Over the past few weeks, there’s been a growing concern over ‘whitewashing’ in Hollywood films, particularly those including classically Asian characters.
In the English-language film directed by Zhang Yimou, Damon plays a European soldier who fights monsters on the Great Wall of China.
One of the first to comment on the Jason Bourne actor being the film’s lead was Fresh off the Boat actor Constance Wu, who posted a statement on Twitter that calls on Hollywood to “stop perpetuating the racist myth that [only a] white man can save the world. It’s not based in actual fact.”
She continued: “Our heroes don’t look like Matt Damon. They look like Malala. Ghandi. Mandela. Your big sister when she stood up for you to those bullies that one time. We don’t need salvation. We like our colour and our culture and our strengths and our own stories.”
Other people to critique the film include Jen Yamato, a writer for the Daily Beast, who Tweeted: “1700 years to build, just for Matt Damon to come save it.”
In recent weeks, a campaign to prevent casting Leonardo DiCaprio as Persian poet Rumi has built steam, the petition calling on producers not to 'rewrite history' by casting a white actor.
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