White-Washed Great Wall Movie Causes Controversy Online

White-Washed Great Wall Movie Causes Controversy Online
Aug 03, 2016 By eChinacities.com

The upcoming film The Great Wall has attracted a number of critics after its first trailers were released. The fantasy adventure directed by Zhang Yimou set in China a thousand years ago stars white Hollywood film star Matt Damon.

Russian news agency rosbalt reported that many people have expressed dissatisfaction with the casting choices in the film. People are angry that a non-Chinese actor, Matt Damon was chosen to play the guardian of the Great Wall of China.

In the movie, European mercenaries were locked up in a Chinese prison. When mysterious monsters attack the Great Wall, Matt Damon and his mercenary pals must help defend the Great Wall. The film’s cast also includes Pedro Pascal, Andy Lau, Lu Han, Jing Tian, and Wang Junkai. The movie’s budget was $135 million.

Taiwan-born American actress Constance Wu led the charge against the movie. “We have to stop perpetuating the racist myth that only a white man can save the world, it’s not based in actual fact. Our heroes don’t look like Matt Damon. They look like Malala. Ghandi. Mandela,” said Wu in a statement on social media.

Well-known blogger Angry Asian Man said that the movie was, “the latest movie in the grand cinematic tradition of the Special White Person.” “You can set a story anywhere in the world, in any era of history, and Hollywood will still somehow find a way for the movie to star a white guy,” he wrote.

Source: dwnews.com

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31 Comments

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1

RachelDiD
comment|72782|252220

Eh, here's the thing. I don't like white washing. I don't like the fact that mediocre to bad white actors get work, while stunningly good minority actors struggle for any scripts at all. That being said, Constance Wu needs to shut her mouth and take a seat. Because mediocre to bad Chinese actors also get way too much work in Hollywood, thanks to the annoying habit of working a China scene into nearly every big budget flick these days (I will admit though, it used to be worse). In fact, I already made up my mind not to see it, because the whole trend of setting movies in an idealized China has just become so boring.

Aug 10, 2016 11:47 Report Abuse

2

tanbank34
comment|72769|1638305

great!

Aug 09, 2016 17:39 Report Abuse

3

The-Final-Say
comment|72733|233182

I've been doing acting and modeling for over a decade in China and this includes both films and commercials. I usually play roles that fit a need where my skills and looks apply. The competition is very stiff and I realize that to get roles, I must work hard and cooperate well with directors to bring about that illusion of whatever the director wishes me to perform. I am very proud of my work so what Constance Wu said is not only racist but also damages honest working people's professions. I really enjoy working with Chinese people and thank goodness not everyone thinks as her or we'd all stop watching each other's films and this is truly not good for business. Thanks to the many friends here with sound minds who have seen local films in China and the lack of foreign role. I am all for equality in film but also the film needs to serve a few useful purposes, one to tell a convincing story and two, to earn for whoever produces it. This is one reason why it is a good idea to hire people who can get the job done, both purposes, and race or whatever should only matter if the producer says it should. By the way, if anyone recalls Iron Man 3, Fan Bing Bing was cast at the end of the Chinese version to appeal to a local market, smart on Hollywood's side. Would love to see more of her, Li Bing Bing, Dong Jie, Lin Xin Ru, and others in Hollywood films as they are magnificent actresses and can sell to a broader audience than that Constance Wu. How about doing things in the right way and earning the role that fits, like what Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Andy Lau, Fat Zhou, Sammo Hung, Bruce Lee, Zhang Zi Yi, Gong Li, and Donny Yen have been doing in many internationally loved films, instead of fanning the flames of racism by alienating groups.

Aug 08, 2016 11:50 Report Abuse

4

robaird
comment|72734|10830

Sell to a wider audience using proxies. You're a proxy too. Whenever I see a Chinese scene input into a Hollywood blockbuster (read: POS), it's a cynical, corporatist ploy to improve box office in the local market. If you're getting paid to be a white monkey in a Chinese production, I bet you're a) underpaid, and b) getting shit roles as a glorified extra in a period piece where the evil imperialist Caucasian is oppressing the noble oriental. Didn't see your ugly mug in any film, fat boy. And you call yourself The Final Say? Arrogant cunt.

Aug 08, 2016 17:07 Report Abuse

5

The-Final-Say
comment|72750|233182

I realize on the internet if one comments then they leave themselves open to all sorts of comments, some with class and others..... as you. I don't expect you to understand the meaning of my selected nickname but to refer to it as a private part and judging others by their weight, that is a bit harsh. Well, its ok, I take great pride in the work that I do and everyone does start at the beginning, right? What do you have against extras and how do you suspect they are underpaid, even I don't have any idea about the market value of an extra. But I respect them same as I respect people who make huge money for their roles. Everyone serves a purpose and I'd like to think that all people's work is important, big or small role. By your words, you seem to have an opinion based on your personal experience or else you are bent on stirring up the website. Anyway, thank you for looking, I like that and so I repay the courtesy of a reply.

Aug 09, 2016 11:11 Report Abuse

6

robaird
comment|72757|10830

Dont take it too harshly, fat man. You're in the entertainment industry. Your job is to entertain, so dance, monkey man, dance!

