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Birth of the Dragon enrages Bruce Lee fans

Updated on Sep 8, 2018. Originally written and posted on Sep 28, 2016.

Bruce Lee (played by rising Hong Kong Kung Fu star Philip Ng), the legendary martial arts icon who changed the world, is depicted as a one-dimensional, asexual, awkward loser who is jealous of the white guy in "Birth of the Dragon", a new biographical film.

A biographical film about BRUCE LEE. Wow. What a disaster.

Philip Ng

Hong Kong Kung Fu actor Philip Ng

The white guy - Steve McKee - is supposed to be the main character of the film and central to the story... um, yeah right. We don't know who that is, and neither do we know who the actor who plays him is (Billy Magnussen?), but you know what, he's white, so that must make him extremely important and vital to the story in Bruce Lee's life, right?! 

Billy Magnussen

I don't know who this man is, but apparently, he's more famous than Bruce Lee.

We purposely did not include a link to the film's trailer in this article, because we refuse to give the trailer any more hits. If you wish, you can find it on YouTube.

Click here to read a mainstream review of Birth of the Dragon written by Yahoo.

From our understanding, Birth of the Dragon is supposed to be a film about Bruce Lee's earlier years in America and his fight with Kung Fu master Wong Jack Man - who changed him forever and set him along the path of inventing Jeet Kune Do and the philosophies behind MMA... or is it just another clichéd White Savior Trope film where a "down on his luck loser" learns Kung Fu and saves the world (including the Asian girl)?

Forbidden Kingdom

We've never seen this story told before... right?

What the people are saying:

Let's see the user-written reviews on IMDb. The responses are not pretty. If you're not comfortable with honest discussions about race, look away! You have been warned.

"This is just a fictional story about a white guy who masters Kung Fu and gets the Chinese woman." - ridgepoor

In real life, Bruce Lee ended up marrying a white girl. He was discriminated against by many white men and had to work hard to be a superstar. You went to Princeton University, don't you think that you should have done some research about this character first? Didn't they teach you to be critical? This isn't a movie about Bruce Lee, this is a movie about your racist imagination. WHAT IS WRONG WITH MAKING AN ASIAN GUY BECOME THE LEAD ACTOR IN A MOVIE? Enough is enough, we Asians are already sick of the whole whitewashing thing.

"This is the biopic of some random white guy that you've been not waiting for." - ticklegear

Is this a joke? I am here to see Bruce Lee and but they put the focus on some white guy, Steve McKee (Billy Magnussen). I got nothing against white guys, but what is he doing as the focus of a Bruce Lee biopic? I noticed a very disturbing pattern in Hollywood. They can't seem to be happy with Asian men in the lead role even in their own biopic. You may think I am kidding but look at all the ways they've whitewashed history eg. The Conqueror - Genghis Khan played by John Wayne, Attila The Hun starring the guy from 300. Is it a coincidence that kulturemedia (search it) has a database of this sort of thing? But that's just the beginning. Instead of celebrating what a beast Bruce Lee is, they make him out to be some insecure and jealous loser who is butthurt over Steve McKee's success (in the film that is). Seems more like a character assassination, rather than a biopic. There's the whole "hostility to the fact that Lee's students include Caucasians." This is very one-sided because it doesn't account for the century of rampant racism and war crimes committed by Caucasians against the Chinese including the opium wars holocaust, eight-nation alliance, and the stealing of Hong Kong and Macau. None of that is mentioned. All in all, this is a terrible film. I would not recommend it for Bruce Lee fans as it tarnishes his true history with half-baked lies and even focuses on some Caucasian instead. Feels like it was the director who was jealous of Bruce Lee's success.


george-nolfi-matt-damon-photo-adjustment-bureau
George Nolfi - the director of the white savior film Birth of the Dragon, and Matt Damon, starring in the upcoming white savior film The Great Wall. Coincidence?


