Constance Wu Slams Matt Damon Casting in ‘The Great Wall’: It Perpetuates a ‘Racist Myth’

Matt Damon The Great Wall
Courtesy: The Great Wall

“Fresh Off the Boat” star Constance Wu criticized the casting of Matt Damon in “The Great Wall,” arguing that it perpetuates a stereotype that heroes are played by white men.

“We have to stop perpetuating the racist myth that only a white man can save the world,” she wrote on Twitter on Friday. “Our heroes don’t look like Matt Damon. “They look like Malala. Gandhi. Mandela. Your big sister when she stood up for you to those bullies that one time.”

The film, from Legendary and Universal, is set on the Great Wall of China as a group of elite warriors band together to keep out and defeat mythical creatures. Wu, a Taiwanese-American actress, calls Damon’s casting “hero-bias.”

“Remember it’s not about blaming individuals…” she wrote. “Rather, it’s about repeatedly pointing out the racist notion that white people are superior to [people of color] and that POC need salvation from our own color via white strength.”

She also fights back the idea that actors of color don’t bring in as much box office revenue. “If white actors are forgiven for having a box office failure once in a while, why can’t a POC sometimes have one?” she wrote. “And how COOL would it be if you were the movie that took the ‘risk’ to make a POC as your hero, and you sold the s—t out of it?! The whole community would be celebrating!”

The film stars Damon and Willem Dafoe alongside Chinese stars including Andy Lau, Zhang Hanyu and Eddie Peng. It is the first movie to emerge from Legendary Entertainment’s Legendary East operation.

“The Great Wall” is set for U.S. release Feb. 17, 2017.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 100

Leave a Reply

100 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Fernando says:

    Fernando says:
    December 6, 2016 at 2:19 pm
    Constance Wu clearly doesn’t understand movie-making.

    The American audience doesn’t want to see an Asian lead, they want to see Matt Damon. That’s why the producers cast him, because he brings in the money.

    It has NOTHING to do with racism. Or history. Or whitewashing.

    Let’s defend our freedom of thought and fantasy. I choose MY life. And I choose Matt Damon as one of my favorite action movie actors. That doesn’t make me a racist.

  2. xaviersx says:

    Who cast the film and towards what ends. Remember, a lot of films today get some injection of what plays in the ‘foreign’ market. If this film is an east production, are you focused in err on why when it should be who? If the studio says this won’t play as well without actor a or b, then from a financial not creative viewpoint, a decision was made to get more money vs exclude/include role talent. In the end, studios care about the color of the money.

  3. When Constance Wu lays out the millions to finance a film then by all means cast whoever you want. The funny thing is…nobody has even seen the movie and they’re already calling it racist….from what I read the director said the Damon character (non-chinese guy) was integral to the story line….so why don’t people wait and see the movie first before pre-judging.

  4. Jess says:

    I’m open for any type of casting. However, when I see a missed opportunity for a non-white to star in a major role, that admittedly annoys me. I wasn’t happy with the Ghostbusters reboot, mainly because the gender-swapping didn’t enhance the narrative. (It was nothing more than feminism shoved down our throats.) On the other hand, when you have a story that involves non-white characters in a setting like China, it’d make for a more convincing narrative to have it star non-white actors. It’s not rocket science. Would you cast Jackie Chan as George Washington? No. So why is it okay when the situation is reversed?

    We don’t want political agendas shoved down our throats. I’m personally fed up when a character is swapped to another race or gender for the sake of political correctness. But when I see roles like Major Motoko Kusanagi go to a white actor, I can understand the criticism. Opportunities are few and far for Asian actors. The entire reason why they can’t dominate the screen is because those few opportunities automatically go to white actors. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Hollywood cast Scarlett Johanssen as Mulan in some live-action movie in the future.