Aug 09, 2016 15:24 Report Abuse

7

zzpavlis
comment|72729|1633998

Reminds me of The Last Samurai

Aug 08, 2016 11:27 Report Abuse

8

robaird
comment|72717|10830

What's the bet this piece of detritus will perform exceptionally well at the box office in China?

Aug 07, 2016 19:44 Report Abuse

9

Guest388182
comment|72703|43131

only chinese man can krapp in the street

Aug 07, 2016 05:19 Report Abuse

10

retiredinchina
comment|72664|1628124

yes, it was a great movie, saw it today, and the predominately Chinese audience with me seemed to like it as well.

Aug 05, 2016 13:13 Report Abuse

11

Sponge_Bob
comment|72658|1632030

looking forward to seeing the movie. Hope it is good

Aug 05, 2016 10:42 Report Abuse

12

RandomGuy
comment|72648|1589639

Many people don't understand that, beside a bunch of independent films, movie making is an industry in the likes of factories or retailers, and that their goal is solely to make as much money as possible. Matt Damon is a famous face and will help this movie to reach Western audiences. It is the same thing when a Hollywood movie puts in a Black or an Asian character, it is never out of good heart but solely to reach Afro-American and Asian-American/Chinese audiences, more viewers means more money. Whoever looks for an ideological message in Hollywood (or big budget movies in general from any country) is seriously lost and need guidance themselves because the only ideology for these AAA-movies is capitalism and their only god is money.

Aug 04, 2016 18:26 Report Abuse

13

Robk
comment|72637|27601

Oh please, since when is Hollywood supposed to try and act as a moral compass for the world? They only care about making money. All you have to do, is simply not pay to see the movie... and then they will change. Constance Wu can scream and cry all she wants, if she doesn't like it... don't watch it and make your own films...

Aug 04, 2016 11:18 Report Abuse

14

Lord_hanson
comment|72626|279026

So they want to attract a target audience of white 24-34 year olds in America. The film makers just want to make money from both the US and China. I didn't cry like a baby when they kept talking Chinese in the new independence day film because it is a film. If I watched a documentary then I would complain but a film of course not, some people have because too sensitive and need to quit whining.

Aug 04, 2016 08:24 Report Abuse

15

Mateusz
comment|72631|48324

You didn't cry like a baby, since you're not a racist crybully like Wu.

Aug 04, 2016 08:43 Report Abuse

16

RandomGuy
comment|72649|1589639

I didn't cry like a baby when China played a major role in helping the US rescue Matt Damon from Mars. Those people must have really thin skin.

Aug 04, 2016 18:31 Report Abuse

17

Mateusz
comment|72624|48324

So... a single white guy in a Chinese movie - whitewashing? Does that mean Constance Wu is committing the horrible act of yellowwashing? A white person asserting that only white people should be in American movies, and rants against non-whites in American movies would be racist (I say would be, since I don't know anyone who holds such an extreme view). A yellow person asserting that only yellow people should be in Chinese movies, and rants against non-yellows in Chinese movies, however, is supposedly speaking out against racism. Humanity, you disappoint me.

Aug 04, 2016 06:40 Report Abuse

18

RandomGuy
comment|72650|1589639

I will use that word 'yellow-washing' whenever I see a Chinese actor in a Hollywood movie. And tell them to wash it one more time because it's not really spotless White clean just yet.

Aug 04, 2016 18:33 Report Abuse

19

retiredinchina
comment|72622|1628124

yes, make a movie that is historically accurate instead of one that makes money, then I can download it off a torrent site under the heading DOCUMENTARY. It's called entertainment, smoke some weed and chill. I love watching action movies were the main actor is Asian, such as uh oh huh, can't think of one in this century, give me a minute.

Aug 04, 2016 02:21 Report Abuse

20

Mateusz
comment|72625|48324

If you're having trouble thinking of an action movie where the main actor is Asian, just look at pretty much every action movie from China, where the casting is a damn sight more monochrome than Hollywood. Even if you only want to count Western movies, there is The Expendables, Shanghai Noon/Shanghai Nights, Batman V. Superman (and the upcoming Wonder Woman). That's just off the top of my head. How many Chinese movies have the main actor as an American (or European)?

Aug 04, 2016 06:44 Report Abuse

21

retiredinchina
comment|72651|1628124

sorry mateusz, your definition of a movie and mind are not the same, none of the movies above would interest me in the least, generation gap I suppose. I know they make a detergent to make a black guy come out Asian, do they make one to make an Asian come out white. I hope Matt Damon did not eat any of those dangerous phosphates in the detergent.

Aug 04, 2016 20:13 Report Abuse

22

biggj123
comment|72621|308467

Yeah I was upset when Jackie Chan played the hero in rumble in the bronx.....should have been a black guy.

Aug 03, 2016 23:33 Report Abuse

23

Englteachted
comment|72620|263127

Slum Dog made 400m, make a good movie.

Aug 03, 2016 23:31 Report Abuse

24

Timtimtim
comment|72619|1607180

'white washing' Is such a fucking dumb term. He is popular so he got the job your ignorant cunts.

Aug 03, 2016 22:25 Report Abuse

25

RobRocks
comment|72618|270246

I like Matt Damon

Aug 03, 2016 21:42 Report Abuse