Talk:Portrayal of East Asians in Hollywood

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject United States / Asian Americans (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject United States, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of topics relating to the United States of America on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the ongoing discussions.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Asian Americans (marked as Mid-importance).
 
WikiProject Film (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Film. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see lists of open tasks and regional and topical task forces. To use this banner, please refer to the documentation. To improve this article, please refer to the guidelines.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
Checklist icon
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the American cinema task force.
 

Contemporary Examples[edit]

Added new section for contemporary examples. After the Ushi/Ushi Heiku example, I decided to include the President Clinton in yellowface from 1997.

Nemogbr 17:12, 14 January 2010 (UTC) --Nemogbr 17:12, 14 January 2010 (UTC)


Ushi/Ushi Heiku - popular blatant yellowface example[edit]

I do not wish to edit the article myself, but rather draw your attention to perhaps the most blatant contemporary example of yellowface, a character created by dutch TV and later adopted by danish TV called Ushi, a caricature of a Japanese woman but played by white women. The sole gag running in these highly popular programs is the portrayal of a stereotypic Japanese female journalist. You will find numerous examples on Youtube like these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-4p5bpBlNU, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOD6Lfo6gdw, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4v0esqOpW_o, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_OmPdXoGEs, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y0PkBE9PuY

I hope someone will include the example in the article. On a personal note I simply cannot understand why people will cringe at blackface and minstrel shows and yet see nothing wrong with yellowface, which the high popularity of these shows clearly testifies.90.184.16.234 (talk) 22:17, 12 January 2010 (UTC)


Thank you for the information. That was cringe worthy.

--Nemogbr 01:53, 14 January 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nemogbr (talkcontribs) Nemogbr 01:55, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

I have some details to add, In Dutch TV the characters full name is Ushi Hirosaki in Danish TV it is Ushi Heiku. This may be changed in the headline. The Dutch character last appeared in the show Ushi & Dushi in December. The show did receive criticism for being racist, but only it seems because she also portrays a black woman (you may look up "ushi dushi racist" on google and see the results). The show is very popular as you can see on the Dutch wiki page of the show (http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ushi_&_Dushi) which also lists the viewer ratings at about 2 million viewers per episode. For a country of about 16 million people that is quite a substantial rating. The Danish version stopped some years back, but is to this day the most popular show the network has broadcasted (as this page http://www.annetteheick.dk/ushi.php testifies in Danish).

It is not only cringeworthy, it almost makes me sick, but what is worse is that friends which I would consider smart will ask "did you see Ushi yesterday, it was so funny!". In Denmark we have had other terribly racist shows pass by unnoticed, one example is "sukiyaki" (http://sputnik.tv2.dk/series/sukiyaki/) a "japanese style game show" aimed at kids, hosted by a white danish guy with a rising sun headband and chopsticks conducting games such as "throw riceballs at the big yellow bucktoothed slanty eyes spectacled face". The show did not cause any controversy, it is apparantly a completely accepted kind of stereotyping. The staggering support for this type of entertainment is so depressing that I try to ignore it as much as possible, it is too difficult to handle alone.90.184.16.234 (talk) 23:29, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Introduction and Filmography[edit]

This article needs history, context, and more sources. I created this article because it was badly needed.--Pinko1977 04:34, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Anyone up for creating a category for yellowface-related articles (films, actors, commentary) like the one that exists for Category:Blackface minstrelsy? Wl219 09:36, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Rob Schneider acted in yellowface for the movie "I now pronounce you Chuck and Larry" —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dagon1213 (talkcontribs) 23:15, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Rob Schneider is genuinely Asian, or half, anyway. Ace of Sevens (talk) 04:39, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Schneider is 1/4 Filipino, a fact often used to defend his yellowface portrayal in Chuck and Larry. At any rate, he donned makeup and prosthetics specifically in order to appear more Asian. If that's not the definition of yellowface, then what is? 68.57.217.103 (talk) 19:54, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
Yellowface is someone not of Asian descent who plays an Asian. He is an Asian-American, so it is not "the definition of yellowface". DNArikawa (talk) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.0.238.15 (talk) 04:26, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
That's actually not what yellowface is at all. Yellowface is when anybody puts on MAKEUP in order to appear more Asian. Doesn't matter if it's Jackie Chan or Schneider, but predominately it has been practiced by white actors. 208.40.230.195 (talk) 18:30, 14 August 2008 (UTC)


In many cases, it is no longer the term Yellowface that is practiced. They still cast the roles that should be Asian with white actors, but nowadays also change the characters to Caucasians, i.e. racebending the roles.

Easier to say colour blind casting rather than systemic racism.

Nemogbr 10:23, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Added a table for the filmography and separated them to three different sections:

Early Hollywood and during miscegenation laws.

1967 and late 20th Century when the Hays code was axed.

21st Century for the recent films.

Having fun finding more details about these films.

Nemogbr 00:47, 5 January 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nemogbr (talkcontribs)


Have also added brief explanations on anti-miscegenation laws and yellow peril. Both have their separate articles, but thought to have them in yellowface for the sake of convenience. People can still follow the links for more in-depth information.

Nemogbr 10:36, 5 January 2010 (UTC)Nemogbr (talk

Added examples of Asian American actors who started their careers during Early Hollywood 1930's. Some of them are already in wikipedia and others need their biographies written.

--Nemogbr 22:17, 10 January 2010 (UTC)Nemogbr (talkcontribs)

Decided to split the History of yellowface and added a new section called "Asians in White Screens", as a way to show that there were Asian actors in the early period of Hollywood.

Nemogbr (talk) 19:54, 31 January 2010 (UTC) --Nemogbr (talk) 19:54, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Asians in White Screens[edit]

More in depth look in Asian actors in Early Hollywood.

Nemogbr (talk) 01:15, 2 February 2010 (UTC) --Nemogbr (talk) 01:15, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Silent Era[edit]

Renamed from Early Hollywood and Anti-miscegenation Laws So far only details of 1915 silent film of Madame Butterfly.

Need more details regarding Sessue Hayakawa and Anna May Wong

Nemogbr 10:52, 5 January 2010 (UTC)Nemogbr (talkcontribs)

The Silent era as the start of Hollywood and yellowface in fim making. Will need more research to find other silent films with yellowface.

Nemogbr (talk) 01:19, 2 February 2010 (UTC) --Nemogbr (talk) 01:19, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Classical Hollywood cinema and Anti-miscegenation Laws[edit]

Splt from Early Hollywood section to Classical Hollywood cinema and Anti-miscegenation Laws

Nemogbr (talk) 01:19, 2 February 2010 (UTC) --Nemogbr (talk) 01:19, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Late 20th Century, The 'New Hollywood' and Post-classical cinema[edit]

I thought it best to start from the repealment of the anti-miscegenation laws in 1967. Hays Code was still practised till 1968.

