Disney announced they were moving forward with a live action version of the animated film Mulan. Early press reports made it seem that the story would be rewritten so that the lead heroine falls in love with a European trader- a white male- and he is praised for saving China. Needless to say, fans were not happy with this change. Disney immediately shut down this rumor but this trope of “white man saves People of Color” is something we have seen throughout movie history: The Last Samurai, Prince of Persia.
Constance Wu, star of Fresh off the Boat, recently commented on the casting of Matt Damon in The Great Wall pointing out this all too familiar – and ignorant- theme.
“Can we all at least agree that hero-bias & “but it’s really hard to finance” are no longer excuses for racism? TRY”- @constancewu
“We have to stop perpetuating the racist myth that only a white man can save the world,” she wrote on Twitter on Friday. “Our heroes don’t look like Matt Damon. “They look like Malala. Gandhi. Mandela. Your big sister when she stood up for you to those bullies that one time.”
At what point will Hollywood decide that Asians (and other races) can fight their own battles?