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Can a Chinese-Australian role by played by a white? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2010-5-11 09:31:33 |Display all floors
actually i cannot figure out that the guy is a mixblood. he looks quite like a white. but since the story is about a historical figure, it's better to choose a Chinese-Australian actor to play him. or do the director think that such an actor cannot handle the role? it's better to respect the history.


AFP

SYDNEY - A film about a Chinese-Australian war hero in which the lead role is played by a white actor has provoked anger in Australia at the "whitewashing" of the nation's history.

Billy Sing, whose father was Chinese and mother British, was a decorated soldier from the disastrous Gallipoli campaign of World War I during which he earned the name "The Assassin" for his success as a sniper.

But in the yet-to-be released television film "The Legend of Billy Sing", his character is played by a young Caucasian actor.

"I'm very sorry to learn that somebody is trying to whitewash a Chinese-Australian face with a white face. It's a disgrace," said Tony Pang, president of the Chinese Australian Forum.

"To see this distortion of historical fact - it's sad."

Pang said Australia's Chinese community had been subjected to such treatment in decades gone by but that times had changed.

"The question I ask myself is what if (former prime minister) John Howard is being played by a Pakistani? It's ridiculous. It's just not appropriate."

Director Geoff Davis, who cast his son in the lead role, defended his decision to The Australian newspaper last week, saying he had been unable to find an actor to play Sing's Shanghai-born father.

The filmmaker said his aim was to "create a fictional story validated by having people perform true deeds, in the tradition of the historical novel".

But former National Party senator Bill O'Chee, whose father was Chinese and mother Irish-Australian, said he was "deeply disappointed".

"We'll now have people growing up thinking Billy Sing was white," he said.

Henry Makeham of the Australia-China Youth Association said the film was a lost opportunity to showcase the contribution of ethnic minorities to Australia's wartime history.

There was no shortage of Chinese-Australian actors who could have tackled the role, he added.

"It was essentially a whiting out of a Chinese-Australian hero," he told AFP.

Queensland-born Sing was an avid cricketer and kangaroo hunter before he enlisted with the 5th Light Horse Regiment.

He is credited with being the most successful and feared sniper in the Gallipoli campaign, having killed more than 200 enemy soldiers. He died in Australia in 1943.


This studio portrait of war hero Billy Sing was taken in 1918 in Britain. GALE'S STUDIO LTD / COURTESY AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL VIA AFP
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Post time 2010-5-11 09:34:43 |Display all floors

Hero ?

It is strange that someone who fought for the opium traders in the first oil war is considered a hero.

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Post time 2010-5-11 09:41:41 |Display all floors
Originally posted by petera at 2010-5-11 09:34
It is strange that someone who fought for the opium traders in the first oil war is considered a hero.


I agree Petera.  But I'm not surprised they are "whitewashing" this character.  They had elizabeth taylor play cleopatra, john wayne play genghis khan, Jake Gyllenhal as Prince of Persia, and they are making a new genghis khan movie with another white actor.  All non-white history will be subjected to this kind of "white-washing".  

What next?  Tom Cruise as Martin Luther King?  Scarlet Johansen as Rosa Parks?  Tom Hanks as Maozedong?  I wouldn't put it beneath western media to do something like that.

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Post time 2010-5-11 10:08:49 |Display all floors
as long as he didn't fight with china for his country, he can be considered a hero in his country. but the point is, whether the director did the same thing if he's shooting a film about a notorious chinese-australian? we all know that many times, chinese people play bad characters in western films
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Post time 2010-5-11 10:16:07 |Display all floors
similarly Bruce Li were robbed of his ROLE in Kung Fu played by white gay man David Carradine ....................
What's on your mind now........ooooooooooooooo la la....Kind Regards

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Post time 2010-5-11 12:00:42 |Display all floors
his eyes, eye brows, nose looks chinese to me
What's on your mind now........ooooooooooooooo la la....Kind Regards

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Post time 2010-5-11 12:16:49 |Display all floors
Originally posted by wetac0s at 2010-5-11 09:41

Tom Hanks as Maozedong?


I can see it now:

"My name is Mao. Mao Zedong. People call me Mao Zedong."

"Mama always said, 'Class struggle is as class struggle does.'"

"I just loved playing ping-pong with my Flexolite ping pong paddle."

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