Nemogbr 10:51, 5 January 2010 (UTC)Nemogbr (talkcontribs)


Renamed this section to The 'New Hollywood' and Post-classical cinema. Historical Hollywood naming conventions.

Nemogbr (talk) 01:21, 2 February 2010 (UTC) --Nemogbr (talk) 01:21, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

21st century: Racebending[edit]

Unsure whether to keep the name racebending for this filmpgraphy title. It seems to be the new rule instead of strict yellowfacing.

Nemogbr 10:53, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Added a brief entry regarding the Akira anime and manga. The filming is currently on hiatus. but the fact they were adapting the whole thing needs to be included. Neo-Tokyo to Neo-Manhattan is okay. Kaneda to be kept and Tetsuo changed to Travis.

Nemogbr 11:37, 5 January 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nemogbr (talkcontribs)

Racebending is not a widely used or known term, I suspect it was added all over this article by irate "Last Airbender" fans (the racebending article has been deleted) and I will attempt to clean it up, feel free to help me. AshcroftIleum (talk) 11:14, 7 January 2010 (UTC)


Thanks for the help with the yellowface article. When I found it via, the Avatar Last Airbender discussions, it was quite bare in comparison to blackface and since it appeared quite prominently via google, I decided to improve upon it.
Racebending came about starting from a comment from one of the White cast members, regarding getting a tan and shaving his hair. It was first deemed yellowface or brownface (Inuit character), but when the film was being made, it was found that he did not get tanned. Both whitewashing and racebending were the terms used.
Since learning more about the controversy, I am now familiar with the term whitewashing. Racebending seems to be getting more popular in regards to other films that have had races changed, but not strictly yellowface or brownface. That's the reason I thought to use it as the title for the 21st Century filmography.
At what point can we use racebending, instead of or alongside, whitewashing?
Have to also point out that we have already discussed the controversy regarding the casting in Last Airbender and those sections would be too big for The Last Airbender article. I added the dates since there were pro-casters as they are termed disputing the timeline of events. Would it be better if I added a table, like the filmography?
It seems to be the case that the article needs to be split, but not sure if that would be advisable since both yellowface and whitewashing seems to go hand in hand, either the white actor dons yellowface or they eliminate the Asian and cast the white caucasian actor.
Have carbon copied this in the Yellowface discussion.
Regards,Nemogbr (talk)
Obi Nemogbr 00:17, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
"At what point can we use racebending, instead of or alongside, whitewashing?" - it may be mentioned as an alternate term if and when someone outside the racebending advocacy group and website acknowledges or employs it (i.e. a notable and reliable source).
Sections about the casting of Airbender deemed too detailed for that article certainly don't belong in this one, and probably nowhere else on Wikipedia. At any rate, a Wikipedia article is not the place for this type of debate, or to promote any sort of cause; think of the average readers interested in learning about "Yellowface", would they really benefit from, or care about, any of these minute details?
I don't believe splitting the article is necessary, the whitewashing section is succinct and adequate, and at least in my eyes, belongs under the general heading of "Yellowface".
AshcroftIleum (talk) 16:28, 8 January 2010 (UTC)


Point taken that the Last Airbender part was too detailed. I don't think that complete elimination was justified. I can re-write without going into minutae. It can be a notable example of whitewashing.

Nemogbr 18:27, 8 January 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nemogbr (talkcontribs)


Racebending: Historical usage[edit]

The examples below. Race-bending term was used long before the casting for The Last Airbender. Published from 2004 decribing school children to 2009 with Robert Downey Jr.

Books The Bedford Introduction to Drama and The Compact Bedford Introduction to Drama, Fifth Edition. http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/jacobus/default.asp?s=&n=&i=&v=&o=&ns=0&uid=0&rau=0 Race and Othello: http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/jacobus/content/cat_960/RaceAndOthello.htm?v=category&i=00960.01&s=00960&n=99000&o=

[Patrick Stewarts complicated and race-bending performance as Othello. ] http://www.curtainup.com/dcnov2.html#Othello Race-Reversed.


Race Bending: "Mixed" Youth Practicing Strategic Racialization in California Race Talk Dilemma in an American School by Mica Pollock. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/120129732/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0 http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/features/pollock10012003.html http://books.google.com/books?id=v6uf-LNCtCcC&pg=PT35&lpg=PT35&dq=racebending&source=bl&ots=tWcKVWLUbV&sig=tyfzhOdTgPCp6zZhE3tB2I_ypqg&hl=en&ei=SWlJS8qVF4rw0gTrrdnrAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBEQ6AEwAzjoAg#v=onepage&q=&f=false


Racists Beware: Uncovering Racial Politics in Contemporary Society http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?ean=9789087902773& [In RACISTS BEWARE: UNCOVERING RACIAL POLITICS IN THE POSTMODERN SOCIETY, Dei identifies and subjects to close scrutiny the new race-bending logics of what he calls "postmodern" societies]

Robert Downey Jr. And Tropic Thunder:

http://poptimal.com/2009/12/sherlock-holmes-jolly-good-show-chaps/ December 20, 2009 [Add the insane race-bending antics of Tropic Thunder and now his triumphant embodiment of Sherlock Holmes ]

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20213599,00.html Costar Praises Robert Downey Jr. for Race-Bending Role By Tiffany McGee Friday July 18, 2008 07:35 PM EDT


Newspapers, Magazine, Journal Publications

New York Times 2006 http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/30/arts/television/30heff.html Published: September 30, 2006 And the race-bending women of “The Game” have been written that way for a reason.

Variety 2006 http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117930367.html?categoryid=33&cs=1 Cloud 9 - Apr. 30, 2006, 2:26pm PT [This parodically patriotic, paternalistic, homophobic Victorian world is tilted by the gender- and race-bending casting required by the script:]


LexisNexis® Quicklaw™ Civil Litigation Essentials LexisNexis is one of the top 13 background check screening companies in the U.S https://litigation-essentials.lexisnexis.com/webcd/app?action=DocumentDisplay&crawlid=1&doctype=cite&docid=86+Denv.+U.L.+Rev.+709&srctype=smi&srcid=3B15&key=8d7bd5c76700a12fe3af60e5d0c9db28 [theorizes that Obama's success may actually have a gender- and race-bending effect, by removing stigma from "the ...]

Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences Transnational Media Literacy Analytic Reflections on a Program With Latina Teens Lucila Vargas University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill http://hjb.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/28/2/267 [In one session, I probed my finding about what I call “race-bending rac- ... race-bending racism well. I used it to probe my idea.]

http://www.seattleweekly.com/2009-12-09/arts/opening-nights-pnb-s-nutcracker/ Race-bending skin colored shirts and afro wigs.


http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/1857/tropicthunder.html

http://www.dailytexanonline.com/theater-review-local-play-bends-gender-and-racial-norms-seamlessly-1.758122

http://www.themq.com/index.php?articles_id=65&issue=103 race-bending dope beats

http://www.metrosantacruz.com/metro-santa-cruz/05.07.08/cover-0819.html 7 May 2008 ... Give yourself up to this sweet gender- and race-bending teen movie directed by Stewart Wade and find it's a lot of fun —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nemogbr (talkcontribs) 15:57, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Nemogbr 15:59, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

It's not enough that the term is mentioned, it should be employed in a manner that corresponds to the definition presented here. Many of these examples given do not fit the concept of "racebending" as defined in the article (e.g. "Tropic Thunder" is a variation on blackface) AshcroftIleum (talk) 10:41, 11 January 2010 (UTC)


The term racebending pertains to changing the race of the original character in order to be cast with a different race or role for some advantage, monetary or otherwise. Basically it is another version of whitewashing. It does not just pertain to Asians. The articles I have posted show the racebending of mixed race Americans to be more palatable to the majority white Americans.

Racebending of Patrick Stewart and Robert Downey Jr. to portray a moor and a black man respectively. Tiger Woods and Barrack Obama, racebended to be palatable for the white majority. The black women of "The CLub" New York Times article 2006, where racebended to be just like the majority white American viewers.

The current examples in different fandoms.

300 - The bad guys are pre-dominantly presented as black, whilst the Persians in Prince of Persia - Persian Prince, but cast with a Russian Swiss, when there are Iranian actors awaiting opportunities. The only famous one is Adrian Pasdar of the Heroes series. Gemma Arterton, an English actress, plays an Indian Princess. Ben Kingsley is the only person even reminiscent of the skin tone. Mixed race English/Indian.

Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys was to be made into a Hollywood film, but the studio desired the main characters to be white Americans, instead of the black descendants of an African god. The author cancelled the deal.

The racebending term was going to be expanded, but was deleted before I had the chance. I still haven't finished Yellowface. I have shown that the term has been in use, in print media, since at least 2004.

It is not just for fans of a cartoon series. Racebending can be linked to Yellowface and Blackface.

--Nemogbr 11:41, 11 January 2010 (UTC) Nemogbr (talkcontribs)

I'm afraid you're confusing a lot of different issues here, and some of this stems from the fact that "racebending" is not a specific, clearly-defined term. In Tropic Thunder Robert Downey Jr. plays a white actor who undergoes a special treatment to appear black - this is a clever rendition of blackface, nothing else - none of the characters' races were changed to suit an audience, which is what "racebending" supposedly is. Whitewashing implies an adaptation of one work into another medium, where in the process of change the characters are made white - that's all. Tiger Woods and Barack Obama have nothing to do with any of this. Frankly, I'm growing tired of this whole pointless debate so forgive me (and I hope future editors of this article forgive me as well) if I wash my hands of this whole ordeal (no pun intended). AshcroftIleum (talk) 17:55, 11 January 2010 (UTC)


Using the information from -- Banjeboi I decided to do a search via Google and Google Books. Race-bending is not a neologism, it looks more to be a terminology rarely used by authors, but it is in use. I will copy this data into the yellowface discussion page.
How much more evidence does it take before the terminology is re-instated?
I'm glad you are looking at Google Books. However, you need to read and quote the sources, rather than note them during your creative writing expositions. My main complaint with your editing work is that you write what you wish, leaning your arguments on others' writing which don't say anything like what you are saying. So to answer your question, I do not think any reinstatement is called for. Binksternet (talk) 16:36, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
  • As Mr. Wynter points out in American Skin: Pop Culture, Big Business, and the End of White America , race-bending has been endemic to white America for at least a century.

http://www.observer.com/node/46299 http://www.danah.org/papers/2009/WhiteFlightDraft3.pdf

The URL http://www.danah.org/papers/2009/WhiteFlightDraft3.pdf is worthless. Its mention of "race-bending" is limited to the bibliography where Danah Boyd lists Mica Pollock's book. Binksternet (talk) 16:36, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Orlando Sentinel, Des Moines Register, and Raleigh News and Observer:

(Does the race-bending of Tiger and Barack augur a change in racial thinking at last?) http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2007-03-25/news/TWINS25_1_woods-obama-multiracial http://golfpolitics.blogspot.com/2007/03/tiger-and-barack-ive-been-fascinated-by.html

These two sources fail. The Orlando Sentinel article does not mention race-bending, and the other source is a blog. Binksternet (talk) 16:36, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
  • 1995 Race bending - being black for a while will make be a better white.

http://books.google.com/books?id=I9FiAAAAMAAJ&q=race-bending&dq=race-bending&lr=&ei=hwR8S5HzAYySNqCqhOcH&cd=17

If you quote Janis Joplin, cool. If you use this as a jumping off point for your own interpretation, bad. Binksternet (talk) 16:36, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
  • 1999 Disoriented: Asian Americans, Law, and the Nation-State By Robert S. Chang

http://books.google.com/books?id=ZEsBvV---E0C&pg=PA124&dq=race-bending&lr=&ei=hwR8S5HzAYySNqCqhOcH&cd=19#v=onepage&q=race-bending&f=false

This will be a most difficult source for you to use, since directly following the one very brief mention of "race-bending", the online book hides the next three pages, making it impossible to assess what the author was saying about it. You would have to find the book in a library to quote it. Binksternet (talk) 16:36, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
  • The queer sixties By Patricia Juliana Smith

Race bending antics of Dusty Springfield.

Useful quote by Smith about Dusty Springfield. Binksternet (talk) 16:36, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Xcp: cross-cultural poetics, Issue 9 By College of St. Catherine

2001 - Investigates "race bending" in popular cultures, in forms like rock-n-roll and jazz and the impact it had on the civil rights movement.

