Despite the immense success of Crazy Rich Asians, there was one rather glaring aspect of the movie that rubbed audiences the wrong way.
Many didn’t like the fact that brown Asians could barely be seen in the movie, with only one scene showing South Asians as security guards.
Jon M. Chu has since shared his regrets about casting South Asian actors in stereotypical roles in his 2018 blockbuster romantic-comedy.
While the movie was championed for its representation of Asian people, Chu told Insider that he ‘should have’ made South Asian characters in the movie, ‘more human’.
Chu added that he ‘totally gets’ the criticism, as many questioned the casting choices of South Asian characters only as domestic workers.
“That’s a lesson that I did not understand until it happened. I was like, ‘This is a book that exists and I’m making this book into a movie. I can’t add a new character into this book,” he said.
Chu believes that he could have made the brown characters ‘more human’ by giving them dialogue.
In the one scene where the South Asian security guards could be seen, Rachel (Constance Wu) and Peik Lin (Awkwafina) had gotten lost on their way to the party at Nick’s (Henry Golding’s) home.
“Looking back, I should have had a joke there (for the guards) to be like ‘These idiots’ (referring to the lost girls). There’s stuff to do to make them more human instead of just, like, these guards,” he added.
He also admitted that there were South Asian actors in attendance during the party sequence, though nothing was done to elevate their presences to be felt in the scene, “They’re just sort of there. I don’t give them the space to be there.”
All in all, Chu believes that the criticism he has received is a ‘learning experience’, and he ‘will pay more attention to that stuff’ in his future movie projects.
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