  5. A fantasy story and people get upset. So where was she when Tom Cruise played the Last Samurai or when hardly no Japanese were in Memoirs of a Geisha or when Ryan Gosling was the main actor in a Thai film or the dozen or so the films where a non Asian played a major role or in her words the hero of an Asian film? I mean she seem to be on a pretty high horse. Does anyone feel afraid to tell her that its a movie about dragons? Or how about that since the whole movie was shot on location in China that it brought revenue to China? Or that it has a great Chinese director and actor ( looking at you Andy Lau ) I mean for all the good that it has and the good that it will provide for many Asian actors who will be seen by American audiences for the first time she wants to rant about one thing. How about stop the BS about the images the little girls will see. Like they are all going to focus ONLY on Matt Damon. Lastly where has it been said that “White people are superior to POC”? Seriously Ms Wu where? As the kids like to say nowadays ” this bitch crazy”

    • barry says:

      Wu was only 21 when that movie came out in 2003 , she didn’t graduate until 2005. So she might have protested or might not have but I have no idea. Pretty sure no one was listening to a college student complain though. Glad she is using her influence to point out that there are other choices to be made.

    • Jess says:

      Did you even see ‘The Last Samurai’? O_o If you did, you’d know it was about AN AMERICAN military advisory infiltrating Japan’s land. It was about a VERY WHITE character coming to terms with another culture. So of course no one made a fuss over Tom Cruise. It served the narrative and called for a white actor. 9_9

      Also, when you go to the movies do you really come away from that film thinking about the people behind the scenes? Or the stars of that movie? For a good majority of the audience, it’s the latter. Aside from the movie’s story and fantastic elements, the things we remember from any movie is who starred in it.

      So yes, Ms. Wu’s criticisms are justified. Roles for Asian actors are few and far between in Hollywood. Yet, those roles/opportunities are still up for grabs for non-Asian actors. We saw the same thing happen in ‘Ghost in the Shell’.

      Does Motoko Kusanagi sound Caucasian to you? Apparently, Hollywood thought so. They cast Scarlett for the starring role. Funny enough, ‘Ghost in the Shell’ is about thinking beyond race. But Hollywood still felt the need to slap a white actor in it anyway. It was a missed opportunity for an actor like Wu or Pacific Rim’s Rinko Kikuchi.

      For the record, I despise casting non-white actors or women for the sake of political correctness. I refuse to watch the Ghostbusters Reboot for this reason. But when the narrative itself calls for a non-white actor and takes place in a place like China? It’d make for a more convincing story if it starred someone who looked like they were a part of the culture or region. It also gives an Asian actor an opportunity to thrive.

    • milo says:

      Plot may be fantasy but the setting (and title) come off as historical.

      Just because there’s a supernatural element it makes sense in ancient china for a white guy to show up and save the day?

  6. Russ says:

    Go Constance, we’re standing with you on this! You are so right about this, and you are not attacking any actors, BUT bring AWARENESS of this issue! Whitewashing the Asian culture….what’s next….white Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon! Thank you for standing up and bringing this issue up!

  7. This movie has more myths on its mind than meets the eye. Don’t get fooled. Know the facts!

  8. Floyd Rock says:

    Isn’t in an ensemble film that also stars Tian Jing, Pedro Pascal, Kenny Lin, and Andy Lau?

  9. Rick Harlow says:

    Yes, there is plenty of whitewashing in Hollywood (just ask Marvel), but this is not one of those cases. There are dragons in this film. I’m not sure if you’re aware, Constance, but there were not actually dragons in ancient China. This is not a period piece. It has no historical reference. They could use an all-white cast and it would be just as historically accurate.

    • Ethnicaccuracy says:

      @Rick, there are generally 4 types of dragons in Chinese mythology. In fact, looking at the one quick shot of the small dragon in the trailer, it’s similar to the QiLin dragon, minus the antlers. Where the criticism is true and the industry falter is the notion that it takes a big name western star to run the vehicle. The studio execs who won’t put down $150 million unless there’s a Damon like opening involved. Tull, the head of studio who envisioned the idea with a Caucasian lead from the start. Yes they need a 1st language english speaker, but how did the Chilean actor get his role then?
      Is Donny Yen a better fit? Yes. He’s a natural martial artist, has the same acting range as Damon, and he speaks with a Canadian accent.
      For anyone who thinks diversity isn’t an issue needs to look at the stats of how many lead roles are Caucasian(80+%), not to mention the studio execs who make these decisions (90+%).
      And this isn’t about keeping Caucasians out of work, it’s about opportunity for others to get work, including lead roles in big movies.

  10. Laura says:

    You’re an idiot and trouble maker Constance Wu. Why don’t you worry about your own lame career and leave the BIG stars alone. The white race does have a lot of heroes, even if they are actors. Kudos to Matt Damon. Keep rockin’ it!

