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21 August 2018 @ 01:40 pm
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++ Both Crazy Rich Asians and To All The Boys I Loved Before are Asian-led, with the former being an all-Asian cast, films (on the big screen and Netflix, respectively) that have gained a lot of positive reception from audiences and critics alike. Both have succeeded in charming audiences with being adorable and hilarious romantic comedies, something that we haven't had in recent years since the genre itself has dwindled significantly in light of superhero and action films dominating the box office. It also proves once again that representation absolutely matters, and that it is successful. But it's absolutely disgusting knowing that production companies still wanted to whitewash these projects. Ugh. I'm glad the creators stood their ground and didn't give in.

There isn't much Asian representation in Western media to begin with, the Asian-American experience in particular. We need more of this kind of exposure, which hopefully will get more stories out there that focus on other aspects of different Asian cultures, without erasing/whitewashing or any of that offensive nonsense.

++ Lately, I've been watching a bunch of booktube videos. Not any one person specifically, just randomly searching things. I don't quite know how it started, I think there was a video recommendation of someone reviewing a book that I watched and I just continued going down the rabbit hole. It's very fascinating since it is a different side of YouTube that I wasn't that familiar with, since I do watch a lot of YouTubers but most of them are entertainers in some form. This is just a book community on YouTube talking about, well, books. Though it's interesting, after watching a number of different booktube videos specifically reviewing or talking about YA™ I'm realizing that it's not my preferred genre. Don't get me wrong, I've read books that have been categorized as young adult throughout the years (as seen in this brief but fantastic video discussing the evolution of young adult fiction), but the recent YA™ subgenre that has exploded in the market lately is completely different and while it's not to say that I won't read it if it captures my interest since I'm definitely not dismissing the entirety of YA as a whole, it's just not something I normally gravitate towards. My personal reading preferences tend to lean more towards horror/suspense, mystery/crime thrillers, with some science fiction and gothic literature added in.
 
 
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author_by_night: Pawnee sign by nuv0le_rapideauthor_by_night on August 21st, 2018 08:59 pm (UTC)
Meanwhile, I'm seriously creeped out because literally as this page was loading, I was thinking I needed to find someone to see Crazy Rich Asians with.

But it's absolutely disgusting knowing that production companies still wanted to whitewash these projects. Ugh. I'm glad the creators stood their ground and didn't give in.

What the hell? I'm glad they stood their ground, too!

I hope there's more representation. There was a l thread on twitter where someone mentioned The Joy Luck Club. Then someone ELSE pointed out that was about 25 years ago, and maybe it would be nice if there'd been a movie somewhere in between... hopefully there will be more.

ETA: Oh, and YA... from what I can tell, a lot of it lately has been based around dying teens and stuff. Which, granted, was a lot of YA when I was a kid as well. I'm not so into that. I remember everyone all but BEGGING me to read The Fault in Our Stars, and not understanding the NOPE factor. ("There are funny parts too!" Okay, but... no. For some people, yes. But I watched a documentary on a child dying of a rare disease this past Sunday, and I still can't stop thinking about it. I just can't handle stuff like that.)

Edited at 2018-08-21 09:06 pm (UTC)
Renée: Agents of Shield. Skye.rogueslayer452 on August 21st, 2018 09:52 pm (UTC)
I'm going to try and see it as soon as possible, either with my mom or sister, or both. :)

Hollywood needs to stop with the whitewashing. There is no excuse for it, and yet we continue to see it time and time again despite the immense backlash and negativity given. The fact that for one of them they claimed that race didn't matter is hilarious because, if it didn't matter why are you insisting to change the character from being Asian to being white? Just, ugh, so ridiculous. And they know what they're doing. While the climate is gradually shifting for more representation, as it should, let's not deny that Hollywood is still incredibly racist and that it needs to be dealt with, and it starts from the inside.

There was a l thread on twitter where someone mentioned The Joy Luck Club. Then someone ELSE pointed out that was about 25 years ago, and maybe it would be nice if there'd been a movie somewhere in between... hopefully there will be more.

Yep. Crazy Rich Asians is the first all-Asian cast in a Hollywood film in 25 years, same with how Fresh Off The Boat is the first television show in 20 years to feature a story focusing on Asian-Americans. It's been far too long for Asian-Americans to get any representation that isn't relying on being the token minority character. I really want this to be a new generation where we have a wide variety of diverse media, getting to show the many different experiences of different cultures and allowing people to see themselves instead of the stereotypes that have plagued Hollywood/our society for so long. I'm hoping that this is the beginning of that shift in our culture instead of it being a one-time thing. I don't want to another another 20-25 years before the next Asian-American story to be told in mainstream media.

Oh, and YA... from what I can tell, a lot of it lately has been based around dying teens and stuff.

