Bill Maher whitesplained #OscarsSoWhite: ‘Asians really are racist’

wenn22222607

For some reason, I got a discount on HBO for like six months last year, so I had all of these premium cable channels and I rarely watched them. It was weird. I basically only kept HBO for John Oliver, but every now and then I would tune into Real Time with Bill Maher and I was constantly reminded that Maher has really gone ‘round the bend. I used to like him, and I used to think his opinions were interesting and thought-provoking, but at some point he just became about “everyone who isn’t an atheist is stupid” and “Muslims are coming to get all of us.” And now there’s a new bigoted trope: Hollywood has become more racist because of the Asian markets. Seriously, Maher’s defense for #OscarsSoWhite is #AsiansSoRacist.

Hush, hush now Charlotte, Bill Maher has some whitesplaining to do. Hollywood’s diversity problem, said the host on last night’s Real Time With Bill Maher, is the Asians’ fault. “The dirty little secret,” Maher said on his HBO show, “is most movies are made now with an eye to the foreign market, and Asians really are racist.”

When his guests, including Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FLA), reacted with surprise, Maher doubled down. “I’m just honest. They don’t want to see black people generally in their movies. The Hollywood executives are, like, ‘We’re not racist, we just have to pretend to be racists because we’re capitalists. We want to sell our movies in China (and) they don’t like Kevin Hart.’ ”

Grayson wasn’t having it, saying through a smile, “You just said they’re racist, that makes you racist.”

Maher said that Hollywood is full of “the biggest liberals in the world, people who said they did not see 12 Years a Slave but they still voted for it because they knew it was the best picture.”

MacFarlane, not seeming quite sure whether Maher’s comments were a put-on, summed up the diversity problem with a weak “It’s tricky” before moving on to plug his new album.

[From Deadline]

… the hell? How did Asians get blamed for this nonsense again? There are tons of examples of how Maher is simply lying about the Asian markets for films. Will Smith and Denzel Washington are huge stars in the Asian markets. China is loving Star Wars: The Force Awakens starring John Boyega. Marvel – whose films are huge in Asia – are introducing more black characters throughout their franchises. As CB reminded me, this excuse was given internally at Sony (a Japanese-owned company, for the love of all that is holy), as we learned in the Sony Hack: white executives claimed that overseas markets weren’t interested in movies starring Denzel Washington, only to see his films do really well internationally.

TL;DR… don’t put this on the Asian markets. White executives in Hollywood are the ones making these decisions and they’re terrible at their jobs.

wenn3224642

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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184 Responses to “Bill Maher whitesplained #OscarsSoWhite: ‘Asians really are racist’”

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  1. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    When you are so used to the predictability of ignorance and racism that the thing that shocks you is when you read Seth MacFarlane has an album. Whaaa?

    Keep passing the buck Bill, traditional Asian countries may not have a perfect grasp on understanding and truly ‘getting’ blacks but you’d be surprised how much they love them. Yes, it’s the kind of love that comes from admiration (blacks are cool!) without full understanding but the last thing you can say is that black people are so detested that Asian markers shun them and then white markets just HAVE to discriminate against them here.

    • holly hobby says:

      Yes Seth Macfarlane has a new album. Very Sinatra-esque. I stumbled onto his album a few years ago and it’s actually pretty well done. If you like Michael Buble, you will like Seth’s music. Very surprising considering I don’t really care for his brand of comedy!

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Wow, today I learned something. I think I’ll check that out since I do think he has a great singing voice.

      • Sixer says:

        Eternal – I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the British proms? They are a series of orchestral concerts held every year here and are about as “establishment” as you can get. Intended to improve access and participation. Here’s Seth doing Sinatra at one of them:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfoTmiWsfD0

        He went down a storm!

      • joan says:

        Bill Maher HAS been changing — kinda like Dennis Miller did.

        DM was considered funny at one time, but the more rightwing he got the less funny he got.

        Maher is bigoted in so many ways lately that he’s scary. Almost Trump-like.

      • AnotherDirtyMartini says:

        @ Joan, you’re right. I used to like Dennis Miller – I’ve even paid to see him & Maher – but now I cannot stomach DM.

    • Pinky says:

      I agree. He’s kind of right, kind of wrong. The Asians I know, some of whom are my best friends (Korean, Japanese, Fillipino, Chinese), tell me how racist Asians are. But they also admire black culture and appropriate it wherever possible. 😀

      But they’re warming up to black people, at least the younger generations (the older ones only know black people from movies–wherein they were depicted as thugs, pimps, and murderers).

      Now, Hollywood gets to excuse it’s racism by blaming it on Asians and catering to the foreign market where movies starring blacks (or women, mind you) do not do as well.

      HOWEVER. Hollywood doesn’t collect the full gross of its totals in Asian/foreign markets–it’s more like half or a quarter. So they’d do better to make $100M in the US starring a black person than $200M overseas starring whomever else. Added up all together, foreign and domestic, it’s kind of a wash either way when you compare non-action-hero films and just a lame excuse the executives use to keep from hiring people of color (including Asians!). I’d like for some studio to start making films again that will entertain American audiences (of all colors), so it’s not all about some comic book hero.

      -TheRealPinky

      • Kip says:

        Who are “Asians”!? Sweeping generalisations, and opinions based on token friends, are really dangerous, imho.

      • Pinky says:

        @Kip I explained exactly who “Asians” were in my original post. To be clear, we’re talking “East Asians” and mainly the Chinese when referring to whomever Hollywood and Bill are referring to. And demographics and studies. And life experience. Let’s not play this game, K?

        -The Real Pinky

      • Kip says:

        “East Asians” is just as problematic – why the broad strokes saying a whole region is X or Y? These broad inaccurate statements are biased and at the root of racism.

    • sanders says:

      I had the exact same reaction Eternal Side-Eye!!

    • Fee says:

      Who deer how Bill would react if someone saidJews were racist. Why is it every other race, ethnicity can get dumped on but mention the J word n your done for. Asians are racists? Give me a break, who the eoff does this guy think he is, sorry but I come from a small city where race is the least talked about issue.

    • milietan says:

      Here’s something I can actually comment intelligently on! Why? I’ve lived and worked as a teacher and school administrator in Asia (China, Vietnam, S. Korea) for 9 years now. I currently live in Seoul and am married to a Korean man. It is definitely true that most Asians are openly racist against lots of races, including those of African origin. Most schools here regretfully don’t like to hire African American English language teachers because many parents will openly complain that they don’t want their child to have a black teacher. Most will say they don’t want their child to speak English like blacks. And we have a friend who owns an English language school. True story! He hired a black teacher that we had recommended to him because he’s a good and dynamic teacher. The (adult) students constantly complained that he was a bad teacher and they wanted a different one. So with the teacher’s knowledge, our friend put an audio/video recording device to record the classes and try to see what it was students were complaining about. Well, it was during the tea break times when students sat and chatted with each other that our friend heard the students talking among themselves that he found the real reason. They were complaining in terribly racist terms simply about the man’s race. This attitude is widespread throughout Asia (and the Middle East where I grew up, as my parents were also international teachers). Racism is outright and in your face, and people don’t feel the need to be apologetic about it. There really is no such thing as “political correctness” here. It’s not just black people they are racists against. It’s actually quite funny to me all the complaining about racism and “microagression” that I read about going on in the U.S. In the rest of the world, racism is overt and their aren’t any laws or social stigmas against it.

      • Jessica says:

        I agree. I just spent a year teaching English in Japan and the racism against blacks was overt to say the least. The parents of my students expressed relief at finding out that their kids were getting a white teacher but when my black co-workers were hired, our company/school was receiving a ton of complaints about it. My black African co-worker even told me people would get up and move away from her on the subway train etc. Some students would also ask her why her skin was “that colour” but they would never ask me why I was pale. I noticed that the Japanese kids would use the “peach colour crayon” when drawing Japanese AND White people, but they would never use the yellow crayon for skin. In Japanese, bandaids and the peach crayon are referred to as “skin colour” (thats the real name for the colour, not slang). So im not surprised whatsoever to see someone say that Asians would rather watch movies starring white people than black people. I always saw a glorification of caucasian celebrities and pop stars on TV and billboards in Japan but never usually any to do with Africans or African Americans.

