rainer for her role in The Great Ziegfeld and Muni for the lead in The Story of Louis Pasteur. When questioned about his choice of the American actors, Thalberg responded by saying, "I'm in the business of creating illusions."
In 1935, when MGM Studios was looking to make The Good Earth into a movie, Anna May Wong was considered a top contender for the role of O-lan, the Chinese heroine of the novel. However, because Paul Muni was of European descent, the Hays Code's anti-miscegenation rules meant his character's wife had to be played by a white woman. So, MGM gave the role of O-lan to a white actress and offered Wong the role of Lotus, the story’s villain, but Wong refused to be the only Chinese American playing the only negative character, stating: "...I won't play the part. If you let me play O-lan, I'll be very glad. But you're asking me - with Chinese blood - to do the only unsympathetic role in the picture featuring an all-American cast portraying Chinese characters." MGM's refusal to consider Wong for this most high-profile of Chinese characters in U.S. film is remembered today as "one of the most notorious cases of casting discrimination in the 1930s".
The Good Earth was nominated for a total of five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Direction (Sidney Franklin), Best Cinematography (Karl Freund), and Best Film Editing (Basil Wrangell). In addition to the Best Actress award (Luise Rainer), the film won for Best Cinematography. Ironically, the year The Good Earth came out, Wong appeared on the cover of Look magazine's second issue, which labeled her "The World's Most Beautiful Chinese Girl." Stereotyped in America as a dragon lady, the cover photo had her holding a dagger.
Breakfast at Tiffany's
The 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's has been criticized for its portrayal of the character Mr. Yunioshi, Holly's bucktoothed, stereotyped Japanese neighbor. Played by Mickey Rooney, Rooney wore makeup to change his features to a caricatured approximation of a Japanese person.
In the 45th anniversary edition DVD release, producer Richard Shepherd repeatedly apologizes, saying, "If we could just change Mickey Rooney, I'd be thrilled with the movie". Director Blake Edwards stated, "Looking back, I wish I had never done it ... and I would give anything to be able to recast it, but it's there, and onward and upward". In a 2008 interview about the film, 87-year-old Rooney said he was heartbroken about the criticism and that he had never received any complaints about his portrayal of the character.
In 1929, the character Fu Manchu made his American film debut in The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu played by the Swedish-American actor Warner Oland. Oland repeated the role in 1930's The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu and 1931's Daughter of the Dragon. Oland appeared in character in the 1931 musical, Paramount on Parade where the Devil Doctor was seen to murder both Philo Vance and Sherlock Holmes.
In 1932, Boris Karloff took over the character in the film The Mask of Fu Manchu. The film's tone has long been considered racist and offensive, but that only added to its cult status alongside its humor and Grand Guignol sets and torture sequences. The film was suppressed for many years, but has since received critical re-evaluation and been released on DVD uncut.
Other portrayals of East Asians
|1932||The Hatchet Man||Edward G. Robinson and Loretta Young||
|1932||Frisco Jenny||Helen Jerome Eddy||
|1932||Thirteen Women||Myrna Loy||
|1933||The Bitter Tea of General Yen||Nils Asther||
|1934||The Mysterious Mr. Wong||Bela Lugosi||
|1937||Lost Horizon||H.B. Warner||
|1937–1939||Mr. Moto film series||Peter Lorre as Mr. Moto film series||
|1939||Island of Lost Men||Anthony Quinn||
|1939||The Mystery of Mr. Wong||Boris Karloff|
|1940||The Letter||Gale Sondergaard||
|1942||Little Tokyo, U.S.A.||Harold Huber as Takimura, American-born spy for Tokyo, June Duprez as Teru||
|1944||Dragon Seed||Katharine Hepburn, Walter Huston, Aline MacMahon, Turhan Bey, Agnes Moorehead, J. Carrol Naish, and Hurd Hatfield||
|1946||Anna and the King of Siam||Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell, and Gale Sondergaard|
|1946||Ziegfeld Follies||Fred Astaire and Lucille Bremer||
|1955||Blood Alley||Anita Ekberg, Berry Kroeger, Paul Fix, and Mike Mazurki||
|1955||Love is a Many Splendored Thing||Jennifer Jones||
|1956||The Conqueror||John Wayne||
|1956||The King and I||Yul Brynner and Rita Moreno||
|1956||The Teahouse of the August Moon||Marlon Brando||
|1958||The Inn of the Sixth Happiness||Curd Jürgens and Robert Donat||
|1961||Flower Drum Song||Juanita Hall||
|1962||The Manchurian Candidate||Henry Silva|
|1962||My Geisha||Shirley MacLaine|
|1962||A Majority of One||Alec Guinness|
|1963||55 Days at Peking||Flora Robson|
|1964||7 Faces of Dr. Lao||Tony Randall|
|1965||Pierrot le fou||Anna Karina|
|1965||Genghis Khan||Robert Morley, James Mason and others|
|1965||Gilligan's Island||Vito Scotti|
|1965||Get Smart||Leonard Strong (actor)||
|1965||The Return of Mr. Moto||Henry Silva||
|1966||7 Women||Woody Strode and Mike Mazurki|
End of the 20th Century
After 1967, anti-miscegenation laws were repealed in the United States of America.
