Racebending wrote about this a couple of weeks ago in “The Cloud Atlas Conversation: Yellowface, Prejudice, and Artistic License,” but as more and more people see the trailer for the new sci-fi flick “Cloud Atlas” (the film just premiered at the Toronto Film Festival) the outrage over the casting of white actors as Asian characters is beginning to boil over. I get pretty upset myself, just looking at Hugo Weaving (of “Lord of the Rings” and “Matrix”) shown here with his lids Asianized.
Now, one of the movie’s stars, British actor Jim Sturgess, pokes fun at the controversy by comparing yellowface to a frozen yogurt topping. Really:
Yellowface? Blackface? Pinkface? Pinkberry? Blackberry? Crackberry? Blueberry? Strawberry? Bananas? Frozen Yogurt? All the toppings?.Lovely
It’s easy for Sturgess to make light of this issue — he’s white. But yellowface is deeply offensive to me as an Asian American, and to a whole lot of Asians.