“Crazy Rich Asians” is the iconic comedy-drama film and first major studio movie in 25 years to center around a cast of predominantly Asians. It was amazing to see the Asian community to finally get some representation in Hollywood. However, recently, Asian-American actress, Brenda Song revealed that she was denied a part in the film because “she was not Asian enough.”
In an interview with Teen Vogue, the Dollface star said she told her managers that she was interested in auditioning for a role in the film. She felt hurt by this remark. Back in her Disney Channel days, Song played London Tipton, one of the main characters on the shows, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and The Suite Life on Deck. This made her one of the first Asian Americans that many young people saw on television in fully developed roles rather than being extra in the background or one-liner guest star. So for her to be told she “wasn’t Asian enough” definitely hit hard.
“Their reasoning behind that, what they said was that my image was basically not Asian enough, in not so many words,” she said in the interview. “It broke my heart. 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?'”
However, the director of the film, Jon M. Chu denies this allegation.
🤷🏻♂️would these words ever come out of my mouth? Nope makes no sense. 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!
— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) November 20, 2019
He also 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. We watched hundreds &hundreds of videos from very talented people from all around the world. Made us tear up many times. https://t.co/G5e64q0zmf
— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) November 21, 2019
That leaves us wondering if Chu denies Song’s statement about her not being Asian enough to audition, then why wasn’t she granted a role? He has yet to release that information.