Korean-American Rapper Brilliantly Tackles Hollywood’s Whitewashing Problem

It's time for Hollywood to pay attention to Asian-American actors. And this new rap video might help do the trick. Not only does it tackle the ongoing problem of whitewashing in Hollywood, it highlights just how easy it would be to cast more Asian-American actors in leading roles. Dumbfoundead is responsible for the socially charged and entertaining music video for his song "Safe." The 30-year-old rapper, born Park Sung Man, immigrated to America as a child and grew up in Koreatown in Los Angeles. In the video, Dumbfoundead edits his face onto popular male leads, including Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson, and Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance. Incidentally all named Jack, these are arguably three of the most recognizable male characters in contemporary cinema, played by three of Hollywoods most famous white actors. Like many of his Asian-American contemporaries, Dumbfoundead feels that there is a gross prejudice against Asian-American actors, and that they should no longer play it safe when pursuing roles. The timely release of the video comes right on the tails of a feature in The New York Times titled, "Asian-American Actors Are Fighting for Visibility. They Will Not Be Ignored." The article addresses the same subject, reporting just how depressingly sparse opportunities are for people of color in Hollywood.

As the Times reports
, "Only 1.4 percent of lead characters in a sample of studio films released in 2014 were Asian." The issue was also much discussed after Chris Rock used Asian children as a punchline during the Oscars. Dumbfoundead opens his rap with a similar scene, saying the only yellow guys at the Oscars were the statues. In the description of his music video on YouTube, the rapper writes, "After the last Academy Awards and the regular whitewashing of hollywood roles, I wrote this song and made this video to add my piece to the conversation." Check it out, below.

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