Hi please respond privately! I was wondering what you thought of other asian women (like Filipino or Korean) auditioning for moana? I’m both of those and not that I am going to audition (I suck) but just wondering what u thought of it. Because on one hand asian representation is lacking severely but the bill calls for a very specific ethnicity and that needs to be respected imo. How would you predict the WOC community will respond to a different asian women voicing the character?

I screenshot this and am posting it because I think it’s an important question to be addressed publicly. As none of us are Pacific Islanders I don’t think it’s really appropriate for us to respond. 

I do want point out that the post we signal boosted was not calling for Asian voice actors. It was calling for Pacific Islander – specifically Maori – voice actors. It’s really important not to conflate these identities. Many of our Pacific Islander followers have explicitly told us they are not Asian (although of course folks identify as both and that is up to them). 

And so I want to open this up to our followers who are Pacific Islanders (especially if any of you are Maori). We can post/reblog your comments.

– Jennifer 

“Other Asian women” implies that we Pacific Islanders are Asian in the first place.

We are not. Do not get me started on this so I’m going to skip that rant and move on.

Personally, I would be really angry. I’m not Maori, but I am Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian). Yes, Asian representation is fairly lacking, but you know what’s MORE lacking? Proper indigenous representation period. White women are consistently cast in our parts across nations, and our cultures are consistently exploited and mocked by literally everyone no matter the race.

Honestly? I predict that if another WoC is cast instead of a living breathing Polynesian (of which there are THOUSANDS OF TALENTED ESPECIALLY IN THE ART OF MUSIC), I expect the WoC community by large will not make a peep. I expect to see some people, but no one really taking up arms about it because they’ll say “well what about x race’s opportunities too??!!!?!?”. People don’t fight the same battles, and solidarity tends to come fairly limited as much as we’d like to tell ourselves we’re all on the same side. Example, the nonblack hijacking of #BlackLivesMatter across the board because “what about US???”, instead of focusing on the fact that this issue is about black people and we should be supporting them. When I DO see people do this about someone else being cast as Moana (if they do), I will call them out, unfollow, ignore, the works. I expect to get verbally bludgeoned for it, no doubt.

It is not “on one hand Asian representation is lacking severely”, it’s “Native peoples will be lucky if they even get to play someone of their own people”. Tiger Lily, Tonto, anyone? The Asian community should be well-aware that there has been yellowface taking the place of deserving Asian actors since Hollywood’s inception. Why would you want to take away the chance of someone finally FINALLY getting a teenie bit more of their own representation, because you’re not getting “enough” (when we get barely anything at all in the large scheme of representation).

Representation at the cost of that of other minorities isn’t representation. It’s a violent action that upholds white supremacy and colonist imperialism. If an individual is willing to ignore that and go for the part anyway, I’d seriously call their priorities into question as well as recognizing that they are actively taking part in media genocide against Native peoples – and that goes for whomever casts them too.

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