Constance Wu at the 21st Annual Critics' Choice Awards red carpet

Why Representation Matters: ‘The Great Wall’ Controversy

I’ve been working on an article for a while now. It’s one of those pieces that you start and constantly go back to add to and/or tweak. And that’s this article over on MFST. It’s about TV shows that I felt were diverse, not just by their appearance but also the substance in them.

Constance Wu at the 22nd Annual Critics' Choice Awards red carpet

As an Asian-American, I look for shows like these because they’re uncommon. I, unfortunately, didn’t grow up with a lot of role models that looked like me. The first time I ever truly looked up to a non-white celebrity wasn’t until a few years ago. Now with how media is going, I have multiple people to look up to that look different and stand for things that I stand behind.

‘The Great Wall’ Controversy

The Great Wall Movie poster starring (from left) Pedro Pascal, Tian Jing, Matt Damon, Hanyu Zhang, and Willem Dafoe

For example, one of my role models is Constance Wu. I didn’t know who she was until Fresh off the Boat premiered two years ago. I was excited to see a family that looked even a little like mine on my TV screen. I was even more excited that the show had a lot of aspects of Chinese culture woven into it. But unfortunately, there’s a movie, The Great Wall, coming out soon. It’s a film about the Great Wall of China, but it has Matt Damon in the starring role.

Constance Wu expressed her disappointment in Hollywood online and that was when I saw the problem in Hollywood. Diversity is about more than just black and white. There are all types of people living in America and the fact that the entertainment industry isn’t very reflective of that is still astonishing to me. It’s also why I admire diverse actors in the industry because I know how much harder it is for them to make it in the business.

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