Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson accounts for 1/3 of Asian and Pacific Islander lead roles in top-grossing films

Originally published at: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson accounts for 1/3 of Asian and Pacific Islander lead roles in top-grossing films | Boing Boing

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Wow, The Rock can really do anything, even stand-in for a massive segment of the world’s population in Hollywood! What a dreamboat. /s

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Suplex your way to the top

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Taika Waititi probably accounts for a big chunk of roles too, both in the ones he plays, and in the actors he employs.
(I assuming that New Zealand Maoris count as Pacific islanders?)

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To be fair, by mass alone Dwayne displaces about 5 Pacific Islanders.

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Isn’t Keanu Reeves vaguely Hawaiian?

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Glad to see they’re studying this and pointing out where improvements in diversity are long overdue. It’s not surprising, but I have to wonder how much film industry risk-avoidance issues and directors who play favorites contribute to the repeated casting of the same actors. There’s a reason why in some genres we can’t seem to avoid seeing certain celebrities.

Apparently, fans don’t find this to be tiresome and repetitive, because they keep watching. The industry loves a franchise and sequels where we see the same folks doing variations of the same plot - even when the actors are too old to continue in a role. Now they are relying on de-aging and other technology* to keep it going instead of trying something new.

If viewers can get them to let go of the past and embrace change, maybe we’ll see more variety in the plots and diversity in the casts and crews of movies in the future. From what we see in the press, films that don’t follow the usual path and achieve commercial success are still treated like exceptions, rather than the rule.

*Don’t get me started on the death of Carrie Fisher and the Star Wars franchise.

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I’m guessing that the metric is self-identification from a form that lists ethnicities.

I’d also guess that at least a few people in the hollywood HR offices have argued for hiring Johnson for particular roles because he is known to check the box the way he does. I’m not sure if this is good or bad.

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And yet Pacific Islanders account for a mere 2% of American Presidents while we still wait for a female lead.

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Sorry for being pedantic, but his on-screen debut was as the Scorpion King in 2001’s The Mummy Returns—a truly unforgettable performance:

Southland Tales was 5 years and 6 features later

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Like most similar issues, it comes down to positions of power being dominated by old white men. If studio execs were more representative of the population there would be enough people in the room to recognize the problem and work to fix it

@thomdunn
44 is 3.4% of 1300, not 0.03%

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The Rock is also currently starring in one of the most bizarre, entertaining and BIPOC-heavy shows on TV right now, Young Rock.

The setup is it’s 2032 and The Rock is running for President. He is being interviewed on the campaign trail by Randall Park because Randall Park is a reporter in 2032. It recounts his life at three ages, elementary, high school and college/pro. It portrays Andre the Giant, Junkyard Dog, Iron Sheik, Macho Man and a host of other WWF stars (yes, I’m aware that those last two are… not great people). I am not making any of this up. It is super weird and self-aware, but uses the same beats as Nanatchka Kahn’s other show Fresh off the Boat. I generally despise sitcoms, but this is so bizarre, Kahn’s ability to do biography as comedy is pretty excellent and the three kids portraying The Rock are super charismatic and believable. Every major character is API or Black. It’s pretty damn awesome if you can stand the format.

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I think it’s saying that of the 44 leads, only a small percentage are in top-grossing films.

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Just looked at the linked report and this line leaps off the page:

ACROSS THE TOP 1,300 FILMS FROM 2007 TO 2019, THERE WERE 10.5 TIMES AS MANY ANTHROPOMORPHIZED ANIMALS AS LEADS/CO LEADS AS THERE WERE API WOMEN

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He is of both Hawaiian and Chinese decent.

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Only surprised it’s not a higher percentage. Asian/Pacific Islander representation in Hollywood is completely abysmal, even considering the shocking whiteness of it.

Honestly, still surprised it’s not more.

Yeah, his father’s Hawaiian, his grandmother Chinese-Hawaiian. Keanu probably represents another 15% or 20% of Asian/Pacific Islander roles…

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Yeah huh how did I type that into my calculator so weirdly

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Is Jason Momoa the other 2/3?

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