  11. keith batchelor says:

    This is funny. You can’t even shoot a fantasy movie without offending the peanut gallery. I guess they missed the “fantasy ” part.

  12. Bollocks Malarkey says:

    I agree with Constance Wu. Even sadder is that Yimou Zhang one of the greatest living directors has succumbed to the Hollywood blockbuster draw and the big $’s. They finally caught him in their grubby little mitts and there is probably no escape for him. It’s over! My wife is Japanese American and was outraged when one of her favorite books “Memoirs of a Geisha” was made into a movie with an Asian cast of almost NO Japanese actors. But, then Hollywood doesn’t care about story, so why would they care about authenticity. They are no longer satisfied with the dumbing down of America. They already conquered America. Now it’s the world. Next stop Mars. But, here’s the rub: as long as people continue buying tickets to stupid movies, Hollywood will keep making them.

    • therealeverton says:

      Why don’t you try finding out anything about the actual film before making so many serious assumptions and besmirching the integrity of a genuine master director AND Andy Lau who have both been extremely careful in choosing when to make a Hollywood entrance – oh and remember this film is produced with a LOT of Chinese money.

  13. NoLines says:

    Does this woman believe that because Matt Damon is the actor playing the character, that the character is no longer Asian? Your heroes don’t look like Matt Damon? Matt Damon is not the character in this movie. Matt Damon is the actor who plays the part of this character. Does this really need to be explained to you?

    Did I miss the press release when movies became reality? Or the one where it was announced that every single person on the planet has the right to tell everyone else how everything that they have nothing to do with should be made?

    You’re pretty full of yourself, lady. I suggest you go make your own movie about this character, and cast who YOU want to play the part.

    You don’t want all people to be equal. You don’t want to be the same as me. You want to be separated and classified. Categorized. By definition, that can never be equality.

  14. taytum says:

    agreed. people who want to send a message should boycott this movie and every movie that does this. enough is enough.

  15. AllWiledUp says:

    Gird your loins, folks. Scorsese’s movie Silence is about a bunch of white guys in Japan.

  16. Rudy Mario says:

    While this person makes a valid point, why the heck did your country’s producers (Legendary ) agree to the casting in the first place. They controlled the finance so they should have put in the correct casting. But who knows how the final product will look like; after all there are Chinese actors in the movie.

  17. Broken Stitch says:

    Typically I’d go off on a rant about how this is stupid nonsense is, but in this case it might be a serious problem. Kind of agree with her point. I wasn’t happy about the white-washing of Dr. Strange upon China’s request, but this is worse to me. We’re not making an Asian white to avoid offense, we’re doing the opposite. Don’t get me wrong, Japan is the most racist place I know of, and much of Asia is much the same, however this story, this story was already racist to being with. To do this just makes it worse.

    Also, I saw what looked to be European dragons, yet another flaw for me. I’m Welsh, Irish, Japanese, German, Russian, Cherokee with bloodlines that also contain Negroid blood and more. Dragons are important cultural tools. I don’t think that we should mix them up. The European dragon is dangerous, but the average Asian dragon is lucky or even down right majestic. Wish we didn’t prey upon the dragon’s tale this way.

    Then again I haven’t read the story, and don’t know what the movie is really about. It might be a great story, and given the fictional nature of the story, the protagonist’s race may not be important. In general if a movie is made for America, I see no issue with the character being white. Thing is, this looks as though it’s made for Asia, so it’s a really poor choice.

    i.e. I don’t take the Ghost Busters controversy serious because it’s really just Sony hype, but added to that is the fact that the audience may not have even been American. Some movies are made for overseas, and I don’t know this particular studio.

    Anyway, blacks in China have a really really hard time; That’s real racism. China also oppresses its people and the world has bigger issues than the narrative of some silly movie. To get upset at this is silly, it shows a lack of a real interest in life.

  18. fivedavid says:

    Constance Wu is absolutely correct saying that Hollywood/Matt Perpetuates a ‘Racist Myth’ and ridicules Asian American is very common and is in the open! Look what happens in the Oscars where ASIAN AMERICAN CHILDREN were ridiculed, stereotyped negatively and openly in national television!

