In a recent television appearance, actress Olivia Munn, best known for her tenure as the host of G4’s Attack of the Show and her role as Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse, asserted that white people should not direct films meant to “tell Black stories, Asian stories, Latinx stories.”
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Munn shared her opinion during a March 18th appearance on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, where after being asked by the host, “What have you experienced in your career in a business that is supposed to be so open and embracing of diversity?”, the actress replied ““For the longest time, it has been that white people can tell everyone’s stories.”
“They can tell Black stories, Asian stories, Latinx stories,” she continued. “We can only support them. The fact that their stories have been whitewashed for so long and it is acceptable.”
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The actress would go on to explain that her opinion stemmed from how her Asian appearance (Munn’s mother is Vietnamese-Chinese) has prevented her from being cast in ‘period pieces”, presumably those featuring stories featuring predominantly white demographics, as it had led her to believe that she “cannot tell those stories”.
“Whenever I see an article come out with a cool movie with a great director that happens to be a period piece, I have said, ‘Hey, can I meet on this movie? It sounds like a really great concept,’” said Munn. “I’ll hear back that it is a period piece — no other explanation. My Asian face does not fit into a period piece. I cannot tell those stories. That’s a really infuriating thing because everyone else is allowed to tell our stories.”
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She would further note that this apparent white-washing of stories was “Not just in front of the camera, it’s [also] behind the camera.”
“Look at the Tiger Woods documentary on HBO,” said Munn, referencing the recently released two-part series ‘Tiger’. “It is directed by two white men. It starts with his DUI. Yes, Tiger had a lot of traumatic moments, but also, he is a Black Asian-American man who reached to heights you never could have dreamed.”
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Asserting that the aforementioned documentary was “so negative”, Munn speculated that it felt this way “because it was told through the eyes of two men who do not know what it is like to live life in a Black man’s skin or see the world through the eyes of an Asian man’s eyes.”
“It is just the systemic white-washing that is happening goes so deep and so far back and still happening even to this day,” she concluded.
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