A mini-series about a Chinese-Australian war hero! Amazing! Awesome stuff!
Davis said the problem in casting Sing as a Chinese-Australian arose when he couldn't find a 60-year-old Chinese actor to play his father.Do you know who is playing Billy? THE DIRECTOR'S WHITE SON. DO YOU SEE WHAT THE PROBLEM IS HERE? APPARENTLY THERE ARE NO OLDER CHINESE ACTORS.
"Asking Tony to play it as Chinese would not only have been racist and demeaning. It was also financially irrelevant -- we could not have afforded the make-up," he said. "Whatever his genetic background, his culture was Australian. To me, he's very representative of every Australian whose parents were not born here.
NO OLDER CHINESE ACTORS.
From the article:
Former Nationals senator Bill O'Chee, who became an army reservist when he left parliament in 1999 and was born to a Chinese father and an Irish-Australian mother, was "deeply disappointed" by the production.When conservative, old, white guys are telling you that you can't whitewash someone, MAYBE IT IS TIME TO REALISE YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG?!
"We'll now have people growing up thinking Billy Sing was white. But we are jealous of his memory," he said. Federal Queensland Liberal MP Don Cameron, who found the site of the South Brisbane boarding house where Sing died in 1943 with five shillings on his bedside, said it was "tragically wrong" to have the sniper played by a white.
But it's not like media representation is important or anything. I mean, it's not like people would come* out of watching this mini-series thinking Billy Sing was white or anything! We can just tell him that he was Chinese-Australian! BECAUSE THAT'S WORKED SO WELL BEFORE.
No Chinese actors to play his dad! It's not like they couldn't have GOT A CHINESE ACTOR FROM CHINA OR SOMETHING, IF THERE REALLY REALLY REALLY AREN'T ANY OLDER AUSTRALIAN ACTORS OF CHINESE DESCENT.**
Here is some more reading on representation on Australin tv:
how would we look from outer space? by Shiny New Coin
The lack of Asians on Australian TV, and why it matters at Eurasian Sensation.
And the wiki link for Billy Sing.
Dude was a dude, and he was a mixed-race Chinese-Australian dude, and everyone should know that, especially so we can combat that THIS COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED ON WHITE ARMY HEROES IN THE WAR myth.
ETA: Yuey has posted a follow up post here.
*I say 'would' because this series has not yet been picked up for airing.
**I'm pretty skeptical of this, that there are no older Chinese Australian actors.