Donnie Yen’s views on Hollywood stereotypes, patriotism deserve respect
Published: Mar 31, 2023 12:36 AM
 Donnie Yen's handprints and footprints Photos: IC

Donnie Yen's handprints and footprints Photos: IC

On Tuesday, US magazine Variety published an article about Chinese action star Donnie Yen, who told the magazine around the time of recent Oscars: "I have the right to love our culture and my country. Why can't I love my country?" 

He also expressed his discontent toward the image of Asians in Hollywood films. His firm attitude demonstrated his love toward his motherland, and sense of justice concerning Western images of Asians. 

After moving to the US and starting to work in Hollywood, he couldn't accept the vilification of Chinese in US films. Taking the example of the film Once Upon A Time in Hollywood directed by Quentin Tarantino, Yen said he was irritated by the fact that when the character of "Bruce Lee" (played by a Korean-American actor) fought with a US stuntman , the latter, whose career was actually in decline, won two out of three fights. 

After Shannon Lee, daughter of Bruce Lee, saw the film, she too was outraged, emphasizing that her father had always avoided conflicts with other people and was never the arrogant maniac depicted in the film. 

Since the film debuted in 2019, Yen has expressed his discontent, and during this interview he did it again. 

Yen said, "Everyone has the right to express his view. Quentin Tarantino is an eminent director, so he has the qualification to obtain his current position. But I also have the right to voice my opinion. Obviously, he was making fun of Bruce Lee as it is absolutely comic exaggeration." 

Yen not only challenged Western prejudice again Asians, but also slammed the 2019 riots in Hong Kong.

 Some people launched an online petition, calling for Yen to be barred from presenting at the Oscars. 

Concerning this "incident," Yen said calmly, "This cyber violence and petition should be stopped." 

In 2010, Yen gave up his US citizenship and became a Chinese citizen. He refers to himself as "100 percent Chinese." 

As he said, he was just trying to establish communication between Hollywood and Chinese films, and was willing to "try anything" except get involved in "any dispute."

His focus is to change the image of Asians in Hollywood stereotypes. 

Before the award, he predicted that if his friend Michelle Yeoh won an award for the film Everything Everywhere All at Once, it would be "a milestone moment" for Asian actors. Facts speak louder than words. It is time for Hollywood and the Western world to listen to and show their respect toward Asians.

Global Times