Taff Interviews Strong Asian Lead's Mas Moriya on Asian Representation in Hollywood

In a recent interview on Taff, the German tabloid program, Mas Moriya, a consultant for film and TV production, shed light on the ongoing struggle for Asian representation in Hollywood.

Despite recent victories like the historic Oscar win of Asian actors Michel Yeo and Theo van den in 2021, many Asian actors still struggle to find roles in Hollywood. 

Hollywood has a long history of casting white actors in Asian roles, which only changed in 2017 when the role of the Japanese character in the manga adaptation “Ghost in the Shell” was played by Scarlett Johansson. Moriya believes that Asian actors should not be offered roles that make them targets of ridicule.

The representation of Asian women in Hollywood has been particularly problematic, with Anna May Wong being one of the few Asian actresses to achieve Hollywood stardom in the 1920s. However, she was also a victim of Hollywood’s self-imposed censorship code that prohibited intimacy between white and non-white characters, leading her to lose out on roles like the lead in “The Good Earth” to Louise Rainer, a German actress.

Despite some improvements over the years, Hollywood still has a long way to go in terms of Asian representation. Moriya believes that Hollywood has only started to think about diversity since 2017, with the success of films like “Crazy Rich Asians,” which was the latest major Hollywood production with a predominantly Asian cast. 

The recent success of “Parasite,” a Korean film that won Best Picture at the Oscars in 2020, is another step forward for diversity in film and a world without discrimination. However, there is still a long way to go, and Moriya is committed to fighting against over decades-old stereotypes.

In conclusion, the struggle for Asian representation in Hollywood is ongoing, but there have been recent victories that give hope for a more diverse future. The film industry needs to continue to push for change and break down stereotypes to create a world where everyone is represented fairly.

Journalist: Anna-Barbara Tietz