From the things I've seen lately, it's been dystopians or contemporaries that center around romances, mostly love triangles with the "I'm not like other girls" protagonist. Those things have existed in other genres before, but it seems to be running rampant in YA recently for some reason. I mean, I get that due to the successes of such books like The Hunger Games many want to replicate that, which happens a lot with something that was popular and people want to copy it with their own version. But still. It might be for other people, but it's just not for me.

And this reminds me why I don't like John Green books. I randomly flipped through one of them in a bookstore and just noped out. I don't like his writing style or the plots of his books. Then again, I'm just not the target demographic.
Nadine: Shadowhunters - Magnus 2malicat on August 21st, 2018 09:22 pm (UTC)
I can't wait to watch both movies. For the representation factor obviously but especially Crazy Rich...has such an amazing cast with lots of talented and hot actors and actresses I know from various shows and movies :)
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Emily.rogueslayer452 on August 21st, 2018 09:57 pm (UTC)
Same! I'm also incredibly happy for Constance Wu, because not only has she been starring in Fresh Off The Boat, which is the first Asian-American centered television show in 20 years, she's also starring in the first all-Asian Hollywood movie in over 25 years. She's becoming quite a powerhouse to pioneer this movement of having Asian representation in television and film. :D
~*Suzy Q*~blakmagjick on August 22nd, 2018 12:20 am (UTC)
I really wanna see Crazy Rich Asians!!
Renée: Elementary. Joan Watson.rogueslayer452 on August 22nd, 2018 04:16 am (UTC)
We're gonna see it soon, and I can't wait! :D
we can't give up. that's the deal.omgpeyton on August 22nd, 2018 04:29 am (UTC)
As an asian american I'm really hoping our reach continues toward south east asians in the media too! I'd particularly love to see more asian american stories as well, particularly when you're raised in an asian culture as well as another growing up. We have a ways to go but both of these films were a huge leap in the right direction. I love it so much and I'm so glad creators stuck to their ground as well. ♥
Renée: Sharon Valerii. Identity.rogueslayer452 on August 22nd, 2018 07:17 am (UTC)
Yeah, as half-Asian myself I never see anyone that looks like me in media, never mind any kind of exploration of the Asian culture I'm part of or even the experiences of Asian-Americans in general. Seeing more Asian-American representation on the big screen and small screen is super important for visibility and opens the doors for more stories of many other Asian backgrounds to be told. We shouldn't be reduced to token character or background extras, to not be ignored or have roles purposefully whitewashed or for our cultures to be stolen for the sake of "aesthetics", not to mention that not all Asians are the same.

So yeah, I'm happy for the successes of things like Crazy Rich Asians, Fresh Off The Boat, and To All The Boys I've Loved Before, it's a huge step in the right direction but it needs to continue this momentum and allow this to expand further in order to give Asian-Americans their agency back in media storytelling.
Moongirlmoongirl24 on August 22nd, 2018 07:58 am (UTC)
I read To All The Boys I Loved Before very recently (finished it last week) and will probably check out the movie too since it's on Netflix.

I got sucked into booktube a few months ago and haven't been able to leave since. I tend to follow certain people instead of jumping around, but yeah, it's pretty fun. I find that I enjoy YA in small/medium doses - sometimes it's just nice to read something that is quick and easy - but I also find that it can get a bit repetitive. This summer I've read quite a few YA books and now I feel like I could use a break from them.
Renée: Jessica Jones.rogueslayer452 on August 22nd, 2018 09:52 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think the repetitiveness aspect is something that I don't particularly like, which let's be honest happens a lot regardless of what genre you're into, but it's definitely more rampant in YA since there seems to be something rather formulaic about it, if that makes sense. It features the same setup, the same situation, just dressed differently depending on whatever is currently trending in the publishing scene. Which is rather unfair since YA isn't taken as seriously as other genres so repeating the same tired tropes everyone is sick of doesn't really do it any favors. There's definitely good YA out there, it's just buried underneath the trite that gains popularity that often doesn't really deserve the hype surrounding them anyway, imho.

But as I mentioned, it's not a genre I normally gravitate towards and sometimes feel like I'm not the target audience anyway for most of the stories, so whenever I do pick up a YA book from time to time it's usually due to being incredibly selective. And I'm quite selective with my reading anyway, so it's nothing new for my book purchasing habits.

