From the article:
"A study by the Asian American Performers Action Coalition found that white actors were cast in 78% of the roles on New York stages between the years of 2006 to 2015, whereas the U.S. Census estimates the white population of the city to be about 44%. Such discrepancies worry activists who note the slowness of change, even after incidents such as the 1989 London opening of “Miss Saigon,” in which a white actor wore prosthetics to change the shape of his eyes. The resulting protests, partly spearheaded by playwright David Henry Hwang, called out the practice and spurred Hwang to write the satirical play “Yellow Face.”
“For a decade or so I was thinking we sort of won the war even if we lost the battle, because we put producers on notice that there was going to be so much trouble if you cast a white person as Asian that you just wouldn’t do it,” Hwang said. Not so anymore, he said, noting the casting of Emma Stone (in the 2015 film “Aloha”) and Scarlett Johansson (in this year’s film “Ghost in the Shell”) as characters originally written as Asian or part Asian. “For some reason white people really seem to like playing Asians.”
Still, the discussion about who should be cast in which roles has evolved, Hwang said. As the theater grows more aware and diverse, the authenticity discussion has evolved with nuance.
“These debates are healthy,” he said. “I think it represents a society that is attempting to come to grips and move forward into uncharted territory.”
Read the whole article at the LA Times website.