The director for “Crazy Rich Asians” has responded to an actresses’ claim she was passed over for an audition because she was deemed “not Asian enough.”
In an interview with Teen Vogue, former Disney Channel star Brenda Song said she had expressed interest to her managers in trying for a role in the 2018 film, which was the first major studio movie in more than 25 years to feature a predominately Asian cast.
“Their reasoning behind that, what they said was that my image was basically not Asian enough, in not so many words,” she told the publication. “It broke my heart.”
She added “I said, ‘This character is in her late to mid-20s, an Asian American, and I can’t even audition for it? I’ve auditioned for Caucasian roles my entire career, but this specific role, you’re not going to let me do it? You’re going to fault me for having worked my whole life?’ I was like, ‘Where do I fit?’”
But the film’s director, Jon M. Chu, is disputing that.
On Wednesday, Chu responded to an Entertainment Weekly tweet about Song’s claim via his official Twitter account.
“Would these words ever come out of my mouth? Nope makes no sense,” he tweeted. “I feel horrible she thinks this is the reason. The fact is I love Brenda Song and am a fan. I didn’t need her to audition because I already knew who she was!”
On Thursday, the director tweeted a 2018 article about the open casting call for the film.
“One of my favorite memories of making #CrazyRichAsians was when we opened the auditions to anyone in the world with our open call,” Chu tweeted. “We watched hundreds & hundreds of videos from very talented people from all around the world. Made us tear up many times.”
Song, who is currently starring in the Hulu series “Dollface,” has been hailed as one of the most visible Asian American actors, thanks to her roles in various Disney Channel projects, including the film “Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior” and the series “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.”
CNN has reached out to Song for additional comment.