Hollywood’s Race Problem Solved In A Single Hashtag: #StarringJohnCho

If #OscarsSoWhite and #whitewashedout complaints don't quite reach the Hollywood execs who still think only white actors can carry blockbuster films, perhaps a different approach could do the trick. Maybe casting directors have very limited imaginations and just need a few hints? That's the tongue-in-cheek idea behind #StarringJohnCho, which is much more than just a hashtag. "The goal of #StarringJohnCho has always been to spark the conversation and try and alter one's perception of how Asian-Americans are viewed both in Hollywood and in our society," William Yu (who happens to be the brother of R29 staffer Samantha Yu), told Refinery29 via email. To that end, he's Photoshopped the Star Trek actor into movie posters for The Avengers, Me Before You, Mother's Day, The Martian, and more. "I would love to see an Asian-American cast in the next tentpole franchise," Yu said. "I hope that the movement will provide some influence so that when Hollywood execs are having casting discussions, the subject of selecting an Asian-American is brought to the table. "
"If studies show that films with diverse casts result in higher box office numbers and returns on investments, why doesn't Hollywood cast lead actors to reflect this fact?" the website asks.
William's efforts aren't exactly endorsed by Cho himself, but he did reply to the Twitter account with a heart emoji.
The idea that Cho should star in all of the movies highlights that there aren't a ton of Asian actors who've received enough fame for the internet to create memes around them. There is also the glaring lack of a female counterpart to Cho. "I've definitely thought about creating a female version of the movement," William told us. "Even at #StarringJohnCho's inception, I had a lot of internal debates about whether or not to launch with a male or female. The conversation for leading Asian-American women needs to be talked about. I'd love to take some posters and see what they could look like with Constance Wu, Kimiko Glenn, or Jamie Chung as the lead."
Consider this an open call for someone to make one — #StarringConstanceWu has a nice ring to it!

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