Crazy Rich Asians and its Impact on Hollywood


Courtesy of Vanity Fair

Elissa Kim ‘20, Staff Writer

Crazy Rich Asians一the title says it all. The movie, released in August 2018, features a majority Asian cast, something Hollywood has rarely seen before. This newly released romantic-comedy is about an Asian-American woman, played by Constance Wu, an actor starring in the hit TV show, Fresh Off the Boat, who visits her boyfriend’s family in Singapore only to find that he is – you guessed it – crazy rich.

Despite the title, this movie is far from being just any story about Asians: it exposes the underlying struggles and experiences that many Asian-Americans face in today’s society. Unlike past Hollywood films about Asians, this movie delves deeper to give people a better understanding of Asian-American lives and Asian society, rather than giving obvious stereotypes seen in past Hollywood movies.

For decades, Hollywood has portrayed Asian women as mysterious, exotic, submissive, quiet, nerdy, and overachieving, while Asian men have always been portrayed as simply tech nerds. However, Crazy Rich Asians does not even touch on the subject of these stereotypes; instead, they ignore it altogether. Never before has Hollywood had a film that portrays Asians in leading roles as simply people regardless of their race, the stereotypes that come along with it, and as the main characters of the story. Crazy Rich Asians sets the standard for how Hollywood should produce more stories about not only Asian Americans, but also Asians of different ethnicities and perspectives.

In the past, Hollywood failed to produce movies with representation due to the lack of profit in the box office, but Crazy Rich Asians, which made about $169 million in the box office, comes to show Hollywood that movies with representation can make hits, too. Crazy Rich Asians provides a glimpse into the future of Hollywood movies that represent more Asians and Asian-Americans. Although this movie does not depict the lives and experiences of all Asians, it sets a precedent for more creative projects in the coming years to do so. The success of Crazy Rich Asians has made Asians all around the world proud of their heritage and marks a step toward more Asian-representation in Hollywood movies.