Asian-American Youth Have a Lot of Feelings About ‘Crazy Rich Asians’

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Awkwafina, one of the stars of “Crazy Rich Asians.” Photo by Casi Moss via Wikimedia Commons

The highly anticipated summer flick Crazy Rich Asians is leading at the box office heading into the weekend — and making history while doing it.

The rom-com has an all-Asian cast with Asian-American leads, and is being hailed for adding representation for Asian and Asian-Americans in a major studio film.

Less than 1 percent of Oscar nominations have gone to those with Asian backgrounds — the lowest of all underrepresented groups. A University of Southern California study also surveyed over 1,000 of the top-grossing films in the last decade and found that just 34 (3.4 percent) had an Asian director.

The film also comes out in a time when whitewashing of Asian roles is still happening. Just last year, Scarlett Johansson, a white actress, was hired to play the role of an Asian character in a movie adaptation of the anime story Ghost in the Shell. And In a 2015 rom-com, Aloha, white actress Emma Stone played a half-Hawaiian native woman named Allison Ng. And those are just two examples.

But as of Friday, Crazy Rich Asians was leading at the box office, bringing in $3.76 million Thursday, and $5 million from its Wednesday release. Moviegoers, especially young people, are taking to Twitter to share what seeing Asian representation on the big screen meant to them.

Many shared stories of seeing their own immigrant histories reflected onscreen:

Others pointed out how accurate the little details of the film were:

And others expressed their emotions at seeing themselves represented in the blockbuster:

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