If I ever have a daughter,
I want her to be born into a world,
Where I don’t have to tell her what to wear,
To keep her safe from your son.
I’ve heard many Asian Australian actors say “I can’t stand it when they ask me to speak in broken English in a bad Asian accent.” My answer to them is, “Don’t do it then. You’re just perpetuating a false stereotype.” Every actor has a right to say no. I’ve said no many times, sometimes at the cost of a job.
When I played the green power ranger in Power Rangers Ninja Storm, I spoke at length to the head writer/ producer and the costume department to subvert the stereotype. I played the geeky, computer genius that was going to become the final power ranger of the team. I told them I’d only do this if I could subvert the stereotype by being a cutting, sarcastic, charming geek who then becomes the most powerful of the group. They were very responsive to my concerns about stereotype and worked with me to develop the character. The green ranger ended up single handedly saving the team from near destruction during the series. I now have many ethnic fans who see me (or my character) as a role model.