"This film seriously offends me." - chrisleeisworking

I wanted to throw my popcorn at the screen!! This is cash grab garbage, crock of shit. The director has turned Bruce Lee into a caricature. This is spitting on the memory of Bruce Lee. As a loyal fan of Bruce Lee and as an Asian, this film seriously offends me. ENOUGH! We in the Asian communities will make sure this film earns ZERO dollars. The script is shockingly dull and absurd, the fight scenes aren't exceptional, the stunt guy who plays Bruce Lee captures zero essence of Bruce Lee, his acting pure ham. The director should go back to writing to spare us further torture. BIRTH OF THE DRAGON is NOT sanctioned by the Lee family!

"Oh no please no." - chrisli

Bruce Lee would impart political themes in his films. If you ever watch his Hong Kong movies in original Cantonese language, the script is full of political fighting talk. Its another reason why the people of Hong Kong loved him so much, or the Chinese in general. His characters he played in those films were real heroic figures for the people at the time. No wonder this film didn't get the blessing of the Bruce Lee foundation / family. I hope the Chinese investors realize this, that they could have had a really great project...but no.

bruce lee rage
Bruce Lee's would-be reaction to this disaster of a film, if he was still alive today.

 

"Hollywood racism galore." - bawlife

Film reduces Bruce Lee into a side character in his own story to force a white guy into the lead. Why is the main focus of the trailer on this silly white American dude? Asian males can never take the lead role. Only the side kick even in their own movie. It is disgusting. White people, would it kill you to stop inserting yourselves into everything? And of course the white guy is dating the Asian girl. Can you stop socially engineering Asian girls to only see white guys as the acceptable dating partner? Stop shoving this down our throat. A white guy kisses an Asian girl. Every movie. It's like they want to brainwash us that Asian girls belong to white men. This turns into a sickening Asian fetish in real life.

"I never write reviews for anything, but this time I absolutely had to." - nightmarephoenix

I never write reviews for anything, but this time I absolutely had to. THIS IS NOT A FILM. IT'S ANTI-ASIAN PROPAGANDA. Yellow Peril, 2016 version. This entire film is a carefully hidden propaganda piece that portrays Lee as some asexual, angry, Kung Fu loser who accomplishes nothing. Meanwhile, a white guy actually stars as the main character of the movie, gets the (Asian) girl, and wins the day. What? What just happened? A film about Bruce Lee that ISN'T actually about Bruce? This propaganda piece focuses on stereotyping, dehumanizing, and denigrating Asians and Asian culture. Of course, that's no surprise. If you Google 'kulture media' , you'll find a bunch more examples where western media wages war against Asians in this century. Highly recommend people to avoid this film, and watch "The Slanted Screen" documentary instead.


bruce lee big boss
Bruce Lee curses the filmmakers for attempting to destroy his legacy with this garbage.


"A disrespectful appropriation of Bruce Lee." - consciouskendrik

Hollywood is racist. This movie disrespects the legacy of Bruce Lee. I highly recommend everyone to boycott this movie. The movie serves to perpetuate negative stereotypes regarding Asian women, men, and the culture.  It's perspective forces the viewer to indulge in racism against people of color. The racism is very subversive and is spread by more than just one movie. Movies like these are bountiful in Hollywood (denigrating Asian culture). I noticed a very disturbing pattern in Hollywood. They do not want Asian men in the lead role even in their own biopic.

"Trash." - udemypreview

I wanted to watch a movie about the legend of Bruce Lee. Not another whitewashed movie deleting / altering / hiding his history and again disrespecting Asians with another White Male Asian Female love interest. Truth is movies spread lies and it hurts societies. In this case, Asian men. The lies that Hollywood continues to spread must be stopped. You are creating racists with everyone who watches it. Bruce Lee is a legend and you are trying your best to take everything away from him and his people. When will it end?

"Hollywood trash." - victorspam

Hollywood social engineering trash. Again with the white man save the world trope. This movie is so cliché. Even Bruce Lee is sidelined to make way for a white guy. Of course, the white guy gets the Asian girl, while the Asian guys are sexless martial artists. Hollywood is still overwhelmingly white and Jewish male-dominated. All black, Hispanic, and Asians, whose stories are never told, should stop watching and getting brainwashed. While white people only see the fear in black, Hispanic, and Asian. There is an empathy gap. This is because non-white watch movies with white leads, but white only watch non-white leads when it's Denzel or Will Smith. You will never see a random non-white actor as lead. The simple fact that whites don't empathize with non-white is because they can't bear watching something when they are not the main focus. Please don't watch this trash and give money to these studios. I'm getting to the point that I'm sick of seeing white people on screen. I will hand out boycott cards to moviegoers at movies like this.

