An article in the Hollywood Reporter highlighting more Oscar nominees of Asian actors in films than ever before appeared to have hit a sour note on social media with a headline that has since been modified.
The original title of the article read:
"Diverse Field Sees Asian Actors Shatter a Bamboo Ceiling."
Oscars: Diverse Field Sees Asian Actors Shatter a Bamboo Ceiling https://t.co/gXPGDxEOQ4— The Hollywood Reporter (@The Hollywood Reporter)1615817448.0
Um, @THR this is a problematic headline https://t.co/IZzHjTCGjv— janimation 🍥 (@janimation 🍥)1615818080.0
The entertainment news outlet's headline—which now reads, "Oscars: Diverse Field Sees Asian Actors Finally Break Through"—meant to celebrate this year's Oscar nomination roster featuring more actors of Asian descent than ever—including Korean-born and Michigan-raised actor Steven Yeun and South Korean actress Youn Yuh-Jung for Minari; British Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed for The Sound of Metal; and Chinese director Chloé Zhao for Nomadland.
Additionally, among the nominees were South Korean-American screenwriter Lee Isaac Chung and producer Christina Oh for their work in Minari.
Many saw the Hollywood Reporter's headline as "cringeworthy" for the use of the term "Bamboo Ceiling"—a derivative of the term "glass ceiling," used to describe invisible barriers through which minorities and women struggle to break through to attain higher social or corporate positions usually held by White men.
@THR “Bamboo Ceiling”?!? Why not go further and write: “Diverse Rice Fields see Asian Actors Shatter Bamboo Ceiling with Kung Fu”?!? 🤦🏻♀️— Esta Park (@Esta Park)1615817934.0
@THR I’m surprised the article doesn’t play a gong sound when you open it.— Decorum Reconfiguration Buearu (@Decorum Reconfiguration Buearu)1615817977.0
@THR surprised the article wasn't in this font https://t.co/I6u0OJf332— yoji ⁷ (@yoji ⁷)1615818731.0
@THR idc who coined it, "bamboo ceiling" is the cringiest thing i've heard in a while— 예자 (@예자)1615825609.0
Some believed the use of "Bamboo Ceiling" was not racist, arguing the term was originally coined in 2005 by executive coach and Asian American author Jane Hyun in her book Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: Career Strategies for Asians in which she described the struggles many Asian Americans face in professional fields overcoming barriers like stereotypes and racism.
@THR It's not racist guys, its a term coined by Asian author @JaneHyun. She wrote a book on how Asian-Americans can… https://t.co/1RlvbIklCS— Bryan Torresdey (@Bryan Torresdey)1615818507.0
Many still argued the term originated at a time when the discourse around diversity was not as prevalent as it is today.
@THR Not only was this not accidental racism, but clearly thought-out, this was probably thought of as “aha so clev… https://t.co/4wsqOChCM3— Zulian (@Zulian)1615818998.0
@THR The hell. 😡 and don’t come at us with “it’s a term of art” rubbish. just because the phrase was used back in 2… https://t.co/NGZwNqw140— ᴮᴱ Harri_sings ⁷ (@ᴮᴱ Harri_sings ⁷)1615819648.0
@THR oof y'all getting RATIO'D. Doesn't really matter that it's a "term" literally no one has ever said it outside… https://t.co/3ftRNOS3Xe— barb and stimmy go wherever they want (@barb and stimmy go wherever they want)1615818362.0
Hollywood Reporter writer Rebecca Sun—who is Asian—wrote the article in question and responded to the backlash and the influx of calls for her to amend the title.
"Hi! I wrote that headline (and the story). My editor, who is not Asian, was worried about it, but it's a conscious choice I made to reference the phrase's usage in the corporate world (the difficulty Asian executives have in breaking through to upper management)."
"It's definitely not meant to be a cheeky pun or anything like that."
@janimation @THR Hi! I wrote that headline (and the story). My editor, who is not Asian, was worried about it, but… https://t.co/Ewr9zZ6g0L— Rebecca Sun (@Rebecca Sun)1615818576.0
Despite clarifying her intentions, her defense did not convince everybody the use of the term was still the best decision.
@therebeccasun @janimation @THR as a fellow asian that was a terrible decision— ⟭⟬ ᴮᴱephren⁷ ⟬⟭ 🍊 future venti haver (@⟭⟬ ᴮᴱephren⁷ ⟬⟭ 🍊 future venti haver)1615820190.0
@therebeccasun @janimation @THR We get why. Please don't. I don't want whit ppl thinking of me in those cheesy term… https://t.co/Hz4FSBvbCI— You ARe MY light⁷ | BLM (@You ARe MY light⁷ | BLM)1615819922.0
@therebeccasun @janimation @THR well, u don't see women parading around with the term 'tampon ceiling' do you?— Just BE⁷ (@Just BE⁷)1615819863.0
@therebeccasun i rly appreciate you clarifying this! but based on the way my mentions are currently looking i don’t… https://t.co/Iv9AZwbO3u— zoë owens (@zoë owens)1615819414.0
@THR I’m seeing bamboo ceiling is an actual phrase but I’m not sure it addresses why it’s called a glass ceiling..… https://t.co/rlSMq1fAus— TheLastLizzo (@TheLastLizzo)1615819431.0
@DamoneWilliams_ @THR @therebeccasun She wrote the story but that doesn’t mean she also wrote the headline. The sto… https://t.co/MDMwUVHdwD— Aaron Carter (@Aaron Carter)1615818885.0
bamboo ceiling discourse in twenty twenty one? https://t.co/HSBXne8fXv— E. Alex Jung (@E. Alex Jung)1615820807.0
The 93rd Academy Awards will air live on April 25 on ABC.