Gemma Chan is a British actress who has starred in films such as Crazy Rich Asians, Eternals, and Captain Marvel.
While many appreciate her acting talents, some people have expressed dislike or even hatred towards her online. There are a few potential reasons why Gemma Chan has garnered this negative reaction from certain groups.
Perceived as a Token Asian Actress
Some people accuse Hollywood of tokenizing Gemma Chan – casting her in roles simply to fill a diversity quota.
They feel her ethnicity has been prioritized over her acting ability or suitability for a role. This backlash is part of a larger controversy about Asian representation and “box checking” in the film industry.
Plays Roles Originally Written for White Actresses
Gemma Chan received particular criticism for her role as Minn-Erva in Captain Marvel. In the comics, Minn-Erva is a Kree alien genetically modified to appear Caucasian.
Some fans were upset that the role went to Chan rather than a white actress. Similar controversy surrounded her casting as Astrid in Crazy Rich Asians, as the character is depicted as Caucasian in the book.
Seen as a Threat to Favorite Actresses
Some hostility towards Gemma Chan comes from fans of actresses who “lost” roles to her. For example, some supporters of Emma Stone were upset when Chan was cast over Stone in Eternals.
Similarly, Chan’s increased representation has coincided with fewer roles going to older/less conventional Asian actresses.
Makes Politically Incorrect Statements
Chan has faced backlash for statements perceived as insensitive. In 2018, she criticized ethnic nationalism and said actors playing ethnicities different than their own contributes to “social cohesion.” Many found her view naive or offensive.
She’s also received flack for supporting causes like Time’s Up that some see as “social justice pandering.”
Victim of Sexism
As an attractive actress, Chan also endures considerable sexist criticism focused on her looks rather than her work.
Terms like “diversity hire” suggest her ethnicity is more valued than her talent or that she uses her looks rather than acting chops to get roles. Such scrutiny is rarely applied to non-Asian or male stars.
Perceived as Anti-Feminist
In contrast, some hate Chan because they view her as insufficiently feminist. She has never directly identified as a feminist and once said women “don’t need to be rescued” by feminism anymore.
Such statements make her unpopular among feminist circles despite advocacy for women’s issues like equal pay.
Acting Skills are Criticized
While clearly talented, Gemma Chan’s acting has its detractors. Some cite a lack of emotional range in her performances or reliance on a detached, icy persona.
Fans of the MCU criticized her performance in Eternals as stiff and one of the film’s weaknesses. As her star rises, her skills come under greater scrutiny.
Lacks the X-Factor
Subjective dislike also stems from Chan lacking an ineffable “it” quality in the eyes of some viewers. While obviously beautiful and competent, she is criticized for not standing out in her roles.
Others feel she lacks the charismatic presence or magnetism of other rising stars like Ana de Armas. She is seen as unmemorable by those unmoved by her performances.
Privilege is Held Against Her
Some of the hatred towards Gemma Chan is rooted in resentment over her privileged upbringing. She was raised upper-middle class, attended private school, studied at Oxford, and had connections in the entertainment industry.
While not her fault, this elite background breeds hostility from those struggling to break into acting without such advantages.
Symbolizes Changing Demographics
Finally, animosity towards Chan stems from demographic changes she represents. As an Oxford-educated actress of Chinese descent, she symbolizes ascendant
Chinese economic and cultural power. Racist fear over China’s rise manifests in attacks on celebrities like Chan who embody this shifting global dynamic.
Summary of Reasons
In summary, potential reasons for hatred towards Gemma Chan include:
- Perception as a diversity hire/token minority
- Taking roles “meant” for white actresses
- Viewed as a threat to favorites or older Asian actresses
- Making controversial political/social statements
- Experiencing sexism and scrutiny over looks
- Perceived as anti-feminist or insufficiently progressive
- Critiques of her acting skills and on-screen presence
- Her privileged upbringing breeding resentment
- Symbolizing the rise of China and demographic change
Why the Hatred is Misguided
While understanding where the animosity comes from, much of the hatred towards Gemma Chan has unfair underpinnings.
