Viewers Criticize Jackie Chan’s New Movie Role

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. ethnicity / ɛθˈnɪs ɪ ti / (n) – an identity with similar race, religion, language, and background with others

    Even though they had different ethnicities, they worked together as one.

  2. star / ˈstɑr / (v) – to play the most important role in a film or a TV show

    Several famous actors starred in the latest action movie.

  3. cry foul / ˈkraɪ ˈfaʊl / (idiom) – to say that something is unfair

    Some unpopular actors cried foul when the producers chose a more well-known actor to play the role.

  4. casting / ˈkæs tɪŋ, ˈkɑ stɪŋ / (n) – the process of choosing an actor for a particular character

    The casting of the new comedy was not effective because they chose actors who specialized in drama.

  5. silver screen / ˈsɪl vər skrin / (n) – the movie industry

    I can’t wait to see my favorite actor on the silver screen.


Read the text below.

Jackie Chan’s upcoming movie preview recently attracted a lot of criticism because of an ethnicity mismatch.

This year, Jackie Chan will star in the movie The Foreigner. He plays the role of a father whose daughter died in a terrorist attack. The movie preview shows Chan possessing a passport that identifies him as Vietnamese.

Following the preview, people have expressed their opinion against the moviemakers. They insisted that Chan, who is Chinese, should not play a Vietnamese role. Some people cried foul on social media, saying that it is not a good idea to mix ethnicities in movies. Others strongly disapproved of the casting and said that they will not watch the movie.

Mixing ethnicities was also an issue in other Hollywood movies. For example, the anime Ghost in the Shell originally has a Japanese main character. But when it was made into a movie, the producers cast Hollywood star Scarlet Johansson, an American actress. When criticized, the producers explained that they could not find a famous Asian actress to play the role.

Similarly, in the movie Doctor Strange, the ethnicity of one of its characters was changed from Tibetan to Celtic / ˈkɛl tɪk, ˈsɛl- or ˈkɛl tɪk / because the actress, Tilda Swinton, is European.

Unlike the other movies, the producers of The Foreigner had a different explanation, which was related to the movie’s storyline. They also talked about how Jackie Chan fits the role.

Despite criticisms, the producers expect The Foreigner to be a big hit on the silver screen since Chan is co-starring with Hollywood actor Pierce Brosnan. They also guaranteed that the movie will showcase Jackie Chan’s remarkable acting skills.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Aside from having the same ethnicity, in what other ways should actors match their characters?
• Do you agree that ethnicity mismatch is a big issue in the film industry? Why do you think so?

Discussion B

• Before watching a movie, would you consider other people’s opinion of it on social media? Why or why not?
• Would you take to social media to express your opinion of a movie? Why or why not?