Actress Brenda Song, who rose to fame playing an air-headed heiress on Disney Channel's "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody," claims she wasn't allowed to audition for "Crazy Rich Asians."
In a candid interview with Teen Vogue, Song opened up about her rejection.
She revealed that when news of the movie first came out, she tried to set up an audition but was apparently turned away.
"Their reasoning behind that, what they said was that my image was basically not Asian enough, in not so many words," she explained.
The 31-year-old actress, who is half Thai and half Hmong, said the message "broke my heart."
However, in the face of rejection, Song says she found a new opportunity. After taking time to refocus on herself by traveling, she quickly returned to work.
Netflix offered her the lead role in "Secret Obsession," a movie that became one of the streaming giant's biggest summer flicks of 2019. Shortly after, she earned a starring role in the Hulu original series "Dollface" and the Disney Channel animated series "Amphibia."
"Crazy Rich Asians" director Jon Chu responded to Song's claims on Wednesday.
"I love [Brenda Song] and that sucks if anything of that nature was ever communicated. It's gross actually," he tweeted. "The fact is, obviously I know who she is and didn't need her to audition. I'm a fan of hers!"
??Nope. I love @BrendaSong and that sucks if anything of that nature was ever communicated. It’s gross actually. The fact is, obviously I know who she is and didn’t need her to audition. I’m a fan of hers! 🤷🏻♂️Nothing more nothing less. Bums me out she thought it was anything but.— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) November 20, 2019
In a separate tweet, the director said "I feel horrible she thinks this is the reason" and that it "makes no sense."