The Media Action Network for Asian Americans is up in arms against the creators of Charlie's Angels for missing out on the opportunity for giving Lucy Liu's character an Asian parent by casting funny man John Cleese. They have an opinion piece in the L.A. Times: Only Alex's father would appear in the sequel, and he would be played by British comedian John Cleese. Alex's Asian mother would be reduced to an image in a photograph glimpsed for only one second...As Alex's biological father, Cleese is simply preposterous in the role. Liu is clearly a full-blooded Asian and couldn't convincingly be half-white. And even if one accepts the idea that Alex is biracial which is not germane to the story why is her Asian parent not allowed on screen? [Via Movie City News]
MANAA also references Bernie Mac as Bill Murray's brother, but freaks out Gothamist by revealing the too-detailed copy of some over zealous Charlie's Angels publicist: And even though "Full Throttle" plays on racial confusion by implying that Bernie Mac is playing Bill Murray's "brother," the story eventually tells us that they are not blood relatives. By contrast, the movie's press kit describes Alex as "the fruit of [the Cleese character's] loins."
John Cleese's loins - we love him, but no loins, please. Now, Gothamist likes to see Asian actors get their due...but maybe casting an Asian actor wouldn't have been as big a joke for Western audiences, who, like it or not, rule the day. We understand why MANAA had to write this letter and call the Full Throttle team on it, but we also understand why John Cleese was cast. He's a funny dude. And let the record show that the first Charlie's Angels movie gave Lucy Liu the non-Chinese last name of "Munday."
We think Charlie's Angels is annoying for other reasons.