• Actress Michele Selene Ang wears t-shirt protesting Hollywood's whitewashing of Asian movie roles. (Instagram/Michele Selene Ang)Source: Instagram/Michele Selene Ang
"Hollywood just needs to try a little bit harder to include us in stories that take from Asian elements."
Alyssa Braithwaite

12 Apr 2017 - 1:30 PM  UPDATED 12 Apr 2017 - 1:34 PM

A photo of actress Michele Selene Ang wearing a t-shirt which highlights Hollywood's whitewashing of Asian roles is causing a stir on social media.

The 13 Reasons Why actress shared a photo of herself on Instragram wearing a black t-shirt with four names on it: "Scarlett & Emma & Tilda & Matt".

The names represent Ghost in the Shell leading lady Scarlett Johansson, Aloha star Emma Stone, Doctor Strange actress Tilda Swinton and The Great Wall actor Matt Damon.

All four stars have controversially been cast as characters who were originally Asian in recent movies.

Johansson was cast as Major Motoko Kusanagi in the manga and anime Ghost in the Shell. Stone played Allison Ng in Aloha, a character who was a quarter Chinese, a quarter Hawaiian and half-Swedish. Swinton portrayed The Ancient One in Doctor Strange, despite the fact the character was a Tibetan male. And Damon was accused of perpetuating the 'white saviour' myth, for his role as a hero trying to save China from monsters. 

The t-shirt was made by Los Angeles-based comedian Will Choi for a comedy showcase for Asian performers he put together in response to Johansson's casting.

He is now selling the shirt online for $25, with proceeds going toward the cost of staging the 'Asian AF Show', an Asian American variety show.

"The purpose of [the shirt] was to address the whitewashing issue in a comedic way," Choi told the LA Times

"Hollywood just needs to try a little bit harder to include us in stories that take from Asian elements. You're using our culture as set pieces or accessories, and that is unfortunate.

"The hunger is there. People really want representation - especially Asian Americans."

Ang took to Twitter to clarify her position.

But the photo has resonated with many others on social media, who have expressed their support.


More SBS Movies news

Constance Wu slams Matt Damon casting in 'The Great Wall': It perpetuates a 'racist myth'
Matt Damon is at the centre of a fresh whitewashing scandal.
Sony defends 'Aloha' after 'white-washing' criticism
Cameron Crowe's latest film has come under fire for an apparent lack of diversity.