  2. Runcmc says:

    I’m running out of popcorn for all these white celebrities exposing their real thoughts.

    Please, please tell me how you *really* feel.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Lmao, pass that popcorn.

    • embertine says:

      Mate, I don’t drink in January or February but this slew of white celebrities being over-privileged oblivious idiots is testing my resolve. Is it gin time yet?

      • V4Real says:

        Well did you know other countries have a habit of cutting Black faces off the posters or reducing them to smaller sizes s compared to the White faces.

      • embertine says:

        I did know that! It has been mentioned lots of time in this thread alone.

      • annaloo. says:

        Like the 12 Years a Slave posters in – was it Italy? – where Brad Pitt’s face was the major feature… anyone remember that?

      • V4Real says:

        In the words of Jim Carrey “Well Alrighty then”….

      • gossipy says:

        Yes annaloo the Italian distributors of 12 Years a Slave did not use the official posters that featured Chiwetel Ejiofor.

        They used posters with Michael Fassbender saying he was a bigger star and he would better sell the movie. A distributor is not allowed contractually to use any poster than what the studio provides so they were in trouble for that transgression right there.

        So the whole cast of 12 Years of Slave refused to do any promotion of the film in Italy.

    • FingerBinger says:

      Bill Maher has been very vocal about everything from drugs to race. He hasn’t been exposed if that’s what you’re thinking.

    • Eleonor says:

      I bet pr agencies are going mad…

    • Mark says:

      What talking about Hollywood pandering to the asian market? Where they cut black people out of the poster?

    • Margo S. says:

      Hahahaha haha!

    • SusanneToo says:

      Have publicists stopped teaching their clients how to say “No comment?”

  3. Lurker says:

    Breaking News: Bill Maher is an out-of-touch, rich, middle-aged, white guy.

  4. holly hobby says:

    WTF Bill Maher! I seem to recall the Rush Hour movies doing really well in Asia. It’s simply not true. I think if the story is good and the action is out of this world, the Asian markets will respond positively.

    Gee throw more oil into the fire why don’t you.

    • Canadian Becks says:

      You might as well say Rush Hour did well in Asian markets because of Jackie Chan.

    • V4Real says:

      Rush Hour did well but don’t forget Jackie Chan was a big part of that movie, not just Chris Tucker.

      I do recall in the 90′s when this rap group Wu-Tang Clan was very popular they were very well received in China and Japan. This group was one of the reasons that hip hop took off in Asia.

      • Kitten says:

        They also had that whole Shaolin/Kung Fu influence to their music and presentation so I think that helped their appeal.

        Also, “Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers” in the top 5 best hip hop albums of all time–no question and I’m not entertaining any debate on the matter. Every song on that album is amazing.

      • BB says:

        Totally unrelated, but I had a baby six weeks ago and I really want to order her this onesie that says Wu Tang is for the children. 90s rap takes me back, I loved Straight Outta Compton!

  5. Jess says:

    I will say as an asian person that Bill Maher isn’t necessarily wrong, he’s just a giant asshole. There is a problem in the asian community with discrimination and racism towards other minorities but I’m fairly certain Hollywood’s diversity problem isn’t only caused by the ‘asian market’ as he put it. There’s a whole slew of issues that have contributed to the lack of opportunities for POC in the industry and Bill Maher’s comments aren’t helping.

    As for the star Wars point, when the posters were released in China, they did shrink Finn down considerably and made BB-8 much bigger in the posters. Pretty fishy that they would shrink down the only black character in the posters even though he is one of the main actors in the film…Look it up if you don’t believe me.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Oh I believe you. Discrimination is definitely faced, but sadly that occurs in nearly all international markets.

      Looking at you Italy and your 12 Years A Brad Pitt posters!

      • Jess says:

        @The Eternal Side-Eye

        Omg how could I forget those 12 years posters in Italy! Yikes, those were really bad. I guess that’s only a bigger reason why Hollywood needs to take the lead and start diversifying their roles.

      • Rainbow says:

        Wow i didn’t know about the Star Wars and 12 Years a slave posters…Priceless!

    • Pinky says:

      Thank you. I made a similar point unthread. He’s not exactly wrong, but he’s simply making excuses for the larger issue, which are the Liberal bigots in Hollywood!

      –TheRealPinky

    • Mia4s says:

      Actually Star Wars has not done quite as well as they hoped in China (don’t get me wrong, it is still a big hit), or several other Asian countries.

      Now the logical and likely reason is that several of these countries don’t have Star Wars history and nostalgia built into their culture. Particularly China which never even got the originals in theatres!

      I just hope that’s the reason the studios understand and believe too… :-/

      • Nina says:

        I work as a tutor for predominantly Korean students, and they’ve told me that – that “Star Wars” isn’t as embedded in the general popular culture of Asia as it is in the west.

    • Bridget says:

      Oh irony on the Star Wars posters, considering that here in the US they (Lucasfilm/Disney) chose not to produce very many Rey toys, to the point of people being unable to find her featured in stores at all. The movie showed diversity sells, and yet they’re trying everything they can to deny it.

      • Pinky says:

        DON’T get me started on Disney….

        -TheRealPinky

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        EXACTLY.

        God I wish I could have this post at the ready for whenever someone claims it’s a lack of demand from the market/sales.

        Demand IS THERE. Kids wanted Black Widow, Rey, and Gammorah toys and merchandise and yet all three are routinely not included. Gee what do those three completely different characters in different universes have in common?

        People don’t even KNOW how much money is abandoned because someone refuses to believe there is a demand or desire for minorities and/or women.

      • Bridget says:

        It’s almost like people don’t want to see the exact same people starring in the exact same movie over and over again. Go figure.

        The part that I found interesting about #wheresRey that I think went hand in hand with #oscarssowhite was that it was a very blatant, deliberate decision on the part of the powers that be. They were apparently presented with a ton of Rey options, and they flat out said they didn’t want them (“boys won’t want to play with girl toys”). The demand is there. The desire is there to see diversity in movies, to see diversity in stories. ESPECIALLY when you look at youth driven content nowadays. Have you seen any of the television shows created by MTV? They consistently feature a wide variety of races & sexual orientations (though of course everyone is pretty uniformly good looking). When will someone figure out that people actually want to see this?

      • BB says:

        The boys don’t want to play with toys featuring girl characters or they don’t want to wear shirts with girl characters on them trope is ridiculous. It even starts with toddler toys/clothes. The boy shirts for Paw Patrol/Yo Gabba Gabba etc feature only the male characters on the show. Because a boy will catch cooties if a girl dog is on his shirt?? What? Luckily Children’s Place had some pretty cool Rey shirts.

      • Bridget says:

        I’m also going to point out, the movie industry has seen a consistent decline in the # of tickets sold each year (though revenues are buoyed by increasing ticket prices and 3D tickets). Perhaps these folks don’t actually know what does or doesn’t sell.

      • hannah says:

        Star Wars sells . They could have pink pandas in it and it would have sold .

    • V4Real says:

      @Jess I agree with you. People may not like Bill for how he said it but what he said wasn’t all wrong.

    • isabelle says:

      I’m mixed race have traveled in Asian countries he isn’t wrong at all. He’s right actually but that isn’t an exception and they’re not the exception. Hollywood practiced their pattern long before modern blockbusters & showing them to the Asian market. The real truth if we really wanted to stir a hornets nest, Americans don’t turn out for these movies either unless it’s a comedy or they’re the side kick. A few black led movies here (not comedy) and there have done OK but not a lot.

    • Josefina says:

      I follow modern asian culture a lot and the way they portray African Americans (when they do) is usually very, very questionable.

      Simplifying it like that and saying Hollywood is all about acceptance and inclusion but Asians keep getting in the way is wrong, but he’s not exactly lying about their racist standards.

