Film Forward

Why Three TV Writers Gave Out Tickets To 'Crazy Rich Asians' On Twitter

#RepresentationMatters

In the hopes of bringing the exciting representation of Crazy Rich Asians to more people, three TV and film writers recently decided to buy tickets to the movie for Twitter users who couldn't afford it. According to Teen VogueTeresa Hsiao and Cherry Chevapravatdumrong (who have both written for Family Guy), along with Crazy Rich Asians co-writer Adele Lim (who also writes for television), paid for dozens of people to see the film.

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Hsiao shared why she chose to give out the tickets in a Twitter thread explaining that she grew up "watching people who looked different from me," adding, "When you grow up like this, people who look different from you no longer seem as scary and foreign — because you've heard their stories, you've seen them at their best and worst. You feel like you know them, even if it's all just from a TV show or movie."

She added "how cool" it would be if "some young white girl in Wichita, Kansas" named Crazy Rich Asians as her favorite movie, in the same way Hsiao enjoyed films without Asian representation. She added the hashtag #RepresentationMatters and added that "we want this country to see that Asian-Americans are people too — and that we deserve to be repped on screen."

Earlier this month, actress Constance Wu posted a Twitter message pointing out that Crazy Rich Asians is the first major Hollywood film in 25 years "to center on an Asian Americans story." In her thread, Hsiao urged people to buy their own tickets to the movie to encourage Hollywood to make more films with this kind of representation.

The writers' generosity has even inspired others to give away tickets to the film. For example, musician AJ Rafael gifted tickets to users who tweeted who their Asian or Asian American role model was growing up.

Twitter users Laarni Rosca Dacanay and David Zee also shared their intention to purchase about 20 tickets each for their fellow moviegoers. Hsiao retweeted their posts to help spread the word. "I want to help out more people who want to see this movie," Zee wrote.

The writers and those they inspired aren't the only ones to buy tickets for movies they feel are important. Last year, actress Octavia Spencer bought out a showing of her film Hidden Figures in Los Angeles to allow less-fortunate families to see it. "My mom would not have been able to afford to take me and my siblings. So, I'm honoring her and all single parents this #mlkweekend," Spencer wrote on Instagram.

About a month later, Chance the Rapper bought out every showing of Jordan Peele's film Get Out in a single day at a Chicago theater. "Just pull up with ID and enjoy the movie," he wrote to his Twitter followers. 

Crazy Rich Asians hits theaters August 15. Check out the official trailer for the film below.

The ways we watch TV and movies have evolved, and it's time for the talent in front of and behind the camera to do the same. Film Forward speaks on the initiatives to diversify the film industry and the stories it tells. New articles premiere every second Thursday of — and throughout — the month.

Cover image via  Kathy Hutchins I Shutterstock

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