Billionaire owner of ‘American Factory’ defends his anti-union stance
The Chinese billionaire featured in the Netflix documentary American Factory has defended his country’s labor practices by criticizing unions, saying they hurt efficiency.  In China, American Factory prompted a wave of soul-searching about the human costs of the country’s economic success and the rise of super-rich entrepreneurs such as Cao Dewang, who owns factories at home and abroad.   The film, backed by Barack and Michelle Obama, documents what happens at two factories owned by Cao – one in Dayton, Ohio and the other in Fujian, southeastern China. Cao is a main character of the documentary, in which he comes across as a pragmatic Chinese businessman bringing jobs to America’s Rust Belt.
Billionaire owner of ‘American Factory’ defends his anti-union stance
Some Chinese think Shang-Chi isn’t hot enough (for them anyway)
When Marvel cast Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, the studio’s first Asian superhero, the Chinese internet reacted with a collective gasp.  The casting of the muscular Chinese-Canadian heartthrob, known for his role in the sitcom Kim’s Convenience, may be celebrated in the West, but for some Chinese, he just doesn’t look the part. “He looks like how Westerners think us Asians all look,” said one commentator on China’s Twitter-like Weibo. The message is the second-most liked response to a report about Marvel’s casting decision on July 20. “Single eyelid, small eyes, square face, check, check, and check,” said another popular post.  Many say they prefer someone along the lines of Eddie Peng, a Canadian
Some Chinese think Shang-Chi isn’t hot enough (for them anyway)
Marvel’s Shang-Chi casting ignites racism debate in China
Marvel’s casting of Tony Leung, a beloved Hong Kong star, in the upcoming Shang-Chi film has stirred up an intense online debate in China about racism.  Veteran actor Leung, 57, will play the Mandarin, the villain of the film. Idolized in China, many Chinese fans have questioned Leung’s decision to take this role. The casting was announced by Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, at Comic-Con in San Diego. Some Chinese internet users believe the Mandarin is a similar character to the evil Dr Fu Manchu, a fictional character widely considered racist. Fu was first created by British author Sax Rohmer in 1912. In the Marvel comics, Shang-Chi is the son of Fu Manchu, who was not announced a
Marvel’s Shang-Chi casting ignites racism debate in China
The truth about Keanu Reeves and his Asian roots
There’s a photo that’s been skidding around the internet. It shows Keanu Reeves, whose career has been reignited by the success of the John Wick franchise and his brilliantly self-deprecating turn in the Netflix rom-com Always Be My Maybe, sitting on a couch with a smiling, bespectacled older East Asian woman in a flowered print top.  In truth, the picture itself isn’t particularly notable.  It’s actually the image’s whimsically spelled caption that has made the meme go viral: “Keanu Reeve’s grandma is Chinese Haiwaiian.” That Reeves has Asian Pacific Islander heritage isn’t exactly new information.  From his earliest initiation into Hollywood, Reeves has always been referred to as the “son
The truth about Keanu Reeves and his Asian roots
Disney got Mulan’s house wrong, say Chinese fans
Chinese fans are questioning the authenticity of Disney’s depiction of the iconic heroine Mulan, after viewing a new trailer for the highly anticipated live-action film. In the trailer, the titular character is seen riding her horse across emerald-green rice paddies and arriving at home – a distinctive donut-shaped structure with mud walls, tiled roofs and a bustling courtyard shared with neighbors. This scene has Chinese fans scratching their heads. The real Mulan, if she lived at all, could not have lived in such a house. “This is American-style ancient China,” said one internet user on the Twitter-like Weibo.  The unique, instantly identifiable home seen in the trailer is called a tulou,
Disney got Mulan’s house wrong, say Chinese fans
Chinese filmgoers unhappy with Disney’s Ariel casting
Chinese fans may love NBA players and African-American entertainers, but they’re upset with Disney’s decision to cast Halle Bailey to play Ariel in the live-action movie adaption of The Little Mermaid. Disney announced the casting of 19-year-old Bailey, who is black, this week. While the casting was largely praised on Western social media, it triggered a wave of disappointment and anger on the Chinese internet.  “I don’t discriminate against black people, but the Little Mermaid is just not black in my memory,” said one of the most liked comments on the Twitter-like Weibo. “Is this mermaid from the Somali Sea?” another Weibo user said. “Don’t ruin my childhood, you big-head fish!” Internet u
Chinese filmgoers unhappy with Disney’s Ariel casting
Hey, Hollywood. We just cast Shang-Chi for you. You’re welcome
The news is out: Marvel is fast-tracking the production of a superhero movie starring Shang-Chi, “Master of Kung Fu.” Hoping to recapture the movie magic (and maybe also the box office gold) of Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians, the studio is looking to make this an all-Asian superhero flick. It’s already lined up an Asian screenwriter, and is seeking an Asian director to helm the film. One problem remains: who to cast for the role of Shang-Chi himself, the titular Master of Kung Fu? In the olden days, Hollywood would probably have just cast Scarlett Johansson or Emma Stone and called it a day. But in these new, somewhat more woke times, they’ll be looking for a genuinely Asian actor to p
Hey, Hollywood. We just cast Shang-Chi for you. You’re welcome
Crazy Rich Asians is a banana movie, say Chinese moviegoers
What’s the biggest problem with hit romcom Crazy Rich Asians, according to Chinese moviegoers? It’s a “banana” – yellow on the outside, white on the inside. That’s a term often used to describe “Westernized” people of Asian descent, particularly Asian-Americans. Take it from film review site Douban user Zhuge Ruojian: “It’s a banana version of Cinderella,” he wrote. “There are lots of jokes typical of blockbusters. But it isn’t really Asian but pandering to the European and American audience.” Perhaps that’s true. Crazy Rich Asians, the first Hollywood movie with an all-Asian cast in 25 years, was a summer blockbuster that grossed more than $170 million in the US alone. But the movie based o
Crazy Rich Asians is a banana movie, say Chinese moviegoers
Before Crazy Rich Asians, these YouTubers paved the way
Crazy Rich Asians was an undoubted sensation. The success of the romantic comedy blockbuster of the year has raised hopes for a new era of Asian representation in film and television, and that Asian-American cinema is on the cusp of a golden age. For the many Asian-Americans who have struggled for years to have their performances seen, and voices heard, by an entertainment industry that had routinely shown no interest in them, it is an especially exciting time. But for the co-founders of Wong Fu Productions, a digital production company based in Pasadena, that optimism is tempered by caution. “I think this moment is very significant, but we try not to get too caught up because we’ve heard th
Before Crazy Rich Asians, these YouTubers paved the way
Crazy Rich Asians’ Henry Golding on not being Asian enough
When Crazy Rich Asians premiered and became a worldwide smash hit, it wasn't just a moment for the Asian community to bask in the spotlight. It was also the moment that the little-known male lead of the film, Henry Golding, became a star. The only acting experience Golding had before his casting was a role in a Subway commercial, in which he and his real-life wife Liv Lo picked out each other’s dream footlong sandwiches. Meanwhile, his co-stars Michelle Yeoh and Constance Wu had been acting for decades. But by the night of the premiere, he was not a complete unknown anymore. The casting net for the character of Nick Young, the Singaporean, Oxford University-educated, stupendously wealthy hun
Crazy Rich Asians’ Henry Golding on not being Asian enough