#StarringJohnCho Protests Hollywood's Asian Diversity Problem

By the Web Editors 5-10-2016
John Cho with Harold & Kumar co-star Kal Penn. Image via DFree / Shutterstock.com

Hollywood, take notice.

The silver screen has been looking pretty white, and even the films that do have more diverse casts haven’t been getting the recognition many think that they deserve, as #OscarsSoWhite can attest.

A new hashtag campaign, #StarringJohnCho, aims to change that.

According to the campaign’s website, a mere 1 percent of lead roles go to Asians.

“In a leaked email exchange with studio heads, Aaron Sorkin (Oscar-winning writer of The Social Network, Steve Jobs, andThe Newsroom) complained about the so-called difficulty of adapting a movie with an Asian protagonist because ‘there aren't any Asian movie stars,’” the website says.

“#StarringJohnCho is a social movement that literally shows you what it would look like if today's Hollywood blockbusters cast an Asian-American actor - specifically, John Cho* - as their leading man.”

To that end, people have begun photoshopping the actor John Cho into blockbuster movie pictures and sharing them on social media with #StarringJohnCho, in an effort to show movie fans (along with Aaron Sorkin) that casting an Asian movie star would work.

While the website doesn’t mention the timing, it’s worth noting that May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

The website also makes clear that John Cho himself is not affiliated with the hashtag campaign.

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