This Vox video explains why things haven’t changed enough for Asian actors in Hollywood. In fact, they haven’t changed much at all. From Louise Rainer winning an Oscar for playing an Asian woman in “The Good Earth” in 1937 to Marlon Brando playing Asian in “Teahouse of the August Moon” (1956) to Linda Hunt playing an Asian man in “The Year of Living Dangerously,” (1982) to Tilda Swinton playing a Tibetan character in Marvel’s “Dr. Strange” (coming), Asians in Hollywood movies are invisible at best, and still, sometimes the butt of a joke.
And here’s the Washington Post with a list of 100 times (and there are more) a white actor played a non-white character.
There’s blowback from audiences now, but we haven’t yet seen studios changing their practices. After all, the whole point is bringing in people to theaters, and they need well-known actors who can “open” a film. And how many well-known Asian actors are there, at least in the U.S.? Kind of a vicious circle.