Progress made on cast­ing di­ver­sity

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS -

A SE­COND straight Academy Awards with no per­son of colour among the 20 act­ing nom­i­nees has the di­ver­sity de­bate back in the cin­e­matic spot­light.

The con­tro­versy has seen the Os­carsSoWhit­e hash­tag dom­i­nate on­line, and even led some stars to threaten to boy­cott this year’s Os­cars on Fe­bru­ary 28.

While many have ar­gued for and against the boy­cott and pos­si­ble changes to the in­dus­try, Suc­cess ac­tress Chloe Ng has pro­vided her take on di­ver­sity within the in­dus­try.

In a re­cent in­ter­view with the Gazette, the 24-year-old de­tailed re­cent work on Neigh­bours – which will screen later this month – and an Abu Dhabi TV se­ries.

“The amaz­ing thing is that both those roles I booked were briefed as ‘any eth­nic­ity’ … which I see as a small step mov­ing to­wards colour-blind cast­ing and I couldn’t be more happy about that,” she said.

Ng, of Sin­ga­porean her­itage, said her back­ground had been a hur­dle in the past.

“It’s cer­tainly an on­go­ing con­ver­sa­tion that will keep chang­ing as I con­tinue to grow and as the in­dus­try pro­gresses as well,” she said. “It’s also a sen­si­tive topic to com­ment on in gen­eral, but one I feel very pas­sion­ate about.

“I think it’s re­ally im­por­tant to have non-stereo­typ­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tions of Asians in the me­dia, some­thing that I re­alise now was lack­ing when I was grow­ing up.

“When I look back, it did have an ef­fect on me as an Asian grow­ing up in Aus­tralia.

“It’s why I think this is re­ally im­por­tant and close to my heart.”

Ng said small steps to­wards ‘colour blind cast­ing’ were be­ing made but there was still “a long way to go”.

“This is not the case for ev­ery­one,” she said.

“There are def­i­nitely strong in­di­vid­u­als fight­ing to­wards change and step­ping up for us to get fur­ther down that path. That’s the cause I’m work­ing for… the change I would like to be part of.”

Ac­tress Chloe Ng will ap­pear in Neigh­bours later this month .

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