Australian actress Rebel Wilson has written a K-pop movie in which she will also appear — and Asian Twitter has mixed feelings about it.
“Seoul Girls,” to be released by Lionsgate, follows a Korean American high school girl and her friends who enter a worldwide talent competition, which seeks the opening act for the world’s biggest K-pop boy band, according to Deadline.
View this post on Instagram
The girls will get help from “an ex-member of a British girl group and a former K-pop trainee” — presumably Wilson’s role — to “find their voices on the world’s biggest stage.”
The “Pitch Perfect” star will also serve as a producer via her Camp Sugar banner, along with Alison Owen and Debra Hayward of Monumental Pictures, one of the producers behind her upcoming “Cats” movie adaptation.
View this post on Instagram
According to Deadline, Wilson’s script has been revised by Young-il Kim, whose credits include the Showtime series “Billions” (2016) and Hillary Clinton biopic “Rodham” (which Lionsgate dropped in 2015).
Kim joked about his involvement on Twitter, saying “This K-Pop project is gonna get me at least a 10% discount in K-town restaurants!”
This Kpop project is gonna get me at least a 10% discount in K-town restaurants!
— Young Il Kim 김영일 (@theyoungilkim) November 19, 2019
At a time when calls for better representation in Hollywood are high, the news of a K-pop-centric film coming from a White actress understandably stirred mixed reactions, especially in the Asian community.
In an Instagram post, Wilson shared that she has been “working really hard” on the film and wanted it to feature “a diverse range of actors.”
“I really wanted it to star a diverse range of actors, so really proud about putting this together with an amazing team,” Wilson wrote.
The news has since sparked discussions on Asian Twitter, with many expressing disappointment:
Is Rebel Wilson the new Scarlett Johansson? Could they really find no Korean to do it? Hell, I would’ve done it.
— Sylvia.🤦🏻♀️🙄🇺🇸🇰🇷🐿🧚♀️♍️ (@pixie__park) November 19, 2019
This is bound to happen. This is going to be full of stereotypes, generalizations and xenophobia. So let me tell you the story: girls go to Seoul, run into a kpop idol, maybe fall in love, and than someone’s heart breaks, and commence a song in the end. Full cringe fest. 🤢 https://t.co/J4FVje1ioj
— 💜🌹Mai🌹💜 (@maizeeey) November 19, 2019
ah yes what we’ve all been waiting for: more white Hollywood producers encroaching on Korean culture once they realize it’s profitable…wonder if one of the ‘Seoul Girls’ is played by Scarlett Johansson or Emma Stone 🤔 https://t.co/ja1V4puSgw
— sally (@bigyikesinacan) November 20, 2019
what did i just read,,, rebel wilson is writing a movie about kpop called seoul girls,, say sike,, PLEASE SAY SIKE NOOOO NXNXKZM
— -p- (@mxxnchild_x) November 20, 2019
literally what the fuck qualifies rebel wilson to write a movie about kpop
— small cup of soup (@lesbiansforjin) November 21, 2019
Still can’t believe the rebel wilson kpop movie…you cant honestly look at this white woman’s face and tell me she’s qualified in anyway to be writing, producing, or staring in this story
— ÄNDRĒÅ (@baekberis) November 21, 2019
wait i just read…rebel wilson is making a movie about kpop and it’s called “seoul girls”……sis you’re asking to get dragged….i love you rebel but for the love of god no please say sike right now please edcuate yourself to the max before you do this😭
— ♡ alyssa 🐺 | MULTI ❀ 📌ATSD (@minsanhwaluvbot) November 21, 2019
Rebel Wilson sold a kpop movie idea with her to star in. I’m out. I quit. Bye.
— Vivi’s Breadcrumbs (@isthisvivi) November 20, 2019
🥺💕🥺💕 I’m saying this bc rebel Wilson is making a Kpop movie?? White ppl need to stay out of it 😭😭😭 I’m embarrassed for her
— tori ❤︎’s skz! #astronaut (@ceIestiaIskz) November 20, 2019
no. not now, not ever, rebel wilson please absolutely do NOT touch kpop ever
— priya (@rmdaun_) November 20, 2019
On the other hand, some highlighted the fact that an Asian writer has revised the script:
Can we all come together and congratulate @theyoungilkim for doing the rewrite on Seoul Girls?
“Lionsgate has obtained rights to Seoul Girls, a comedy feature written by Pitch Perfect star Rebel Wilson, with a recent revision by Young iI Kim (Rodham, Billions).” https://t.co/454icAcMtY
— Cindy Pika Chu (@iamcindychu) November 20, 2019
So my pal Young Il Kim is doing rewrites for this Rebel Wilson ‘Seoul Girls’ KPop film- I have every faith in his talent- however all the other names Assoc are not Asian, nor Korean, nor KoreAm, or AAPI- STILL keeping my fingers crossed he brings the BDE to this project.
— Erin Quill (@Equill) November 20, 2019
It does actually say that Young iI Kim (a GREAT screenwriter) has been brought in to revise the script. So they’re not completely tone deaf 😂
— Anchuli Felicia King (@afeliciaking) November 20, 2019
Still, others wondered whether “Seoul Girls” would have an all-Asian lead cast:
Before everyone jumps to conclusions, @theyoungilkim was brought in to do a rewrite for this project, and it focuses on a Korean American protagonist.
Curious if it’s going to be all Asian leads or if they’re going to have non-Asians in this K-Pop group, though. https://t.co/1koQ5wutPU
— Jeff Yang (@originalspin) November 19, 2019
this is gonna be a sad story because none of the main characters would successfully make it siNCE KPOP CONCERTS DON’T HAVE OPENING ACTS my god rebel wilson if you could do research about double standards in western showbiz, you could also do research about the kpop industry
— ყųŋơ 🌸 (@mintsnsugar) November 20, 2019
Feature Image via @rebelwilson