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The ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ co-writer quitting reflects wrongdoings in the industry

The ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ co-writer quitting reflects wrongdoings in the industry

The ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ co-writer quitting reflects wrongdoings in the industry
September 24
14:42 2019

Adele Lim, co-writer of the hit film “Crazy Rich Asians,” dropped out from the sequel after she found out that another writer, Peter Chiarelli, was getting paid more than her.

According to The Guardian, Chiarelli was making around $800,000 to $1 million while Lim was making around $110,000.

Not only is this degrading, but it’s also an insult to minority women and Asian culture.

According to The Economic Times, Chiarelli tried to offer a solution by dividing his pay with Lim, but she refused.

She said that if she wasn’t able to match the same pay Chiarelli was getting, then there would be no chance for other women of color to obtain the same pay. Lim’s pay should be equivalent to, or more, than Chiarelli. She helped contribute to the screenplay, so why should her pay be so much less than her male counterpart?

Women already don’t get paid similarly to men in the industry, and it’s even less for women of color.

It’s discouraging to see a person with real-life experience and knowledge about being an Asian American get the short end of the stick. The gender gap is utterly unfair and there is no real reason for anyone who puts in work and dedication to their job go unrecognized or underpaid.

As for the movie itself, it is still pretty spectacular. The Asian representation was prevalent and meant a lot to me as an Asian American woman. In movies I would watch when I was younger, if there was an Asian character, it seemed that they would only appear to be the token Asian character or have a thick, ridiculous Asian accent. It was stereotypical and demeaning.

I believed that even if there was one properly represented Asian character in a big mainstream movie, it could help pave the way for young Asian American girls like me. But it wasn’t enough and it still isn’t.

However, after watching “Crazy Rich Asians” in theaters, I couldn’t believe that I was watching a movie with people that looked like me that also shared similar goals and ambitions.

I finally felt that Asian culture was appreciated and not fetishized. I believe that we’ve come a long way in terms of representation, but we’re still not there yet.

Lim deserves the same right as any hardworking screenwriter and she deserves more than what the industry is offering her.

To have an Asian American woman write about Asian experiences and their culture makes more sense to me than it would for a white man. Simply put, I don’t want a white man to tell my story.

No creative mind should have to seek for better pay when their ideas have helped make an impact on many people.

Featured Illustration: Jeselle Farias

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Davie Nguyen

Davie Nguyen

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