The Fairy Princess had a good weekend – there were some cool things that happened this past week or so…

Simu Liu of Kim’s Convenience was announced as Marvel’s SHANG CHI.


He is very talented and funny and he does backflips, so all that is good – Shang Chi is of course,  a martial artist. He was drawn with Bruce Lee, the mixed race martial artist, as a reference point for the artists.

There is one slight issue with the casting – and while TFP does believe that the writer, David Callaham, and director, Destin Daniel Cretton, (both of whom are mixed race)

went with a brilliant choice – SHANG CHI is supposed to be biracial, according to the Marvel origin story.

He is the son of Fu Manchu and an American Blonde that he kidnapped.

Icky origin story?


Still, the guy is supposed to be biracial.

TFP would like that issue to be addressed – as all the AAPI world is busy pronouncing they are embracing Keanu Reeves, Dwayne Johnson, Henry Golding, Dave Battista, and Jason Momoa, and writing articles like the one by Jeff Yang, about the issues facing mixed race people in casting – she would simply like Shang Chi’s team to explain how they are going to ‘handle’ this origin story.

Because it stung a bit. “We‘ are not usually in an Origin Story, so being that this particular one was ‘supposed’ to be one for our team – and it’s not, a bit of an ‘ouch’.

It is still a win for AAPIs and in particular, Chinese Canada/US diaspora – but it is erasure for biracial people.

Remember all the backlash Henry Golding got for daring to rep as an Asian Man in CRAZY RICH ASIANS? All the ways he was told he was not ‘allowed’ to be representative of Asian men?

What if biracial people did that to Simu?


Not gonna happen – we are all happy for him.

(That is biracial RuPaul’s Drag Race Queen, Manila Luzon giving that eye roll, btw)

TFP would just like some clarity because as Marvel goes on to proclaim “the first Chinese Superhero” (Guess we are not noticing all the AAPI diaspora that Maurissa Tanchoeren has been repping on AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. for the last seven seasons….) the truth is – the guy was never written as a Chinese superhero.

He was a biracial superhero.

And now, he is not.

Still good with Simu’s casting – just pointing it out.

Because the same thing happened in HELLBOY and TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE, and TFP noticed.

Again, not objecting to any castings in this case – just noticing.



Here though, IS a win for multi-racial people celebrating their many sides – check out the trailer for HOBBS AND SHAW

Dwayne Johnson has become very vocal recently about being both African American and Samoan descent, and TFP would be lying if she did not admit to having a bit of a tear in her eye when she saw his character ‘go home’ and take on ‘the baddies’ on home territory with his Samoan family.

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On Broadway, along with the closings, ‘we’ have a win – ANN SANDERS has moved over from FROZEN on Broadway to taking over as the character, Cynthia Murphy  in DEAR EVAN HANSEN through Oct 20th.  Ann previously set the standard by being the first woman of Asian descent to play Mrs. Anna in THE KING AND I on Broadway – which was amazing because….the actual Anna Leonowens was of mixed Asian descent.

TFP knows Ann because they both were in AVENUE Q on Broadway and well….


ONCE AGAIN, they have done an AVENUE Q production, or are about to and they have chosen to not cast an Asian heritaged person as the character, Christmas Eve.


New Zealand.


Specifically at the Napier Operatic Society in Naiper, NZ.

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It is the second oldest existing theatrical society in New Zealand, having been established in 1887 – and it is renown for it’s amateur productions. Supposed to be very high quality and professional level talent.

You can look at the below photos, they seem to do a really great job – between the costumes and the sets, TFP has no indication how the performances are, but everything really looks great in New Zealand…then they decided to expand their repertoire.

Where DID they start?

Gilbert and Sullivan.

OF COURSE! In 1891 they started the season with THE MIKADO, and they have not looked back!

Now AVENUE Q being miscast as an amateur production is nothing new – this has for sure happened repeatedly across the United States – even with the New York Production only closing this past summer. So, there were 16 years of the ‘gold standard’ – on Broadway and Off, and folks in America still, deliberately, got it wrong.

On PURPOSE! (Get it, Q-tips? Get it? PURPOSE!)

However now that MTI has licensed the show internationally, the show is up for worldwide miscasting  – and again, normally TFP would not say too much about an amateur production, until she realized that this ‘house’ and it’s place in New Zealand is revered. After the earthquake, the city chose to rebuild this theater – that means it has significant value to them.

Still, when last she ‘checked in’, they were advertising for Asians for the role of Christmas Eve.

Here is the flier originally put up:


So they knew what Christmas Eve was supposed to look like – significantly they have Ann Harada‘s photo on this flier, the O.G. of Christmas Eve’s.