"Saw this joke of a film." - Matthias Duratovich

Saw this joke of a film. And as a white guy, I am ashamed of this movie and what it has done NOT only to Bruce Lee’s legacy, but the damage to Asian culture as well. Not only is Bruce Lee depicted as a bully and a jerk, but the total inaccuracies associated with the fight between him and Wong Jak Man was an over exaggerated flat out lie. Wong himself admitted that Bruce Lee beat his ass, and so did the other witnesses who watched the fight. Not to mention the whitewashing in this film to where a white guy needs to protect and save an Asian woman from unruly Asian thugs. This was a debacle of a film. An insult to Bruce Lee, and Asian people everywhere.

Anti-Asian propaganda?

ken jeong clownKen Jeong, another sellout "comedian" who perpetuates racist Asian stereotypes for his own personal gain as an actor at the expense of Asians.

A few users mentioned a media database that captures more examples of Hollywood anti-Asian racism in their media - Kulture Media.

Well, we didn't need to look at a site like Kulture Media to know about the whitewashing of Asian stories and general anti-Asian propaganda that was, is, and continues to be perpetuated by Hollywood / America for the better part of a century.

All we need to do is open our eyes (pun intended) and look at the movies that get made (and exported worldwide) at the expense of Asians (especially Asian men):
  • Ghost In The Shell (main character Motoko Kusanagi is whitewashed and played by Scarlett Johansson)
  • Aloha (Allison Ng, a Chinese character is played by Emma Stone)
  • 21 (real-life story of Asian MIT students are replaced with white actors)
  • Romeo Must Die (Romeo and Juliet story except Jet Li doesn’t even kiss Aaliyah)
  • The Forbidden Kingdom (only a white guy who learns Kung Fu can save China and the Asian girl from evil)
  • Outcast (white Crusaders come and save China and the Asian girl from an evil Chinese prince)
  • The Wolverine (every Asian guy is useless and dies, while Wolverine saves all the Asian women, uses them for sex, but goes back home to a white girl he actually loves)
  • Full Metal Jacket ("me so horny me love you long time")
  • The Last Airbender (all the ethnic heroes are replaced with white people, but the villains remain ethnic)
  • The Man With The Iron Fists (all Asian women are sexualized prostitutes)
  • The Last Samurai (a white guy goes to Japan, kills your brother in law, sleeps with your sister, and beats your best friend in a sword fight after only training for a few months, and saves Japan)
  • 47 Ronin (only a mixed Asian born from a white father can save the princess, the other 47 ronin are apparently useless)
  • Red Dawn (Chinese are evil, but they actually watch Hollywood movies so let’s make them North Korean instead)
  • Dragonball Evolution (Let’s make Goku a white guy but keep the Asian girl in it)
  • Pacific Rim (only a white guy can save the world and protect those poor helpless Asians - Asian guys are useless and they die. Even though the Asian girl is portrayed as somewhat strong [only after guidance from non-Asian men], it still comes at the expense of Asian men, who are easily beaten down by the Asian woman who only sees the white guy as someone worthy of her attention / love)
  • Iron Man 3 (The Mandarin is a wimp instead of a badass villain)
  • The Hangover (Asian penis jokes, slandering Asian men and perpetuating a false stereotype)
  • Sixteen Candles (Long Duk Dong, the emasculated Asian nerd who is the laughing stock of his whole generation)
  • Breakfast At Tiffany's (that old bucktoothed angry Asian man played in yellowface)
  • Entourage (Lloyd, the gay fat comedic Asian, directed and produced by Mark Wahlberg, who is famous for his hate crime of beating up a Vietnamese man until he was blinded while calling him "Vietnam fucking shit" and throwing stones at a group of black kids while calling them the N-word)
  • 2 Broke Girls (Matthew Moy, another fat Asian nerd / perpetual foreigner character who can't get women)
  • Make It Pop (3 Asian girls with 1 white guy in a kid's TV show about Korean pop group, while the TV producer of the show infamously proclaimed in a boardroom meeting "No Asian Guys In My Show"! A show designed to be watched by kids)
  • The Interview (white guys go to a poor Asian country to make fun of / kill Asian guys while having sex with Asian women, while the supreme leader of North Korea is actually another emasculated idiot who secretly dreams of being American but is also useless and dies)
  • The Great Wall (China gets The Last Samurai treatment, starring Matt Damon)
  • No Escape (white family moves to Thailand, realizes some Asians are terrorists, proceeds to escape the country while using poor local Asians as meat shields)
  • Star Trek: Beyond (The character of Sulu played by John Cho has recently been turned gay, even though the original actor who played Sulu and LGBTQ activist George Takei protested against turning his character gay)
  • The Outsider (The Last Samurai... again... this time starring Jared Leto as the central character, a Yakuza member in Japan)
  • To All The Boys I've Loved Before (Gendered racism - a movie showing an Asian female character who only falls in love with non-Asian boys, an Asian boy is never seen)

