Ernie, from 8Asians.com, brought up the movie adaptation to the non-fiction book, Bring Down the House which is about how a bunch of MIT students figured out a way to beat the Las Vegas house. The film, entitled 21, stars hardly any Asian American actors in it, despite the fact that most of those who brought down the house, were in fact Asian Americans.
Here’s a chance for Hollywood to take the stand and cast some Asian American talent in non-stereotypical roles but do they? No, despite there being a very convenient Hollywood excuse: the story is based on true events. Here’s the money shot quote from The Tech, MIT’s newspaper:
Mezrich mentioned the stereotypical Hollywood casting process — though most of the actual blackjack team was composed of Asian males, a studio executive involved in the casting process said that most of the film’s actors would be white, with perhaps an Asian female. Even as Asian actors are entering more mainstream films, such as “Better Luck Tomorrow” and the upcoming “Memoirs of a Geisha,” these stereotypes still exist, Mezrich said.
The problem here is that Hollywood is conforming to marketability forces that it helped create. There’s no reason that Hollywood could shake the whole thing up and use their power and influence to create better imaging of Asian Americans and other people of color. The only reason they don’t? Racism. Pure and straight.