John Cho responds to #starringJohnCho

Liz Tse
Yahoo7 Entertainment


To catch you up to speed, Star Trek star John Cho has found himself at the centre of the Twitterverse recently thanks to the hashtag #StarringJohnCho.

The idea behind the movement was to feature the Asian-American actor in major film roles to tackle the issue of 'whitewashing' in Hollywood - by PhotoShopping John Cho's face onto the lead of white male characters in movie posters.

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But what does John Cho have to say about it all? A lot, as it turns out.

"I thought the idea was fantastic," he told Yahoo7.

"I loved that it was sparking this discussion that otherwise we wouldn't be having and it did it in a postive way. It [the campaign] was kind of silly, but then people really did have that discussion, and it did get people thinking about it. I felt like it was me on the poster but it wasn't really about me. I really dig it."

He added: "This experience made me reflect on how people think. In the United States, we're very aware of racism, and that pertains to African Americans because it's built into this dark period - obviously slavery - and so that's on the forefront of people's minds, and often a topic of discussion. In that sense racism towards African Americans as an example is something people can recognise as existing.

"Preconceived notions and stereotypes of Asians is something people don't think about or recognise. It's a similar attitude towards women. There's so much chauvinism in the world and patriarchal viewpoints but it's so embedded in our culture that people don't even realise.

He continued: "That's what the hash tag is highlighting, like, 'Are you aware this is happening?'"

The 43-year-old actor says he's found the internet's response to be surprisingly supportive.

"I'm not on Twitter all the time but I check in and my impression - and this is not a scientific study - is that it's been positive," he revealed.

"I didn't realise or think how open people would be about it, but people have been overwhelmingly positive."

The hashtag has gained so much momentum that the campaign has grown to include actress Constance Wu.

Throwing her support behind the cause, Constance tweeted: "Follow @starringjohncho & let's keep talking bout #whitewashedOUT bc our stories and hearts are real & deep & meaningful. Invisible no more!"

Your move, Hollywood.

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