...and the list goes on and on.

There are many more examples, but you get the point... we hope.

bruce-lee-keep-it-real

Bruce Lee sees your bullshit, and he ain't impressed.

Now, contrast the premise of Birth of the Dragon with the biopic Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story made just a few decades earlier:

In this film clip, Bruce Lee (played by Jason Scott Lee) is upset to see Asians portrayed so negatively in movies such as Breakfast at Tiffany's. His white girlfriend realizes how messed up this is and asks to leave the theatre with Bruce.

Boy, now that is a world of a difference.

Hollywood tells us that only white people matter

In today's trend (or rather it's always been like this) of filmmaking and storytelling, society is brainwashed to think Asians can never be leaders or important because it always takes a "white male protagonist" in order to "get the audience to relate to him" because he's white. The same old "it would be a box office disaster if an Asian was the lead actor" excuse made by Hollywood film studios and producers.

marco-polo-season-2-premiere-date
You can relate to Marco Polo...

This same tired formula / plot device is used for shows on Netflix like Marco Polo and Narcos, where instead of focusing on a foreign person whether Mongolian or Colombian as the central character, it has to be told through the lens of a white person. Does it really help the storytelling? Or is it more of a hindrance?

NARCOS S01E03You can relate with an American DEA agent...

508276_1280928450436_full... and you can relate with me, even though I'm just generated by a computer...

Gee, last time I checked, white people could relate with animated Disney / Pixar characters and CGI blue-skinned aliens just fine.

But relating to *gasp*... Asians? No way! Impossible! Asians aren't human, they don't speak American, they should all go back to China! Ching chong! Am I doing this racism thing right?

bruce_lee_1973
You can't relate with the greatest martial artist of all time just because I'm Asian? How cute.

Did we forget that in the 90's, films like Mortal Kombat starred Asians without whitewashing them / putting the focus on a random white guy?

And they did just fine at the box office!

Sure, the films were campy classics, but fans loved it because they at least stayed faithful to the source material. Birth of the Dragon, it is not.

Socially-engineered Hollywood racism & dehumanization needs to stop

With the recent box office successes of Crazy Rich Asians and Searching starring John Cho however - both films that starred all-Asian casts in the lead roles and hit #1 and #2 at the box office respectively - totally debunks this "Asians can't be box office stars" myth. It proves that Asians can be cast in leading roles, that Asian stories can be told, and the masses are ready for them.

Crazy Rich Asians

But why was this myth created in the first place? By now, let's just call it what it is: good old-fashioned racism.

Ridley Scott, director of Exodus Gods and Kings, said "I can't cast Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such" because I wouldn't get my film financed. So he goes and casts... Joel Edgerton? Ah, right... he's an AAA-list international household name and a box office guarantee... right? Hardly.
Exodus Gods and Kings
If you notice in this picture, all the darker-skinned Africans can play the Egyptian "slaves" or "the help" in the movie while lighter-skinned / white actors like Christian Bale are allowed to play the main character. No bias there, folks!