Here is some of the continued efforts to expand their diversity within the company by advertising for two characters who are People of Color within the Avenue Q universe:

However it did not seem to happen- because rather insensitively, one of their company members, put this up on a public forum:


Now, the person that put this up is self-admittedly not of Japanese heritage. She appears, in her photos to be Caucasian, and seems to be unaware that positing that she does not give a rat’s ass what people think of her is a position that is indefensible – especially in this day and age.

TFP is not publishing her name in this blog, even though she deserves it because someone said she might be young and misunderstood.


Yes, this is an amateur production – but it is being done by a theater of significant size in New Zealand, one that sets the standard, apparently, for professional productions to aspire to. It charges for tickets, and it has a huge following, and makes enough money to sustain several productions per season, and also has a school training program attached.


Therefore the ‘whitewashing’ of Christmas Eve is not an insignificant issue – because there is going to be a large audience for it.


In New Zealand – there is a problem with systemic racism against it’s indigenous people, The Maori’s, and it’s ongoing issues with immigration.  The issue of a majority Caucasian audience laughing at a faux Asian person, has repercussions that we cannot even list, particularly as America has seemingly outsourced one of it’s most malignant exports – to New Zealand, white nationalism.

Whitewashing Christmas Eve plays in to that narrative.


Again, TFP has no issue with membership companies or amateur companies – but here is what – she will say it again for people who have to hear it across the globe –

When you erase the ethnicity of that character

a character written by a Person of Color and specifically a person of Asian descent (Bobby Lopez)

a character who has, written into the script and score – an accent of an immigrant in America – you teach people that ethnic people are only allowed on the stage on Caucasian say so.

That ‘we’  are able to be mocked and ridiculed by offensive portrayals at any time, and that is not a message to send out to the people of NZ.

What is said by this casting is that ethnic people are of less value, that they are there to be made mockery of whenever white people decide to do so – that they have NO power over their own identities or heritages within the sphere of theater or anywhere else.

As lovely a country as it is, New Zealand is ‘catching up’ with many of the movements abroad, in a significantly terrifying way. The shootings at Christchurch are thought to show a growing White Supremacy movement there, (though they were carried out by a white Australian) as well as their very Trumpian New Zealand First Political Party – cited in this article in the Washington Post  casually cautioning people to be wary of Asian immigrants coming in and taking over the population of the country since 2004.

They do not need encouragement to mock and belittle Asian people.

New Zealand is already walking a fine, fine line every day of seeming tolerance vs. radical thought.

The entire population of New Zealand is just over 4.78 Million people in 2019.

Maori’s are the largest ethnic minority at 14.9 per cent.

Asians are the second largest at 11.8 per cent.

Non Maori Pacific Islanders come in a 7.4 per cent.

At 11.8% of the population, you should be able to find an Asian descended person to play Christmas Eve.

If you say you ‘cannot’, that is being lazy – and lazy people do not get to do musicals.


This is not just about a miscasting in a community theater – this is about the arrogance and the hubris that Caucasians routinely employ to disavow the existence of minorities. To make them magical and therefore impervious to pain or humanity.

This is about a country that just experienced one of the most dreadful mass shootings from a single shooter and though they have learned to change their gun laws, by and large their arts institutions and their mindset remains static.

They choose, on their stages, to not see People of Color in significant ways.

Minorities exist in their world on their say so.

If they believe they ‘cannot find any‘, guess what?

They don’t.


This is a significantly horrible message to send – and it never need have happened – because the Napier Operatic Society knows what it’s membership looks like – they know what they do well, and what they do not. They thought, perhaps, they could find someone – but they could not – but they did not cancel.

Why? Because the members that auditioned for those roles thought it would be fun to paint themselves. Bottom line – they thought they could get away with it. Obviously it has worked before.

Significant that a company around for as long as it has been has almost no minority representation. Perhaps, they do not feel comfortable auditioning for that group?


Judging from the photos and past seasons, it is a very large membership company where overwhelmingly, the ethnic makeup is Caucasian. WHY choose a show that happens in New York City, which IS a melting pot, which DOES have minorities in a more than significant way, just asking for trouble.

If the show demands ethnic minorities, and you do not have any – do not do the show.

It is simple.

TFP knows that white people find this very thought offensive, that they would much prefer to paint themselves a face with another tone and engage in mockery – but in the end you have to look at yourself in the mirror and say – Amateur or not

“Did I do this character justice?

Did I represent to the best of my ability who and what the writers of the show intended?

Could I look a member of this show, any member of it who played in New York – on or Off Broadway in the face and be proud of what I have done?”


If not, do not do the show.

It plays into mockery and offense to have a non AAPI person play that role –

Napier Operatic Society knows it.

You, the reader, know it.

TFP for sure knows it.

She fines Napier Operatic Society 500 whacks of the wand – the word Amateur comes from the Latin word for love – you love it so much, you devote yourself to that pursuit – you cannot tell TFP you love musical theater if you allow Caucasians to play Christmas Eve.


TFP out.