The topic of Hollywood whitewashing has become a hot-button issue once again, specifically as it regards Asian actors. Two major characters, The Ancient One from Marvel’s Doctor Strange and Motoko Kusanagi in the upcoming live action version of Ghost in the Shell were originally Asian characters, but both are going to be played by white people on the big screen. How should Hollywood combat this lack of diversity? One new Twitter account has an idea: just cast John Cho in EVERYTHING.
@StarringJohnCho has only been around since the end of April, but they’ve already built a strong following and they've recently begun to go viral. The premise is simple. Use photoshop to put Star Trek actor John Cho into movie posters, in place of the actors who were there originally. John Cho as Chris Evans’ Captain America or Daniel Craig’s James Bond. The Hollywood Reporter spoke with William Yu, the man behind the Twitter account, who said the point was to draw some attention to the issue of asian representation in Hollywood and possibly help people better visualize asian actors in lead roles.
If you're laughing at John Cho as James Bond, why does that seem so outrageous?
William Yu says he picked John Cho as the subject for his message for a couple of reasons. First, Cho is a critically praised actor, so he has the weight necessary to be leading man material. Secondly, his movies have been profitable, which is important, since that’s ultimately what matters to the studio. He’s been an actor in the most recent series of Star Trek blockbusters. In addition, he has starred in the, admittedly smaller, but just as profitable Harold and Kumar movies. Cho makes money, why can’t he lead a Mission: Impossible movie?
Since the #StarringJohnCho hashtag has begun to go viral, the rest of the internet has picked it up and even more people are creating new movie posters with John Cho in place of the original actor.
After having looked at all these, we can’t help but agree. There’s no reason that John Cho, or other Asian actors, couldn’t play these roles. It’s just a question of taking the step and making the casting choice. Until that happens, at least we’ll have the internet to make us think about what Fight Club would have been like with John Cho.