    • Maudie says:

      Agree with CB. My korean mother married an Indian from Bangalore and her family was appalled and asked me why did she marry a black man when I traveled to Korea. And then she flipped out when I dated blacks as a biracial woman. Btw, can’t stand Maher.

  6. OhDear says:

    And to add – you’d think that Hollywood executives would cast more people of Asian descent in roles if Hollywood executives were that desperate to get the Asian market. But…no – and a lot of roles get whitewashed constantly (see, e.g. Ghost in the Shell, 21) or somehow have to involve a white person.

    • aang says:

      because in so many ways the asian standard of beauty is a white person. see all of the skin whitening products and eye surgeries sold to asian women.

      • V4Real says:

        You took the words right out of my mouth.

      • Rachel says:

        So… What race are white people trying to be when they get plastic surgery? Or when they go tanning? Whether it’s at the beach or at a tanning salon or at home with store-bought tanning solutions. Any time any race does anything to alter themselves, ignorant people will say it’s to be white. Yet, when white people alter themselves, they’re just trying to improve their appearance.

      • PinaColada says:

        Asians have their own standards of beauty that are thousands of years steeped and are not based on European culture. Their interest in white skin is not because of European contact- it’s been there for a long, long time.

      • V4Real says:

        “So… What race are white people trying to be when they get plastic surgery?”

        Um… a better version of themselves.

        And before you go on your personal attacks and call people on here you don’t know ignorant read this link.

        http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/25/health/asian-beauty/

      • Rachel says:

        Wow, V4Real! That one article must be the gospel truth! That author, like you and me, is just voicing their opinions. It’s not fact. And you just proved my point – I said in my previous comment that when white people alter themselves, people say they’re just trying to improve their appearance. Many races have double eyelids, many races have streamlined noses, many races have fair skin and many races have straight hair. Yet, if an Asian person gets double eyelids or a nose job, it’s to look more white. And if a black person stays out of the sun, tries to lighten their skin and straightens their hair, it’s to look more white. Why aren’t they just trying to improve their appearance? Or like a non-white race that also shares those traits? It must shock you that some black people opt to straighten their hair because they find their natural hair to be too unmanageable. Or that Asians have coveted fair skin long before Europeans ever had any contact with them. You see, historically, only wealthy people could have fair skin because, if you were poor, you worked in the fields and, thus, were tan. Asians have coveted fair skin because it’s a status symbol – to be fair-skinned is to be wealthy. It’s similar to American culture where being tan is a status symbol because being tan means you have the financial means to take a vacation and get tan.

      • V4Real says:

        @Rachel oh there are plenty of more articles. I just posted this one but a quick Google search will lead you to more. You can throw out the Blacks wanting to look White or the Whites trying to look Black theories all you want. You are not saying anything new or educating anyone on this thread. We already know that some people feel that way. It’s also common knowledge that European beauty has been hyped as the standard beauty no matter what country you’re from. But what @aang was pointing out since this was a post about some Asians being racist when it comes to Blacks in films in their country was that even in Asia some women want to conform to that European form of beauty. They look at the beautiful Caucasian women in films and want to look like them. They don’t usually look at Black women or Indian women and say I want to look like that.
        And I’m not saying that all Asians want to look White European but since that’s the idea beauty that has been shoved in our face for so long some people try to conform to it.

        Your rant was unnecessary.

      • Kip says:

        I agree with Rachel, it’s insulting to say that all Asian beauty standards are to look Caucasian. In Chiba, light skin, though the Gwailo colonialist had it too, meant you didn’t work in the fields…

      • V4Real says:

        I didn’t say all if you’re referring to me. Just like not all Black women want to look or be White. I guess now when posting people need to say “in general.”

      • bunny_ears says:

        I’m sorry, but where on earth are you getting Asians are trying to look more Caucasian when Asian beauty trends have been going on for centuries longer than the West’s standards.

        A person with pale skin meant he or she was wealthy enough to avoid working in the fields. It was equated with privilege and only the ruling class could afford this luxury. Unlike most Europeans and Americans, tanning is seen as a bad thing, because it ages the skin. This is not something that started in the 19th century with colonialism. If you look at Asian art (ie Japan or China), ‘beautiful’ women were chubby and pale. In fact, the Japanese valued paleness so much that in imperial court culture, they would put on white paste.

        A double eyelid meant doll-like eyes, and that’s not rooted in Western beauty ideals at all! I don’t know why it originated, but round eyes are considered more vivacious and attractive than single eyelids.

        And unlike skin tone, there’s a genetic basis for double/single eyelids. Single eyelids look that way due to fat deposits in that thin flap of skin. During harsh winters, the fat helps keep the eye warm. For example, in southern China, people are more likely to have double eyelids because of the warmer/more tropical weather, since it doesn’t snow like Harbin does near the Mongolia/China border.

      • milietan says:

        Oh thank you! I forgot to mention this in my previous post. All throughout Asia, almost 100% of the beauty products are “whitening” products. Even things like body wash and deodorant claims to be whitening. It’s impossible for me (with my pastey white English/Irish skin) to buy products in Asia which are not whitening! I don’t agree that the standard of beauty is “white” as in European, but they definitely prize a very light complexion. This is true throughout Asia and the Middle East. I’ve not ever lived in India but I’m told it is the same there as well.

      • Snarky says:

        Ming emperors died of mercury poisoning. They used Mercury to bleach their skin white. This was before Europeans were ever seen as anything but backwater barbarians by the Chinese.

        Whiteness as associated with priveledge is not the sole product of colonialism.

    • Pinky says:

      Exactly.

      –TheRealPinky

    • Canadian Becks says:

      Casting Asians is not the only way, or maybe even the best way to capture the Asian market. What the United States have really excelled in, especially since the post-war boom, is the exporting of their culture. Through American films, American music, etc, they have been incredibly successful in influencing what is considered cool and making the Western culture seem very aspirational.

      I wou do say the mass markets of Asia definitely want to see American-type films (eg. Big blockbusters), headlined by American-type actors (again, big box-office names).

    • lucy2 says:

      That was my first thought too – if they’re trying to appeal to foreign markets, wouldn’t more diversity be more appealing across the globe?

    • Saks says:

      Yes, this is what I thought too. If they are so desperately interested in the Asian market you would think they might try to allure them casting more Asians in their films… But no

    • Kip says:

      Exactly, so true

  7. Joanie says:

    ‘White executives in Hollywood are the ones making these decisions and they’re terrible at their jobs.’

    As someone who works in Hollywood…yes. Yes, they are. Beyond terrible.

    • Cynthia says:

      Could you talk a bit more about that? I’m really interested in knowing what’s it like from the inside…

      • Pinky says:

        They don’t know anything. They just stick it out being someone’s assistant/peon/slave and then fail upwards because they have connections. It’s kind of a homogenous community and Maher is being protective of his people here. He’s not without his own bias…..

        –TheRealPinky

      • Bridget says:

        @Cynthia: read the Sony hack emails if you haven’t already.

  8. FingerBinger says:

    I saw it. I thought he was being tongue in cheek. It helps if you see his comment in context.

  9. Sisi says:

    I seem to remember that China only has about 30 cineamaslots for hollywood movies per year. How he could create this absurd and gross theory is beyond me.

  10. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    Also.

    Isn’t it amazin this is how discussions with race always go:

    “Why aren’t blacks fighting for Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, Scandinavians, Polish, etc?”

    And

    “Don’t blame us we’re just trying to compete with Latino, Asian, Native American, Scandinavian, Polish, etc groups and they don’t like black people.”

    Well then!

  11. Greenieweenie says:

    That’s not fair. China is a completely different ballgame when it comes to race. And if Chinese ppl’s introduction to Hollywood was all about white ppl and white ppl stories, why would you expect them to suddenly act like an American consumer market? Hollywood doesn’t even make movies with good roles/stories about black actors for AMERICANS, but they’re blaming the Chinese for being racist?

