[Image: Verified twitter post from actor Jim Sturgess, who is white and appears in yellowface in the upcoming film Cloud Atlas. Sturgess writes: “Yellowface? Blackface? Pinkface? Pinkberry? Blackberry? Crackberry? Blueberry? Strawberry? Bananas? Frozen Yogurt? All the toppings?.Lovely!”]
On Racebending.com, Mike Le explains why Jim Sturgess is a “tool”
After some thought, I came to the following conclusion: Jim Sturgess is a tool.
Shocking revelation, right?
But I mean it in a slightly different sense than you might initially think.
Jim could be a perfectly nice guy. He could be kind to his friends, he probably loves his family. He probably makes other jokes that people think are funny and don’t hurt anyone at all.
But he’s a tool in a direct sense, because through some combination of talent, hard work, and luck, he has become the go-to Hollywood guy to play Asian men. Before someone thinks to call John Cho, Dante Basco, Kunal Nayyar, or Archie Kao, Jim gets the first speed dial. Whether it’s replacing a real-life Asian American with a white guy or showing that Asian folks are really just reincarnated white dudes with awful prosthetic slant-eyes, Sturgess is your man.
He is the perfect tool for Hollywood to tell stories about fascinating, exotic Asian cultures without the inconvenience of having to actually cast an Asian man in any but the most demeaning of roles. He’s the perfect tool to cement the notion that American culture is perfectly complete sans anything resembling a real, flesh-and-blood Asian male.
The film industry will cast Asian women, if they stick to their place as romantic interests or exotic geishas or all-look-same submissive clones.
But if a role comes up for an Asian man that’s not a gutless eunuch or an abusive patriarch, then Jim cracks out the makeup kit. And we go back to the Hollywood of 1937.
For Jim, it’s a joke about froyo.
For me, it’s a reminder that no matter what I accomplish in my life, no matter if I become a world-class blackjack player or cure cancer, Jim will be there to tape his eyes back and tell my story.
[Read the entire article at Racebending.com]