“Crazy Rich Asians” – is it a Game Changer?

On August 29, AABANY’s Issues Committee hosted a “Crazy Rich Discussion” at JAMS, in the New York Times Building. Among the AABANY leaders who attended were AABANY’s Executive Director Yang Chen, Board Director and Issues Committee Co-Chair Chris Kwok, Government Service & Public Interest Co-Chair Kevin Hsi, and past AABANY, KALAGNY and NAPABA President, Andy Hahn.

At the event, attendees engaged in a lively free-form discussion about the under-representation of Asian American artists in Hollywood and how “Crazy Rich Asians” may be a game changer. “Crazy Rich Asians” has already broken box office records as the first Hollywood film in 25 years to feature an all-Asian cast.

A sampling of what was discussed at the event included: 

  • whether Hollywood is a massive culture appropriation machine that takes from the Asian culture and cuts out the Asian faces behind it
  • how Hollywood has a history of discriminating against Asian American artists
  • how figures like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Justin Lin, and Ang Lee contributed to the change in mainstream media in America
  • how “Crazy Rich Asians” may open the door for Asian American artists that are in the pipeline and afford them the opportunities to take on leading roles and expand into other genres beyond romantic comedy and martial artist
  • how the Asian American community can utilize and support the momentum created by “Crazy Rich Asians” to challenge and change the American perception of Asian men and women

It was a “Crazy Rich Discussion” indeed! We thank everyone that attended and contributed to it. We also thank JAMS for hosting this event by providing space and beverages.