- #StarringJohnCho campaign has reignited the debate about the representation of minorities in Hollywood
- Jeff Yang: Stars don't make Hollywood. Hollywood makes stars
Jeff Yang is a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and contributes frequently to radio shows, including Public Radio International's "The Takeaway" and WNYC's "The Brian Lehrer Show." He is the co-author of "I Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action" and editor of the graphic novel anthologies "Secret Identities" and "Shattered." The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
(CNN)For many of us, the news that Scarlett Johansson had been cast as Motoko Kusanagi -- the Japanese protagonist of the cult-hit animé franchise "Ghost in the Shell" -- was the final straw. Asian roles of any kind of substance are harder to come by than hen's teeth. So for a leading role in a high-profile movie to vanish at the behest of studio execs -- insiders who rationalize their decisions with rueful musings about how there are "no Asian stars" big enough to play Asian characters in major movies -- wasn't just unfortunate. It was outright insulting.