Actor Ke Huy Quan recently looked back on his iconic role as Short Round in the 1984 film “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and defended it from accusations of racism.
In an interview with The Guardian, the “Everything Everywhere All at Once” star countered allegations that the Steven Spielberg-helmed film was racist for promoting the “white savior trope.”
Quan argued that the film should be interpreted in the context that it was made in “a different time.”
“We’re talking about something that was done almost 40 years ago. It was a different time,” he was quoted as saying. “It’s so hard to judge something so many years later. I have nothing but fond memories. I really don’t have anything negative to say about it.”
Quan also commended Spielberg for his role as such casting decisions involving Asians were uncommon at the time.
“Spielberg was the first person to put an Asian face in a Hollywood blockbuster. Short Round is funny, he’s courageous, he saves Indy’s ass,” he explained. “[Asian representation] was a rarity then. For many years after that, we were back to square one.”
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After starring in blockbuster films such as “The Goonies,” the Vietnamese American actor went on a hiatus from acting in the late 1990s due to a lack of opportunities.
“It was tough,” Quan told People in April. “I was waiting for the phone to ring, and it rarely did.” In September, it was announced during Disney’s D23 Expo that Quan will be joining the cast of “Loki,” the Disney Plus Marvel series, for its second season.
During the event, he was briefly reunited with his “Indiana Jones” co-star Harrison Ford, who posed for a photo with him.
Quan later shared the moment on his Instagram page, writing: “‘I love you, Indy.’ Indiana Jones and Short Round reunited after 38 years.”
The 51-year-old actor told The Guardian that Ford immediately recognized him when he approached him at the event, asking, “Are you Short Round?”
“Immediately, I was transported back to 1985, when I was a little kid, and I said: ‘Yes, Indy.’ And he said: ‘Come here,’ and gave me a big hug,” Quan continued. “When I wrapped my arms around him, all those wonderful memories I had on the set came flooding back. It felt so comfortable. It was amazing, and he’s an amazing man – one of the most generous men on the planet.”