The South-Korean film Parasite, directed by Bong Joon Ho, received a total of six Academy Award nominations, but none of those include actor recognition.
For the past few weeks, Parasite has been receiving amazing reviews and praise. Just yesterday they snatched a SAG Award in the category for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, making history as the first foreign-language film to win this award. However, it’s a different story for the cast in regards to the nominations for 92nd Academy Awards to be celebrated next February 9th. Parasite is nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Production Design, and Best Film Editing; but (as you can see) it has no acting performance nominations.
In spite of the talented competition the Parasite cast members would have gone up against, it still begs the question why there are almost never any Asian nominated actors and actresses in the Academy Awards. For the 2020 Oscars, it is a positive thing that two of the five Best Actor nominations are of hispanic descent (Antonio Banderas and Joaquin Phoenix). However, of the total acting performance nominations, there is only one person of color: Cynthia Erivo.
According to a Vice article, the reason why there always seems to be a lack of Asian performance recognition in the Hollywood mainstream is multifaceted. Some of it has to do with racial biases and stereotypes, while it also has to do with a deeper cultural difference. The latter refers more to the kind of acting American audiences are more used to seeing on the big screen. The article claims Sylvia Chong, associate professor and director of the University of Virginia’s American Studies Program, told them over the phone that in most American cinema films, when the audience sees an Asian actor, they usually see the race, and not the character conveyed by the actor.
As media consumers and future professionals, it is important that we know how to view media in a critical manner. If you have seen Parasite and any of the other amazing performances nominated this year, do you think the cast should have received at least one nomination?