|1970||The Yin and the Yang of Mr. Go||James Mason as Y.Y. Go|
|1972-1975||Kung Fu||David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine||David Carradine wore Yellowface makeup/prostethics to look more East Asian|
|1973||Lost Horizon||John Gielgud as Chang|
|1975||One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing||Peter Ustinov and others|
|1976||Murder by Death||Peter Sellers||Peter Sellers plays Inspector Sidney Wang, based on Charlie Chan and appropriately accompanied by his adopted, Japanese son Willie (Richard Narita). Wang wears elaborate Chinese costumes, and his grammar is frequently criticized by the annoyed host much the same way that Inspector Clouseau. It could be argued that Sellers' role is in itself a parody of yellowface casting in earlier films.|
|1978||Revenge of the Pink Panther||Peter Sellers||Inspector Clouseau had many disguises and this included the quintessential Chinaman stereotype.|
|1980||The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu||Peter Sellers|
|1980||Flash Gordon||Max von Sydow as Emperor Ming||Ming the Merciless is the sci fi version of Fu Manchu.|
|1981||Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen||Peter Ustinov as Charlie Chan||In 1980, Jerry Shylock proposed a multi-million dollar comedy film, to be called Charlie Chan and the Dragon Lady. A group calling itself C.A.N. (Coalition of Asians to Nix) was formed, protesting the fact that two white actors, Peter Ustinov and Angie Dickinson, had been cast in the primary roles. Others protested that the film itself contained a number of stereotypes; Shylock responded that the film was not a documentary. The film was released the following year as Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen and was an "abysmal failure." More successful was Wayne Wang's Chan is Missing (1982), which was a spoof of the older Chan films. An updated film version of the character was planned in the 1990s by Miramax; this new Charlie Chan was to be "hip, slim, cerebral, sexy and ... a martial-arts master", but the film did not come to fruition.|
|1981||Hardly Working||Jerry Lewis|
|1982||Conan the Barbarian||Gerry Lopez as Subotai||the character Subotai is a 'Hyrkanian' who in the mythos of Conan the Barbarian are the ancestors of Asians and further the character is named after Subotai one of the general so Genghis Khan, but the character however is played by the white actor Gerry Lopez.|
|1982||The Year of Living Dangerously||Linda Hunt as Billy Kwan||The Year of Living Dangerously was entered into the 1983 Cannes Film Festival where it was well received by audiences and critics.|
|1982||Marco Polo (TV miniseries)||Leonard Nimoy as Achmet||American television mini-series|
|1984||Sixteen Candles||Gedde Watanabe as Long Duk Dong||(add properly formatted reference to http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88591800 and/or /wiki/Sixteen_Candles#Controversy here)|
|1985||Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins||Joel Grey as Chiun||Film based on the Destroyer book series. The role garnered Joel Grey a Saturn Award and a second Golden Globe nomination for "Best Supporting Actor".|
|1993-1997||Kung Fu: The Legend Continues||David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine||David Carradine once again wore Yellowface makeup/prosthetics to make him look East Asian|
|1994||Sabotage||Adam Yauch||Beastie Boys music video.|
|1996-1999||Tracey Takes On...||Tracey Ullman as Mrs. Noh Nang Ning||Ullman wore prosthetics to make her look East Asian.|
|1997||The Pest||John Leguizamo||Leguizamo used Yellowface twice in the film to disguise himself as both a Chinese and Japanese man to try and escape hunters trying to kill him and in both situations his character Pest portrayed them as stereotypical Asian caricatures.|
|1999||Galaxy Quest||Tony Shalhoub as Fred Kwan / Tech Sergeant Chen||Shalhoub (an American of Arab descent) plays an actor with a Korean family name; Shalhoub wears makeup which makes him look more East Asian|
|Year||Film||Actor/s & Role||Notes|
|2001||Not Another Teen Movie||Samm Levine as Bruce||A parody of racist stereotypes in teen films, most notably Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles.|
