Crazy Rich Misrepresentation: Not everyone is happy about that ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ trailer

Photo: YouTube screengrab
Photo: YouTube screengrab

Welp, after months of hype and attempts to spot where filming was done around town, the trailer for Crazy Rich Asians was finally released, and it promises to showcase the glitz and glamour of being High SES in Singapore — plus veteran actress Michelle Yeoh pulling off her best Ice Queen/Tiger Mom impression.

Based on Kevin Kwan’s novel of the same name, the film’s plot revolves around a Chinese-American professor who’s swept away into the world of the filthy rich via her Singaporean boyfriend, whose family is the wealthiest in the Southeast Asian city-state. Crazy Rich Asians is supposed to be groundbreaking — it’ll be the first Hollywood flick featuring a full ensemble cast of (East) Asians; it’s a film that has Singapore as its main setting (even though a lot of the scenes were filmed in Malaysia); it’s a major blockbuster that’ll be relatable to those of Asian descent everywhere.

Actually, scratch that last bit about being relatable. The reactions and response from the very citizens of the country Crazy Rich Asians is set in have been… mixed, at best. Personally though — where’s the love for brown folks and actual Singaporean accents? Understandably, the film sticks to the source material, which itself focuses on rich Chinese Singaporeans and a non-diverse circle of friends and family, but if one were to visually bring the (very real) backdrop to the silver screen, the least one could do is to flesh out the fact that Singaporeans are not all crazy rich and not all Chinese. Still, I appreciate the Asian representation, and to be honest, Hollywood might not be ready for the fact that Asians comprise of more than just people of East Asian descent.

That’s not to say that everything in the trailer is unrealistic of course. Because, well…

But! The movie isn’t even out yet, and all concerns about the film may actually be allayed when it is released on Aug. 17. Nonetheless, the trailer is a cause for heated discussion online and will continue to rage on for the next couple of months. Check out some of the comments, criticism, and praise that the trailer received so far.

Putting Singapore on the map

Putting a misrepresentation of Singapore on the map

The absence of Singapore’s ethnic diversity

The lack of Singlish

Singapore = Asian Wakanda

In defense of Crazy Rich Asians

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