Constance Wu on 'whitewashing': 'Our heroes don't look like Matt Damon'

Story highlights

  • 'Fresh Off the Boat' star Constance Wu takes on Hollywood 'whitewashing' and 'hero-bias'
  • On Twitter, she wrote a passionate letter about why films like 'The Great Wall' perpetuate a 'racist myth'

(CNN)"Fresh Off the Boat" star Constance Wu says she is sick of Hollywood "whitewashing" heroism.

In a letter posted to her Twitter account Friday, Wu said films like Matt Damon's forthcoming "The Great Wall," in which the star plays a warrior defending the landmark against ancient Chinese monsters, add to a problem that's existed for too long in the industry.
    "We have to stop perpetuating the racist myth that a (sic) only white man can save the world," she wrote. "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."
    Wu said typical reasons given for whitewashing films -- like the lack of bankable diverse stars and the need to appease overseas investors -- are no longer valid.
    "Can we all at least agree that hero-bias & 'but it's really hard to finance' are no longer excuses for racism?" she wrote in the tweet accompanying the long note. "TRY."
    The Taiwanese-American actress has earned critical praise for her role as Jessica Huang on ABC's "Fresh Off the Boat."
    In her letter, she pleaded for Hollywood to take the risk of casting actors of color as film leads.
    "If nothing else, you'd get some mad respect (which is WAY more valuable than money)," she wrote.
    Wu wrote that she wasn't trying to apportion blame.
    "Not blaming Damon, the studio, the Chinese financiers," she wrote in a followup tweet. "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.