Matt Damon's upcoming movie "The Great Wall," a fantasy adventure set in China more than 1,000 years ago, came under fire after its first trailer released Thursday. Asian-Americans expressed their outrage over the film's casting of a white man pay the role of an Asian.
Constance Wu, the star of comedy show "Fresh off the Boat," slammed the movie in a statement on Twitter highlighting the "racist myth that [only a] white man can save the world." The English-language film, which is directed by Zhang Yimou and set for release in February 2017, is reportedly the most expensive Chinese production ever at $150 million.
"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. We don’t need salvation. We like our color and our culture and our strengths and our own stories," Wu wrote.
While rejecting traditional explanations for the inclusion of white big-name stars in movies, Wu said: "Think only a huge movie star can sell a movie? That has never been a total guarantee. Why not try to be better?" and "Money is the lamest excuse in the history of being human. So is blaming the Chinese investors."
Angry Asian Man, a popular blog, called the movie “the latest movie in the grand cinematic tradition of the Special White Person,” adding, “you can set a story anywhere in the world, in any era of history, and Hollywood will still somehow find a way for the movie to star a white guy.”
Below is Wu's full statement on "The Great Wall."
While some social media users sided with Wu, others hit back at her for slamming Damon. She later tweeted defending her comments.
Watch the first trailer here.