    Plus, China will only show X number of Hollywood movies in theatres per year. It used to be 12; it might have gone up to 20. I watched The Karate Kid with Jaden Smith in theatre in mainland China. Hollywood isn’t dependent on Chinese money because there is a cap on that market so stop blaming Chinese. If Hollywood cared that much, they would start making movies with Chinese actors in lead roles because any movie with even a mention of China or a secondary role for a Chinese or Chinese-American actor does well in China.

  12. Mia4s says:

    The issue with the international market is that certain types of movies don’t attract much interest worldwide period. Put anyone in an action/fantasy/scifi movie and you can likely bring in serious money. Small, talky adult dramas? No. Tyler Perry movies? No. For many reasons having little to do with race (translation, cultural preferences, etc).

    Straight Outta Compton made $160 million in the USA. For the entire rest of the world? Could not even reach $40 million. But so what? Some stories don’t travel. The French movie the Intouchables made $10 million in the USA and $400 million (!!!) worldwide.

    The catch is other than when POC are cast in roles in the would-be blockbusters the most diverse films are usually those smaller movies that don’t travel well.

    • Greenieweenie says:

      Well every single Madea movie I’ve ever watched was purchased from a box of pirated DVDs on a sidewalk in China.

    • Pinky says:

      So Hollywood got, roughly, $180m for SOC and at most $210m for The Untouchables. As I said up thread, it’s kind of a wash and it IS the inherent racism and bias that’s behind these decisions.

      –TheRealPinky

      • Mia4s says:

        $180 million for SOC?!? You think the cinemas only kept ) $20 million? The split is far more than that or no cinemas would be open! But it is true they keep more domestically.

        My point is that not all movies travel well from USA to the rest of the world, but, the reverse is true as well. We need to be careful when judging why.

    • Holmes says:

      I LOVED The Intouchables. That is such a great film.

  13. PunkyMomma says:

    Bill Maher has become a caricature of himself. Another member of white Hollywood who unthinkingly reveals his many biases while marching under the banner of political activism.

    I just wish I had some of the good sh*t he’s smoking.

  14. Lucy26 says:

    This theory is not Bill’s. It was widely reported in the leaked Sony e-mails.

    • Pinky says:

      The issue is that, either way, it’s just an excuse to justify their bad, biased decisions. See my other posts about the ACTUAL money that’s made….

      –TheRealPinky

      • Kitten says:

        You’re not typing “The Real Pinky” every time, right? How do you get that signature on there?

      • Pinky says:

        @Kitten I kind of am–through auto format. I don’t know how to do it otherwise, but I will continue to write it out until and unless the other poster chooses a different name.

        -TheRealPinky

      • Kitten says:

        How annoying for you. Hate when people do that.
        I went through that a while back and was TheOriginalKitten for a while after that.

    • Ash says:

      This is what I thought too. He mentioned it because of the Sony email hack.

    • OhDear says:

      The emails only specified that it wouldn’t do well “overseas” and that “the international market” is racist. Maher is only specifying the overseas Asian market and forgets about …. oh, the overseas European market, for example.

      (And against that producer’s belief, the movie in question did really well in the international market.)

    • Rick says:

      Agreed…..Bill is just stating the facts. Some Asians as well as other minorities suffer from a cultural self-loathing. The result of this is sometimes unconscious. It’s not a hatred of Blacks it’s a self-hatred. The belief that White is better. The belief that White is beauty. People, who suffer this way, cannot see the beauty in themselves. I as a White man, find Black, Latino and Asian Women some of the most beautiful women in the world. I personally am sick and tired of seeing the same ole bland White actors in every blockbuster created.

  15. MexicanMonkey says:

    Despite how stupid his whole argument is, let’s humor him. Even if there is a problem with Asian market being less than enthusiastic about Black Actors; China, the biggest market in Asia, has about 30 slots for Hollywood movies per year and they are mostly blockbusters, not Oscar Bait type movies. So that reason really shouldn’t factor into the #OscarsSoWhite conversation. Not to mention the lack of roles given to Asian actors as well.

    Even if Hollywood executives were just capitalists who are after the money, they are at least out of touch with the world if they fail to see how well movies with Actors of color in lead roles have been successful just this past year.

  16. aang says:

    I like Bill Maher for always playing the devil’s advocate and saying things no one wants to hear. Even when he is off base he adds interest to the discussion. I do agree that his “all religious people are stupid” argument has worn thin from overuse.

  17. Annie says:

    I mean… Have you seen the Chinese posters for 12 Years a Slave and the new Star Wars movie, for example? They don’t include the black characters. This could be true in a way, but if it were, it still doesn’t deny the racism that exists within Hollywood. That’s still there. I think the entire industry is racist, anywhere in the world.

    • V4Real says:

      I think some people on here are quick to jump on Bill without knowing any details. I’m betting the ones that are tearing him to spreads are not aware that they cut the main character out of the poster for 12 Years and posted Brad Pitts face instead. Or they are not aware that the Black actor in Star Wars picture was reduced in size compared to the White lead.

      I’m not saying he’s 100% right but he is on to something.

      • Kip says:

        Wait, because Hollywood decides to market in Asia in a racist way, that makes “Asians” racist? Isn’t just another expression of the same racism in Hollywood and the fact that Hollywood bosses assume markets are as racist as they are?

    • Bob says:

      Did the people of China vote on those posters? I’m not sure why people are pointing to that as anything other than more evidence of how Hollywood execs think.

      • word says:

        Exactly ! Let’s blame an entire country and start bashing all Chinese people now. For f*cks sake, do you really think the general Chinese population gets to tell the execs what they want to see? This is exactly what is going on in Hollywood. The execs do what they want and don’t care what Americans really want to see. So should we call all Americans racist because Hollywood likes to hire mostly White actors? Bill Maher is being extremely hypocritical.

      • V4Real says:

        Oh please everybody knows that no one is talking about an entire country and that’s just a generalization. The entire country doesn’t work for the execs that makes the decision.

        And know the Asian public may have not voted on the poster but perhaps The Asian exec working in the office did.

        Read @LAK response (#18) right below this one.

    • Colette says:

      Last time I checked Italy is not an Asian Country.So if Asians are to blame why was Brad only featured in the posters in Italy.So instead of blaming Asians why not say international markets?

  18. LAK says:

    I know the issue here is #oscarssowhite.

    …..but as someone who works in the industry, dealing A LOT with sales, Bill Maher is not wrong.

    The only movies with black leads that work in those markets are action cartoony super hero films.

    Denzel/Will Smith work, but only if they are in action cartoony films. Cast them in something much more thoughtful and it doesn’t work.

    Frequently, in order to slip through a black actor, you pair them with a white one or someone who is a local superstar. And then emphasise the non black actors on the posters as happened with STAR WARS.

    It’s something the general public don’t like to acknowledge because the public likes to think they aren’t racist or prejudiced if you are talking about scale.

    ….but you sit in a roomful of distributors and sales agents from around the world, and your film better have a black star who has transcended their race (which is where Will and Denzel fall and only for certain types of films) and the film be a very particular genre film before they’ll sit down with you.

    Hollywood’s market is increasingly Asian/foreign markets and not only do they want only certain types of films, they also will only take only one or two people from a particular race.

    The other issue which is specific to the Asian markets is the fact that they primarily respond to films with superstars. That’s how their own industries work. The only name recognised black stars are Denzel and Will. Others are not. It’s that simple. For the same reason, films with female leads whatever their race have to be superstar female leads like a Julia Roberts and not someone who might be a great actress, but is not a huge star.

    So it becomes difficult to convince them to take a chance on a newcomer without a profile or even a middling profile in films that don’t fit their stereotype of what the film is supposed to be ie occasionally a film with newcomers (or middling profile comers) might make I through, but it will have come garlanded with awards from the west and fit a stereotype of what they want to see.

    I’m rabbling here, but it is a multi-faceted issue with Asian markets.

    • V4Real says:

      Well said LAK.

    • Betti says:

      Well said. I’m a massive fan of Asian cinema (even thou its mostly run by the Triads) primarily because of the quality of screenplays that come out, many of them put HW to shame and are done on a third of the budgets that straight to DVD movies get.