(Ironically, some of the booktube individuals I've seen from randomly watching over the last several months ended up hating To All The Boys I've Loved Before, so it makes me wonder of their thoughts on the Netflix film....)
Laura: Linkin Parkviolateraindrop on August 22nd, 2018 12:01 pm (UTC)
As a Linkin Park fan, I always found the lack of Asian-American characters/representation weird. The group has one Japanese American and one Korean American member who both talked about their heritage and obviously saw it as a very important part of themselves. On the internet POC often just means black and I never really got that, especially when I was younger. I was honestly hoping Marvel would cast an Asian American Iron Fist and/or Spider-Man, but that didn't happen :/

I'm not surprised that YA is big on youtube. Every channel, no matter what content, seems to be targeted at teenagers.
Renée: Elementary. Joan Watson.rogueslayer452 on August 22nd, 2018 04:26 pm (UTC)
I grew up in a very multicultural area, so it was always strange to me that there was never any true representation of that in media. If there is anything, it's always focusing on racial stereotypes which is just really damn infuriating and sad. I can never understand why media doesn't want to try and reflect real life and be inclusive of everyone, then again the industry itself is still incredibly racist (and sexist and homophobic, etc).

I was honestly hoping Marvel would cast an Asian American Iron Fist and/or Spider-Man, but that didn't happen :/

Lewis Tan was almost Iron Fist because he auditioned for it and had all the qualifications to be the character, but they automatically gave it to a white man who can barely act/fight to save his life, while Lewis Tan was reduced to a villain role that last only a few minutes in the first season. That still makes me so angry and bitter, the wasted potential and opportunity to do something different, to give Danny Rand's story something new that made sense. Just, ugh. The injustice of it all makes me so mad and I'll never get over it. >:|

I'm not surprised that YA is big on youtube. Every channel, no matter what content, seems to be targeted at teenagers.

Yeah, true. It's sad, to be perfectly honest. I mean, if one wants to target that particular demographic that's their choice, but due to the fucked up algorithms of YouTube so many older/adult content creators have to dumb themselves down to appeal to a younger audience or appear "family friendly" otherwise they'll be demonetized. But that's a discussion/rant for another time.
Danielaeiffels on August 22nd, 2018 02:03 pm (UTC)
I saw both To All The Boys I’ve Loved a Before and Crazy Rich Asians and they were amazing. Movies like this are so important and we need more of them!
Renée: Dark Matter. Two.rogueslayer452 on August 22nd, 2018 04:52 pm (UTC)
It really is important. And I've seen some complaints that this isn't representative of all Asians. Well, of course it isn't, and they never claimed that it was either. This is merely just a step in the right direction of opening the doors for more Asian stories of different kinds to be told in media in the near future.
an idea is bulletproof: Dollhouse - don't danceelizalavelle on August 22nd, 2018 06:39 pm (UTC)
I haven't watched either film yet but I was horrified when I read that in both cases the production companies wanted the lead to be white. I just don't get it. I'm white, I've seen myself represented on screen for my whole life. I don't get bothered by seeing other races get to shine and as long as the story is good I'm still going to identify with the characters. They don't lose me as a viewer or as a fan. Just... why whitewash things? It's gross and unnecessary.

I still read a lot of YA but I notice that as I'm an older reader for the genre now I'm also a lot more picky about what I'm reading and am more critical if the story feels off in some way.
Renée: Dollhouse. Ivy.rogueslayer452 on August 22nd, 2018 10:34 pm (UTC)
Just... why whitewash things? It's gross and unnecessary.

I don't get it, either. I think the simplest answer is just that Hollywood and the entertainment industry as a whole is racist (and sexist, homophobic, etc.) and stuck with never wanting to change. Them continuing being set on whitewashing roles despite so much backlash and controversy surrounding it is a huge red flag. Production companies just don't care about the importance representation, only that they get money. And to them, they see no value when it comes to minorities having their stories being told.

It's something that desperately needs to change.

I still read a lot of YA but I notice that as I'm an older reader for the genre now I'm also a lot more picky about what I'm reading and am more critical if the story feels off in some way.

Yeah, that's probably what's happening with me, too. I'm able to detect a lot of the patterns and repetitiveness in such stories that, while it might be good for those younger than me, I'm just far too critical to really buy into it most of the time.
(no subject) - elizalavelle on August 23rd, 2018 12:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rogueslayer452 on August 25th, 2018 08:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
Becky: Reindeer Games!beckytheelf on August 22nd, 2018 07:53 pm (UTC)
Coming out of my LJ hiatus lmao to ask if you've seen CRA yet???? It hasn't opened where I live but I want to be first in line! I've been so excited to see it.
My friend and I were trying to think of the last time there's been so much Asian-American representation in the Western media and we were coming up completely blank.
It's really sad how hard we have to think about these things and the fact that people didn't even blink to want to start whitewashing it. Like there's sooooooooooooo much representation around huh.
Also lmao, I am not a YA fan at all and I've never really fallen down the rabbit hole of booktube videos. Maybe I just haven't found the right one?
Renée: Inara/Kaylee. <3rogueslayer452 on August 22nd, 2018 08:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, hey girl hey! :D Long time since you've been on here! I mean, I follow you on Tumblr and you're active there, but I miss talking with you via comments like this. How've you been?

