Dec 13, 2020

Interior Chinatown: The novel taking on Hollywood’s Asian tropes

Even more than that, he hopes the novel will shed more light on the ongoing debate about representation and Asian American stereotypes, and create a conversation about escaping the roles we are forced into. Set in a fictional Chinatown, the story follows Willis as he plays background characters in a police TV show called Black and White - which stars a black person and a white person. "The [characters] are all trapped in their roles, they're part of this narrative that has been scripted for them," says Yu. Willis' mother for example, once seen as an Asian Seductress, eventually becomes an Old Asian Woman. Crazy Rich Asians, which in 2018 made its debut to much fanfare - and also criticism - is one such example of more Asian-Americans slowly making their way to the big screen. "Certainly there can be valid stories where that is the point of the story, but to me, it would be really neat to see a part that could have been played by literally anybody, but they happen to cast an Asian."

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