|Hot picture, but does this mean
Anna May Wong |
was fully accepted in the Hollywood system?
“Name one other Asian actor,” I challenged him and while he struggled to fish Sessue Hayakawa from the recesses of his memory, I told him about Anna May Wong’s fight to land the role of O-Lan in The Good Earth. The part went Luise Rainer, who was Austrian of all things. Wong had to go to Europe to play some less stereotypical characters. Her best film is Piccadilly, an amazingly progressive film for 1929, where she got to be a typical British wench who wore cloche hats and striped sweaters, ate bangers and mash at a greasy spoon, and was an object of desire for not one but TWO white men. If you’ve never seen the film, you are missing out on Wong shaking her sweet little thing on a kitchen table, one of the hottest moments ever recorded. Contrast this with all the Hollywood dreck where she played sultry dragon ladies who speak in the third person, “Lotus Flower commands you to peel her a grape or she will stab you in the eye with her extremely long green pinky nail.”
So okay, there's all this attention in the media lately on white privilege and I hate to jump on the bandwagon, but talk about a textbook case. Here’s a guy completely sheltered in his own self-centered island where it's always warm and breezy. He has no inkling how things are stacked against Asian-Americans in the arts. He’s obviously never walked down a street with a black guy and experienced how they are treated differently. I don’t think he’s even read one article about the crazy racial disparities in the US. Racial profiling? Nah, all those black guys are just a bunch of criminals who deserve what they get. And mansplaining? I bet he's never heard of it.