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‘Gran Torino’ Star Says the Film “Mainstreamed Anti-Asian Racism” in America

22 February 2021

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‘Gran Torino’ Star Says the Film “Mainstreamed Anti-Asian Racism” in America

Bee Vang, who starred opposite Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, says the film “mainstreamed anti-Asian racism” in the United States.

Vang says he remains “haunted” by audiences laughing at the racist jokes said by Eastwood’s character in the 2008 film.

The American actor played Thao Vang Lor in the film, a teenager who befriends Walt Kowalski (Eastwood), his racist neighbour.

In a new essay for NBC News, Vang credited the film with leading greater Asian representation on screen, but also a rise in anti-Asian racism in America. In the essay, he discusses the Asian American family that were stabbed at a club in Texas and a Thai American who was murdered in San Francisco last month, showing a rise in anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Image Credit: Alamy Stock Photo