    • Linda says:

      Real racism is all over the worl. It has existed since the beginning of time. And, unfortunately it will continue to exist. Blacks don’t like whites, whites don’t like blacks, whites don’t like middle easterners, Hispanics don’t like Africans, and so on, and so on………I’m not saying that this is the true order, it simply represents that point that I wish to make.

    • Rudy Mario says:

      Yes. Liberal left wing racism. The creepy liberals claim that the right wing nuts are racists. But hollywood liberals (think Amy’ emails at Sony), bloated with self importance – Matt and Ben (their remarks on the soon to be cancelled HBO show) plus the DNC’s own emails that were leaked show that racism is not exclusive to Republicans or right wingers.

  19. fivedavid says:

    Hollywood Perpetuates a ‘Racist Myth’ and ridicules Asian American is very common and is in the open! Look what happens in the Oscars where ASIAN AMERICAN CHILDREN were ridiculed, stereotyped negatively and openly in national television!

    • Linda says:

      I believe we have all represent racism at one point or another, whether it was in our words, or in our hearts. There is a difference………..Sometimes words spoke don’t actually represent the hearHowever, those on the receiving end of the words will attach it to the heart, because feelings cannot been seen, but the assumption is that feelings can be heard.

  20. I agree 110% with every word Constance Wu wrote. Enough is enough Hollywood. I will not see The Great Wall. I like Matt Damon as an actor and fellow human being, but it’s offensive that he has the lead role in a film about China and the Great Wall. Like, seriously, can they be more transparent in their whitewashing?

  21. fivedavid says:

    Why can the Hero in this movie be an Asian American? There are 18 MILLION Asian American in the United States. Asian makes up 60% of the world’s population so there is a market for Asian American hero films! There are no shortage of demand for Asian American hero in movies!

  22. fivedavid says:

    Asian American are discriminated against academically and in Hollywood culture! Asian AMERICAN excel in school and do well in SAT test. Now the racist Colleges want to get rid of SAT requirement because it collected data that show that Asians American children are made to give academic handicap to other children. Please google: “Thereis a war against Asian American’s success? Please google” , “From NYC to Harvard: the war on Asian success” , “medical-school-acceptance-rates-2007.html” , “To get into elite colleges, some advised to ‘appear less Asian’”,
    “StatisticsIndicate an Ivy League Asian Quota”

  23. fivedavid says:

    Should Matt Damon make a film about the racist “Exclusion Act” that specifically target Chinese?

  24. Jaime says:

    Brilliant Constance! I am with you.

  25. No problem. Since Damon has come out as a Leftie Moron, I won’t be spending any of my hard earned money (I’m not on welfare, and don’t have a WIC card) watching him in ANY movie.

    • MutantPryde says:

      WIC stands for Women, Infants, Children….you wouldn’t have that anyway, as it’s aimed at helping new mothers buy formula for their babies.

  26. da ng says:

    How many Asian American Heroes characters are cast in Hollywood films? How are Asian American portray in Hollywood films? There are 18 MILLION Asian American in the United States. Asian makes up 60% of the world’s population so there is a market for Asian American hero films! Is this Hollywood’s Microaggression toward Asian AMERICANS? When will Hollywood make a film about the racist “Exclusion Act” that specifically target Chinese?

  27. Bob says:

    Honestly this is like the first large scale asian picture I’ve seen with a white lead since like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. What is this lady talking about. Yeah sorry but money matters and Matt will be a huge draw for the film. If you want to go the way of Ghostbusters and make all leads nonwhite for the sake of social justice be my guest, but don’t be surprised when your movie bombs.

  28. Absolutely brilliant! Thank you, Constance!

  29. Josie says:

    I’m glad that someone is speaking up about this. Thank you Constance Wu. By the way on another site where it asks if you agree with her comments if you try to answer “yes” it will only allow a “no.” Hmmm

  30. Saul says:

    It’s hilarious that this “Asian-American” girl in Hollywood is offended at what actual Chinese people may want… All the while… if you want pure Chinese or any other developed country’s cinema… we are the few countries in the world that has access to it… it’s even on things like Netflix…

  31. That's What She says:

    Generally, I agree, though her message WILL fall on the money-clogged deaf ears of Hollywood suits, but specifically, this is a movie about a historic monument used to sell a complete fantasy to a foreign market not used to Hollywood’s bull. When a dragon is involved, having Matt Damon in it shouldn’t be too far a stretch, like having a giant mechanical spider in a western with a black US marshal. This is Hollywood’s version of an inculpable clean slate.

