“Crazy Rich Asians” Means Representation in Hollywood, Embracing Culture as Asian Americans

Aaron Kim

Even a couple weeks in with the release of the Hollywood film, “Crazy Rich Asians”, this movie has still been receiving media buzz.. Released in theaters on August 17, the film gave representation and insight on different Asian experiences ultimately, topping the box office.

“Crazy Rich Asians” was very meaningful for many students on campus, as it’s the first Hollywood feature film in 25 years to feature an all-Asian cast, with lead roles played by Asian-Americans.

When asked about the importance of this film, Senior Matthew Shozuya said, “The film represents a turning point in Hollywood. ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ showed the world that Asian Americans deserve a spot in this industry as they possess all of the same capabilities as any other person.” Shozuya continued with, “This movie also signifies a change in culture as many Asian people may shift their views seeing this industry as a future for them rather than the stereotypical STEM field.”

In Hollywood, Asian actors and actresses typically play the stereotypical minor role, whether it’s the character for comedic relief or the side character that is rarely seen. Junior Carmen Li when asked about the film said, “Not many Asians play major roles in films and the ones that do usually portray stereotypical roles. For ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ to receive so much success recognizes and proves there is a new opportunity for Asians in the entertainment industry.”

Along with all the representation for Asian actors, the film also highlighted numerous Asian traditions and cultures. Shozuya said, “My favorite scene was where they played mahjong. Not only did I get to see an amazing Chinese game being played on screen, it was used as a metaphor showing power and integrity. This scene skillfully implemented elements from Asian culture and applied it in a way directly appealing to their targeted audience.”

For many Asian Americans, this film meant something deeper than just a movie. It gave Asians, a rare feeling of being able to relate to characters and be attached to them on a huge platform. Many Asian Americans detach themselves from their own cultures, as they attempt to fit into what is “acceptable” in American society. This movie was not perfect, but was definitely a stepping stone into representation for Asians in Hollywood and also allowing Asian Americans to love and embrace their culture.