This source is not strong enough for use here. It is a simple review of juvenile non-fiction. Binksternet (talk) 16:36, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
  • 1995 - A Queer Romance: Lesbians, Gay Men, and Popular Culture By Paul Burston, Colin Richardson
A useful source for investigation of Sandra Bernhard's Without You I'm Nothing. Binksternet (talk) 16:36, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Fort Lee: the film town By Richard Koszarski
Only mentions "race-bending" in passing. Binksternet (talk) 16:36, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
  • 2002 - American skin: pop culture, big business, and the end of white America By Leon E. Wynter (My arguments about the moral and cultural illegitimacy of white identity, like

my discussion of the race-bending impact of hip-hop on American commercial )

Three pages in the book contain the construct "race-bending", but you will have to find a physical copy of the book to quote it, as the online bits are just a tease. Binksternet (talk) 16:36, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
  • 2007 Memories of the origins of ethnographic film, Volume 13 By Beate Engelbrecht

(The Kids put on plays and covered their affluent white skins with dark makeup. We may shudder at this colonial race-bending…)

Not much to go on. Binksternet (talk) 16:36, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Racists Beware: Uncovering Racial Politics in the Post Modern Society By George J. Sefa Dei (Dei identifies and subjects to close scrutiny the new race-bending logics of what he calls "postmodern" societies in which the dwellers of the suburbs and members of the itinerant white professional middle class (the great beneficiaries of late capitalism and neoliberalization of the economy) now have become the new social plaintiff turning the complaint of racial inequality and discrimination on the heads of those most oppressed. )

Nemogbr (talk) 15:35, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Blackface, yellowface, whiteface[edit]

Other reasons why blackface went out of popularity (and which need citations that I don't have):

1) In come cases, it isn't realistic. Either the makeup isn't intended to be realistic ("Holiday Inn"), or the actors just don't have any particularly characteristic negroid features.

2) The purpose of blackface is seen as a racial slight -- even when that isn't necessarily the case. With yellowface, perhaps Asians are offended, but the there is often no *intent* to offend. E.g. "The Shanghai Gesture" ... it was set in China, so it would look silly to have all white people walking around.

3) Chinese and Japanese don't qualify as underprivileged minorities in the last decades in the United States. So, no socially degrading statement necessarily is being made, imitating an Asian.

Are there examples from Japanese and Chinese cinema of "whiteface" that might be appropriate to bring up? Piano non troppo (talk) 03:22, 19 September 2009 (UTC)


I don't find statement number 3 as a correct assessment.

We can use the recent film called "The Goods" with the beating of an Asian by his co-workers, as a comedy scene, it would have never been considered if the prospective victim was a Black person. It has only been 30 years since Vincent Chin was murdered in 1982 and the murderers being given a lenient sentence, is still a raw wound.

The film makers can claim that they did not intend to offend, but the reality is totally different to their supposed intention. The Asians as a whole are treated as stereotypes in the media. If we see them in films, they are usually the wimpy male or martial artist who can kick ass, but not get a kiss. If female, they are Dragon ladies and/or submissive towards the white male protagonist.

The recent film called The Last Airbender presented the same difficulties towards Asian Americans. A fantasy based upon East Asian/Yupik cultures and Asian myths particularly Chinese, but it was not logical to cast East Asian/Native American actors? The original main cast members ended up with White caucasian actors.

The question never came up with the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Everyone accepted that they would all be White/European Actors. Why is it different for a story based upon an Asian mythos?

Nemogbr 00:39, 19 November 2009 (UTC)Nemogbr (talk

Notable Examples[edit]

The Good Earth[edit]

Managed to use Luise Rainier's jpeg from the article. Nemogbr 00:34, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Breakfast at Tiffany's[edit]

I cannot find a jpeg of Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi in wikipedia. Will have to find a free image. Can anyone help or upload?

Nemogbr 00:34, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Kung Fu (Series)[edit]

Decided to use Kung Fu series as a notable example. It is a major case of racebending. I was a fan of the series, but how much more awesome would it have been if Bruce Lee was cast for Kwai Chang Caine role. The opportunity missed due to racism.

Nemogbr 00:34, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Miss Saigon[edit]

Jonathan Price as the Engineer in Miss Saigon needed to be removed. Miss Saigon is a Musical/Theatre production. It is akin to criticising Lea Salonga, a Filipina songstress, being cast in Les Miserables. She played both Fantine and Eponine. (talkcontribs) 14:29, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

I have added Miss Saigon as a notable example. Live media is different to movies, but it has been pointed out that the producers never took the effort to find an Asian male as the Engineer. Making him eurasian is a clumsy excuse as Jonathan Price looks nothing like a eurasian.

It is now included for the controversy that ensued.

Nemogbr 00:30, 5 January 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nemogbr (talkcontribs)

Inclusion of Madama Butterfly[edit]

I added Madama Buttefly, because there are many examples in the actual performances of the opera which illustrate the term Yellowface. I have started by listing two: the original bast of the premier performance and a very recent example - the 2010 run at the Dallas Opera. Additionally, the photo is an example. BrittanyLovesNuts (talk) 02:33, 5 February 2010 (UTC)


The defence of yellowface or the Geisha look, in the theatre, is that they are casting for talent/ singing voice. We can say that same for Lea Salonga, th original Miss Saigon. She is a Filipina songstress who has played Fantine and Eponine in Les Miserables. At the time, there were also other non-white Europeans acting and singing onstage.

How can we justify inclusion when a talented non-white caucasian can be the lead in theatre?

Nemogbr (talk) 02:44, 5 February 2010 (UTC) --Nemogbr (talk) 02:44, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

The Last Airbender and Racebending[edit]

Whomever added the cast to this movie obviously didn't do their homework.

None of the actors are in yellowface, and before someone makes a mentioning about Nicola and Jackson.

The pics showed them as white.

Also, how the hell was Christopher Walken in yellowface? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 4.131.143.125 (talk) 11:37, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

To strictly limit the idea of yellowface to makeup seems a bit narrow to me. When a show like Avatar is used having all the "good" characters played by caucasion actors and having all the "evil" characters played by darker skinned actors... is this not an issue?
To strictly limit the idea of yellowface to actual examples seems too narrow for this page. We seem to be just slinging around anything we can find. 198.7.245.75 (talk) 06:08, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
Wasn't the actor playing "Sokka" quoted as saying he would simply get a tan and cut his hair short for the role?
Point being, should be make a distinction between yellowface and "whitening" as it were? These actors (in this film as my main example) may or may not use makeup to make them seem asian, but they are all white and playing non-white peoples. 198.22.236.230 (talk) 17:08, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

I have added the cast of the Last Airbender. This may not strictly be regarded as yellowface, but the characters/costumes are East Asian/Inuit based and that has not changed. All white actors portraying non-white characters. They have changed the characters from East Asian/Yupik to Caucasians. Thus it has also been termed as Racebending.

It is also the reason for adding 21, Dragonball Evolution, Forbidden Kingdom and Legend of Earthsea.

I do not know how to regard Speed Racer. It is a Japanese series changed into an American adaptation.

The same for Akira... When or if it gets off the ground. Will the change of Neo-Tokyo to Neo-Manhattan make a difference? How about the character Tetsuo to Travis?