|2005 Australian television series||We Can Be Heroes: Finding The Australian of the Year||Chris Lilley as Ricky Wong||Ricky Wong is a 23-year-old Chinese physics student who lives in the suburb of Wheelers Hill, Melbourne, Victoria. He is often exuberant and tells his colleagues that "Physics is Phun" and that they are in the "Wong" laboratory. This character is largely a vehicle for parodying the stereotypical "Chinese overachiever", or model migrant.|
|2006||Cloud 9||Paul Rodriguez as Mr. Wong||Cloud 9 |
|2006||Babel||Rinko Kikuchi as Chieko Wataya
[And various others set in the Japan storyline]
|Chieko, a lead character in the hyperlink story, is a deaf teenage girl who is alienated by the suicide of her mother.|
|2006||Letters from Iwo Jima||Entire ensemble||This Clint Eastwood-helmed movie portrays the Battle of Iwo Jima from the Japanese perspective.|
|2007||Balls of Fury||Christopher Walken as Feng||Feng is a parody of the yellow peril and Fu Manchu stereotype.|
|2007||Norbit||Eddie Murphy as Mr. Wong||For his portrayal Eddie Murphy received a Golden Raspberry Award. Worst Supporting Actor (Eddie Murphy; as Mr. Wong) |
|2007||Grindhouse||Nicolas Cage as Dr. Fu Manchu||Fake Trailer: Werewolf Women of the SS |
|2007||I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry||Rob Schneider as the Asian minister and photographer||Schneider is in fact one quarter Filipino by descent, but wore prosthetics for the role which were criticised as an offensive stereotype.
Nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor but lost to Eddie Murphy.
|2008||My Name Is Bruce||Ted Raimi as Wing|
|2008||21||[Almost the entire main cast was Caucasian]||The true story of the MIT Blackjack Team was mainly compiled of Asian-Americans. The casting of all white actors led to a public outcry. The only Asian actors within the main cast, Aaron Yoo and Liza Lapira, were negatively portrayed as a kleptomaniac and a slot playing loser.|
|2008||Speed Racer||[Almost the entire main cast was Caucasian]||Speed Racer is based on the original Japanese anime respectively called Speed Racer.|
|2009||Crank: High Voltage||David Carradine as Poon Dong||Poon Dong, played by David Carradine, is the head of the Chinese Triad. In Crank: High Voltage. The name of the character is a pun, being both a stereotypical Chinese-sounding name and slang for genitalia.|
|2009||Up||Jordan Nagai as Russell||Russell is a boy scout who goes on an unexpected adventure to South America with widower Carl Fredricksen in his flying house.|
|2009||Dragonball Evolution||[Almost the entire main cast was Caucasian]||The original Dragon Ball series originated in Japan. The casting of the main characters of the film with Caucasian actors led to an outcry. The only Asian actors in the film were secondary characters. The original creator of the Dragon Ball series, Akira Toriyama, was shocked in terms of the casting. Luke Thompson of E! Online referred to the film as a "surreal mess" and questioned the use of a Caucasian in the main role and felt Chow Yun-Fat was "overacting like never before." The filmed was panned by critics and audiences.|
|2009||Chanel - Paris - Shanghai A Fantasy - The Short Movie||Freja Beha, Baptiste Giabiconi||Karl Lagerfeld Opened His Pre-Fall Show in Shanghai With a Film That Included Yellow Face. Lagerfeld defended this as a reference to old films. “It is an homage to Europeans trying to look Chinese,” he explained. “Like in ‘The Good Earth’, the people in the movie liked the idea that they had to look like Chinese. Or like actors in ‘Madame Butterfly’. People around the world like to dress up as different nationalities.” "It is about the idea of China, not the reality."  Chinese persons played the maid, a courtesan and background characters. The film is currently on YouTube |
|2009||Hanger||Wade Gibb as Russell||A black comedy in which a Chinese man with Down syndrome is portrayed by a Caucasian actor under heavy prosthetics and make-up.|
