more 21 talk

After a hit opening weekend at the box office, the furor of Hollywood's racist casting practices in 21 continues to get some attention, picking up some notice here and there outside of just APA-centric blogs. For those who are coming into this a little late, 21 is based on the bestselling book Bringing Down the House, the true story of how a group of MIT students perfected a blackjack card-counting system that took Vegas casinos for millions. In real life, the team was mostly Asian. In fantasy Hollywood movieland, the leads were beautiful white people.

Spotted this posting over at Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch Blog: Calling the bluff: Is '21' racist? This entry over at the movie blog Cinematical debates the issue of 21 and the "screwed-up Hollywood movie-making process": Discuss: Is '21' Racist for Changing the Ethnicities of Its Characters? The ensuing discussions in both blogs are pretty interesting, a few bonehead comments aside. At least people are talking about it.

Also worth checking out is this op-ed piece in MIT's paper by Alvin Lin, one of the most vocal opponents of 21 since this whole uproar started: '21' Discriminatory Casting Unjustified. If any good can come of this, in any case, it has people scrutinizing what we all know Hollywood does on a regular basis—excluding Asians from the process. While the movie was number one at the box office last weekend, I doubt it'll stay on top for long. Harold and Kumar is coming.

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