Sean Farris has been cast as Kyu Kusunagi in King of Fighters. I do not see any makeup for yellowface and they did not change the name. Is it still yellowface, for a white actor, to portray what looks like a white guy and play a Japanese man with a Japanese name?

Another film is also about to be made. David Henrie cast in the role of the Chinese-American Tommy Zhou. If he does not wear the makeup or they change the name, does it remain yellowface/racebending or is it a valid casting? Nemogbr 15:42, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Inuits are Asian? Thanks for setting us straight. (Is there even one definition of yellowface or are you guys literally making it up on the fly? White people playing Asian people is yellowface. White people playing white people who were Asian in another adaptation altogether is yellowface. Got it!) 198.7.245.75 (talk) 06:08, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Individual Yellowface[edit]

Starship Troopers - Juan "Jonny" Rico[edit]

  1. (cur) (prev) 16:40, 4 January 2010 Nemogbr (talk | contribs) (84,422 bytes) (Undid revision 335798589 by 94.197.195.150 (talk) Original character is a Filipino male. Juan "Jonny "Rico.) (undo)
  2. (cur) (prev) 12:31, 4 January 2010 94.197.195.150 (talk) (83,033 bytes) (→Late 20th Century: remove starship troopers, the character in the film is not east asian) (undo)

Original character in the book was a Filipino named Juan 'Jonny' Rico. It was claimed that the film makers never read the entire book and the writers were not aware of Heinlein's work.

They couldn't ask anyone to do research? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nemogbr (talkcontribs) 10:28, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Nemogbr 10:29, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

The creators of the film never bothered to finish the actual book, and made it clear that they despised the book. Johnny Rico was a Tagalog-speaking Filipino of some kind, but with that name he could have been of hidalgo ancestry; it never mattered to the characters, which was part of the point of the book. --Orange Mike | Talk 02:45, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

More than likely, Juan Rico was a mestizo, as many of the Filipino upper classes tend to be. That would be a very good reason for inclusion. They tend to look very much mixed Spanish or Hispanic. Meaning that someone like Mark Dacascos would have had looked better than Carpe Van Diem.

Nemogbr 10:04, 15 January 2010 (UTC) --Nemogbr 10:04, 15 January 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nemogbr (talkcontribs)

That's a guess on your part, and has no place in Wikipedia (like most of your guesswork, speculation, and original research. --Orange Mike | Talk 20:48, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

At what point, in the notes, did I include my speculation as to whether Juan Rico is a "mestizo" or your thoughts on him being "hidalgo"? I have not posted any speculation and the data on the notes are readily available.

Nemogbr 19:26, 16 January 2010 (UTC) --Nemogbr 19:26, 16 January 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nemogbr (talkcontribs)

Um... directly above my response, where you wrote, "More than likely, Juan Rico was a mestizo..."!--Orange Mike | Talk 23:51, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
Clearly, the character in the film is not East Asian, and therefore it is not an example of yellowface. If the character in the original book is, then the film would be an example of "racebending/whitewashing", then the film should be discussed in the article under a clearly defined "racebending/whitewashing" section. 78.146.90.45 (talk) 16:54, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

@ 78.146.90.45 (talk) Can we can include others like True Believer (1989 film)? They simply eliminated the Asian Americans involved in the trial and focused on James Wood's character Eddie Dodd. The new version would be 21.

The problem is that most people never even realised the elimination of the Asians, unless they had followed the K.W. Lee's investigative articles.


@Orangemike: I was referring to the fact that I have not posted any of my "original research", for Starship Troopers, as you term it, in the article. I simply stated that Juan Rico is a Filipino, in the book. You are the one positing the possibility of him being "hidalgo".

As for the racebending part, Juan Rico had no yellowface makeup involved.

Nemogbr (talk) 23:17, 24 January 2010 (UTC) --Nemogbr (talk) 23:17, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Just wanted to show my appreciation for you guys managing to include Filipino under the umbrella of yellowface. While honored, I feel I must also point out that it is a perfect example of just how disorganized this over-complicated mad-lib of a page is.

The word "yellowface" itself is silly fluff, but the real problem seems to be that almost every section ping-pongs (See wut I did thar?) between discussing "yellowface" and "whitewashing" as if we really haven't given any thought to the page at all. I think a good idea going forward would be to use existing facts, instead of trying to create new ones. 198.7.245.75 (talk) 06:01, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

General Chang?[edit]

Despite the Chinese name "General Chang" in the Star Trek movie seems to be a Klingon. If that's right I don't think he counts.--T. Anthony (talk) 15:38, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

I decided to remove Chang. Possibly someone just got mixed up or something.--T. Anthony (talk) 02:27, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

I removed Plummer/Chang. Caused me to stop short when I saw it there.

Cavalier24601 (talk) 23:37, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm in agreement that it's yellowface, and while I won't try adding it again without any source about how it was perceived, I should at least explain my point of view. Yes the name is obviously Asian, but so is his appearance. He doesn't look anything like other Klingon characters like Worf or Kruge. His skin is of a more tanned tone like what an Asian man would have. He also has a Fu Manchu-like mustache. There is no doubt in my mind he is meant to evoke an Asian man to the viewer. 74.90.15.227 (talk) 02:04, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Including Yul Brynner is quite strict.[edit]

I did not remove him from the list, but:

All from his wikipedia entry: Yul Brynner was of Siberian (not sure of the exact ethnic group), Swiss and Mongolian descent, so he was indeed "Asian," though not Thai (or one of the other "oriental" Asian ethnicities). He also spoke Chinese and starred in "The Lute Song" before "The King and I" so Rodgers and Hammerstein likely though of him as Asian. But backing away from specifics for a moment, I think the objection to yellowface rests on white actors stealing work from minorities and using make-up, mannerisms, etc. in a stereotypical way. Though only 1/4 Mongolian, Brynner appeared more Asian than white, with his Mongolian/Siberian almond-shaped eyes, and specialized in exotic roles. From a casting standpoint, most of the filmmakers who hired him probably didn't know his exact ancestry because he did not make it public. Bonniesituation (talk) 19:25, 11 November 2009 (UTC)


Yul Brynner should not be on the list. Ethnically he is of mixed Mongolian/Swedish descent. We do have to make allowances as to what actors were available at the time. Perhaps Hollywood casting treated him as a white caucasian, he is still of the right ethnicity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nemogbr (talkcontribs) 14:29, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Added Tony Shalhoub[edit]

Shalhoub's yellowface role is apparently an actor of Korean descent (Fred Kwan) who, in turn, plays a character of Chinese descent (Tech Sargeant Chen). IMO this is meant as a parody of the "all Asians look alike" meme, but technically it is yellowface as Shalhoub is outfitted with heavy eye-makeup. He does not use any stereotypical Asian mannerisms, however.Bonniesituation (talk) 19:46, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Note also that Shalhoub is of Middle Eastern descent, not Northern European, even if he is from Wisconsin. He is somewhat racially ambiguous even without makeup. --Orange Mike | Talk 18:45, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Pete Postlethwaite[edit]

He was on this list due to having the role of "Kobayashi" in The Usual Suspects, but this was not a Yellowface role. (SPOILERS) The fact that he is *not* Asian but has the name "Kobayashi" is a clue that the name is made up by Verbal in the film, and later on we see that Verbal got it from an object (coffee cup) in the office he spends much of the film in. Postlethwaite has no makeup to appear Asian and actually speaks with a South African accent. Thus, I removed him.