    • That's What She says:

      Also, “the shit was sold out of” The Force Awakens, which had a white woman and a black man as its stars. Hollywood sees that and thinks “well that would’ve made way more if it had a white man and…. another white man in it. RIP OFF TIME.” That’s the studio way of progression.

  32. NobodyKnows (@FeeFiFoeFum) says:

    Here’s the problem with her argument and I’m surprised Variety didn’t point it out – Legendary and Universal didn’t finance this film. The film was financed by a company called Le Vision Pictures which is owned by a subsidiary of a CHINESE ELECTRONICS FIRM CALLED LeECO. LeEco just acquired Vizio for $2 billion. Therefore the Chinese financed this movie and it was filmed in China. If Constance Wu wants to be mad at someone for perpetuating the “white savior myth” then she needs to go talk to the businessmen at Le Vision in Shanghai that put up the money. Constance Wu is Taiwanese-American, right? And there’s a long-standing feud between China and Taiwan about whether or not Taiwan is property of China. So there’s so a lot going on here under the surface. She won’t directly attack the Chinese for financing a film that “whitewashes” Chinese history but she’ll attack Damon for taking the paycheck. Seems a little hypocritical of her. Lord knows there’s plenty of racism and hypocrisy about racism in Hollywood, but let’s spread the blame around on this one and 50% of it goes to a Chinese company for financing the movie.

    • Yeah, you had me until you tried to tie in the Taiwanese conspiracy.

      • Broken Stitch says:

        You can watch NHK LIVE online as they’ve been talking about a huge ongoing feud right now. It’s not a conspiracy theory, it’s out in the open. Odds are there’s going to be a battle coming soon, between East Asia and Parts of China. Hard to say, because I’m not certain what’s being disgust between China and South Korea. I know Okinawan’s are upset with the US, but at the same time we’re gearing up to back Japan and our allies over the Senkaku islands among other things.

    • That's What She says:

      It’s highly doubtful that Legendary would’ve distributed it without the concession of a white male lead as part of the deal. If not, what’s next, an iguana playing “Benji”?

      Plus, she doesn’t attack Damon for “taking the paycheck”, but the system at large for its psycho-sexual obsession with international moolah.

  33. Timbaah says:

    Nah No racism or hero bias in Hollywood that’s absurd I remember the time that Tom Cruise became The Last Samurai it seemed legit.
    I know Marco Polo was single-handedly responsible for Kublai Khan taking over China by being the guy who designed trebuchet that breached the city walls.
    Maybe we could cast Ben Affeck as the lead in a movie called The Greatest Ninja where he is a smuggler who is washed ashore on an island in Japan and becomes the most skillful ninja in Japan in a matter of months.
    George Clooney could possibly be cast as the lead in a movie called King of the Yakuza where he uses his white handsomeness and charisma to earn the respect of the criminal underground and takes over the Yakuza restoring it’s honor and civility.
    Basically if I was Asian I would hope there was a white guy on my side because he will most likely save the day using his white powers.
    Seriously if you don’t this shit in films your probably not racist but you’d have to be plenty stupid and extremely myopic.

    • malcolm says:

      Yeah it sucks that Toim Cruise was The Last Samurai very unfair and racist …as the character was based on a FRENCHMAN he definitely should have been a French actor not American…

      • Timbaah says:

        Very aware Ken Wantanabe’s character was the last samurai and that’s my point.
        Why if the movie is about Ken Wantanabe’s character and title of the movie reflects that, why isn’t he the lead actor? why isn’t he on the billboard? simple answer hollywood think if they make an asian film they need a white saviour narrative with white savior marketing.
        If you wanna tell the story of the last samurai, who was in fact as you pointed out Ken Wantanabe’s character then fuck make him the lead actor put him as the centre of the story and put him on billboard.

        If you want tell the story of Capt Algren, call the film I don’t know, Capt Algren goes to Japan.

        Just don’t market a film leaving people with a first impression of ‘it turns out the last samurai was a white guy’.

      • CD says:

        This is where people seem to make a mistake, Cruise was not the last samurai, Ken Wantanabe and his fellow samurai were. You missed the whole point of the movie. The funny thing is I can’t imagine where people even get the idea that Tom Cruise is supposed to be the last samurai unless they just plain didn’t watch it or fell asleep.

