The title of Crazy Rich Asians makes it abundantly clear that the movie tells a story from a distinctly Asian perspective. That said, the film came under fire from some critics due to the fact that star Henry Golding is actually half-British and half-Malaysian. However, even in the face of those critiques, Golding stands by the movie and appreciates the discussion that the topic opened up. Addressing the issue during an appearance on The View, Golding said:
The one thing that I learned very young was to own my identity. And, I knew, I'm Asian through and through. There's nothing I needed to prove. So when that came up, I wasn't heartbroken or just sort of shied away from it. I think the best way to fight that sort of stuff is opening a dialogue. And that's what we did.
So, it doesn't look like Henry Golding was particularly concerned about the whitewashing accusations that were leveled at Crazy Rich Asians. Per the 31-year-old actor's remarks during his recent appearance on The View, he identifies as an Asian man and feels comfortable with his identity and his place among the Crazy Rich Asians ensemble. Once that discussion reared its head, he embraced it and took at as a moment to get people talking.
This type of issue is something that many actors have had to contend with over the years. Whitewashing has become one of those buzz words that instantly gets many people talking, and its perceived prevalence by some has turned into a major element to keep an eye on in the development of a movie. Henry Golding's personal connection with the issue compelled him to open up a dialogue, but other actors have had wildly different approaches. For example, The Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg actually passed on the recent Marvel blockbuster Black Panther specifically because of her status as a bi-racial actress, and the role of Shuri eventually went to Letitia Wright.
Based on the novel of the same name, Crazy Rich Asians focuses its story on a young Asian American woman who travels to Singapore to meet her boyfriend's family. However, upon her arrival to his home, she discovers that his family is actually extremely wealthy (bordering on royalty), and that leads to conflict as she struggles to prove her worth to his overbearing mother. In addition to Henry Golding, the film has assembled a predominately Asian cast consisting of actors like Constance Wu, Michelle Yeoh and Ken Jeong.
Crazy Rich Asians will hit theaters later this summer on August 15. Keep it here for more updates related to the film, and head over to our movie premiere guide to learn more about all of 2018's biggest release dates.