On a more general note, having an Asian name alone is not yellowface. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.235.139.169 (talk) 08:10, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

The above change was reverted by User:Maggiedane with no reason given; I have removed the reference again -- 125.238.255.26 (talk) 07:43, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

This article is about two different topics: Racebending Sub-section[edit]

This article actually seems to cover two quite different topics. 'Yellowface' refers to white actors portraying Asian characters in a stereotypical way, through the use of exaggerated makeup and accents. The more recent trend of characters that were originally Asian being played by white actors in modern adaptations - referred to here as 'whitewashing' or 'racebending' - is something quite different, and deserves a separate article. Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's is an example of yellowface, as are the many versions of Fu Manchu; but something like the film 21 isn't, as the white actors aren't portraying Asian characters. These two different concepts should be covered in different articles rather than being confused together. Robofish (talk) 15:07, 19 January 2010 (UTC)


Good point, I attempted to create a different article titled racebending and also researched other instances of the word being used. First time was 1997, Patrick Stewart in his role for Othello. Then 2006, The Club sitcom and 2008 Tropic Thunder with Robert Downey Jr.

There were also four books regarding racebending in California schools. LexisNexis Litigation Essentials journal regarding the racebending of Barrack Obama, to be more acceptable, to the white majority voters.

Suffice it to say, the page was deleted swiftly for supposedly being a neologism from cartoon fans.

I have kept it in my userpage to keep working on the article. You are welcome to peruse and perhaps make edits to make it more acceptable.

Nemogbr (talk) 15:44, 19 January 2010 (UTC) --Nemogbr (talk) 15:44, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

I've re-arranged the article so that the material about 'whitewashing/racebending' is in one small section. I think by having 'whitewashing/racebending' as a sub-section will help the article to focus on its subject of yellowface. 78.146.90.45 (talk) 17:17, 23 January 2010 (UTC)


Thanks for separating the article. It was well done. A sub-section for racebending is a good idea.

Nemogbr (talk) 01:05, 3 February 2010 (UTC) --Nemogbr (talk) 01:05, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

The term "racebending" should not be in this article at all. It doesn't appear at Google Books, nor does it appear at Google Scholar. Nobody has used the term except the person who started the website www.racebending.com, so the neologism has no notability. The hyphenated form, "race-bending", is not required to describe yellowface. If a direct quote can be summoned, within which an expert discusses yellowface using the term, then it can be put into the article. Otherwise, this article is not the place to promote a neologism or a website. Binksternet (talk) 17:16, 12 February 2010 (UTC)


I have answered these accusations in the content noticeboard

Nemogbr (talk) 01:20, 13 February 2010 (UTC) --Nemogbr (talk) 01:20, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Poor organisation?[edit]

Instead of just adding a tag that this article is poorly organised, please state which parts of the article need improvements.

The same way that adding a "citation needed" tag would be more helpful than deleting data you do not like.

Nemogbr (talk) 16:40, 13 February 2010 (UTC) --Nemogbr (talk) 16:40, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

While I wasn't the one to add the tag, I think it was done to give the small group of people who claim ownership of this page a heads-up that the page pretty much needs to be rewritten as a whole to not be bad. 198.7.245.75 (talk) 06:05, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
Start by getting some people who can keep a straight face while addign examples. While this rinky-dink article is filled with loaded adjectives, the Blackface article (about phenomenon not made up on Wikipedia) is generally more mature in its writing style. 198.7.245.75 (talk) 02:50, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Asian, east Asian[edit]

I think the first paragraph of the should make clear the meaning of "Asian" as used in the article. Obviously the article is about east Asian (i.e. oriental) characters being portrayed by white actors, so to use "Asian" by itself is meaningless. Asia includes such countries as India, Afganistan, Uzbekistan etc. 78.146.188.227 (talk) 16:02, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

"Obviously"? Exactly how is this obvious? I don't see sources stating it to be so - just your personal opinion. TheRealFennShysa (talk) 16:16, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
The lack of non-east-Asian examples should have been your first clue. The exclusive focus on east-Asian characters should have been your second.198.7.245.75 (talk) 03:04, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Dragonball and Avatar...[edit]

Neither characters in Avatar The Last Airbeender or Dragonball is asian. Both has a setting based on a different world.--Martianmister (talk) 22:37, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Indeed, this is the case. Even on the dragon ball wiki the editors there have wrongly stated that even though Goku is an alien he has asian facial features. There was never any indication in either story that the main characters were asian as both take place in a fictional Earth and both Goku and Aang have ambiguous facial features. Goku and Aang should not be included since neither story indicated their ethnicities and their characteristics are not indicative of any one ethnicity. --67.86.212.178 (talk) 03:36, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes, it seems like, especially in the case of Goku, that the character is not even human. One of the main plot elements to Dragonball reveals Goku as a member of an alien race. I'm referring to the movie only, but if you include the anime and manga then it's clear Goku is "one of the last of the Saiyans", an alien race. Also all countries and landmasses on the Dragonball earth are totally different and not representative of actual nations and continents. 99.30.54.30 (talk) 16:50, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

There are definite parallels between Goku and the comic book hero Superman. It would be interesting to see what the reaction would be if Superman was portrayed by a clearly nonwhite actor in a major motion picture. Shaolin Samurai (talk) 23:42, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

I removed Dragonball Evolution from the article because there is no asia in the Dragon Ball universe. The world is an entirely different Earth with no connection to this Earth. And most of the characters appearances don't indicate what they would be in this Earth. Therefore, it is not an example of yellow face. King of Fighters is a more likely example because the main character was actually stated to be from Asia. --Stardust6000 (talk) 16:14, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

The characters are drawn in a manner clearly more Asian than Caucasian. --Orange Mike | Talk 18:24, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

