Director Jon M. Chu Regrets Some Stereotypical Roles in 'Crazy Rich Asians'

On set of 'Crazy Rich Asians'Credit: Warner Bros.
Jon M. Chu made an excellent movie, but has small things he wants to address moving forward. 

They say that directing a feature is just an accumulation of knowledge to use on your next project. Well, for Jon M. Chu, that seems to ring true. His 2018 blockbuster, Crazy Rich Asians, was a massive success. 

While there was unfair pressure on him to represent all of Asia, Chu rose to the occasion and made a hilarious romantic comedy that did a great job taking the novel and adapting it to the screen. 

Recently, the movie has come under scrutiny for the way it treats some South Asian cultures and characters. Chu has responded to the criticism, telling Insider he wished he had made the characters "more human."

The main issue that comes up is that these South Asian people really only show up in the movie as guards or servants in subservient roles. 

Chu explained, "That's a lesson that I did not understand until it happened. I was like, this is a book that exists, and I'm making this book into a movie. I can't add a new character into this book."

But after making the movie, Chu rethought that out, knowing he could have expanded those characters more. One scene, in particular, involves the characters of Rachel and Peik Lin lost on their way to a party when they run into a wall of guards. These guards circle their car and scare them.

"Looking back, I should have had a joke there [for the guards] being like, 'These idiots,'" Chu said. "There's stuff to do to make them more human instead of just, like, these guards."

These are really interesting thoughts and show a general idea of what we may get in a sequel to the movie. But there is a lot of pressure on one person to get every culture on screen and developed. That cannot be the standard. 

Hollywood needs to make more movies where these diverse cultures are at the center and have their own stories on the big screen. As Chu continued to tell Insider, "Listen, we need to have more movies, you need to have more filmmakers so that it doesn't rest on one movie."

We'll see if Hollywood gets the message. 

Let us know what you think in the comments.      

Your Comment


Jesus, good comedy is based on ripping stereotypes. People need to relax and not be so hyper sensitive.

June 9, 2021 at 10:18AM


Ugh, they were fine. And, frankly, accurate. I hate this hyper-sensitivity towards everything these days. Geez, calm down.

June 9, 2021 at 11:58AM


First with Cameron Crowe about Aloha, now this guy...

Are you telling me from acquisition all the way through the multi-year process it takes to get to the silver screen, that nobody on the team thought enough about it to actually address it waaaayyyyy before exhibition?

What a bunch of cowards- NEVER apologize for your art!

June 11, 2021 at 1:19PM

Studio Executive

Yeah I'm with these guys on the comments; enough with these whiny colored folks and their crying about racial stereotypes and proper representation and bullshit like that! And while we're at it, the same goes for women folk too, stop whining about equal pay and sexism and all that! See, none of that bothers me so it shouldn't bother anyone else. You don't see me whining about the white man being stereotyped or that we don't have enough representation and whatnot! So if I'm good, so should everyone else, especially colored folk and women folk. Like that Bishop guy says, good comedy is based on "rippin stereotypes", not clever, innovative writing that raises the bar with unique and tasteful jokes that don't rely on lazy stereotypes or racist, outdated, sexist tropes, no! Just simply "ripping stereotypes" is good enough for me! (as long as the those "ripped stereotypes" don't offend me and my sensibilities of course. THEN we have a problem. I mean, you can offend everyone else, but not me or my kind). And like the the other two guys say, stop being hyper sensitive and NEVER apologize for your art, no matter how dumb, lazy, racist, sexist, or outdated it may be!

June 12, 2021 at 12:57AM, Edited June 12, 12:59AM