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Asian representation in movies: have things changed since 1997?

"How starved are Asians of on-screen representation in blockbuster movies?" This was the question on Isabella Chua's mind when researching and writing "Asian representation in movies: have things changed since 1997?" Combining interactive data mapping, text, and images to explore cultural diversity in the film industry, Chua's piece is as visually appealing as it is informative. By "comb[ing] through IMDb's list of blockbuster movies from 1997 to 2018," and categorizing cast members based on race, the project revealed an unsettling result: "The silver screen has historically been dominated by white actors, with only more diversity in recent years." Chua goes on to expand on the lack of diversity in the field, as well as related issues, from the "whitewashing of characters," to "blatantly racist portrayal[s]." The article also explores inequitable representation in film directors. Finally, the conclusion invites readers to explore the interactive charts embedded throughout and does offer a silver lining when looking to the future, noting: "There is a steadily growing appetite for more diversity in storytelling." This story was published in February 2019 on the map-based storytelling platform Kontinentalist, a resource that strives "to enhance [Asia's] voice in the global narrative."
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Date of Scout Publication
2020-05-01
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