The Great Wall: Constance Wu says Matt Damon film perpetuates 'racist myth that only white men can save the world'

'Our heroes don’t look like Matt Damon. They look like Malala'

Jack Shepherd
Sunday 31 July 2016 15:57
Comments
The Great Wall - Trailer

Over the past few weeks, there’s been a growing concern over ‘whitewashing’ in Hollywood films, particularly those including classically Asian characters.

Two recent examples include Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One in Doctor Strange, the character being Tibetan in the Marvel comic books, and Scarlett Johansson’s The Major in Ghost in the Shell.

Add Matt Damon to the growing list of actors at the centre of ‘whitewashing’ controversies as his latest role in The Great Wall has sparked outrage from numerous people around the world.

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.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in