Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actress Chloe Bennet took to Instagram to praise Ed Skrein for exiting the Hellboy reboot after a whitewashing backlash, but one commenter decided to put the focus on the Chinese-American actress, criticizing her for changing her name to Chloe Bennet from her birth name Chloe Wang. (Source)
Y'all...Asian America is not here for Hollywood's bullshit. Whether it's Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park or Constance Wu and Ming-Na Wen or BD Wong or Garrett Wang calling Hollywood out - or in the case of Kim and Park, actually walking out - the message is clear...they are not here for this bullshit.
I'm so glad Chloe specifically shot back about changing her name. Lord knows Black women can relate; people want us to "normalize" our so-called "ghetto names" or Westernize our African names. In addition, they want us to do something about our naturally "unkempt" hair.
And here's where things getting interesting. Bennet got criticized for changing her name, just like Black women are criticized for straightening our hair and wearing extensions. Yet the people who criticize us always seem to conveniently that in many instances, if we don't assimilate, we don't eat.
I keep seeing White folks online bitching about Black women's hair discussion, asking why it's such a big deal and how they've never heard another White person complain or even care about our hair. In fact, they claim everyone they talk to finds our hair beautiful, "interesting", and that it's such a shame we're so insecure and self-loathing that some of us still straighten or wear wigs and weave.
Miss me with that. They say this because it seems like the right thing to say in front of other people. I've also said that White people focus way too much on what's being said, and not enough on what's not being said. Chloe Bennet is not the first actor of color to change her name; Kal Penn did it too, and countless others before him. See, People of Color in America know good and well that White folks just absolutely love our names, languages, cultures, and natural features...until it's time to hire us. Then we get the "questions."
"Do you always wear your hair like that?"
"That's such an interesting name! Do you go by anything else?"
"Could you speak only English in the office, please?"
Anyways...good speaking out, Chloe. And shout out to Ed Skrein who promptly - and I do mean promptly - gave up his role once he realized his character was originally Asian. *chuckles* 'Cause that's not usually how it goes.