In the famous words of Brendan Shaub: "A movie that's not about white people with an all-white cast? We get it, Hollywood, we get it. You're racist."

Wait, that's not how it went down, but really, we do get it. We're not stupid.

The predominantly white / Jewish owned Hollywood studios don't want to tell real stories of other minorities, giving them representation and power. They want to keep the money and resources within their own communities and keep fueling their propaganda brainwashing machine.

That's honestly really pathetic and sad.

Art, media, books, music, and movies should be able to be enjoyed by all and how they were meant to be told, with authenticity and honesty - not through a racist, censored, whitewashed, and revisionist lens of these stories.

Yet that is the reality we live in. Until the decision makers, gatekeepers, and filmmakers are other people of colour - it's business as usual in Hollywood.

Bruce Lee fans lose out on a modern retelling of his legendary story

Back to the travesty that is Birth of the Dragon - who comes out as the losers of this film being made and released? The actor who played Bruce Lee (Philip Ng), and all of Bruce Lee's fans.


philip_ng_once_upon_a_time_in_shanghai_rash_guard_dynasty_mma
Philip Ng, wearing Dynasty's Kung Fu Master Rash Guard, gets buried by the filmmakers in his Hollywood film debut.

We can't fault Philip Ng for taking on a once in a lifetime opportunity to portray Bruce Lee (let's be honest, any Kung Fu actor who comes after Bruce Lee is going to live in Bruce's shadow, as Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Donnie Yen have all been pressured to take on roles that resembled Bruce Lee) in his Hollywood debut, but to Bruce Lee's credit, back in his day he never took on demeaning roles in Hollywood, and outright refused them.

We don't know how Philip Ng's career will turn out after this film (we wish him the best), but it wouldn't be incorrect to assume that no one watching this exploitative film will give him another chance for another role in America - and it's not his fault. The fault lies with the filmmakers.

kung-fu-david-carradine

When Bruce Lee's own television script Kung Fu was stolen by Warner Bros. and subsequently whitewashed by David Carradine (who would have been a nobody without Bruce Lee), he flew back to Hong Kong to make his own films that showed the world he could be a true leading man, and not a sidekick.

Similarly, we now have an unknown white actor Billy Magnussen, piggybacking off of Bruce Lee's legacy in order to gain fame for himself with Birth of the Dragon.

Hollywood loves to steal ideas and appropriate culture from other people, replace them with white actors, dismiss the original creators, and take the glory and credit. It is history repeated again.

Remembering the real Bruce Lee

102d907614cec84617e611549d7f60ce

Bruce Lee and wife Linda Lee.

It is obvious to us that Hollywood is trying extra hard these days to omit or belittle Asians in the media. We're just shocked to find that they would dare try to erase the accomplishments of the legendary Bruce Lee and what he represented - strong Asian masculinity and sexuality - effectively trying to erase prominent Asian heroic figures off the face of popular culture altogether.

Regardless if its the economic rise and threat of China, or pure vile hate and jealousy, one thing is clear: Hollywood is ramping up its not-so-subtle anti-Asian propaganda campaign, further regulating us to sidekicks, nerds, geeks, and emasculated asexuals (even in our own biographical pictures) promoting a falsified history of Asians (and engineering our society as a result).

bruce-lee-bruce

If you need a refresher on who Bruce Lee was, just read the many articles about him online, his many fantastic groundbreaking martial arts films, and the many documentaries that have featured him. We won't attempt to recap that here.

Bruce Lee, however, was anything but an emasculated, asexual, frustrated jerk. He defied the odds, rebelled from traditional norms and mainstream society, and carved out his own legacy (even when Hollywood first tried to shaft him) that not only inspired millions of people around the world - he was a symbol for Chinese and Asian pride.

We should remember the real legacy of Bruce Lee, and not the sidekick freak show version fabricated by Hollywood today.

- Dynasty Team




September 08, 2018 by Dynasty Team
Tags: Media

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