More Amazing Tales Of The Great Stupid: The Racist Anti-Racist Pro-Diversity Film Feature [Corrected]

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Maybe this kind of thing bothers me more than it bothers most people, but the internal contradictions and racial issues pretzeling in a recent Times puff piece on Marvel’s latest superhero film, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” had my brain short-circuiting like one of those computers that Captain Kirk would disable on “Star Trek” by feeding them self-contradictory statements.

Consider these quotes from the article, which was authored by Robert Ito. Apparently diversity means that only Asian American reporters can write about Asian-American super-hero movies. Or do you think it was just a coincidence? Sure it was. But I digress…

  • “Known property or not, the movie is a cause for celebration: It’s Marvel’s first and only superhero film starring an Asian lead, with an Asian American director and writer, and based on a character who was actually Asian in the original comic.”

Why is any of this true? Why does the race of a comic book character matter at all? Does race make the character of the story more entertaining? To whom, other than racists? Can only Asian directors and writers create such a movie? Does that mean they can’t work on movies about non-Asian superheroes, or just that it’s not desirable to have a white (or black?) director and writer for movies like this one? I’m so confused…

  • “Long of nail and mustache, Fu Manchu dreams of world domination. In a 1932 film starring Boris Karloff in garish yellowface, he orders his followers to “kill the white man and take his women.”

Somehow, Boris was in “garish yellowface” make-up in a black-and-white movie. (I checked: he was in “evil villain face.”)

  • “One of Hong Kong’s most beloved and gifted actors playing a racist, anti-Chinese stereotype? ‘I cannot imagine Tony Leung embodying a Fu Manchu kind of character,’ said Nancy Yuen, the author of “Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism.” ‘It’s just not humanly possible because of who he has already been in the history of cinema.’

Why, it would be like casting Henry Fonda—Abe Lincoln, Mister Roberts, “Juror 8” in “12 Angry Men,” Tom Joad in “The Grapes of Wrath,” and Clarence Darrow—as a serial-killing psychopath in “Once Upon A Time in the West”!

  • “Casting Leung was also part of a larger push to fill the story with Asians, something that the comic, and even the comic’s own influences, rarely did. (Perhaps tellingly, the two most prominent white actors in the new film, Florian Munteanu and Tim Roth, play monsters.)”

…which, we are being told daily and teaching our children in the schools, is completely appropriate

  • This latest martial arts tale is chock-full of Asian faces, including veteran Hong Kong stars like Leung and Michelle Yeoh, and Asian American actors like Awkwafina, Fala Chen and the comedian Ronny Chieng. “I grew up in Hawaii, and all of my friends are some mix of Asian American or Pacific Islander,” said Cretton, who is Chinese-American. “I wanted Shang-Chi to be surrounded by a group of young people who reminded me of my friends, and felt like my friends.”

…unlike white people, who are not friends to Asians, and who, if they cast other whites in their movies, are showing their white supremacy tendencies.

  • “There’s been this assumption in America until fairly recently that Asians and Asian Americans can’t be funny,” said Gene Luen Yang, writer of the latest run of Shang-Chi comics. “I think that’s why they had Eddie Murphy play Mushu in the animated ‘Mulan.’”

Really? I thought they had Eddie Murphy play the funny dragon character in the animated film because he was such a hit playing the donkey in the “Shrek” films, is a well-known film and TV star, and is a brilliant vocal artist.

[Notice of Correction: I am informed that “Mulan,’ the cartoon version, pre-dated “Shrek.” Thanks to Tim LeVier for the note.]

  • “The creators were so conscious of all the preconceptions they were up against that they even made a list of Hollywood stereotypes about Asians that they hoped to dispel.”

Somehow, “Asian guy as amazing martial arts fighter” didn’t make the list.

  • And finally, this correction of my print version of the piece: “Correction: Sept. 3, 2021: An earlier version of this article misstated the heritage of (the film’s director) Destin Daniel Cretton. He is Japanese American, not Chinese American.

Oh. Well, all of those people look alike, you know…

The current woke culture’s anti-racism and pro-diversity propaganda is, if nothing else, self-contradictory and incoherent.

17 thoughts on “More Amazing Tales Of The Great Stupid: The Racist Anti-Racist Pro-Diversity Film Feature [Corrected]

  1. Once Upon a Time in the West, this is one of my all-time favorites. I even have the DVD so I can see it now and then. And Henry Fonda played a fantastic role as a truly evil man. A smart, handsome, cunning, evil man; it was startling the first time I saw it. Thank you for referring to the movie.