More Than Her Ethnicity
Reducing Chan to just a diversity hire overlooks her genuine acting talents. She has won praise from co-stars and critics alike for her performances.
And she has taken on a wide range of roles – from genius inventor to ancient alien. Her ethnicity does not preclude skill.
Double Standards on Race
Criticism over Chan playing originally white roles contains racial double standards. White actors frequently play characters of other races or ethnicities without backlash.
Singling out Chan reflects a racist mindset that only white actors can play any role.
Sexism in Criticism
Much of the criticism about Chan’s looks or ties to feminism would unlikely be aimed at male stars. Holding her to stricter standards reflects residual sexism in entertainment. Acting skill should be judged independently of appearance or gender politics.
Can’t Control Casting
Chan did not personally “take” roles from other actresses. Casting is up to directors, producers, and casting agents. Actors have no say in which roles they get. Blaming Chan for getting parts makes little sense.
Makes Thoughtful Political Statements
While some dislike her politics, Chan’s statements come across as nuanced and thoughtful. Wanting broader representation in media or criticizing nationalism does not make someone easily dismissed as a “social justice warrior.”
Privilege Does Not Preclude Hard Work
Chan’s privileged background does not detract from her efforts. Like many actors, she has discussed doing years of auditioning and menial work before getting her break. While lucky in some respects, she still had to work hard for success.
Backlash Unfairly Singular
The backlash also seems disproportionately aimed at Gemma Chan versus other rising stars. For instance, Ana de Armas has received far less hostility for taking on roles written as Asian or Latina. The scale of animosity toward Chan appears unique and undeserved.
In the end, Gemma Chan is an accomplished actress who happens to be an Asian woman ascending at a time of changing demographics and fraught debates about diversity. While understanding some roots of the pushback against her, she does not deserve the degree of hostility she faces.
Much of the hatred stems less from her behavior and more from the shifting culture she represents. As diversity continues expanding in entertainment, Chan will likely be seen less as a outlier and more as the capable star she is.
FAQ About Hatred for Gemma Chan
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the hatred and criticism aimed at actress Gemma Chan:
When did Gemma Chan first start receiving significant backlash or hatred?
The criticism toward Chan began ramping up around 2018, when she had breakout roles in Crazy Rich Asians and Captain Marvel. Her increased prominence led to greater scrutiny.
What are some specific examples of movies where Gemma Chan was criticized?
She faced backlash for roles like Minn-Erva in Captain Marvel, Astrid in Crazy Rich Asians, and Sersi in Eternals – parts seen as being changed from white to Asian or that sparked casting controversies.
Has Gemma Chan directly responded to the hatred she gets?
Chan has addressed critiques of her acting, but rarely comments directly on the personal hatred. She says focusing too much on “keyboard warriors” is unhealthy. She concentrates on her work and portraying diverse characters well.
Do people criticize Gemma Chan for her dating life at all?
Some criticism revolves around her dating high-profile white men like comedian Jack Whitehall and actor Dominic Cooper. She’s been accused of shunning Asian men or assimilationist behavior through her relationships.
Is all of the hatred toward Gemma Chan found online, or does it exist in the real world too?
Most hatred manifests online via social media, YouTube comments, forums etc. However, she likely faces some real-world animosity from resentful fans or those who make racist assumptions about her.
Does Gemma Chan hatred mostly come from men or women?
While found in both genders, critiques of her acting, relationships, and feminism seem more common from men. However, resentment about casting affects both male and female detractors.
How does Gemma Chan hatred compare to backlash toward other actresses?
The level of animosity is quite severe compared to contemporaries. Similar rising stars like Ana de Armas or Tessa Thompson don’t provoke nearly the same quantity of vitriol as Chan.
Will the hatrbed toward Gemma Chan fade away or increase going forward?
As diversity expands and representation evolves, the backlash may moderate over time. But resentment over changing demographics in film/TV will likely persist on some level as Chan’s career grows.