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How ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is a game changer for representation in Hollywood




NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 15:  (L-R)  Jimmy O. Yang, Henry Golding, Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, Kevin Kwan,  Constance Wu and Ken Jeong attend SiriusXM's Entertainment Weekly Radio Spotlight With The Cast Of 'Crazy Rich Asians' on August 15, 2018 in New York City.
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 15: (L-R) Jimmy O. Yang, Henry Golding, Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, Kevin Kwan, Constance Wu and Ken Jeong attend SiriusXM's Entertainment Weekly Radio Spotlight With The Cast Of 'Crazy Rich Asians' on August 15, 2018 in New York City.
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for SiriusXM

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It’s been 25 years since a major motion picture centered around an Asian American story hit the big screen.

It’s no wonder, then, that the release of “Crazy Rich Asians” has been described as a movement for the Asian American community. The film, directed by Jon M. Chu, puts Asian-American talent at the forefront— an important shift from prior representation of Asian Americans in Hollywood, which has been largely restricted to stereotypical or supporting roles.

Although widely celebrated, the film has also received criticism for not properly representing the complex society in Singapore. Others have also expressed disappointment with the casting of a biracial lead. Still, with a $30 million budget and box-office projections at around $26 million, the film remains a gamechanger to many, and hopes for two sequels in the future are next.

We discuss the significance of the movie with film critics Justin Chang, Jen Yamato, and Christy Lemire.

Guests:

Justin Chang, film critic for KPCC and the Los Angeles Times; he tweets @JustinCChang

Christy Lemire, film critic for KPCC, RogerEbert.com and co-host of YouTube’s “What the Flick?”;she tweets @christylemire

Jen Yamato, film reporter for the Los Angeles Times; she tweets @jenyamato