Jon M. Chu, who directed "Crazy Rich Asians," is apologizing for how his 2018 portrayed South Asian characters.
Speaking to Insider, the director addressed the controversy over casting actors descending from South Asian countries in stereotypical roles, such as domestic workers.
One scene in particular that generated flack happened early in the movie where Constance Wu and Awkwafina's characters pulled up to a mansion and were surrounded by armed guards that were all seemingly of South Asian descent. Chu agreed he should have made those characters "more human."
"Looking back, I should have had a joke there [for the guards] being like, 'These idiots,'" he said. "There's stuff to do to make them more human instead of just, like, these guards."
The "In the Heights" director said South Asian characters also were featured in an extravagant party scene, but agreed, "They're just sort of there. ... I don't give them the space to be there."
Chu, 41, explained that he felt he couldn't deviate from the film's source material, the novel of the same name written by Kevin Kwan in 2013, which features an all-Chinese main cast.
"That's a lesson that I did not understand until it happened," he admitted. "I was like, this is a book that exists, and I'm making this book into a movie. I can't add a new character into this."
"So, hearing it from people, for me, it was a learning experience," he said, promising to "pay more attention" with his future projects so that he "won't make that mistake again."
Jon M. Chu apologizes for South Asian stereotypes in 'Crazy Rich Asians' originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com