Netflix's "Journey to the West" and the Drama it is Causing on Facebook

Alex Chester

  • OnStage New York Columnist

We need to come together as a whole. Stop tearing each other apart and stop the racial discrimination amongst our own. You know who I'm talking about? It's you my fellow Asians.

I am seeing more and more of my friends showing their true colors and it's not pretty. The underlying racism and underhanded comments make me sad. 

As a Hapa, there is nothing worse than feeling like you don't belong. Being told you aren't "white" or "Asian" enough your whole life is enough to give anyone a freaking complex. 

The other day on Facebook there was a discussion happening about Netflix's "Journey to the West" and their casting choices. A fellow performer in the industry said the Hapas cast "aren't Hapa enough". This statement made me see red and I understand how murder could happen or at least violence. 

His explanation being if you look too "white" you aren't "Hapa enough". Yes, the show should have hired full Chinese people. I agree. There is no freaking excuse for the poor casting choices of "Journey to the West". Good job Netflix (eye roll). However, it is a mythological story... so why can't Hapa's be part of it too? Why the hate? 

If you are half Asian you are considered Asian in most parts of the world. Your white half doesn't count. 

There is so little work going around for both full Asians and mixed. Why are we at each other's throats? Why aren't we banding together to fight Hollywood and the entertainment industry? Why aren't we joining forces and supporting each other? Yes, there is little work, and there will be less if we don't stop and think before we speak and continually fight amongst ourselves. We need to come together and create work that is inclusive.

The thing is representation does matter. But how can there be true representation when presentation is how the world sees us.? To clarify, growing up I would only be seen for roles that were full "Asian" and it didn't matter the flavor because in Hollywood's eyes we are the same. It didn't matter I wasn't Chinese, it didn't matter I was half Japanese. All that mattered to them is that my eyes weren't round. 

Just imagine how much more of an impact in the arts we would have if the Asian American community banded together. Instead, we bicker over stupid shit like who's more "Asian". Because guess what, we may not like it, but we are all lumped into the same freaking category... Asian American.  

Before there can be true representation in the entertainment industry we must rise up together as a community. Support one another. Friends, we are all the same we are all part of the human race, and the face of the Asian American is changing. We are full, we are half, we are mixed.