- The Washington Times - Monday, August 1, 2016

“Fresh Off the Boat” star Constance Wu posted a lengthy rant Friday saying the casting of Matt Damon as the hero in “The Great Wall” is just the latest example of Hollywood whitewashing.

In a note posted to her Twitter account, the 34-year-old actress singled out “The Great Wall,” in which Mr. Damon plays a warrior defending the landmark against ancient Chinese monsters, CNN reported.

“We have to stop perpetuating the racist myth that a [sic] only white man can save the world,” wrote Ms. Wu, who is Taiwanese-American. “It’s not based in actual fact. Our heroes don’t look like Matt Damon. They look like Malala. Ghandi. Mandela. Your big sister when she stood up for you to those bullies that one time.

“Think only a huge movie star can sell a movie? That has NEVER been a total guarantee,” she continued. “Why not TRY to be better? If white actors are forgiven for having a box office failure once in a while, why can’t a POC [person of color] sometimes have one? And how COOL would it be if you were the movie that took the ‘risk’ to make a POC as your hero, and you sold the [expletive] out of it?! The whole community would be celebrating!

“Remember it’s not about blaming individuals,” Ms. Wu wrote. “It’s about repeatedly pointing out the racist notion that white people are superior to POC and that POC need salvation from our own color via white strength.”

In a tweet accompanying the note, Ms. Wu added: “Can we all at least agree that hero-bias & ‘but it’s really hard to finance’ are no longer excuses for racism? TRY.”

Responding to criticism over the letter, Ms. Wu reiterated that she was not trying to assign blame.

“Y’all sayin that im blaming ppl didnt read. It’s NOT abt blame, it’s abt awareness. That way we dont get in tired fights abt good intentions,” she wrote. “For the millionth time it’s NOT abt blame. Not blaming Damon, the studio, the Chinese financiers. It’s not about blame, It’s about AWARENESS.”

The trailer for “The Great Wall” was released Thursday. The movie, directed by Zhang Yimou, opens in February 2017, CNN reported.

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