Political correctness has claimed another victim.
English actor Ed Skrein, known for roles in Deadpool, Game of Thrones and Transporter, decided to concede his role in the 2018 “Hellboy” due to outrage that Skrein’s character, Major Ben Daimio, is Asian in the original comics. In a Twitter announcement, Skrein stated: “It is clear that representing this character in a culturally accurate way holds significance for people, and that to neglect this responsibility would continue a worrying tendency to obscure ethnic minority stories and voices in the Arts. I feel it is important to honor and respect that. Therefore I have decided to step down so the role can be cast appropriately.”
For the past few years In the magical fantasy land of Hollywood, there’s been a strong campaign against the daunting crisis of “Hollywood whitewashing”, the malevolent practice of casting whites in historically non-white roles. This form of “institutionalized racism” can be found in the casting of films such as “Gods of Eygpt”, where Geoffrey Rush plays an Egyptian sun god, Johnny Depp as Tonto, a member of the Potawatomi people of the great plains, in “The Lone Ranger”, Jake Gyllenhaal as Prince Dastan of Persia in “Prince of Persia, the Sands of Time” and Emma Stone as Chinese Hawaiian Air Force Captain Allison Ng in “Aloha”.
As you can see, institutional racism is alive and well in the film industry. Despite that America is a diverse country with cultures and creeds from all over the world; 73% of all actors are white! How can the United States come together as a country if we aren’t equally represented in the entertainment sector? Therefore, it is vital and progressive that a moderately successful self made actor must resign his role for the greater good. Skrein’s resignation should be a sign of change, hope and aspiration for Asians like myself that one day, I too can star in a Hollywood comic book movie as a B-list celebrity. I’m sure thousands and thousands of ethnic minorities across America suddenly were inspired by this courageous act in spite of this racial oppression in one of America’s biggest institutions.
Luckily, Hollywood doesn’t speak for the rest of us. Their pathetic attempts of political correctness and quest for cosmic justice is just another way for them to virtue signal and feel how self-righteous they are. Skrein playing a Chinese man doesn’t regress Asian relations, nor does Michael B. Jordan playing the Human Torch advance black relations. At the end of the day, movies and TV shows’ main purpose is to present an entertaining story, not preaching social justice. This critique also goes for those who whine about sticking to the source material, and it is equally despicable that people get worked up about minorities playing traditionally Caucasian roles. Wonder Woman is played by an Israeli instead of an American? The horror! Idris Elba played a Nordic god in a movie about a space god who can shoot lightning out of his magical hammer? Sound the outrage machine! It’s pathetic on both sides. Most audiences do not want to sacrifice the content of the story for the sake of equality and progressivism, because many resort to entertainment to escape the chaotic news cycles and divisive politics. It’s hard for ordinary people to feel bad for black actors who complain about missing out on parts when they make millions of dollars for being good an expressive reader. Meanwhile, the rest of America is hustling as entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and engineers, who actually making a difference in their local communities. A Japanese small business owner, who hires white workers and generates capital to contribute to the economy, will do more than elitist Hollywood liberals protesting Tom Cruise in the Last Samurai. A black police officer who arrests murderers and drug dealers in the inner city will help more African Americans than award shows trying to nominate more blacks and for meaningless Oscars and Emmys.
Let’s not forget, different ethnicities have dominated different sectors in different countries throughout history. Thomas Sowell’s “Quest for Cosmic Justice,” provides some of the following examples:
1. More than 4/5ths of doughnut shops in California are owned by Cambodian ancestry
2. Although less than 5 percent of Indonesia’s population, the Chinese at one point ran three quarters of its 200 largest businesses
3. 91% of all greengrocers’ licenses were held by people of Japanese ancestry in Vancouver as of 1937
4. In 18th century Russia, 209 of 240 cloth factories in Astrakhan province were owned by Armenians
5. In the 1960s, the Chinese minority in Malaysia supplied 80 and 90 percent of all students in medicine, science and engineering.
Here’s another non-shocker: Minorities aren’t even misrepresented in the entertainment industry. At the halfway point of 2017, rapper Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN album is the highest grossing full length album of the year. Rapper Drake was the most streamed artist on the popular music app, Spotify, for two years in a row, attracting 4.7 billion listeners in 2016 alone. The top five most watched YouTube videos of all time consists of music artists of two Puerto Ricans, one African American, one Hawaiian, one Jewish and two Caucasians. NFL football, a sport watched by 64% of all Americans, consists of 68 percent of black players, 27 percent of white players and 5% of either pacific islander, hispanic or other ethnicities.
There’s no particular reason for why some groups ethnicities dominate a particular field. It may have to do with history, culture, geography and so many Xs and Ys that it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reasons. However, it doesn’t matter. You don’t need someone of your color to succeed to believe in yourself. Martin Luther King once famously said, “I had a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character," and how far have we moved from that sentiment. It’s time for us to stop focusing on an injustice manufactured by self-absorbed rich celebrities in Beverly Hills or Simi Valley.