"Asian-American actresses don't want to be the damsels in distress anymore"
Real World’s Jamie Chung has said that Asian American actresses do not want to be saved, “especially by white men”.
In an interview with The Korea Times, Jamie Chung discussed the #MeToo campaign and her opinions on Asian American actresses.
“I think the whole movement of #MeToo is not just calling out the sexual harassers, which is really important, but also crying out that we want equal pay, equal representation, equal opportunities and that we want to see more female directors and photographers,” Chung told The Korea Times.
“We want to see women in more power positions, not just in front of the screen but behind the screen as well.”
Chung added that she was impressed how South Korea also embraced the campaign.
“It was very surprising to hear that it’s a conversation that’s reached Korea,” she said. “I think it is a very powerful movement and I think it is readjusting people in power. I think the right people are being taken down. So I stand behind it as long as they’re proven guilty.”
However, she believes that the work is far from over. “The biggest change I see is people distancing themselves from people who are being accused of these crimes… Harvey Weinstein will probably go to jail and he should,”
“But in terms of empowering minorities in the film business, I think that’s something that is a slow burn. I haven’t seen anything drastic yet.”
Discussing Asian American actresses, Chung said limited roles are making it difficult to break stereotypes.
“We as Asian women are having this conversation on striving for roles that aren’t just written for Asian-Americans… Instead of just complaining about the stereotypes, we’re just really supporting each other and crying out injustices and improper casting,” she said.
“The narrative needs to change. Asian-American actresses don’t want to be the damsels in distress anymore. We don’t want to be saved, especially by a white man.”
She also added that Asian American actresses have formed a strong community. “There are a group of us (Asian-American actors), especially the women, who really support each other because we do know how hard it is. We don’t look at it as competition. It’s a community of Asian women that are rooting for each other.”
Chung most recently appeared in Marvel TV series The Gifted. Discussing the show’s actresses, Chung said, “all the female characters in ‘The Gifted’ are stronger than the men. We’re not waiting around to be saved but spearheading the missions.”