      • Timbaah says:

        Your absolutely right a movie called Jules Brunet second in command hero of the battle Hokodate not racist you could depict him accurately on movie billboards in the french uniform he wore in battles, but then you gotta ask why is the lead character in this movie the bloke whose second in command not the leader, they could do that I wouldn’t give two shits, but it’s kind of the equivalent of making a movie about Alexander the Great’s General before one about Alexander.
        But no unfortunately we get Tom Cruise in full samurai attire with the title The Last Samurai.
        Maybe my gripe is just with marketing to have the poster be an iconic image of a Samurai with the Words The Last Samurai and all that invokes and to have it be a white guy with no legitimate historical claims to being The Last Samurai, why the need to elevate the second in command to mythical last samurai status?
        Just to clarify I don’t find it racist in the wah wah it’s unfair sense whoever made the film can cast whoever they want.
        I find it racist in the sense that I love film and I’m watching a movie about a Japanese rebellion called The Last Samurai and the star of the show is the American who in the context of the story isn’t as important or as interesting as the other Japanese Characters and the filmmakers would be better served making a more authentic film without the unnecessary white savior narrative .

  34. Steef says:

    Matt Damon wasn’t cast because the filmmakers believe that only white people can save the world. Matt Damon is in it because Matt Damon puts people into theaters in the USA, which is where the portion of their audience whose opinions they care about live. I’m not trying to be elitist in any way, I’m calling it like I see it. I don’t like the idea of the random white guy in China being the hero either, but if any Chinese actor sold as many tickets as Matt Damon, then we’d see a Chinese actor in this role.

    • Broken Stitch says:

      Pretty much agree with your point.

    • 100%. Maybe in America you can be more dismissive of the money factor and claim companies should feel a societal obligation to promote racial equality, but no one in China gives a damn. We are making this movie specifically to get a foothold in the international marketplace. Our protagonist should be one of the biggest box office draws in the world. Name me one Chinese celebrity who could open bigger than Matt Damon across all territories, and then you can have a legitimate basis for discussion with the Chinese side.

    • That's What She says:

      What’s really upsetting is that she was right about stars not selling movies anymore, and haven’t done so in decades, yet Hollywood still thinks that’s the solution. Characters sell films. No one goes to see Johnny Depp movies, they go to see Jack Sparrow movies, so unless Mark Watney travelled through time to save the Chinese from dragons and giant titan orge orc ettin whatevers, Legendary will continue to not learn this simple lesson.

      • Jaime says:

        I agree with Constance. And, some of the arguments against Constance’s article seems logical on its face. It’s “creative freedom” ” it’s my money and I get to decide who stars in it” “it’s the market demands” so on and so forth. I get all of that and it makes sense on its face. But at what point do POC say enough? Are we supposed to continue to accept these logical explanations and just allow it to go on? The problem is that we (as in ALL of us including POC) have had our brains soaked to death with white male heroes saving the day. Not only do they save the day among white Americans but they save the day in black America, Chinese, Japanese, native America, China, all of Africa, just about any and everywhere as if no one else has or is doing anything to save the day. And so kids grow up with this idea in their heads that white Americans are almost infallible and intellectual abilities are superior to all and second to none. It’s a challenge to battle that as a parent since visual devices are so much a part of our daily lives. And it is constant in film and television. It’s everywhere. And, we all know the power of imagery and how it impacts how people and kids view themselves and others. So, do we allow this to continue or do we speak about it even if Hollywood shrugs it off? No, we have to say something about it and say it loud. So, I think what you are also witnessing in her article is exhaustion with the white male hero. I personally don’t watch movies with white male leads anymore because I’m simply tired of it and tired of seeing the same white guy in the same formulaic movie putting the white guy on a pedestal every single time. But Hollywood is like all industries and companies who become so successful financially that they eventually go into a downward spiral because of their inability to evolve. That’s what is happening to them and they are struggling as a result.

      • Well, since the US is only around 30% of worldwide movie revenues, you figure it out.

  35. YUNGJUDAH says:

    I agree we have enough white superhero movies to last the next hundred years…the question should be WHY?

