‘Mulan’ Actor Tzi Ma Says Asian Actors Are Overlooked in Awards

‘Mulan’ Actor Tzi Ma Says Asian Actors Are Overlooked in Awards
Bryan Ke
September 9, 2020
“Mulan” live-action star Tzi Ma shined a spotlight on Asian actors are overlooked during award shows as well as the lack of recognition for their work.
Lack of recognition: In a virtual interview with Variety, the 58-year-old Hong Kong American actor expressed his confusion about South Korean mega movie “Parasite” received so many awards, including an Academy Award for Best Picture, but not a single award for acting, Insider reported.
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  • “We’ve been overlooked,” he said. “’Parasite’ gets six Oscars, not one for acting. How does that work?”
  • Ma also referenced “The Last Emperor,” which won nine Oscars, including Best Picture. Like “Parasite,” the 1987 epic drama also did not receive a single acting award.
  • “It drives me up the wall. I mean, now that I’m a newly minted member of the Academy, I’d like to ask some of my folks and say, you know, ‘What goes into your thinking in terms of these performances?’” Ma asked. “I think for the community, it’s important that we do get recognized. I think we do need to support more, we need to campaign more.”
More to be done: Movie stars and reports have pointed out the lack of Asian representation and diversity in the entertainment industry.
  • Awkwafina, who became the first Asian American to win a Golden Globe award for lead actress in a comedy for her film “The Farewell,” believes Hollywood has a long way to go before it fully represents a diverse audience.
  • “I think there’s always going to be more representation to be had, but I think that they’re definitely going to set a stage for more stories to be told, more actors like me to be featured, more directors, more writers, all that,” the 32-year-old actress, whose real name is Nora Lum, told Insider last year.
  • A 2017 report conducted by the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism revealed that in 1,100 popular films in Hollywood, 70.7% of the characters were Caucasian while only 6.3% of them were of Asian descent, the New York Film Academy reported.
  • Kevin Kwan, the author of the 2013 novel “Crazy Rich Asians,” turned down an offer to have one of his characters portrayed as a White person in the movie adaptation.
  • “I think it was a request born out of sheer ignorance about the project, and it was a very…kneejerk reaction that was indicative of how Hollywood saw its industry, how they felt movies needed to be made, and how they felt a movie with all Asians would just never work,” the author said in an interview.
Feature Image via Getty
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