AFP reports today that a film about an Australian-Chinese war hero has provoked name calling from Chinese lobby groups.
Billy Sing, a legendary sniper who killed over 200 enemies in Gallipoli, is the inspiration, nay, course material for the upcoming Australian television film “The Legend of Billy Sing”.
In it Sing will be played by a Caucasian actor.
“I’m very sorry to learn that somebody is trying to whitewash a Chinese-Australian face with a white face. It’s a disgrace,” said Tony Pang, president of the Chinese Australian Forum to AFP.
Racism and charges of nepotism (the director has cast his son to play the role) are barbs that have also been thrown
Looking at the photo, it’s hard not to think these labels are a bit overdone. I’ll pay your nepotism BUT Sing is half Chinese. IF! the story neglects to note he is Chinese, by maybe, I don’t know, saying he isn’t half Chinese, then I’ll be the first with whitewash on my hands.
But if they define him as half-Chinese in the movie and have a white actor standing there… well the film won’t be taken seriously anyway.
Relax. The fact this story made it to AFP and China Daily will now almost certainly mean people will want a debate about whitewashing.
Let’s just mention Robert Downey Jnr. and be done with it.