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Lena Waithe Tells Black Folks to Support the Film ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Because ‘It’s Just As Important As Black Panther’

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The film “Crazy Rich Asians” just opened, and Lena Waithe has encouraged Black folks to hit the theaters and support it this weekend.

“This amazing movie opens today,” she wrote next to a shot of the film’s promo poster. “Go see it opening weekend. That sh– matters. It’s just as important as #BlackPanther and WrinkleInTime. We all family. Let’s do it for the culture. CrazyRichAsians. If you got any type of Asian tattoos you should go see it just out of respect. I’m looking at you Sisqo.”

The film is the first major mainstream release with an all Asian cast that didn’t have anything to do with the martial arts since 1993’s “The Joy Luck Club” and before that there weren’t any.

In short, “Crazy Rich Asians,” based on the book of the same name, follows the story of an NYU professor who finds out her boyfriend’s family is extremely wealthy after she accompanies him to Singapore. 

Some on Waithe’s Twitter page said they’ve already seen the film and enjoyed it, but others said they wouldn’t even check it out because they feel some in the Asian community are anti-Black.

“I am going to see ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ cause cultural movies haven’t let me down in years,” someone wrote. “My household still has ‘Moana,’ ‘Black Panther’ and ‘CoCo’ playing every Saturday morning.”

“The Asian community should show up like we showed up,” wrote a second person. “The success of this movie is not on our backs. Especially with Asian culture still being very much so anti-Black.”

Also like Waithe, other people brought up the “Black Panther” film, which some in China criticized for having an all Black cast on the website Douban — China’s version of IMDb. One person even wrote that the actors and the dark, nighttime scenes made him drowsy, because there was just too much Black to take in.

But there were some on Waithe’s page that took offense that those comments were being used as a reason for Black folks to shun “Crazy Rich Asians.”

“I’m half Black, half Filipino,” one person wrote. “I’m sick of Asians all being stereotyped and held responsible for every single Asian on earth, including some guy in northwest China that only [speaks] Cantonese.”

One person tweeted, “That will be difficult for me because on the one hand, I’m checking out BlacKkKlansman but on the other hand, I am curious about this movie. I’ll have to make a choice by Thursday.”

Another added, “The author uses the n word, the movie has some asian woman mocking black people . Don’t try and guilt trip black people into seeing and supporting communities that don’t support them. I won’t be watching.”

“I had plans on seeing it (and still am because I think Asian rep is important!) but yikes! I noticed in the previews there was a character with a “blaccent.” I surely hope they don’t allow that (the use of the n-word) in the film,” tweeted another.

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