By Guest Contributor Claire Light, cross-posted from The Nerds Of Color
How do you imagine a life you could never live? Though not really a theme, this problem is at the heart of Netflix’s new original series Sense8, created by the Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski, and heavily influenced by Tom Tykwer. Like many fantastical or science fictional premises, Sense8’s premise is a wish fulfillment: not — as is typical of this genre and the Wachowskis’ earlier work — the wish fulfillment of the disempowered middle school nerd stuffed into a locker, but rather the Mary Sue desire of a mature, white American writer/auteur who has discovered that an entire world is “out there,” one that the maker doesn’t know how to imagine.
“Cloud Atlas” may be artistically ambitious, but it’s also racially retrograde, according to a blistering new release from the Media Action Network for Asian Americans …
Jim Sturgess in “Cloud Atlas.” Photo via Collider.com.
… “Cloud Atlas” missed a great opportunity. The Korea story’s protagonist is an Asian man–an action hero who defies the odds and holds off armies of attackers,” Guy Aoki, MANAA’s founding president, said in a statement. “He’s the one who liberates [a clone played by actress] Doona Bae from her repressive life and encourages her to join the resistance against the government. It would have been a great, stereotype-busting role for an Asian American actor to play, as Asian American men aren’t allowed to be dynamic or heroic very often.”
Instead, it is Jim Sturgess who plays that role, while Hugo Weaving and James D’Arcy are also cast as Asian actors.
– The Hollywood Reporter
Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World