A Chinese American’s Thoughts on Mulan Casting and Dreamcasts

TFW people “don’t care about Mulan’s actress as long as she’s Asian” and cast George Takei as the Emperor of China in their dreamcasts for Disney’s live-action Mulan…-___- I’ve seen plenty of declarations that there should be no white people in a film adaptation of a Chinese tale. However, in our casting discussions, we need to go beyond the basics into cultural, political, and interethnic understandings against white feminism, nativism, and ethnocentrism. So in the light of these comments, two notes in Asian/Chinese intercultural competency:

1. It’s Disney, so non-Sino, and mono- and multi-ethnic casting is expected. Of course, there is further dialogue on the merits of mono- and multi-ethnic casting and what constitutes “Sino”but overall—why not? In the spirit of interethnic solidarity, I support more opportunities for Asian actors in the U.S. and worldwide.

But FYI: Casting someone who isn’t Chinese in the role of the Chinese heroine Mulan in a Chinese story is completely illogical and disrespectful.

George Takei and other Japanese actors are cool and all, but casting them as the Emperor of China, Mulan’s father, and possibly Shang is completely and utterly unacceptable and reflects a lack of basic understanding of East Asian relations and power dynamics through history. It’s not anti-Japanese sentiment so much as cultural respect given the history, especially after WW2 and the Japanese administration’s historical revisionist actions under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

This is the flipside to the justified Japanese uproar over Memoirs of a Geisha casting a Chinese actress in a role that should have gone to a Japanese woman. Now imagine the Chinese uproar if a Japanese actor was cast as the Chinese Emperor of all characters. Also note that the Chinese is quickly becoming the biggest source of Disney’s profit in international film markets, and how that would impact reviews.

Suggested further reading: Rape of Nanking/Nanjing, Japanese war crimes, Nanjing War Crimes Tribunal, Second Sino-Japanese War, Manchukuo, Yasukuni Shrine, Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, Taiwan

2. Claiming that Mulan is “trans” is not ~open-minded, diverse cultural exchange~ but downright appropriation and disrespect to the Chinese story and trans people IRL. Support trans representation, but not at the expense of using Western standards to judge and appropriate a different culture’s legend.

Mulan is not trans and does not identify as a trans man, even in the appropriative Disney adaptation. Aside from women dressing up as men being a common trope in Chinese literature, the entire point of Mulan’s storyline was to save her father and bring honor to her family, not to exercise her non-existent trans identity or to even subvert gender roles (which just came by way of her mission). So how about we not disrespect trans rights by engaging in white feminism, nativism, and ethnocentrism in disrespecting another culture and simply doing some easy reading?

ignoredwisdom  asked:

Hi, I'm doing a research on interethnic relationships where one person in the relationship is brown (south asian). Do you mind asking your followers if anyone who's in an interethnic relationship if they would be interested in letting me interview them. It would be strictly confidential. Thanks!

Hey! Sure thing I’ll make this public so people can see 😊

C: From what I’ve read, it seems like continental africans think the term “african booty scratcher” is a term AA people made up to pick on Africans. It’s actually a slur made up by white people for Black people in general, and the overwhelming majority of the people who are called “African booty scratcher” by A.A’s are other AA’s. Because “African” meant more black and black meant something bad. It’s internalized racism, not a specific disdain for African people. ( My ass got called that all the time about my hair lol. ) I mean, y'all absolutely have ever right to be angry, I’m not trying to take that away or silence anyone. It’s extremely disrespectful as a whole to use African as an insult and I’m sure the kids got an extra kick out of calling y'all that. It just feels like there’s a great bit of context missing when I read about the use of that term.

Negro es Bello Color

I have been ranting about this movie on Twitter all day, it made such an impression. Being that I keep vampire hours I manage to always find myself watching late-night television. So last night I came across this movie on Telemundo. I didn’t catch it from the beginning and my Spanish is elementary so I didn’t catch every thing but, basically the story was about a Black singer who falls in love with a Mexican man. The mother of the man is not happy about the relationship and this is where it gets novela-ish. The son goes ahead and marries the black woman without any of his family there and they set up a home. She is pregnant and she shades the racist abuelita to be. The son wants his mother to accept the woman he loves but Madre is not having it! They get into a car accident and he dies. Now once again black women can’t have shit. Why did Mario have to die! Anyway as you can imagine, racist Madre changes and tries to be all sweet to her negra daughter-in-law and the sista is not having it.

There was also a grown woman carrying around a black baby doll who I think was his sister. I don’t even much know what that was about. I didn’t take advanced Spanish! Well the poor widow has her baby and she takes the baby to the girl carrying the black baby doll and Madre comes in wanting to see the baby. The baby was all wrapped up, his face hidden and dramatically Madre gently takes back the blanket and I see this

WHAT IN THE BLACK FACE BABY HELL??? This ain’t no black much less blaxican newborn baby!

Then Madre says, “Negro es Bello”

then the movie fades to black!

This is some black face treachery!