In a work that writer Michelle I. contributed to Racebending.com (and freely admits is hardly exhaustive), she traces Hollywood's ignorance, racism and self-doubt through various epochs to show just how white Hollywood has always been and, evidence to the contrary, remains.
And nothing came to epitomize Hollywood's need to whitewash (or 'yellowface' as the termed gained
Even on television, one needn't look farther that big bag of gas, Glee, to see how Asian-Americans are given short shrift. Harry Shum Jr.'s role of Mike Chang had been, at least throught season two, an afterthought, window dressing for a cast that clobbered its audiences' head with multiculturalism.
But Michell I does a thorough, if not knee-deep, job citing example after example of actors, eyes taped firmly in place, that play roles designed for and written about Asians. I would encourage you to read this too-short essay of Yellowface and the effects it has had on the community it aims to protray.
One coda: Michelle notes, sadly, that, "There are enough minority actors and actresses for marginal or sinister characters – but Hollywood continues to insist it is difficult or impossible to find talented Asian American actors for positive, substantial roles. This is reflected in Paramount’s planned films for the 2010s. Of the studio’s announced films, 89% feature white leads. On a related note, a staggering 94% of planned leads are men, despite the fact that women make up 55% of American ticket sales"
© 2012, Victor Hoff. All rights reserved. Menofcolor.blogs.com