#StarringJohnCho casts the actor in major action and romance films
The Twitter meme tackles Hollywood whitewashing and the legacy of Asian actors
No, your eyes are not failing you. That is John Cho you see in all these movie posters. The “Harold and Kumar” star, who also plays Sulu in the current line of “Star Trek” reboots, is the subject of a new Twitter meme.
#StarringJohnCho isn’t just a way for fans to show off how great they are at beheading people in Photoshop. The creators of the meme wanted to show what major films would look like if they cast Asian and Asian-American actors like Cho in lead roles. It’s not just about lead roles, either. It’s about coveted lead roles: the romantic roles, heroic roles, badass roles and aspirational roles that soak up the brightest parts of the spotlight and have historically been reserved for white actors.
#StarringJohnCho’s creators say it’s also a response to Hollywood’s “whitewashing” controversy, specifically for instances in which characters best represented by Asian actors are instead portrayed by white actors. (Think Emma Stone as Air Force pilot Allison Ng in “Aloha” or the recent casting of Scarlett Johansson as Motoko Kusanagi in the film adaptation of the Japanese manga franchise “Ghost in the Shell.”)
Why John Cho? The minds behind the meme say it’s because he is a visible example of a marketable, successful Asian-American actor.
Oh, and he’s also a fan.