Film/TV

Evan Rachel Wood's Hiroshima Drama Criticized By Asian Americans

Evan Rachel Wood's latest role is incurring substantial criticism from Asian Americans who have something to say about Hollywood's continued centering of white people in narratives about people of color.

Last week, Variety reported that alongside Jim Sturgess and Japanese actress Shinobu Terajima, Wood had been tapped to play writer Eleanor Coerr in Richard Raymond's forthcoming film, One Thousand Paper Cranes. Coerr was a Canadian writer who published a children's book in 1977 based on the true story of Hiroshima bombing survivor, Sadako Sasaki — a young girl who developed leukemia after the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb during World War II and subsequently folded 1,000 paper cranes in order to be granted one wish.

Needless to say, many Asian Americans online were less than pleased about having Coerr's perspective become a major plot point in the film, especially as one Twitter user pointed out that "there are thousands of compelling stories from Hiroshima survivors that I'd rather hear" which aren't "filtered through a white/American lens."

In a statement sent to HuffPost, Raymond defended the film by saying that it is based on Takayuki Ishii's book, One Thousand Paper Cranes: The Story of Sadako and the Children's Peace Statue, alongside reassurances that the film will come from Sadako's "point of view, filmed in Japanese, with a Japanese cast."

"The film separately tells the story of Eleanor Coerr, who wrote the fictional children's book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes (which this film is not based on) and brought the story to international fame, further cementing Sadako's legacy of peace and hope through the powerful symbol she created," he told the publication. According to Raymond, Sadako's family, the Hiroshima Peace Museum, and the Hiroshima Film Commission are all on board with the project, which is going "to great lengths to protect the authenticity of Sadako's story and everything she represents."

Photo via Getty

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