Hollywood has a very well-documented problem of whitewashing its films.
Despite awareness campaigns like last year's
, these casting decisions have continued to happen — Emma Stone cast in Aloha as a part Asian/part Hawaiian character, Scarlett Johansson was cast in Ghost in the Shell as a character who has always been widely regarded as Japanese and so many more.
Matt Damon taught me all about math, being a model minority. #thankyoumattdamon— I Speak American (@mskathykhang) February 16, 2017
And then there was the casting of Matt Damon to play the protagonist/hero in a movie where China needs to be saved from invading demons, The Great Wall.
The latent message in The Great Wall is that once again a country in trouble needs a white male to come and save it. Unsurprisingly, this has caused backlash to the film and that backlash has only grown stronger as the movie nears its release date.
It has taken the form of #ThankYouMattDamon, a trending hashtag on Twitter being used to ironically continue the white-savior message of the film. Writer and stand-up comedian Jenny Yang started the hashtag when she tweeted her experience of the movie during the premiere.
Shortly after, she follow it up with this tweet.
With that, #ThankYouMattDamon took off with Asians everywhere contributing their own stories of how Matt Damon taught them about their own culture. Some get very specific, making allusions to Asian parenting, cuisine and even common Asian habits.
If The Great Wall had any say about these things, Matt Damon would certainly have been the one to pioneer all of them.
Unfortunately, not everyone quite understood the statement that #ThankYouMattDamon is promoting and ended up earnestly tweeting out why they would like to thank the actor.
Remember, Twitterverse: Always take the time to fully understand a trending hashtag before you yourself partake. Otherwise, you just look foolish.
As for The Great Wall, there is a very strong chance the movie will fail even without all this controversy. It currently stands at a 35 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.Topics: Conversations, Entertainment, Movies, Hollywood, matt damon, the great wall, Twitter, Watercooler