Firefly&Serenity, where are the Chinese?

Yes! If we’d got more than one season–or even one full season–we surely would have seen more Asians. (Would they still be “Chinese” so far from Earth?)

With more shows & a bigger budget, we might have seen more of the main worlds. Instead of places on the edge that resembled rural Southern California.

I agree, and it did bother me a lot. I never thought Firefly was the end-all be-all of shows, though I do like it OK. But the almost all-white cast really bothered me. There’s no reason why, for example, Inara couldn’t have been Chinese.

I wonder how often a part that was intended to be played by a white actor is given to a minority actor because they were “too good to turn down”. My guess is never.

Thank you. I wanted to say that, but decided not to…

Well, you’re a lot more tactful than me.

How about this? At some point China becomes the dominate economic and perhaps social country on Earth, which seems easily possible. So, for many folks on the planet, you gotta know some Chinese to get along. And if they export large amounts of the their culture as well thats gonna permeate other cultures as well (this sorta thing has already happened with America and English to some extent). But that is not the same as turning the rest of the world “genetically” chinese.

Then at some point some WASPY type country sends out colonist. They will talk some chinese but it will still be a bunch of WASPs out there.

It works as a fanwank but still has the problem of being inconsistent with information Whedon has laid out, including the concept that a lot of the Chinese cultural cross-pollination between immigrant populations happened during the interstellar voyage rather than before.

Ahhh yes. Though I guess you could argue for some mechanism that still kept cross cultural shagging from going on at any great level. I think Whedon deserves some credit at least for making a show about the future where it isnt America/American culture that is by far the most dominate influence. Its a shame that show got cancel. I liked it and thought it had potential.

And where are all the starburst eating kilt wearing Scot Koreans?

It’s actually very easy to explain when you think about it. There was one Chinese guy on the ships from Earth-That-Was.

You know how that works. Carlin did an entire routine on it. Before too long the white people are acting more Chinese than the Chinese guy. Compare the number of white kids who dress like they live in Compton with the number of black kids who wear J. Crew.

Has Joss Whedon himself every said anything about this (I don’t know the source of a lot of the statements mentioned in this thread about the casting)? I can imagine that he might not, not wanting to make waves for his career, but he never struck me as the racist type, and I can imagine that at that point, he might not have had a lot of control over casting and such.

The obvious reason is because the intended audience is mostly white.

My nephews are half Chinese and half Caucasian. If you were judging purely on appearance, they appear Caucasian. This is pretty common for part-Asian people. For some reason, the features that look Asian are only prominent on fully Asian people. I have a friend who was something like 15/16 Japanese and he could pass for white if he wanted to.
I state this only for informational purposes. The real reasons are fairly clear.

There’s certainly a lot of racism in Hollywood, but it’s also the case that Chinese and other Asians make up a relatively small minority of the population, that the fact of racism may discourage them from seeking work in Hollywood, that first generation Asian culture is likely to disparage acting or showbiz as a career choice (and that those values may filter down in weakened form to later generations), the result of all of which is that although there are certainly plenty of good Asian actors who can’t get a job because of their ethnicity, if you put out a casting call you are likely to get any, many more non-Asians than Asians, such that even if you give preference to Asian actors, you may end up seeing relatively few of them.

That’s not to defend the situation, but it does mean that for a producer of limited clout working on a small budget, it might be next to impossible to get many Asians on your show unless you pitched it to the network that way and have their backing.

On the other hand, I’m fully white, but my fully Korean stepmother thinks I look more Asian than her kids! (Though admittedly, they’re half-white, so maybe that reinforces your point.)

Michael Clarke Duncan, a black man, played Kingpin, a white character, in DareDevil. Even Duncan himself had reservations about playing him due to him being black but was otherwise perfect for the role.

It happens.

Nick Fury was always white until Samuel L. Jackson stepped into the role.

Not quite. Didn’t they create Ultimate Nick Fury based on Jackson first, and then cast him in the role? I think he even said he wouldn’t sue them for using his likeness as long as they agreed to cast him in any movie they made (before any movies were actually planned).

Another example is Idris Elba as Heimdall in Thor. Idris is black while Heimdall, a Norse god, is not.

There were only 13 episodes made. Simplest explanation is just that we never got to them before the series got canned.

Says who? The Asgardians aren’t human; they simply resemble humans superficially (although they would say that humans resemble them). Why should they all be the same skin color?

Says anyone that is familiar with the comics continuity. This character is not black.