|2010||The Last Airbender||[Almost the entire main cast was Caucasian]||The original critically acclaimed series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, was set in a world which was influenced by Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, Indian and Inuit cultures. The live-action film, on the other hand, had a cast that consisted almost completely of Caucasian actors, with Asian actors being either secondary or villainous characters. Jackson Rathborne, who portrayed Sokka in the film, said in an interview with MTV: "I think it's one of those things where I pull my hair up, shave the sides, and I definitely need a tan. It's one of those things where, hopefully, the audience will suspend disbelief a little bit." Reception of the casting decision was negative; the Hollywood Reporter said the lack of correct casting caused the film to lose substantial credibility in regard to its source material. Ultimately, the film was critically panned by both critics and audiences.|
|2010-Present||The Walking Dead||Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee||Glenn is one of the main protagonists in the hit series. He is engaged to fellow survivor Maggie Greene.|
|2011||Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows||Robert Downey, Jr.||The character of Sherlock Holmes donned Yellowface to disguise himself as a Chinese man for a short while in the film.|
|2012||The Sessions||Moon Bloodgood as Vera||Vera is the caretaker and personal nurse of quadriplegic Mark O'Brien portrayed by John Hawkes.|
|2012||Argo||Clea DuVall as Cora Lijek||The real Cora Lijek is of Japanese descent. Similarly, the film was widely criticized for white actor Ben Affleck playing the lead role of Tony Mendez, who in real life is Mexican-American.|
|2012||Cloud Atlas||Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, James D'Arcy, and Keith David||A significant number of cast members applied makeup, focusing mostly on the eyes, to make their features appear more Korean/East Asian in one of the film's stories. The film is based on the idea of having the same actors reappear in different roles in six different story lines, one of which is set in 'Neo Seoul' in the year 2144. The film thus also has Asian actresses Doona Bae and Zhou Xun appear in non-Asian roles, and African-American actress Halle Berry portrayed a white character. Blackface is not used in the film, however.|
|2013||Iron Man 3||Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin||Director Shane Black has called the character as he appeared in the comics a "racist caricature."|
|2013||Europa Report||Daniel Wu as Willam Xu||William Xu is the captain of a crew whose mission is to land on Europa and collect evidence of extraterrestrial life.|
|2013||The Walking Dead: A Hardcore Parody||Danny Wylde as Glenn Rhee||A pornographic parody of The Walking Dead, controversy interrupted over the character Glenn being portrayed by a Caucasian actor under heavy make-up and prosthetics.  |
|2013||Pacific Rim||Clifton Collins, Jr. as Tendo Choi|
|2013||The Conjuring||Shannon Kook as Drew||The character is a confident teaching assistant who plays an integral part in the paranormal investigation lead by the Warrens.|
|2013||The Wolverine||[Majority of cast]||The film is mostly set in Japan where Logan struggles to protect Mariko Yashida, the heiress to Japan's biggest corporation.|
|2013||47 Ronin||Keanu Reeves||Based on the true story of the 47 Ronin, a fantasy approach has been adopted in order to allow Keanu Reeves to be cast in the lead.|
|2013||Touchy Feely||Tomo Nakayama as Henry||Nakayama plays the lead musician in a band and the love interest of Ellen Page's character Jenny.|
|2014||Edge of Tomorrow||Tom Cruise||Based on a Japanese science-fiction light novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka.|
|2014||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||William Fichtner as Shredder|
|Unannounced||Akira||Sources state that the actors being considered for the lead roles are all Caucasian with the exception of Ken Watanabe. George Takei spoke with The Advocate in April 2011 about the casting rumors at that time, stating that any decision to cast white actors in Akira would offend both Asians and the fans of the original manga or animated film.|
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