"What disappoints me even more is that the people asking are always Asian American"
Ali Wong has said she hates getting asked about being an Asian American woman in Hollywood.
In a piece for Elle, the Always Be My Maybe actress wrote about her experience breaking into America’s film industry.
Opening her article, Wong instantly expressed her frustration with people asking about her race.
“Something I always get asked is: “What is it like being an Asian American woman in Hollywood?” I hate this question almost as much as I hate, “What is it like being a female in comedy?”” Wong writes.
“Nobody wants his or her identity and defining characteristics reduced to just race and gender, and I resent that white men never get asked, “What is it like being a white man in movies?””
She then targeted her frustration at fellow Asian Americans who she said are digging for racist experiences from her.
“What disappoints me even more is that the people asking are always Asian American,” the Chinese American said. “It’s like they want to hear a titillating story about how a high-powered Hollywood executive sat me down in his office and said, “Look, we love you, Ali. In fact…we love you long time!””
“And then this same exec proceeded to throw rice on my face while forcing me to watch Mickey Rooney’s scene from Breakfast at Tiffany’s on a loop, before kicking me out of his office, screaming,“You’ll never make it in the white man’s world, you chinky ho!” (That, unfortunately, has never happened to me.)”
For Wong, the more important question is how she dealt with failure. “I rarely get asked what I think is a more interesting question: How do you overcome failure? (My answer, if you’re curious, centers on having a tolerance for delayed gratification, a passion for the craft, and a willingness to fail.)”
Elsewhere in the article, the 37-year-old advised Asian Americans to interact with other people to diversify their connections and ultimately their audience.
“Here’s my advice to young Asian American women who want to make it in Hollywood—or anywhere, really: Let go of seeing yourself as nothing more than an Asian American woman,” she said. “Don’t just drink boba, go outlet shopping, and talk exclusively to other Asian Americans.”
“Expose yourself to how other people in America live, and you’ll discover the universal struggles that connect us,” she continued. “If you hang out with the same people, you will only be able to make those people laugh.”