  36. Dan says:

    totally agree with her. plus Matt looks really stupid in that costume

  37. Harry says:

    I’m asian and i think shes nut. American movies of course American is the hero, is like asian movies asian is the hero. Whats the big deal? Is just a movie.

    • im not laughing says:

      There’s over a billion of us Harry, are you really surprised that not every asian agrees with you?

      Hell with the way hollywood is going at it when it comes to erasure (ScarJo for Ghost in the Shell, the cliche mystic asia journeying guided by Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange)- Disney might as well cast Gwendoline Christie next for a Mulan Live Action, for all the sense that any of these casting choices make. That’s how much logic there is to promote Matt Damon as the ‘hero’ (outsider but still a hero) of a story about an ancient fantasy battle happening 1000 years ago on the great wall of China.

      I like Matt, but i don’t care to see him the star in this film when that role should be somebody else’s (Jing Tian, Andy Lau, Eddie Peng any one of the supporting characters). Matt’s already famous in a way that none of the other native Chinese Actors are. And this is a story set in their country, about a fantasy battle manned by most of their people. Why would i care about Matt Damon when it isn’t even his problem- but apparently it makes him a hero when he interferes? It sounds too much to me like the same crap that every other white savior movie has been about ( Avatar,The last Samurai,Tears of the Sun, all the way back To Kill a Mockingbird- there is literally a wikipedia list you can dig through, and not all of them are bad but i’m afraid this one is). Many of us, ARE TIRED OF IT, this is just the lastest insult in a long slew of insults to the international community hollywood dishes out on a regular basis.

      it just extra nasty this time for chinese north americans who see it, because for a bunch of us, our country of birth is financing half of the joke.

    • Will says:

      Newsflash Harry! Not ALL “Americans” are White men.

  38. Bryan_Mills_ says:

    Constance Who? Never heard of her. Another C-list starlet trying to build her name through being more liberal than the next far-left liberal and possibly claim Meryl Streep’s throne when she retires. This is America, not Taiwan. There are plenty of Chinese actors in Taiwan, HK and PRC movies if she wants to watch them. There are plenty of non-white actors playing movie heroes.

  39. Chris Darling says:

    If Constance Wu had taken the time to read the synopsis for the film she would have noticed it’s a story about “an elite global force making a valiant stand for humanity on the world’s most iconic structure.” In other words, it’s “Independence Day” or “The Avengers” set in Ancient China. There are foreigners in the story, joining with Chinese heroes to save the world. Even if it is historically and hysterically ridiculous, it does not represent Hollywood white-only racism. As the first picture from a company that is trying to blend Chinese and American casts together for worldwide audiences, it’s an ambitious first step.

  40. mmmwww says:

    Enough throwing the word “racist” with no respect to its meaning.
    Where I come from, racism means killing people for being different.
    You can say “it is wrong in my opinion” but otherwise grow up.

  41. Bennie says:

    I don’t know the story behind the making of this, and I don’t know much about the story because I won’t watch the trailer, I just want to see the movie because I want to go in blindly when it comes to Zhang Yimou’s films, his films are always breathtaking. But instead of jumping to conclusions, my first thought was I wonder if Zhang Yimou really wanted to work with Matt Damon on something? Maybe he’s a fan? I think a lot of this immediate yelling and screaming regarding racism is actually hurting the cause. And I do think financing is an issue. If I was going to invest 50-100 million dollars in a movie, I’d want someone who is known throughout the world, because it is a world market now, not just one country, and could potentially bring back my investment and then some. Andy Lau, in my opinion is one of the greatest actors on this planet and I’m so excited to see him in this movie, but I’m sorry to say people in America don’t know who he is, or Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, or Tony Leung Ka-Fai, hell, many people are just learning who Byung-Hun Lee and Choi Min-Sik are. If it’s not John Cho, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, or Chow Yun Fat, odds are people aren’t going to know who they are and that adds a big risk to the movie returning on it’s huge investment. Not saying it couldn’t happen, it definitely could, but if you have a very conservative investor who doesn’t want to take a major risk, it’s not going to get the chance. It’s like with Gods of Egypt a few months back, everyone was screaming racism and such, they needed to cast appropriately, and yet a film called Race had a wide release at the same time as GoE with a very ethnic cast, and it only made 19 million dollars. I went to it opening weekend and the theater was only a little over quarter full of all white people, minus my girlfriend who’s Asian. I asked so many people who were screaming and hollering about GoE if they saw Race and no one did. So when people are making noise over one movie, if they’re not supporting other movies that have a cast that’s representative of what they’re asking for and it’s not well-received, and I’m not talking critically, then what’s that telling investors? What’s that telling me about all the complaining that’s happening? I remember the Assassin last year coming and going so quickly in the theater and it had Shu Qi, one of the best actresses in Asia with quite possibly the greatest director of art cinema around, Hou Hsiao-Hsien! No one cared about the film it seemed. If you want to see changes, quit crying on the Internet and put your hard earned money down on the select few films that do come out with a diverse cast. Like I said months ago, it’s easier to criticize than to support. Maybe Constance Wu should produce some films that she’d like to see made to get the ball rolling in getting people to know more Asian stars?

