Racist casting call against ‘monolid’ Asian actors enrages Twitter

Godfrey Gao, Jay Chou and Wang Leehom are all "monolids". (Photos courtesy of Shutterstock)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Social media users on Twitter have expressed their displeasure following a call by New York City-based Paladino Casting for Asians who are not “monolid” but have a “clean, white and pinky” skin without “dots or circles” on their faces.

According to the casting notice, the company is looking for a Chinese or Korean woman with a child or children boasting “almond-shaped eyes, but not too down-turned or monolid” among other things.

The “lucky” actors will be featured in a Kinder Joy commercial set to start shooting on Oct. 17. They will receive US$500 (around NT$14,350).

The ambiguous casting call, which was deemed discriminatory by many, became viral after the actor and UNICEF Canada ambassador Simu Liu called out the casting agency in a tweet, saying “Dear Paladino Casting, F**k you. Signed, a proudly-monolidded Asian.”

Monolid features are common among people of East Asian descent, including Taiwan where famous stars such as late model-actor Godfrey Gao, Jay Chou, and Wang Leehom have gained global recognition. 

Many Korean entertainers have monolid features too. (Photos courtesy of @dahyunkim, @taehyung.bighitentertainment, @gogonekim/Instagram)

Twitter users also listed iconic Asian actors who have monolid features, such as Jackie Chan, “Hawaii 5.0” star, Daniel Dae Kim and “Charlie’s Angels” actress, Lucy Liu.

Hollywood stars, Daniel Dae Kim, Lucy Liu and Jackie Chan. (Photos courtesy of Shutterstock)

As other Asian actors rallied to condemn the casting agency, others also called out the company for looking for “Asians” but not “‘too Asian’ even though they are marketing to Asians.” 

Twitter users also called out the hypocrisy of the casting notice. (Screengrab from Twitter)

Among other replies, a Twitter user also questioned whether “no dots or circles” on the skin included scars, blemishes, and birthmarks, to which Liu replied, “I’m three for three lol. I don’t stand a chance.”

Liu replied that “he wouldn’t stand a chance” facing those criteria. (Screengrab from Twitter)

“I’ve never heard Asians described as ‘pinky’ in my entire life,” Liu added.

Paladino Casting has since released a statement apologizing for the “inexcusable oversight” and acknowledging their accountability for their part in posting the distressing notice.