That is completely an opinion. Once again there is no Asia in Dragon ball, this is fact. --Stardust6000 (talk) 20:08, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Dragonball Evolution however does take place on the same earth. Countries like India and China get mentioned. Also the Goku character is drawn the way as the other characters which were cast as Asian in the film. Finally, saying they aren't Asian because there is no Asia has no merit. The word is clearly used here as a racial term, not a geographical term. It is simply a polite way of saying "yellow", which those characters are no matter where they're from. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 160.79.74.62 (talk) 16:45, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Whitewashing[edit]

I deleted the section about whitewashing as it has nothing to do with yellowface. That material should be used to make a new article. Binksternet (talk) 07:26, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

I agree that it should be split from this article. I re-added the section and added a split template. -- Al™ 09:18, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
A split of an article is when its content grows too large at the same time as the content can be suitably subdivided. The section you re-added was never a good part of this article, was never technically about yellowface. It was WP:COATRACKed in. There is absolutely no reason to mount it 'live' again until such a time when somebody wishes to make it a new article—if it is up, there may be no motivation to make it into a new article. Binksternet (talk) 14:22, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

I have moved the whitewashing section to the appropriate page: whitewashing. It still needs some work, since the questions will now be asked about which films were whitewashed and the stupid will start talking about the Black Kingpin and Asian Agent Zero who happen to be the secondary characters of their movies.

Nemogbr (talk) 21:55, 31 May 2010 (UTC)


I have had to recreate the whitewashing article and re-establish the link to the yellowface article. TheRealFennShysa insists on deleting the contents and does not give a reason as to why.

Nemogbr (talk) 22:55, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

It might help your case if you tried telling the truth - every time, I've given a reason, which was that a separate and more appropriately titles article exists, Whitewash (censorship), as opposed to your attempts to push your own point-of-view with a new article. Please remember that you do not own any of these pages, and your attempts to call other editors actions vandalism does not reflect well on your "cause". TheRealFennShysa (talk) 15:25, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

What own am I pushing when the data I provided have the appropriate links? The suggestion was that the section regarding whitewashing in Hollywood was to be moved to a separate article as it made the yellowface article too cumbersome.

If your point is that Hollywood whitewashing should be part of whitewash (censorship), then that would be easily rectified.

Looking at Whitewash (censorship). It has it's own page. To add Hollywood whitewashing would overwhelm the other examples.

Nemogbr (talk) 20:53, 1 June 2010 (UTC)


This is what you wrote:

Some refer to "whitewashing" to describe the adaptation of works of an originally ethnic origin to suit a perceived majority preference for Caucasian leads, Western settings, or both. This often occurs in adaptations of anime or manga works into films intended for American audiences. I didn't realise that you perceived it to mostly pertain to Japanese works when the notable examples showed others. I think people would be surprised to see what you mean by whitewashing.

If you wish to cast a "critical eye" on my "original research", you are free to do so.

Nemogbr (talk) 22:51, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

King of Fighters Got sum chum for you piranhas[edit]

Didja hear about the new King of Fighters movie? Some rather Caucasoid bloke named Sean Faris is playing Kyo Kusanagi, a supposedly-Asian boy who looks more Western than the series's distinctly Western character Terry Bogard. Do your magic. 198.7.245.75 (talk) 03:00, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

(Also, his father is incredibly Asian. It's a conspiracy! They're trying to convince young Asian men that their fathers would have preferred white children! Get the word out! Tell the wiki-people!!)198.7.245.75 (talk) 03:02, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

galaxy quest?[edit]

i dont understand the galaxy quest entry, was it based on a book or something? i put a 'citation needed' on it. Decora (talk) 18:40, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Taken care of. --Orange Mike | Talk 15:44, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Yellowface is not restricted to the United States[edit]

This article presents Yellowface as a phenomenon distinct to the United States; the lead specifically only refers to America saying Yellowface is found in "American cinema, American theatre, and American television". However, this is simply not the case as Yellowface is found in many other countries as well. This article has distinct sections on "Madame Butterfly" and "Miss Saigon" both of which originate in Europe. Madame Butterfly (one of the earliest instances in this article) is an Italian opera that originally premiered in Milan with Italian actors in Yellowface. And Miss Saigon one of the most recent examples is a British musical that made its premier in London. Its important to NPOV standards that articles mantain an international perspective where applicable, so I think parts of the article need to be reworked to make it less America-centric. Solid State Survivor (talk) 16:03, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

You are absolutely right. I have added a globalize tag to the top. Binksternet (talk) 16:28, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

One problem with that need, anything I add to the article will be original research. The yellowface of the Engineer from Miss Saigon did not produce as much rancour in the West End, as it did in Broadway. Most did not deem it that offensive since the leading lady was East Asian, albeit from the Philippines, rather than from Vietnam. Plus they had to be cast from outside Britain. The supporting cast tended to be white British without yellowface makeup.

The Chinese Detective from 1981/82 was the first and only series featuring a Chinese-British character and cast with a English actor of Chinese descent, David Yip. During that time Hollywood still preferred white actors to portray Charlie Chan.

More examples are needed, but will take awhile due to the politics with the editors.

Nemogbr (talk) 10:56, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

The last airbender?[edit]

I think the last airbender qualifies to be on this list. It gather one of the biggest protest around. --216.237.22.181 (talk) 19:34, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Should Kung-Fu be removed?[edit]

In the television show Kung-Fu Carradine's character is - while raised in China by Chinese monks - supposed to be of mixed heritage (having a Caucasian father and an Asian mother). Now I understand that using a full-blooded Caucasian actor does not accurately portray the racial identity of this mixed ancestry - but using a fool blooded Asian actor would have to be deemed equally incorrect for not showing the other half of this racial identity. I think when it comes to mixed descent people allow a greater amount of lee-way with the accuracy of race in media; for example there are countless instances of actor of mixed descent - such as bruce lee - who often will play roles of characters of a full blooded ancestry - yet this practice rarely ever goes questioned. I would say while the practice in Kung-Fu is not fully accurate it is not strictly yellowface either. 70.112.184.148 (talk) 08:59, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

The person who removed the KungFu section should login or create an account before doing anymore deletions.

This was made a few years after the Hays Code/ non-miscegenation laws were no longer extant in Hollywood. Somehow, I do not think removing a code of practice would prevent television executives from continuing a racist practice. Fu Manchu and Charlie Chan were still played by white males.

Nemogbr (talk) 07:37, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

KungFu has become part of the whole yellowface genre. People insisting it is not, are delusional. That's like those morons who ethnically cleansed, whitewashed and racebended the non-white characters from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Or the ones who whitewashed Goku into a white guy.

Bruce Lee was the best candidate for the role and instead they turned Caine into a half-Chinese and picked David Carradine, who couldn't even do kungfu.

