Hollywood’s yellowface.

8 thoughts on “Hollywood’s yellowface.”

  1. I knew I wanted to comment on this post when you posted it last week but I haven’t had time to read it thoroughly until now. I had never actually heard the term yellowface as you’ve described it here but always thought and learned about it in terms of Orientalism, which I guess you could argue plays a role (no pun intended) in the practice of yellowface. So you’re definitely right on about the issue of yellowface not getting the attention it deserves when it comes to discussions of Asian-Caucasian relations, or any race relations for that matter.

    I did a quick Wikipedia search on yellowface and although the entry recognized that yellowface has endured for much longer than blackface, but at the same time the entry was only 3 paragraphs where I could have scrolled for days on the entry for blackface. It is an abomination, and ironic that we are always so quick to blow the whistle on any sign of blackface while yellowface continues to slip under the radar. I’m glad that you wrote this and that at least some people are calling it out for what it is. I’m Asian, and have a lot of Asian friends, yet most of them wouldn’t be able to recognize or care about the cultural implications of yellowface.

      1. The biggest part of the Avatar protest got its start on livejournal. *g*

        Here’s the central website: http://www.racebending.com

        Thank you for this most excellent and passionate article, especially the sections on yellowface and how it’s still being perpetrated with almost no recognition of how racist the practice is. We need as many people as possible to learn about this issue so Paramount will actually take us seriously.

        Also, I was reading an article about Anna May Wong recently and it said that she was turned down for the part of O-Lan. Can you imagine what a different movie it would have been with her in the lead? The heart weeps!

  2. Hey Bossy Marmalade,

    (Does anyone ever refer to you as a bossy sauce? Because someone should! It’s too catchy not to.)

    I definitely know of the LiveJournal movement and how it laid down the groundwork for racebending. Thanks for bringing it up to new readers (who I hope visit these words!).

    Aside from LJers and Avatar fans, don’t dismiss the efforts of the overlooked animation community in this protest, too. I was really impressed when Cartoon Brew brought the issue in front of industry professionals. I’m hoping to attend Comic Con this year and spread more awareness to a crowd that has shown great understanding.

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