According to an article Entertainment Weekly posted this evening, the television world just served up a double dose of poetic justice.
Daniel Dae Kim, the Korean-American television star who made his name on Lost, just assumed the role of Major Ben Daimio, after recently stepping down from Hawaii 5-0, along with his co-star Grace Park, after they discovered their white counterparts were getting paid considerably more.
This news signifies a particularly delicious victory for fans fed up with Hollywood’s track record of white washing roles intended for actors of color, especially Asian-Americans.
His hiring comes on the heels of white actor Ed Skrein stepping down from the role, after an onslaught of social media criticism for the whitewashing of a character who was originally a Japanese-American officer at the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense with the superhuman power to transform into a jaguar.
From casting white actors in lead roles in Iron Fist, Ghost in the Shell, Doctor Strange, Death Note and Aloha, Hollywood has exhibited that it has a long way to go in reflecting the present day, in which audiences want to see Asian-American actors play Asian-American characters.
With this new win for Daniel Dae Kim, the groundswell of Asian-American actors standing up for their right to portray themselves appears to be paying off. And hopefully, this time, it’s a very big pay check.
Lucia Brawley is a Harvard- and Yale-educated writer, producer, actor, and political organizer. She runs the progressive political Facebook group Consenting to Lead. To learn more, please go to luciabrawley.com.