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Daniel Dae Kim: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ had ‘collateral damage’ for Asian American projects

daniel dae kim
via Netflix Film

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    Daniel Dae Kim believes that the huge success of “Crazy Rich Asians” came with a price, as it may have set expectations for future Asian American projects.

    Speaking at a Variety-sponsored panel at the Sundance Film Festival this week, Kim, 54, said one of the side effects of the film’s massive success was that such projects were limited to those that portrays Asians as wealthy.

    One of the collateral damage effects of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ was that everyone wanted to do more Asian projects as long as they were just ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’” Kim said at the Variety x Audible Cocktails and Conversations panel.

    If you had a project that spoke to something other than people being super rich and super wealthy and super happy, then they weren’t interested. Not only did we have difficulty trying to find other portrayals of Asian Americans, but it also had the additional burden of having to represent all Asians.

    The 2018 Jon M. Chu-directed film, based on the series of novels by Kevin Kwan, was a critical success at the box office, grossing almost $175 million domestically and $64 million internationally.

    While the movie, which stars Constance Wu and Henry Golding, has only received 6.9 out of 10 stars on IMDB, the rom-com was rated 91% on the American review-aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes.

    Wu revealed in June 2022 that a sequel to the hit film was “gearing up and ready to film.” Reports in March also revealed that previous writers Adele Lim and Peter Chiarelli will not return for the sequel and will instead be replaced by Australian Chinese writer Amy Wang.

    Kim also called out the industry for its way of handling inclusivity.

    [Inclusive storytelling] can’t just be a category or a checkbox and say, ‘We have our Asian project, we have our Black project, and so we’re good. We’re being diverse,’” Kim said.

    Other participants of the Variety panel included Colman Domingo of “Euphoria,” “Harlem” creator Tracy Oliver and “Sorry to Bother You” director Boots Riley, along with Audible’s EVP and Head of U.S. Content Rachel Ghiazza.

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