And no, I haven't seen Crazy Rich Asians yet! I'm waiting for the right moment for schedules to match up so either me and my mom or sister, or all three of us, go see it together. Probably either this upcoming weekend or sometime next week. I also have the first book which I'm itching to read, as well.

You're so right, I can't really think of anything that featured so much Asian-American representation in the media at the same time either. It's depressing and heartbreaking, to be honest, because seeing and hearing how many Asian-Americans feel validated with their existence being visible on the screen when it hasn't happened in over twenty years, you can't help but get emotional about how this kind of representation means something to a marginalized group that feels erased most of the time. I'm hoping that this isn't a one-time fluke though, and that this opens the doors for more opportunities for Asian-Americans of all cultures to write/direct/produce/act in their own stories and give them the agency that they've been denied for so long in the industry.

I'm rambling, but this means so much to me that I'm getting emotional.

Re: YA, yeah, you might not have found the right one. There are some YA books that are good, but they're usually overlooked by the more overhyped not-so-good popular ones that gain more attention. I also think that there's a huge difference between young adult fiction and YA™, the latter which just regurgitating the same tired tropes that we're all sick of, but do so because there's unfortunately a market for that kind of shit. Again, I try not to generalize YA as a whole because I know that there's a wide range to it, like any other genre, but YA has gone through cycles of producing, well, crappy stuff that gains more popularity than the good stuff and I'm far too selective with my reading anyway.

As a sidenote, I also know that there's some YA written by minorities that are quite good. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, for example, which has been a recent success.
(no subject) - beckytheelf on August 26th, 2018 04:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
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Naomi: TGP Chidi That doesn’t sound rightfrelling_tralk on August 22nd, 2018 10:28 pm (UTC)
I’ve been thinking of checking out To All The Boys I Loved Before, although tbh I did wonder if I might be getting a bit to old to connect with it these days lol, but the reception has certainly been positive enough that I want to give it a try. It is a nice change to see romantic comedies being promoted and doing well, instead of the usual action and Sci Fi films which I’m quite honestly sick to death of.

And thank goodness that Hollywood didn’t get away with whitewashing those projects! Hopefully the success of those films, as well as Black Panther, will convince more studio executives not to be so rigid about the leads needing to be white
Renée: Agents of Shield. Skye.rogueslayer452 on August 22nd, 2018 11:11 pm (UTC)
I'm not quite sure about the book since I haven't read it, but the positive reception the Netflix movie has gotten has been delightfully overwhelming. Many say it's adorable and charming, and a lot of it is due to the chemistry between the characters, which is quite nice. Romcoms are a rarity these days, especially adorable ones where you can just lose yourself in the fluff. Plus, the "fake relationship" trope? Probably one of the best things ever.

Hopefully the success of those films, as well as Black Panther, will convince more studio executives not to be so rigid about the leads needing to be white

I doubt it'll happen, but we can make small steps into the right direction. But the change must happen on the inside of the industry which, let's face it, don't don't give a shit about representation.
hamarakissahamarakissa on August 23rd, 2018 05:21 am (UTC)
I thoroughly enjoyed To All The Boys I Loved Before have yet to see the other one.

I feel like that's how youtube is - falling down a rabbit hole and all :x I've been like that was ASMR videos

Renéerogueslayer452 on August 23rd, 2018 04:55 pm (UTC)
I plan on seeing both of them soon, myself.

It really is, which can be dangerous because I can go deep down that rabbit hole, but you'll be surprised the kinds of content you'll find that you wouldn't have otherwise.
tabaquitabaqui on August 23rd, 2018 12:11 pm (UTC)
I've been wondering about 'All the Boys' and if I wanted to watch it. I'm not big on the rom-com thing, but it looked really cute. So with this rec, I have put it firmly into my 'watch' list!

Sadly, I can't afford the movie theatre experience all that often, so I'll be skipping the Crazy-Rich-Asians.

Glad they weren't whitewashed, though - i've been reading a few things online about C-R-A and how it's really having an impact, much like Black Panther did.
Renée: Dark Matter. Five.rogueslayer452 on August 24th, 2018 06:11 am (UTC)
Romcoms have always been a hit-or-miss for me at times since it's not my preferred genre, but it really depends on how well they're done. Sometimes it's nice to have something nice and fluffy from time to time.

Hopefully you'll be able to watch Crazy Rich Asians once it's available to rent/stream/buy.

It's so important to show this kind of representation so that we get more things in media for the future, and for people of these marginalized groups to see themselves on the screen and be not treated like some kind of stereotypical punchline. The fact that the movie itself has been doing so well that a sequel has already been greenlit, that speaks volumes.
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