Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M Chu has denied claims he told Brenda Song she was “not Asian enough” to star in the hit film.
Song, who is an American woman of Hmong and Thai heritage, claimed she had asked her managers to secure her a meeting or an audition for a role in the 2018 movie, only to be turned down by the creators of Crazy Rich Asians.
"Their reasoning behind that, what they said was that my image was basically not Asian enough, in not so many words. It broke my heart," said Song in an interview with Teen Vogue.
"I said, 'This character is in her late to mid-Twenties, an Asian American, and I can't even audition for it? I've auditioned for Caucasian roles my entire career, but this specific role, you're not going to let me do it? You're going to fault me for having worked my whole life?’ I was like, 'Where do I fit?'"
Director Chu responded to Song’s comments in a tweet, saying he felt “horrible” about what he claimed was a misunderstanding.
"Would these words ever come out of my mouth?’ he wrote. “Nope, makes no sense. I feel horrible she thinks this is the reason. The fact is I love Brenda Song and am a fan. I didn’t need her to audition because I already knew who she was!"
In another tweet, he added: "??Nope. I love @BrendaSong and that sucks if anything of that nature was ever communicated. It’s gross actually. The fact is, obviously I know who she is and didn’t need her to audition. I’m a fan of hers! Nothing more nothing less. Bums me out she thought it was anything but. [sic]"
Crazy Rich Asians starred Constance Wu and Henry Golding, and earned two Golden Globe nominations. A sequel is currently in development.
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