Justice

Constance Wu Speaks out About Matt Damon's Latest Role

July 30th 2016

By:
Lucy Tiven

On Friday, "Fresh Off the Boat" star Constance Wu slammed the casting of Matt Damon in the upcoming blockbuster "The Great Wall."

The film chronicles a group of warriors fighting mythical creatures and takes place at the Great Wall of China, Variety reports.

In a heartfelt tweet, Wu spoke out about the racial stereotypes reflected by the film's choice of a white man as its hero.

"Can we all at least agree that hero-bias & 'but it's really hard to finance' are no longer excuses for racism?" Wu asked. She went on:

constance wu tweet

Wu took the film's choice as an example of Hollywood white-washing and the white savior trope in particular — which suggests that people of color need salvation that can only come from white heroes.

Though the film's genre is somewhat fantastical, casting a white man as its protagonist reflects damaging misconceptions that people of color face in real life and media, she explained.

constance wu tweet

The white savior complex factors into histories of imperialism around the globe and lives on in many ways today from how white people talk about and rationalize charity work in the developing world, to movies and TV shows that conflate whiteness with value, wisdom, and bravery. It implies that POC need to be rescued yet fundamentally miscomprehends their cultures and experiences.

She told Hollywood to "balls up."

Wu asked the film industry to summon up the courage to create films with positive role models for children young women of color in particular — even if it seemed to present a financial risk — rather than simply doing what has proved profitable in the past.

constance wu tweet

In follow up tweets, she clarified that she wanted to draw attention to how race is rendered in popular media and didn't simply mean to attack Damon or the film's financiers.

You can read her full statement below and share it on Twitter.

 

[h/t Variety]