Jimmy Wong, who played Ling in Disney’s recent live-action remake of Mulan, recently took to twitter to call out Amazon’s The Boys and Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy for featuring Asian characters with barely any dialogue.
“Least favorite acting thing I’ve noticed during pandemic binge watching: incredibly sexy and good looking Asian actors playing characters with barely ANY dialogue because it’s supposed to be…mysterious?” Wong said in his post.
In the tweet he also shared images of Karen Fukuhara in The Boys, where she plays a mute superhero named Kimiko, and an image of Justin H. Min, who plays a super-powered ghost named Ben in The Umbrella Academy.
While some fans replied to Wong to explain the reasons why these specific characters don’t have a lot of dialogue, Wong explained that they are only a part of a larger trend of near-silent characters of color. In a reply tweet, he posted a twitter thread that listed other characters of color who weren’t given speaking time equal to their costars, including Fukuhara as Katana in Suicide Squad.
Wong noted that in an interview earlier this year, The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke expressed his regret over the portrayal of Kimiko in the first season.
“One of the things that I wished I could have done better in season one was to give Kimiko more of a voice,” Kripke said. “I think we stumbled inadvertently into a little bit of a trap. There’s the stereotype of a quiet Asian woman, and I was very conscious of not wanting to do that.”