“Crazy Rich Asians”, the novel to movie adaptation that is scheduled to premiere in theaters in Summer 2018, has been plagued with several controversies from whitewashing stories to calling out its leading male star, Henry Golding, because he’s “not Asian enough.”
Many people criticized Golding’s casting as Nick Young, the main male character in “Crazy Rich Asians”. Some were expecting the role to be filled by a full-blooded Asian, but were pretty much surprised when Golding, who is of Malaysian, Singaporean and British descent and grew up in England, got the gig. For the 30-year-old actor, the feedback he received was “quite hurtful”.
“For me, it was almost like being kind of stabbed in the back. I was like, ‘Aren’t we meant to be in this boat together? Aren’t we meant to strive together for something bigger than these boundaries that we’re putting on ourselves instead of bullying each other?’” Golding said while speaking with Entertainment Weekly’s Shirley Li.
“People were like, ‘This guy’s half-Asian, he’s half-white, he’s not even full Asian,’ and it comes to, like, how Asian do you have to be to be considered Asian?”
“I’ve lived 16, 17 years of my life in Asia, and that’s most of my life. I was born in Asia, I’ve lived cultures that are synonymous with Asian culture, but it’s still not Asian enough for some people. Where are the boundaries? Where are the lines drawn for saying that you cannot play this character because you’re not fully Asian?”
He even went on to explain that his mixed-race background was, at first, not the main issue he had in mind when auditioning for the part.
“Even going up for the role, I was concerned more that I was more Malaysian rather than Singaporean,” he later added in the interview.
In the book, Nicholas “Nick” Young is a New York University professor who is originally from Singapore.
“Nobody’s ever happy. There’s no ideal situation… It’s really about being open to not making criticisms when it comes to Asians on Asians.”
“Crazy Rich Asians” is scheduled to hit cinemas on August 17, 2018.
Featured image via Instagram / henrygolding