      And I agree only those with big stars will do well – thats why HK cinema is dominated by Jackie Chan (even thou he’s not a great actor and a massive douche), he’s the biggest name in Asian cinema and why the Rush Hour movies did well there.

      Selling anything to an international market is very difficult – you can’t assume that everyone on the planet has the same outlook as your own market.

      • Lambda says:

        Asian cinema is NOT mostly run by the Triads. Amazingly ignorant statement! There used to be significant ties between organized crime and the HK studios. That’s fading though. Not to mention the cinema capabilities in the mainland, or Japan, or SKorea.

    • Goldie says:

      @LAK, I agree with the gist of what you’re saying, but I think Will Smith is bankable overseas and not just in cartoony blockbusters. Just look at one of his last films, “Focus”. It flopped in the U.S., making only about $50 million, but made over $100 million overseas, for a grand total of $159 million. “Pursuit of Happyness” was a small character-driven drama, and it made $143 million overseas, $163 million in the U.S. He is the exception, of course. But I would also point out that there are very few actors of any race, who can sell a movie outside of franchises.

      • LAK says:

        Goldie: I think you missed my caveat of transcending race and or being a triple Alister name and or being in a particular genre vis a via Will Smith and Denzel.

        Frequently, 1 out of 3 = door to market is opened, 2 out of 3 = makes some bank, 3 out of 3 = serious Bank, probably dwarf BO take in USA.

    • Ash says:

      Excellent post, LAK.

    • Kitten says:

      Interesting post, LAK.

    • noway says:

      I honestly had no idea about how films were sold in overseas markets, very interesting. I think Bill may be sort of correct, but I think the word racist is used too much especially in this case. I think some of it is these markets aren’t used to seeing African Americans this way. For years the movies have made them certainly not leads but other and caricatures, and especially in China which is a more closed society this is what they know and expect. Also explains why Tom Cruise is still such a bigger hit there. He hasn’t lost the jumping on the couch group as in the US. It seems more like ignorance than actual racist hate, and it also seems like a chicken or egg thing in that did Hollywood help cause the problem too. Not sure I agree totally with Bill on this, and also his tirade on some of these things has gotten a bit much. I did see this portion, and I think part of it was somewhat a joke.

      I have a question, I have been using African American as I know the term blacks offends a lot of people and in the US this seems the proper term, but with so many of these actors being British what is the proper term. I know people are using people of color, but that seems really broad.

      • LAK says:

        i can’t speak for all black people, but i think it depends on country one talking about. Americans keep changing terms by which they call their black population. Black used to be OK, then it changed to African American and recently it’s People of colour.

        in my experience, British are simply British or Black British if you must. People with roots in Caribbean islands whose parents/grandparents emigrated to Britain were [and still to my knowledge] called Afro-Caribbean or simply British according to preference.

        i have heard the term ‘people of colour’ used by some British people, but not very many.

        The black population in Britain is primarily migrants from Africa, so you are more likely to find someone identifying themselves as the African country of their ancestors than calling themselves ‘people of colour’. That’s assuming they don’t call themselves British first.

    • mee says:

      that is interesting and i don’t doubt that there’s some truth to this. While this may explain why/how hollywood is making movies, it doesn’t really address the #oscarssowhite issue, which is about many films which were already made and which are or are not oscar-worthy. are they also marketing the oscars to asian countries?

      • LAK says:

        I made it very clear at the beginning of my comment, i wasn’t discussing the Oscars even though that was the topic of CB’s post, i was talking about markets.

        The problem bleeds into the Oscars because if non white actors aren’t being given roles because studios are pandering to foreign markets, then less opportunity for non black actors to be hired and therefore showcase their talent and therefore be nominated.

        and if you watch the original programme from which Bill Made his comments, he was talking about Markets too.

  19. cvb says:

    Well I don’t know what Bill Maher’s intentions are with this. But as an asian I have to say we do have to face up to our own racism. And it’s not just us, blacks can be racist too. My point is to say it’s not just whites who are racist and I think starting a dialogue that happens in Latin communities, Asian Communities, India’s many communities is necessary. No offense but I think black men kind of shun black women so I don’t have sympathies for them. I use to feel like I was racist for not liking black guys but considering how many of them shun their own women I don’t anymore.

    • Cee says:

      Just like the many Asian women who shun Asian men and only go for white guys.

    • Betti says:

      It more common that you think – I know a few white girls that will only date black men.

    • Macheath says:

      How SOME black men feel about black women has nothing to do with how you feel about ALL black men and your self professed lack of sympathy. If you don’t care about being racist then own it and don’t complain about people not owning up as you put it.

      Nice try though.

      • DragonWise says:

        Thank you for replying to this broad-brush ridiculousness. I wanted to, but my Dealing with Willful Ignorance chip is shorted out today!

  20. Bridget says:

    And this is what happens when Hollywood chooses to almost exclusively make massive movies with massive budgets: they have to appeal to as many markets as possible to have any hope of making their money back. When you spend $300 million to make the movie, and another $200 million to market it, they can’t just hope for a big domestic hit. It’s absurd. How on earth did this become the standard model for making movies? Don’t let expenses get so out of control that you have to be hyper concerned about what sells in China.

    • LAK says:

      What I started, the worry used to be what sold in small town America!!! LOL

      Times have sure changed.

      • Bridget says:

        Remember when it was a huge deal when Waterworld and Titanic topped the $200 million mark? And now that’s a routine budget for a summer movie. What a terrible business model.

      • LAK says:

        YES!!!!

        incredible.

        And people don’t realise that these huge BO takes aren’t really realising profits for the studio because the production budgets are so high that they absorb all those profits.

  21. Margo S. says:

    Great post! I agree with you 100%. Current hollywood exes are HORRIBLE at their jobs.

  22. annaloo. says:

    Japan has a half black woman representing them for Miss Universe. She admits Japan has a bit to go on accepting diversity

    Korean tv shows consistently air shows about about rural Korean men marrying out of their race (namely to South Asian women ) and it’s something that is reported as a crisis instead of a welcome change to the population.

    On China Idol, Lou Jing received so much negativity because of her biracial status.

    Just small examples, but I think they’re important.

    And as a military brat who is half Korean and half American black, I can tell you I am grateful that I wasn’t left in an orphanage, but my mother didn’t feel she could stay in her country to raise me. My great grandmother wanted me to be given up for adoption– just like a lot of other mixed kids.

    Though I am very proud to be half Asian and extremely proud of my Korean heritage, but I know there are dark sides in all culture, and no culture is without their prejudices — Americans are very used to seeing White on Black prejudice, but I don’t know if they realize the racism of other cultures and countries too. My guts says Bill Maher is not entirely blowing smoke. I’ve seen blackface on Telemundo, I’ve sat in many NYC cabs listening to drivers from Africa and the Middle East tell me their opinions of other races, I’ve had Asians give me ass backwards compliments that it’s good that I’m half Asian bc it counters the ugly from the half black side. I’ve had my nose pulled and pinched by elder female family to see what I’d look like with a nose job, I’ve had sincere pleas from them to be alert and not to reflect the negative black stereotypes of being angry or mouthy or lazy or unclean because “that’s what the world expects so don’t be that”.

    I think the younger Asian generations are more global and accepting of different cultures, but only still. I see the K-Pop girl bands who all surgically cut their faces for more anglo noses, stronger chins, and eliminating the very Asian inner eyefold so as to look more western, but Asian cultures are not always automatically accepting of everything American is my only point.

    And YES, Hollywood has too many white guys in suits, but in my eyes, Asia media is still in a phase of a lot of “white worship” – and while it is def progress japan got to the point of having someone nontraditional as their Miss Japan — the negative blowback that “hafa” people still receive is very real for me to let the Asian market completely off the hook. There are still a lot of people who will still think that your skin is dark bc you need to clean yourself better. BUT, despite all this nuttiness, I have a lot of faith in Asian culture, especially my generation and younger that we will continue to see progress towards eliminating racial prejudice. I really do, but for today, I don’t think Maher is completely off.