I was warned about this place as a largest collection of villainy on the 'net. They were not far wrong. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.15.206.174 (talk) 10:58, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

I removed the Kung Fu section because none of its references said it was "yellowface" in action. Here are all the references that were in the section:
Pilato never uses the term "yellowface" in his book. The Bruce Lee material should not be here at all, with its accusation of the concept being stolen from him. Caldwell does not use the term "yellowface". Nobody on the Pierre Berton show says "yellowface". Vargas in his Washington Post article reprinted on the slanted door webpage does not use the term "yellowface"; he uses the concept of "where's the Asian guy". Binksternet (talk) 14:38, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

File:Rainer-GoodEarth.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

Image-x-generic.svg An image used in this article, File:Rainer-GoodEarth.jpg, has been nominated for deletion at Wikimedia Commons in the following category: Deletion requests August 2011
What should I do?

Don't panic; a discussion will now take place over on Commons about whether to remove the file. This gives you an opportunity to contest the deletion, although please review Commons guidelines before doing so.

  • If the image is non-free then you may need to upload it to Wikipedia (Commons does not allow fair use)
  • If the image isn't freely licensed and there is no fair use rationale then it cannot be uploaded or used.

This notification is provided by a Bot --CommonsNotificationBot (talk) 18:17, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Should this article be split or renamed?[edit]

I first came across this article a while ago, and I thought it had some problems with its topic; unfortunately, it still does. What's the actual subject of this article: is it 'portrayal of East Asians in Hollywood' (the current title), or is it simply about white actors playing Asian roles? The latter is what most of this article is currently about, but surely the 'portayal of East Asians in Hollywood' also includes Asian characters played by actual Asian actors. At the moment, this article only mentions Asian actors up to The Good Earth in 1937, almost implying that there haven't been any Asian actors in Hollywood since, which seems like something of an oversight.

Perhaps this article should be split into two articles, one on the phenomenon of white actors playing Asian roles, and one on Asian actors themselves? Robofish (talk) 13:31, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

What is 'stereotype'?[edit]

Yellowface is theatrical presentation of East Asians through stereotyping. It is not having a character portrayed by an actor of a different race - otherwise Lawrence Fishburne could not portray Othello [1]. Also stereotyping is by definition negative. How can Charlie Chan be yellowface when contrasted with his Number One Son, who is completely Americanized (thus showing that their differences are cultural only, not inborn). How can Marlon Brando's character in The Teahouse of the August Moon (film) be yellowface when his is the smartest and most humane character in the piece?

BTW, if you are looking for examples of really offensive stereotyping, see Frederick Remington's engraved illustrations to his dispatches from out West. Indians are uniformly portrayed as vile, skulking, treacherous and unspeakably cruel, while Blacks (principally from the U.S. Army) as portrayed as cowardly, loose-lipped, shambling, simian, and superstitious. Even their skin tone is that of blackface players not real African-Americans. They don't even look human, in Remington's portrayal.

Or how about Mark Twain's view [2] of Native Americans as a group: "His heart is a cesspool of falsehood, of treachery, and of low and devilish instincts .. the scum of the Earth". — Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.70.198.220 (talk) 17:03, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

what for BS article[edit]

there is nothing racist to play someone from a different race, japanese do it all the time, their are many anime adaption where Caucasian characters get played by japanese, not to mention about all the other blue eyed blond anime character which are supposed to be japanese. So this is racist as well?? i quite offended by these double standard thats its only racist if Caucasians do it, like this article hints out.--Shokioto22 (talk) 20:23, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

I agree that the article has issues. One of them is that the article uses the term "yellowface" to describe both characters used to mock Asians (Breakfast at Tiffany's) and characters who are simply portrayed by non-Asian actors (Kung Fu, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Cloud Atlas...).--Craigboy (talk) 16:10, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

The term yellowface means putting makeup on non-Asians to make them appear Asian. You can differentiate between cases where it's used mockingly and cases where no racism is intended if you like, but it's all yellowface. --holizz (talk) 01:39, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Buckaroo Banzai: No Yellowface to be Found[edit]

Buckaroo Banzai should not be listed here. Jamie Lee Curtis plays the white American wife of a Japanese scientist, rather than an Asian woman. Which makes me wonder how this article was cobbled together--if the users here did any scrap of research or simply went around looking for white actors who played characters with "Asian-sounding" names. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.228.89.87 (talk) 04:42, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

"Notable firsts" are notably absent from this article[edit]

The article states that Anna May Wong is "considered by many the first Chinese-American movie star", but that's about it as far as firsts involving actual Asians. The article is lacking more information of this kind. For example, who were the first Asian male and Asian female to have actual starring roles (as opposed to playing supporting characters) in major studio films, and what were those films? Was there no one before Lucy Liu and John Cho? Also, George Takei is mentioned only once, at the very end of the article (currently), in reference to a movie that he's not involved with. His role in the history of Asians portrayed on screen nowhere to be found.Adrigon (talk) 19:22, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

Biased article that only contains negatives. Needs addition of positives.[edit]

Where are all the positive portrayals of East Asians in this article? Why is there no mention at all that East Asians are indeed getting better roles in Hollywood films? There's fewer and fewer typecasting nowadays. Asian males get the girl. Asian females aren't just eye candy. And many of these characters are important if not integral to the plot.

Touchy Feely, The Conjuring, The Wolverine, Up, Europa Report, The Walking Dead, The Sessions, Sunshine, Shanghai Kiss, Letters from Iwo Jima, Lost, RED 2, just to name a few.

All of these Hollywood products have very positive portrayals of East Asians, yet not a word is said about them.

Wake up editors. This looks like angry backlashing over historical injustices than an encyclopedic article.

Lhw1 (talk) 02:41, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Ron Pearlman in Pacific Rim[edit]

Pearlman's character's name, Hannibal Chau, is a pseudonym. He's not supposed to be playing an Asian man. He's an American smuggler, who chose his name from "my favorite historical figure and my favorite Schezuan restaurant." I'm removing the reference to Pearlman's performance because it is in no way supposed to be a portrayal of an East Asian character. Ambiesushi (talk) 18:49, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Should this article be renamed?[edit]

The title is 'Portrayal of East Asians in Hollywood', but the actual topic of the article seems to be 'Portrayal of East Asians in Hollywood by white actors'. There's remarkably little content about East Asian actors in Hollywood themselves. The article's original title, Yellowface, was more appropriate for the content of this article. Robofish (talk) 23:02, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

The page is now accepting portrayals of East Asians by East Asian actors, for example, Glen Rhee from the Walking Dead is included on the page because his character is played by an East Asian man. So, no. No rename. Amber Workman aka Ambiesushi (talk) 03:41, 17 September 2013 (UTC)