I honestly had a difficult time writing this post.
I write and tell jokes. In the last year, I have posted a number of tweets poking fun of the lack of Asian representation on the big screen, and the ridiculousness of non-Asian actors playing the roles of Asians. Tweets such as these:
Like all things, the responses to these tweets were mixed. Some people found them funny, while others responded with a slew of grammatically incorrect tirade of discrimination. What made this post difficult to write, however, was not the bigotry that followed these jokes. It was one particular tweet, which I am copy and pasting in order to preserve the author's anonymity, that read:
"Why does it fucking matter so much?"
This was a legitimate question, and the legitimacy of this question is what made this post difficult to write. When it comes down to it, who plays what doesn't really matter. What face with associated to what character doesn't matter. None of this matters.
The minute I choose to accept another non-Asian Allison Ng or Major Kusanagi, the message I would be saying to Asian children and youths is that their skin colour, complexion and family background are not good enough to appear on the big screen. I would be showing the Asian kids that we are replaceable as people. I would be telling them to give up on their dreams. Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying white actors, or any other actors of any origin, don't struggle. We all struggle as people, in every goddamn profession. However, silence is not a privilege I can afford. What I am saying, especially to the generations to come, is this:
You do matter.