    • Cynthia says:

      Wow. Thank you for this insight.

      • annaloo. says:

        All I’m saying is that there are more components here.. and I don’t think Bill Maher (as curmudgeonly as he’s become) is pulling this completely out of thin air. It’s just something that doesn’t fit a narrative of completely painting one party as the “bad guy” in a racially sensitive situation. There’s always more to it, I believe, and plenty of “bad” (or maybe, in a kinder tone, “human failing”) to go around.

    • me says:

      Yes, many ethnicities hold their own prejudices. That is true. But it also goes for African Americans. They as well can be racist. Time and time again I’ve heard people say that Black people can’t be racist…but why not? If Asians can be called “racist” so can any other ethnicity. We all need to work on this, one step at a time.

      • annaloo. says:

        @Me, I only spoke about the Asian side of my heritage, but if I told you what I got from the black side sometimes, it’s pretty sad too. The guilt, the “ching chong! You eat bugs and dogs! “, the “you get jobs bc you can pass as ‘safe’ for whites” from black girlfriends, the oreo accusations… there’s definite human failings all around. It doesn’t pull me down though. I am proud of who I am, and there are more good people in my life that make it great. I think Americans have been so groomed on White vs Black racism, they’ve completely ignored the intercultural racism that is very much out there. Some black people can be very hard on people of other cultures. Human failings.

      • me says:

        @ annaloo

        I really appreciate your honestly. Yes, I totally agree, there is a lot of intercultural racism as well.

  23. K says:

    Bill Mahr is gross, he is intolerant and hateful. He is the same as all the republicans he rails against just with his views. And much like the Palins of the world he is an joke and white noise.

    Now to say he is 100% is foolish, he probably does have a point about Chinese or any market. But here is the reality China isn’t going to make that big of a difference because they only get a few movies a year. Beyond that they love western culture (for the most part, at least based on customer research data), so with that our movies should reflect what America is which is diverse.

    Another big thing you never cave to the lowest demoninator of behavior. If their are racist Asians fine they don’t have to see our movies, doesn’t mean we don’t make movies reflecting our country and cultures. I would also bet that non racist Asians would go.

    You can’t excuse racism/ignorance/inequality in our country by blaming others. Whether Asia is racist doesn’t excuse the fact we need to look at America and our countries behavior because clearly we have problems.

  24. Zaytabogota says:

    In the Sony leak there were emails between producers saying you can’t hire black actors for that reason. In countries like China there has been attention drawn to black actors being airbrushed out of the promotional pictures. Whether it’s a prejudiced assumption or based on focus groups I don’t know but it is the reason why producers want white leads. Straight white leads for that matter, they can’t sell a gay lead in many countries because it’s considered immoral or homosexuality still illegal. The more global the audience, the more conservative the leads they’ll present if the intention is profit. Hence why so many actors go to great lengths to promote the family man image. It’s all about money.

  25. Betti says:

    Everyone has been the victim of racism, wether you realise it or not. Some people are just more overt with their idiocy. Every culture has its racists its not just a white against black problem as what this whole Oscar debacle seems to be promoting. Yes i know the Academy is made up of mostly white members but what about people of other ethnicities that missed out – why are people focusing solely on black performers? Yes they are the one speaking out but lets not forget the other talented people who missed out too – those people might not have a ‘superstar’ like the Smiths or Spike Lee to speak for them.

    • LAK says:

      I know i’ll get a tonne of blow back, but can I just jump for joy at Alejandro Innuritu’s nomination?

      What these discussions have taught me, is that Alejandro, despite being Mexican, is apparently the wrong type of ethnic, and therefore we can’t celebrate his triumph.

      …..but dammit, he was nominated so i’m celebrating.

      • Betti says:

        I’ll jump for joy and celebrate with you!

        While these type of discussions need to happen people are too focused on one particular group, making it into some sort of witch hunt against them instead of the injustice of a system that effects EVERYONE.

      • me says:

        Wrong type of ethnic? That’s insane. I’m very happy for his nomination ! But I understand where you are coming from. This Oscar debacle is not simply about White vs. Black. It’s about Hollywood vs. diversity of ALL kinds.

      • Josefina says:

        I still think the issue is not about the Academy hating non-whites as much as it is about Hollywood wanting to remain the same it has always been.

        Before these 2 years, black people were usually nominated and even won the awards – for playing stereotypical roles. Maids, thugs, slaves, etc. Having a black character shown in a different, non-victimizing, non-subservient way? Eh, no, that’s just not believable.

        Cuarón and Iñarritu have been awarded and they are both Mexican. Good for them! I love Iñárritu’s movies. He’s brilliant. But is he really different from all the other white guys in Hollywood? Birdman, Gravity and The Revenant are all movies about white people.

        I’m not saying just because they are Mexican they should do movies about Mexican people. But they are directors, working behind the cameras directing white people. They keep the Hollywood status quo as it is. Of course the Academy wouldn’t mind.

      • LAK says:

        ME: Yep! Colour me flummoxed.

      • LAK says:

        Josephina: Between his Hollywood breakthrough in 2000 and 2015, Alejandro has produced or directed a mixed bag of films that reflect Hollywood and his mexican/latino heritage.

        He frequently works with mixed casts and or promotes films from his native Mexico, but I guess in the light of the 2 films in consecutive years where he has worked on ‘white’ stories, all else has been swept under the rug. And based upon your comments, i’m assuming he came to your radar as a result of this controversy which is why you’ve come to this opinion about him and completely ignored his track record.

        As far as nominations go, he’s frequently nominated for his films by various boards globally, but to be specfic about the Oscars, 2014 wasn’t his first rodeo, as my American friends say.

        His 2011 film BIUTIFUL yielded 2 nominations for Jarvier Bardem (best supporting actor) and Best Foreign Film (Mexico/Spain)

        In 2007 he wa nominated for best director for BABEL, a film that also produced nominations for Rinko Kukuchi, Japanese actress, and Adriana Barrazza, Mexican actress in the Supporting actor category as well as his frequent collaborator Guillermo Arriaga.

        I’d suggest you look at his IMDB page before lumping him with all the other people in Hollywood who do nothing for other races.

      • Josefina says:

        @LAK

        I’m very familiar with his work actually. My opinion stays the same. Biutifiul was very much a Spanish film, set in Spain, and staring a Spanish actor. Spain is not a part of Latin America.

        As for Babel? I talked in my previous post about stereotypes and the Hollywood status quo. The Mexican characters in Babel were all uncultured. Adriana’s character was a maid and GGB’s was a farmer (was him? I don’t remember). Mexico was shown as a desert full of poverty and dead chickens. That sounds like a very stereotypical portrayal of a country AGI knows even better than I do.

        I’m not saying AGI is not doing anything for Latin America. He is highly respected as a filmmaker here and has done a lot to develop cinematic arts. But he’s Hollywood.

        I guess another way to put it would be, maybe if Ava DuVernay directed The Imitation Game or if Ryan Coogler wrote Creed with white characters, we’d be telling a different story.

      • mia girl says:

        Just to add LAK’s comment:
        Josefina – you also mentioned Cuarón, and aside from having produced BIUTIFUL which Iñarritu directed, he produced a movie being released this year, Desierto (which premiered at TIFF). It is a story of a Mexican immigrant crossing into the U.S. and is in English and Spanish.

        Both these men are telling a variety of stories (yes, some about white men or in the case of Cuarón and Gravity, about a white woman) but continue to support film both in Mexico and Latino/diversity focused projects in the U.S.

        I want to understand your point, but I’m not sure I do. It reads as if you are saying that once a minority film professional, in this case two directors, begin to make films about white people they loose the ability for their accomplishments to be lauded as the accomplishments of a racial/ethnic diverse person – and now they are just a Hollywood person and part of the problem?

