Casting White People in Asian Roles Goes Back Centuries

August 20th, 2018
Casting White People in Asian Roles Goes Back Centuries
Mickey Rooney's portrayal in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' is often cited as offensive and a well-known example of yellowface.On an unusually empty street in New York City, a single cab drops off a woman clad in diamonds and a Givenchy dress in front of Tiffany’s & Co. As she casually gazes up, the iconic opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s is underway. But it’s not long before many viewers are jolted out of the film’s transporting charm with the introduction of Mr. Yunioshi, a bucktoothed man with a loud, thick Asian accent played by Mickey Rooney.Rooney’s portrayal of Yunioshi has come to epitomize ethnic stereotypes and often prompts protests whenever the film is screened. But, at the time of the classic film’s release in 1961, Hollywood already had a long history of casting white actors in Asian roles—a tradition known as “yellowface.”Yellowface dates to early forms of minstrelsy when ... read more
Source: on 2018-08-20By Thad Morgan




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