  42. brucerey3 says:

    Perhaps it’s a matter of marketing. Including a famous western actor, whose character we don’t actually know his role in the story other’n that in trailers he appears to be a mercenary not a savior; so they can sell it easier to western audiences unfamiliar w the Asian actors.
    You know, like Hollywood does all the time by shoe-horning in chinese actors, setting & elements into every other blockbuster in order to sell it to Asian markets.
    Yet another Hollywood actor thinking because they’re semi to fairly famous and seeing Twitter followers stroke their ego, think they need to say anything about everything as if we need it. Try relaxing between takes n shut up n enjoy it.

  43. The Truth says:

    Perhaps a somewhat hypocritical stance from the lead actress on a network sitcom that’s been criticized for perpetuating racist stereotypes of Asians.

  44. Thesaurusrs says:

    I would just like to point out that Taiwanese-born Wu has a potential conflict of interest here. Isn’t it possible that Tawain would feel threatened by a globally successful mainland Chinese studio? I mean, this is a Chinese co-production with an internationally renowned director, with a Chinese location and overwhelmingly Chinese cast. Obviously the American trailer would feature Damon because he’s a huge star here, but that doesn’t mean he’s the whole movie.

  45. EricJ says:

    Like Keanu Reeves in “47 Ronin”, Damon is only a -symptom- of the Hollywood Racism disease when studios try to kiss up to Asian markets by doing “Asian” stories”.
    The idea that studios have to put a white actor that Westerners will “identify” with pales in comparison to the fact that, as most of us learned in school, the Great Wall was NOT built because of monsters.

    (In fact, modern socialist China is secretly -ashamed- of the Great Wall–since it’s a big reminder of the days of tyrannical emperors and the noble workers worked to death building it and buried under it–but at least it generates tourism.
    I suspect this will be another little cultural problem studios didn’t take into account when counting their “worldwide grosses”, like not realizing that China doesn’t like law-breaking caped vigilantes or comedies about ghosts.)

    Japan’s original story of the 47 Ronin was a historical epic and didn’t have spider demons in it, but when Hollywood takes on an Asian story, they’re interested in cultural mythology, period…Who wants somebody else’s history that happened to some other weird foreign country?
    And reportedly, the script that Zhang Ziyi and the Chinese co-producers signed on for was going to be a historical battle epic, until the American producers wondered whether there were any mythological Chinese Titans to build the wall against.

  46. thorinoakenshield6914@gmail.com says:

    There are plenty of films featuring “Coloured” hero’s – Force Awakens. Blade trilogy, Shaft, The Equalizer, Black Panther etc. Not to mention Hero or Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. She is correct about Damon though – bizarre casting!

  47. cdhaskell says:

    Constance Wu should make her own film instead of screaming about how Hollywood producer only hire white men to be the heroes in any film.

  48. Jay says:

    Constance WHO?

  49. Mitchell says:

    TERRIBLE casting. What are these people thinking? Only white men can be heroes? What B.S.

    • That's What She says:

      TERRIBLE imagining. What are these posters thinking? Only Tolkein dragons can be villains? What B.S.

    • Julie says:

      So it’s automatically racist to cast a white man in a movie that takes place in China? That’s ridiculous. If the movie contained racist comments, or depicted people with stereotypical accents, etc. then maybe I could see your point.

      But this just looks like envy.

  50. Ben Batfleck says:

    We need Bourne to save us from more of Wu’s crybaby BS.

More Film News from Variety

Loading