        To your last point about the two AA directors possibly directing films about white people – - well isn’t that part of the point? That minority talent across all areas of film should have the opportunities to do this? Are you saying that we can’t truly celebrate the accomplishment of a minority unless the film project they are involved in reflects total diversity?

      • mia girl says:

        Let me add that I truly believe that we should be telling diverse stories with diverse casts and crew. That is the goal, what is right, and what we all need to strive for and demand. I also believe that part of that diversity of opportunity means that people across minority race/ethnicities can tell ANY story.

      • Josefina says:

        @mia girl
        I never said we shouldn’t be happy for them, and I actually explicitly said the fact they are Mexican doesn’t mean they should only do movies about Mexican people. I don’t see Iñárritu as a “sell-out” or anything like that.

        What I’m saying is we shouldn’t see Iñarritu’s inclusion as a symbol of progress from the Academy. He’s nominated for directing The Revenant, which is very much a movie about white men. The fact the director happens to be Mexican doesn’t make it any less a film about white men and white men only.

        Iñarritu, Cuaron, and all other directors from all ethnicities can be celebrated for their work. If they want to do movies about white people, fine. If the Academy wants to award those movies, fine. But don’t tell me the Academy is improving by nominating them, because their films are very much what Hollywood has always been about.

      • mia girl says:

        Josefina – Thanks for explaining. Maybe you didn’t mean to infer that he was a sell-out – but it read that way when you wrote : “But is he really different from all the other white guys in Hollywood?”

        I’m in agreement and don’t think most of us here are in anyway letting the Academy off the hook by celebrating the accomplishment of Iñarritu or Cuarón or I’ll add Chivo Lubezki. That said, I believe it does make a difference in today’s climate to see these Latino nominations and celebrate them as example of having qualified artists take the helm of major Hollywood films regardless of race/ethnicity. I would also make a point that these specific film makers are actually not “what Hollywood has always been about” – they are all making films that break Hollywood’s creative boundaries (i.e. Birdman is hardly a typical Hollywood film overall). If we only focus though on the diversity of the cast then yes, I get your point that the two most recent films Iñarritu has been nominated perpetuate the classic white male Academy film. But I still will see these nominations as positives garnered by minority voices in Hollywood.

      • noway says:

        I have a problem with this term white film or black film or now I guess hispanic or Latin American film. Why are these stories just for them. If someone truly wants to break the mold they need to do what the creators of the Broadway play Hamilton did. Guess who plays George Washington? An African- American male!!!!! Now if they can make a historical character that most in the US have seen a different race, I think a lot of roles can be cast with just the best actor.

      • LAK says:

        Your comments accuse him of being a sell-out and dismiss his track record yet in the same breath you say that’s not what you are doing?

        You object to a Mexican man telling his Mexican stories/experiences and say he panders to Hollywood and in the next breath deny it?

        seriously?

  26. Cassie says:

    Let’s talk about the high number of young boys and girls who are very much Americans but because their origins are from South Korea, China, Japan and Hong Kong they have to get out of USA to try a musical or movie career of success. Did you ever heard about KPop? It’s full of American kids who are victims of racism in their own country.

    • annaloo. says:

      But is it racist that K-Pop is not Beyoncé huge here? A lot of K-Pop (which I love) is not in English, which I think is a barrier.

      However, I will definitely second you about the lack of Asian presence in Hollywood. This is a HUGE group in the states. How is it they are still so invisible except when we want to talk about dining cuisine or tech? :-/

  27. me says:

    Yes Kpop is very popular among the young crowd right now ! It’s sad they have to do this though. I know of people who are of Indian decent, born and raised in North America but travel to India to make it in Bollywood because they can’t even get auditions here.

    • annaloo. says:

      This is what people don’t see– how rich we are here in this country, but because we like to have our culture served to us through one cultural filter, we see talent leave. I would love to our pop culture become more reflective of the global influences that are raised in the US. We are so powerful, and we waste our cultural potential and treasure by not valuing it, by only looking at one type. Maybe if Kpop was in English, it would feel more accessible? I feel there is a lot of Asian influence in video games and video art, so I think young Americans especially, would be open to it. As for Bollywood, I am hopeful to see more Indian influence here in the states – there is so much joy and family and richness in it.

      • LAK says:

        Same thing happens with Indian actors from Blighty – see Katrina Kaif.

      • me says:

        @ LAK

        Yes, she is half Kashmiri and half Caucasian. Her Hindi is horrible. At first they would dub her voice in movies. She has gotten better. But what I don’t understand is if her Hindi was so bad, why hire her? There are plenty of Indian actresses from Britain, Canada, USA that can speak Hindi fluently. Either way Bollywood has it’s own issues. They prefer light skinned actresses that look like models…doesn’t matter if you can act or not or even speak the damn language lol. So much needs to change in our world, we’re all so f*cked up.

      • kibbles says:

        Katrina Kaif hit her prime about 3-5 years ago. She was beautiful but recently has been looking awfully plastic and botoxy. I also don’t think she is as demand as she used to be. Anyway, it is true that she got where she is on her good looks and fair skin because she can’t speak Hindi and doesn’t have a lot of acting talent. But to look at it another way, I have seen a lot of horrible remarks made against her because she is mixed. There are always two sides of the coin. People who prop someone like Katrina to stardom because of her whiteness and other people who hate her for those same reasons (she isn’t Indian enough). Unfortunately, I don’t think this will ever go away. People will always remain tribal and for those who come from homogeneous societies and communities, they will likely be more nationalistic and protective of keeping their race pure.

    • Bianca says:

      There was also a Miss America of Indian descent recently that said she would never be accepted in India because her skin was too dark. In Bollywood, note how all the stars have fairer skin and look often of mixed race. Huge racial cast system in India. Bill Mahr is right. Look at the racism the half black half Japanese miss Japan faces in her country. Look at the face whitening cream market in South Korea, Japan, China, Thailand etc. I believe the US, despite all the negative media perceptions today, is much more progressive (though not as much as Canada, my country) than other countries today. I’m not saying there is no racism here, but certain other countries have farther to go. And you can yell at me for saying it but there is racism against white people in Japan. My brother in law and some right wing nazi like group in Japan scream at him in Tokyo

  28. Miran says:

    Okay, before I go any further, I was born and raised in South Korea, so this is just my experience and doesnt necessarily reflect all Asians. It is true that there is a large issue with race in Asia, as a portion of the population does tend to be very xenophobic. Like Annaloo said above, the idea of marrying outside ones own ethnic group in Korea is seen as a crisis and not diversification. My grandmothers first husband was an American GI, she moved all the way to the US before divorcing and returning to Korea. When she returned she was “tainted” and shunned. Some stars of color are well received in Asia but honestly, we have our own movies and its sort of a cop out on hollywoods part to blame their problems on asian markets. It could be part of it but they still need to reflect inward at themselves. I love my country and am proud of who i am but i couldnt live there again, after living in america and seeing how awfully misrepresented other races are in asian media.

  29. CB says:

    I’m Asian and sadly I have to agree with Maher. As a culture *in general*, Asians are pretty racist. They are even quite open about it.

    • Miran says:

      It is, unfortunately, true in many aspects.

    • mee says:

      yes, i’m asian american and unfortunately it’s true, many asians are racist. so america is not alone in its race problem. one good thing is that the u.s. is more open about the issue and this dialogue alone is a sign that progress/change may occur.

  30. Sarah01 says:

    Racism exists in all groups. its wrong to think only a specific group can be racist. One of the mothers ( Chinese) in my older sons school wouldn’t let her son date a half Malaysian half Somalian girl, but told her son white girl would be ok.
    But that’s not reflective of entire group.
    alot of what bill says is inflammatory.

    • word says:

      We can sit here all day and talk about how racist All cultures are but what is this going to prove? For all you know that girl’s parents might not have been ok with her dating a Chinese boy. It can go both ways you know.

      • Sarah01 says:

        True, but in this case the mother was not happy. He still continues to date her just unbeknownst to his mother. He hangs out at his girlfriends home ( with a whole group of friends including my son) so I’m sure her parents are ok with her dating him. It’s actually nice to see that he aswell as the other kids are thinking indepedantly without their parents biases, that generally create division.
        As I clearly said above racism is not exclusive to one group.

