Constance Wu isn’t here for your excuses, equivocations, or apologies for Matt Damon’s upcoming film, The Great Wall, in which he stars as a heroic dragon-slayer defending the Great Wall in ancient China. (No, really.) “We have to stop perpetuating the racist myth that [only a] white man can save the world,” Wu writes in screenshot of her Twitter drafts. (Side thought: Is Twitter drafts the new Notes app?) “Our heroes don’t look like Matt Damon. They look like Malala. Ghandi. Mandela. Your big sister when she stood up for you to those bullies that one time.”
She doesn’t mince words when she says that Hollywood needs to step up and do better. Wu told Vulture something similar about executives who say that they “try,” when she said, “Boo fucking hoo, a lot of shit is hard. Care more, make it matter.” Wu isn’t about to let Hollywood executives off the hook:
Rather, it’s about pointing out the repeatedly implied racist notion that white people are superior to POC and that POC need salvation from our own color via white strength. When you consistently make movies like this, you ARE saying that. YOU ARE. Yes, YOU ARE. YES YOU ARE. Yes, dude, you fucking ARE. Whether you intend to or not. We don’t need salvation. We like our color and our culture and our own strengths and our own stories. (If we don’t, we should) We don’t need you to save us from anything. And we’re rrrreally starting to get sick of you telling us, explicitly or implicitly, that we do.
And yes, that goes for the “money” argument, and blaming China:
Money is the lamest excuse in the history of being human. So is blaming the Chinese investors. (POC’s choices can be based on unconscious bias too) Remember it’s not about blaming individuals, which will only lead to soothing their lame “b-but I had good intentions! but…money!” microaggressive excuses.
After all, actors of color should have the chance to make box-office bombs — just like white ones!
Think only a huge movie star can sell a movie? That that has NEVER been a total guarantee. Why not TRY to be better? If white actors are forgiven for having a box office failure once in a while, why can’t a POC sometimes have one? And how COOL would it be if you were the movie that took the “risk” to make a POC as your hero, and you sold the shit out of it?!
Here’s the full statement:
Update: Wu tweeted that it wasn’t about “blame,” but rather “awareness”:
While her mentions are undoubtedly filled with landmines, celebrities have tweeted their support for Wu, including Shonda Rhimes, Daniel Dae Kim, and Kerry Washington: