LOS ANGELES – Hollywood was abuzz today after it was revealed that the cast of an as-yet untitled Dreamworks feature about the personalities and goings-on in an Asian American community will not include rapper/actor Awkwafina.
Producer Marcus Aldershot articulated the studio’s excitement. “This is HUGE! We didn’t know we could NOT cast Awkwafina! I mean, she’s always first on our list, mainly because it’s alphabetical, but, in our casting meeting, one of my co-workers said ‘Wait. There is more than one of them?’, and our jaws just collectively dropped. Game changer.”
Less enthusiastic was Mr. Aldershot’s colleague Sean Palance “I appreciate the novelty, but we really need to consider the strains this could put on our careers. Ever since this ‘acknowledge people exist’ fad took hold in the business, those of us in charge of filling roles have been following a tried and true process: Asking our most liberal nieces and nephews to name some of ‘those people’.
“But now you’re telling me I’m going to have to actually ‘do the work’? How the hell am I supposed to do that? I haven’t spoken to an Asian kid since the time I screamed at that waiter at ‘Pho Palace’ for not carrying wontons!”
Aldershot was quick to assuage such concerns, however, “Let’s not go nuts. The mom is still going to be played by Michelle Yeoh, and the best friend will be the British lady from ‘The Eternals’”.
While some might view the absence of the actress, whose birth name is Nora Lum, as a slight; scholar of Chinese American film Cuong Lim insists it is actually an affirmation of her supreme talent. “There’s a well established pattern of success for actors from marginalized communities. First, you find a break-out role; folks notice, young people gab excitedly about you. Then you get cast in a true blockbuster, with a sizeable paycheque, and the awards start to roll in.”
“Finally, you reach such heights where the general public is seeing Asio-centric films that don’t feature you out of morbid curiosity; while those of your own ethnicity are doing so because they’ve spent the last year complaining ‘I am sick of her’ and ‘her Mandarin sucks’”.
Mr. Aldershot enthusiastically speculated what a move towards not casting “go to Ethnics” could mean for other productions. “It starts with Awkwafina not playing ‘The Chinese girl’, and then, I dunno, maybe Simu Liu doesn’t play ‘The Chinese boy’? The possibilities are endless! Maybe Alexander Skarsgård doesn’t play the ‘The Swedish guy’! Actually, scratch that one, that guy’s way too handsome to leave out”.
Reached for comment as to how Awkwafina feels about being left out of a much-talked about production, her publicist released a brief statement stating “Who do you think is directing?”.