  31. ela says:

    Wasn’t The Rock, recently declared the biggest international box office star of 2015? Pretty sure, he is a person of colour. And yes, while a lot of that money probable came from Fast and Furious, it was a diverse cast. Once again, the hard solid numbers are there to contradict these excuses.

  32. Josefina says:

    I just have to say, reading the comments here, how some people have this notion racism is a problem exclusive to the USA, or that the USA’s history with racism is sort of special and different from that of the rest of the world.

    Say what? I’ll put my hands on the fire and say racial prejudice has been a problem in every single country in the world. I’m latina and over here we have a HUGE history of racism. Against our natives, against Africans, against immigrants from everywhere, etc. Why is it a revelation to some people Asians can be racist as well?

    • TOPgirl says:

      Every group can be racist…no denying that. But what do Asians have to do with the OSCARS being racist? Explain that to me.

  33. Babas Ghanoush says:

    He’s awful. And not very bright!

    • Kat says:

      I strongly beg to differ! You may not care for all of his opinions, but he’s never been discreet about his disdain for political correctness (as indicated by the name of his first series) and I’d argue that he’s highly intelligent and well-informed about the subjects he discusses.

      I think he’s probably at a stage where he’s now indifferent to other people’s over-sensitivity to what can and can’t be said. Maher is informed and he has strong view points, particularly where religious conservatives and regressive liberals are concerned. Maybe he’s at the age where, like George Carlin, he doesn’t care about whose “feewings get hoit” by his POVs. Personally, I find him sensible and refreshing. Different strokes, I guess.

  34. kibbles says:

    This is a sweeping over generalization of Asians. It’s true that there is racism in the Asian community but his statements are the same as thinking all Muslims are terrorists. Despite problems within a particular culture, if people like Maher really spent time living in these countries, they’d be pleasantly surprised that many people are more open minded and tolerant than a lot of Americans. There are black celebrities who are extremely popular in Asian countries. I have Asian friends who like Idris Elba and Denzel Washington. There is a Ghana born man who is famous in South Korea; his name is Sam Okyere for those who choose to google him. He became famous after learning Korean and appearing on television programs there. Despite the need for progress to be made in these mostly homogeneous Asian countries, I would say that a black person would still be safer in any East Asian country than in America where he or she would be much more likely killed by a white police officer or NRA gun lover.

  35. TOPgirl says:

    I demand an apology from this racist white man who does not seem to understand that it’s his blatant ignorance that’s causing so much racism in the world not to leave out of his ability to freely speak about his racism on television influencing some idiots in the world to believe him.

  36. Alarmjaguar says:

    By that logic then Hollywood should be employing tons of Asian actors, which it isn’t. Gah, my head is spinning with this BS

  37. jojo says:

    hey Kaiser, since you seem to be interested in covering gender/race issues and hollywood, I thought you might want to cover this:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/01/25/researchers-have-discovered-a-major-problem-with-the-little-mermaid-and-other-disney-movies/

  38. Sevin says:

    Leave Bill alone!!! He’s only giving his opinion – which is his right. Everyone is racist to a degree.

  39. Maria says:

    Rich old jewish white man say what?! Puhleez you are part of the problem you racist chauvinist pig.

    • Jess says:

      What does him being jewish have to do with it? I loathe Bill Maher but the jewish comment was completely unnecessary.

      • Kat says:

        THIS! Thank you.

      • delphi says:

        Yep. Half-Jewish by genetics, raised Catholic, now an athiest. But excuse me if I take offense to your comment, cupcake. Yes, being Caucasian does give you an advantage in a lot of things…nobody is disputing that. But I’ve had my fair share of opportunities lost and doors slammed in my face (both proverbially and literally) just because of my last name. Sooooooo…generalizations are really not cool. By anyone against anyone.

        Mazel tov.

      • jfesq says:

        But of course you are OK with him saying all Asians are racist and pitting all the races against them.

    • LAK says:

      Just to point out that Bill Maher isn’t Jewish. He was a catholic and is now atheist.

  40. Snarky says:

    Sorry, I disagree with you. You might find his views repugnant, but his argument is FAR from invalid.

    I’ve lived in East Asia for ages. I speak fluent Chinese. And the truth about the way that skin color works here is as follows:

    1. White is money. White is quality. If we see white, we shell out for it. We want white more than we want ourselves.

    I have seen billboards in villages I busses through. People squatting in paddies, no white person for miles. You want to know what I saw selling baby food to Chinese people? White people, feeding their white babies.

    People here are even professionally white. They are less than politely termed white dancing monkeys…it is more or less what they are. I once got paid almost 200 bucks to stand in front of real estate and looking like my white ass lived there. I did it for the laughs…other people do it FOR A LIVING.

    2. They want to see themselves. Have you noticed how many big budget films now have China awkwardly worked into the plot, like it was forced there? Or some half-thought out Chinese character? It’s what China wants. And being a face culture, China doesn’t care how naturally it is worked into the plot. It just wants to be there. It’s very understandable–people want to see people like them.

    3. I don’t actually know who is on the bottom. Chinese culture tends to fear blacks, see South Asians as poor (in China, poor is worse than nothing), and Filippinos as scum who keep raising problems when China comes for Phillipine islands.

    Yes, there are exceptions…but the culture here, as a marketing cohort, absolutely sees the world this way, and behaves accordingly.

    Hollywood wants China…so that is the direction movies will go.

    • Kat says:

      Your comment just brought up memories of that awful ‘Fair and Lovely’ face cream that they shill out in South Asia. When you consider how many cultures were oppressed by British Imperialism, you would think that Asians would take even more pride in their own heritage, race, etc. but the opposite seems to be the case. I have quite a few Indian friends, and the attraction their culture has to light skin & eyes is quite sad. The favourtism of lighter complexions in social and professional circles is still pervasive, and I still can’t wrap my head around it…maybe because I just find it so stupid.

      • Snarky says:

        It is sad. You can’t step into eplevators in East Asia without seeing adverts for the double lid surgeries. Those are ubiquitous…it you couldn’t walk two feet in a Western city without finding nose job pamphlets, you would know the people there had major, sad inferiority complexes. Chinese do not associate Chinese looks with success. And they associate other people of color with less than that.

        That is another reason Maher is right. Hollywood could court the China market and stand for something…but they just assume Chinese are too stupid. If Hollywood made movies with elements that China likes, and included people of color…Chinese would watch the movies. And they would see people of color as people. In a country where over 90%of the populace are the same ethnic group, movies could be the only venue for a Chinese audience to see other races as people.

        But Hollywood is too lazy for that. Let’s not be mad at Maher. Let’s be mad at the execs. Maher is right.

  41. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    Agree re Maher. I used to love him & his show. I don’t dislike him entirely (yet), but he’s had some serious misfires..

  42. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    Umm….okay…now I’ve read the entire article. Wtf? Maybe he really has smoked too much weed or does other drugs that are affecting him.

  43. jawnyjawn says:

    I work very closely in my delivery job with a lot of Asians ( I mean immigrant Asians that did not grow up in America) who own stores in black neighborhood s. Maher is 100% right immigrant Asians are EXTREMELY racist, especially against blacks. They assume because I am white I am racist and they constantly talk about how much they hate blacks and complain about their behavior. And yes it is almost all of them. If they aren’t talking about gambling they are being racist as shit. And yes movies today make the majority of their money in china.

  44. jfesq says:

    Then why are Asians the most stereotyped, whitewashed, under-represented, group in the cinematic industry with respect to their proportionate share? They don’t want to see themselves? Remember Aaron Sorkin’s comment from the Sony hack? There are no Asian movie stars. Not to mention, guess which country has been and remains the largest market by box office, has the largest number of film productions and leads movie production? The United States. No, Asians are not more racist than Whites. Sorry, you can’t pin white racism on the Asians, Bill. I just lost a lot of respect for him.