May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and on its first day, Lucy Liu became just the second Asian-American woman to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In her speech, Lucy paid tribute to Anna May Wong, the first woman who received her star in 1960 – almost 60 years ago.
While Anna May Wong is considered the first Chinese American movie star, she was not cast in the film adaptation of Pearl S. Buck’s “The Good Earth” — a story about a Chinese family. MGM didn’t want Chinese people playing Chinese characters, so the role went to Luise Rainer…who ended up winning an Oscar for it.
But yellowface isn’t something from decades ago. A special shout out to the white actors named on my t-shirt who took on Asian roles – a couple who double-downed when called out on it, but Emma is straight with me.