Following casting news for productions like “Iron Fist” and “Ghost in the Shell,” representation in superhero and genre fare has been a frequent topic of discussion among fans. During an interview with CBR News, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” star Chloe Bennet spoke on the topic, recalling her experiences as an Asian-American woman in the TV and film industry, and explaining why she’s so proud of the show.
When asked what her role in the Marvel Universe means to her, she shared, “It means everything to me! I genuinely believe that. I went to lunch yesterday with my friend, who’s an actress, and she’s also Japanese, and we talked about this. When we were kids, we truly did not feel we could be on TV unless we were blond… unless you were white. It just felt like that’s how it was. Even when I got here, which was about six years ago… I was told that I wasn’t Asian enough to be the best friend, but wasn’t white enough to be the lead. I truly was like, ‘Well, yeah. That makes sense.’ I truly believed that! And just that that’s something I believed and I nodded my head in agreement — that’s some kind of brainwashing!”
“You realize how far this industry has come, but how little representation there is,” she continued. “People say, ‘Oh, will you change your name?’ I changed my last name because I wanted to just get cast for the role because I was right for it, because of who I was. I think so often people look at the color of the person and they determine right away that they can’t be this role because of the way they look or who they are. It’s just crazy to me. So it means so much to me.”
“In the cinematic universe, there’s a lot of white guys named Chris. There’s really no blacks or Asians in it at all. That’s really disappointing! I don’t think our show gets enough credit. I think we’re quietly changing the game on our show on TV. I know it’s not as big as the movies, but I think we’re really doing big things here. You know, our showrunner [Maurissa Tancharoen] is an Asian-American woman, Ming-Na Wen is obviously incredibly talented and she’s Chinese, I’m half-Chinese, we have Juan Pablo Raba and Natalia Cordova-Buckley, who are Mexican and Colombian. I think we really represent the world… I’m proud of our show and proud of what we’re doing,” she concluded.
Check back with CBR soon for the remainder of our interview with Bennet.
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