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Actress Gemma Chan discusses diversity in the film industry

·1-min read

Actress Gemma Chan has said Asian women being able to play protagonists in stories is only a “fairly recent thing”.

The Crazy Rich Asians star told British Vogue there are very few Asian people in “gatekeeping” positions within the film industry.

She features on the cover of the September issue of the magazine.

The MET Gala 2019 – New York
Gemma Chan (Jennifer Graylock/PA)

“It’s only a fairly recent thing that Asian females have been able to be the protagonists of stories,” Chan said.

“Individual successes are one thing. But structurally, when you look at who can actually get projects green-lit in the UK, who are in those positions of power, those gatekeeping positions – there aren’t that many Asians.

“There aren’t many people of colour in those positions.”

Chan will play the lead role of Sersi in upcoming Marvel film Eternals.

“Sersi is not your typical superhero: she’s not necessarily the best fighter, she doesn’t have the most obviously impressive powers,” Chan said.

“The main thing is she’s an empath. She has a connection with humans, and with the world and the earth.

“That is her strength, so I leant into that.”

Gemma Chan (British Vogue/PA)
Gemma Chan (British Vogue/PA)

Chan also said different campaigns for racial equality need to work together.

“If only black people care about Black Lives Matter, then nothing is going to change,” she said.

“And if only Asians are talking about Stop Asian Hate, nothing is going to change.

“And it’s only when we stick up for one another, and we stand side by side, that things will shift.”

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