For years, the topic of cultural diversity and representation in Hollywood hasn’t been receiving the coverage it deserves. Despite the subject being motive, most firms in the entertainment industry hardly discuss it or acknowledge its existence. Media outlets and other entertainment stakeholders that are covering society’s culture sections are however changing this. Using technology, there has been the creation of interactive social channels that provide the much-needed platform to discuss cultural diversity and representation in Hollywood.
In February 2016, the Guardian made a publication discussing the issue of African American representation in the American film industry. One thing that stood out in the article is how the entire movie industry was losing tons of revenue. The undervaluing of the African American audience is one half of the problem while the disregard of cultural diversity is the other.
Vox online magazine also made a publication on the issue of cultural diversity when discussing the casting of Matt Damon in the show The Great Wall. Looking at The Great Wall, the Hollywood whitewashing controversy becomes a reality that needs to be addressed. Thankfully, film giants such as Disney are setting the example to eradicate the whitewashing trend.
As per the article published in the Los Angeles Times dated November 29th, 2017, Disney is set to cast Liu Yifei as the lead character in the live action Mulan. Liu Yifei is also going by the name Crystal Liu, she is a native of China. At 30, Liu is both an established singer, model and actress.
Disney has set the release for the epic Mulan movie to be in 2019. Crystal Liu will be playing the role of a legendary Chinese warrior in the film. Looking at Disney’s press release, prominent figures in the showbiz industry will be directing Mulan. Some of the directors will include Niki Caro who is behind both The Whale Rider and North Country.
Niki is at the helm of Mulan’s production. She will be working with Jason Reed, Jake Weiner and Chris Bender who have been in charge of various productions. Finally, Bill Kong, the producer of the Hidden Dragon will be Mulan’s executive producer.
The casting of Crystal Liu in Mulan is perhaps one of the biggest wins this year when it comes to addressing cultural diversity in Hollywood movies. Unlike The Great Wall, which used Matt Damon as one of the lead characters in a show revolving around the Chinese culture, Mulan is taking a different approach by using a native from China in the production of the live epic action film.
Some of the films Crystal Liu has featured in include The Forbidden Kingdom in which she starred alongside Jackie Chan. Liu also played a starring role in Outcast alongside Nicholas Cage. According to credible sources familiar with the Mulan’s cast selection process, more than a thousand individuals went through the vetting process before Disney settled on Crystal Liu making her a real world warrior for cultural diversity.
Other production companies are set to make similar decisions when selecting their star roles; this will not only address the issue of cultural diversity and representation but improve Hollywood’s controversy-ridden image.