"We could reclaim the color for ourselves"

Jon M Chu’s letter to Coldplay convincing them to allow him to use ‘Yellow’ in Crazy Rich Asians has surfaced online.

The letter written by Jon M Chu to Coldplay about why they should allow him to use ‘Yellow’ in Crazy Rich Asians has been released online.

Last week we reported that Coldplay were reluctant for ‘Yellow’ to feature in Crazy Rich Asians in case it was perceived as racist.

Chu said that both Warner Bros and the band were concerned that ‘Yellow’ would be associated with the racial slur instead of cowardice.

The director managed to sway the studio but had a tougher time convincing the band. Eventually, Chu wrote a personal letter to Coldplay members Chris Martin, Guy Berryman, Johnny Buckland and Will Champion.

In the letter, Chu revealed to the band that throughout his whole life he has had a “complicated relationship with the color yellow.”

“From being called the word in a derogatory way throughout grade school, to watching movies where they called cowardly people yellow, it’s always had a negative connotation in my life,” Chu explained.

However, the Asian American filmmaker found solace in the British band’s song. “For the first time in my life, [the song] described the color in the most beautiful, magical ways I had ever heard: the color of the stars, her skin, the love.”

“It was an incredible image of attraction and aspiration that it made me rethink my own self image,” he added.

The 38-year-old director said the song became an “anthem” for him and his friends, giving them a “new sense of pride we never felt before.”

“We could reclaim the color for ourselves and it has stuck with me for the majority of my life,” he continued.

Chu went on to explain how Crazy Rich Asians is a historic film for Asian Americans. “I do believe this is a unique situation in which the first Hollywood studio film, with an All-Asian cast is not playing stereotypes or side-players but romantic and comedic leads.”

He explained to the band that using ‘Yellow’ would “give a whole generation of Asian-Americans, and others, the same sense of pride I got when I heard your song.”

“I want all of them to have an anthem that makes them feel as beautiful as your words and melody made me feel when I needed it most,” Chu concluded.

See below for the full letter, which does include spoilers about how ‘Yellow’ will be used in the final scene.

Crazy Rich Asians is out now in cinemas. Click here to read Resonate writer Joie Ha’s review of the film.

Check out Resonate’s Global Asian Spotify Playlist, which now includes the entire Crazy Rich Asians soundtrack.