Star Wars: Rogue One places Asian heroes at the core of its revolution

by Kelly Kanayama  Star Wars: Rogue One is a rare thing in mainstream media: a movie about revolution that actually tries to be revolutionary. Taking place right before the original Star Wars movie, Rogue One centres on a band of scrappy misfits who unite to save the galaxy from the evil Empire by stealing the blueprints for the Death… Read More

Human language, human emotions: interview with the RSC’s Natalie Simpson

“What will the future hold when someone who hasn’t been brought up ‘correctly’ takes over?” by Kelly Kanayama  This is Part 2 of a two-part interview series with actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company. (Part 1 with King Lear‘s Clarence Smith is here.) I spoke to Natalie Simpson, who recently played Ophelia in Hamlet and is currently playing Cordelia in… Read More

Sustaining yourself as an actor of colour: interview with the RSC’s Clarence Smith

“Playing any Shakespeare character when you are black…always challenges the idea of what is acceptable” by Kelly Kanayama  This two-part interview series came about after the Royal Shakespeare Company offered us the chance to speak with their actors about their work. I started out by chatting to Clarence Smith, a veteran of stage, film and TV who plays… Read More

Even with “inclusive” Shakespeare, whiteness takes priority

by Kelly Kanayama  Gregory Doran, the artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, came under fire recently for a Times article entitled “Lack of diversity not a problem, says RSC boss”. The article stated that Doran “did not want the middle classes sidelined” and wanted to maintain “equal rights” for “those of us who are white… Read More

The value of diversity: Could you do your job without getting paid?

by Henna Zamurd-Butt and Kelly Kanayama   It’s great you’re concerned about making your organisation’s work more accessible to communities of colour, or that you want to commission or hire people from more varied backgrounds. We’re bursting at the seams with evidence to show how publishing and media industries need to take action on this. Perhaps… Read More

Hollywood’s upcoming films prove it loves Asian culture – as long as it comes without Asians

by Kelly Kanayama  When the trailer for Marvel’s upcoming Doctor Strange movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch dropped a few days ago, parts of the comics Internet were pretty excited. Magic + action + pretend martial arts + a superhero with whom many nerds are familiar but whose name probably wouldn’t be recognised by the average member of the public — this trailer had everything…… Read More