  2. Has this guy never heard of Jackie Chan? My understanding is that he may be Asian. He’s very funny and has been cast as a funny person in movies that need funny persons in them.

    I’m surprised this guy didn’t go off on Kung-Fu Panda 1,2,3 for having Jackie Chan and Lucy Liu forced to work with white devils playing Asian characters.

  3. Once more with feeling:

    Sheesh.

    I know comic book movies have made Ron Perlman fabulously wealthy and allowed him to fund an entire school at Princeton so his daughter could attend Princeton, but I wish they’d never been invented. I wish we could go back to the day when teachers and librarians confiscated comic books in the class room or the library. We is getting dummer. Thanks to Hollywood.

  4. The real reason to make Asian comic book movies is to sell them in China.

    The American reason to make Asian comic book movies would be to create plot lines unavailable elsewhere. For instance, native superheroes that fight the Chinese Communist Party; an Asian analog to western superheroes fighting Nazis.

    Of course, the latter contradicts the former, and thus will never see the light of day.

  5. “Perhaps tellingly, the two most prominent white actors in the new film, Florian Munteanu and Tim Roth, play monsters.”

    This…. Isn’t even correct. I’m not sure whether Munteanu as Razorfist or Ben Kingsley as (Spoiler) got more screen time, but Kingsley OBVIOUSLY had more lines and prominence. And Razorfist isn’t a monster…. He’s an amputee with a sword grafted to his arm.

    I watched the movie. It was legitimately good, I don’t think you can watch the bus fight scene without thinking back to the almost slapstick kung-fu fighting style of Jackie Chan. And that kind of nostalgia’d me back to those 80-90’s era movies that took up a slice of my childhood and just don’t seem to get made anymore.

    I don’t mind this. I’ve said forever that if progressives want representation, they should make movies towards that goal, and not merely shoehorn “diverse” characters into generic roles. After mocking Chris for saying that he was disappointed that Iron Fist cast a white guy to play someone who was white in the comics because it was a martial arts movie (and that’s the purview of Asians, obviously), I thought that progressivism had jumped the shark. This…. Seems like a correction, and close to right. Movies like this should be made, and are good.

    • I think this is correct, except that the standard, again, is racially tilted. Nothing wrong with making a story about white people with a white cast and director…except Hollywood says there is.

  6. “There’s been this assumption in America until fairly recently that Asians and Asian Americans can’t be funny,” said Gene Luen Yang, writer of the latest run of Shang-Chi comics. “I think that’s why they had Eddie Murphy play Mushu in the animated ‘Mulan.’”

    If there was this assumption, it was an assumption made by the population which resulted in few viable comedians of that heritage. It’s not an audience problem. People who like comedy will take it from any source. So if there weren’t viable and marketable asian comedians at the time of animated Mulan (1998 release) that’s a supply side issue, not a demand side issue.

    So if I’m a studio head looking at casting in 1997 and I see a very well known and marketable comedian like Eddie Murphy, I’m getting Eddie Murphy. Aladdin was a success with Robin Williams, the Disney formula is working. I’m getting another well known comedian for comic relief in my next big animated movie.

    Correction for Jack: Mulan (1998) preceded Shrek (2001).

  7. One point that may be relevant is the prior Asian characters in the movies.

    There was wailing and gnashing of teeth over two previous characters:
    1. The Mandarin; and
    2. The Ancient One.

    Both of them were Asian characters in the comics. But, in the movies, The Mandarin was played by Ben Kingsley as kind of a patsy front for a terrorist group. The Ancient One, who was a man in the comics, was played by Tilda Swinton.

    Neither of these casting choices bothered me because: 1. I was not familiar with the characters; and 2. I kind of like the way the movies modify the source material as they see fit. So, making The Mandarin, who is a powerful nemesis of Iron Man, into some goofy front for the group did not bother me.

    It bothered a LOT of other people.

    Some of that might be context for discussion.

    As for the Asian director, that may be a different story. Part of it may (is?) pandering to the racial bean counters (and by “bean counters,” I am not referring to Hispanics specifically. However, I heard that this movie kind of evolves into a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon film (from a choreography stand-point). If you are going to develop a film that has the feel of a certain genre (as the racists would suggest Asian films do), you would want to have a director that is familiar with that style.

    -Jut

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