Crazy Rich Asians (2018) has been hailed as a symbol of diversity representation, but it has also been challenged for the lack of representativeness. This review analyzes the controversy from two aspects. It traces how this film was made into a progressive symbol of diversity representation through riding sociocultural trends about the rise of Asia and the anti-whitewashing campaign. It also shows that this film tells a classic Cinderella story with a contextual twist of the reversed power balance between the ‘East’ and the ‘West’. Overall, although this movie contributes to bringing attention to the long-existing void of Asian-American representation in Hollywood and beyond, whether or not it deserves the acclaimed symbolic status remains questionable.
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"Crazy Rich Asians: When Representation Becomes Controversial,"
Markets, Globalization & Development Review:
3, Article 3.
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Yikun Zhao is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology and a research assistant of the Global Digital Citizenship Lab at York University, Toronto. She is currently writing a dissertation based on an ethnographic study of recently popularized commercial etiquette schools and butler training academies in China. Her research interests include sociocultural transformation, social theories, and digital sociology with an emphasis on Natural Language Processing