‘Yellowface’: An Exploration of Hollywood’s Film History with the Yellow Race
Document Type Thesis
Advised by Professor Susan Bishop
Arts and Entertainment Management
This study explores the history behind Hollywood’s relationship with the depiction of Asians and Asian Americans in film. Through tracking examples of Hollywood’s use of yellowface and whitewashing in movies from the 1920s into modern day, the study explores the historical and financial reasons behind controversial casting decisions, and how they affect the perceived image of Asians in America. In exploring the quantitative aspect, three films created within the last five years that were known to have participated in whitewashing were chosen and analyzed critically and financially. The data from these three movies were then used in comparison to Crazy Rich Asians (2018), a recently released film starring an international Asian cast in order to analyze whether casting controversies can affect the financial box office success of a film.