Constance Wu Says Matt Damon's Casting In 'The Great Wall' Perpetuates 'Racist Myth'

"Our heroes don't look like Matt Damon."
Constance Wu arrives for the Emmy FYC Event For ABC's 'Fresh Off The Boat' at The London Hotel on June 3, 2016 in West Hollyw
Constance Wu arrives for the Emmy FYC Event For ABC's 'Fresh Off The Boat' at The London Hotel on June 3, 2016 in West Hollywood, California.

“Fresh Off the Boat” actress Constance Wu has spoken out about Matt Damon’s casting in the film “The Great Wall.” 

If you recall, Damon was inexplicably cast to star in the movie ― reportedly China’s most expensive production to date ― which is essentially a period action film with a fantasy element. (Hint: there are monsters.) Damon plays a soldier who goes up against the monsters with the help of “elite warriors.” 

In a post on Twitter, Wu called on Hollywood to “stop perpetuating the racist myth that only a white man can save the world.” 

“Our heroes don’t look like Matt Damon,” the 34-year-old wrote. “They look like Malala. Ghandi. Mandela. Your big sister when she stood up for you to those bullies that one time.” 

Wu added that money is a pretty lame excuse for continuing to make films that whitewash history, but made sure not to cast blame upon one single person or factor. 

“It’s about pointing out the repeatedly implied racist notion that white people are superior to POC and that POC need salvation from our own color via white strength,” she added. “When you consistently make movies like this, you ARE saying that. YOU ARE.” 

Read her full note below:

Wu isn’t alone in her thinking. In a post on the blog Angry Asian Man, the writer called the film “the latest movie in the grand cinematic tradition of the Special White Person.” Jan Yamato at The Daily Beast wrote, “The white savior trope is such a tired cliché it has its own Wikipedia entry.” 

The film’s director, Zhang Yimou (a visionary in China), told Entertainment Weekly in an interview last week that the intent of the monster flick was to use “Hollywood filmmaking to introduce Chinese culture.” 

“This is a Hollywood monster movie and needs to be made in that style,” Yimou explained. “I don’t want to change that approach, and there’s no need to do that. What I really want is to bring Chinese color and cultural background to the worldwide audience through a film language that they are familiar with.”

As fellow HuffPost writer Cole Delbyck wrote, “There’s nothing more familiar to U.S. film audiences than casting white people in roles that probably should’ve been played by people of color!” 



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