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‘Asian-American actors are ugly & your films make us look backward’: Hollywood sets movies in China, locals don’t want to watch

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The critically adored American film, which tells the story of a Chinese-American woman who returns to her ancestral homeland to visit her dying grandmother, opened in China at the weekend.

As The Farewell was written and directed by a Chinese American woman, Lulu Wang, and stars Chinese-American, Golden Globe winning actress Awkwafina, while the film’s dialogue is mostly spoken in Mandarin, Hollywood’s expectations were that the movie would be well received in China.

That did not work out.

The Farewell has been largely ignored by Chinese audiences as evidenced by its embarrassingly dismal take at the Chinese box office of just $580,000, and scathing audience reviews from viewers who largely thought that the story was dull, patronizing, and had nothing to say to them.

The film’s failure is reminiscent of the poor showing in China by another Asian themed Hollywood movie, Crazy Rich Asians, which was a breakout smash hit in America in 2018, bringing in $174 million at the US box office. American audiences cheered Crazy Rich Asians largely due to its Asian cast, which was deemed a great success for representation and diversity for Hollywood. In contrast, China, which has plenty of its own movies with all-Asian casts, had no such love for the film as proven by its tepid box office receipts.

Crossing the cultural divide and tapping into the Chinese market has long been the Holy Grail of Hollywood, as every studio executive in town is constantly trying to crack the Chinese code in order to fill their coffers.


© RT.com