Last July 29th, Universal Pictures released a trailer for the new movie “The Great Wall” with release date on February 17,2017, and was directed by Yimou Zhang, who was the director of Hero and House of Flying Daggers as well. It was surprising to see Matt Damon in the movie that was set in Ancient China thousands of years ago. Don’t get me wrong but I love Matt Damon in all his movies but it just feels wrong to see him in a movie that was set in China for more than a thousand years ago.
Even Constance Wu, the actor in Fresh Off The Boat says that it is a usual Hollywood whitewash where “only a white man can save the world” set up. In Wu’s post, she wrote “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 color and our culture and our strengths and our own stories.”
I’d say it’s just wrong to put an American actor on China a thousand years ago. Why not, put the setting in America if you want the star to be Americans, right? A lot has reacted as well, not only Asians, especially when it was released that Scarlett Johansson will star the leading role in Ghost In The Shell movie in 2017. Not to mention that Tilda Swinton’s casting as the originally Tibetan Ancient One in Doctor Strange also drew accusations of Hollywood “whitewashing”.
Looking at the side of Universal Pictures, they wanted Matt Damon to star the role of the Chinese soldier and this isn’t even based on history because there’s an alien but of course, he doesn’t look slightly Asian, this caused the uproar of our Asian friends. What do you think?