From author and activist Rebecca Solnit, re-posted from social media.
Memo to my fellow white people ostentatiously complaining about how they didn’t like Everything Everywhere All At Once. I loved the film but if I didn’t I’d be aware how meaningful it is to other people–notably Asian and Asian American viewers– and not dump on their joy. It’s a huge breakthrough film in a white-dominated industry, and some of you are sounding pretty….checked-out…in your grousing.
[There are lots of other works of art where it’s very clear how meaningful it is to someone else, often because they have long gone unrepresented and overlooked, and if it’s not resonating the same way for me, it’s my goal to be attuned to why it resonates for them, not foreground my grumpy limitations and my luxury of already having films/ music/ stories/ songs enough about people like me. But there’s also always the question of why something doesn’t resonate. Can you not identify with characters of another race/sexual orientation/background or enjoy spending time watching their lives unfold? If not, you might want to explore that. A lot of young and queer people also loved the film. I’m not saying everyone must like it; but I am saying that thinking about the why or why not could be useful and also that a lot of the complaining sounds pretty close-minded and mean-spirited and very middle-aged. Black journalist Eugene Robinson wrote today: “That is a level of Asian representation we have never seen before at the Oscars. In the past, the message from Hollywood to Asian actors and creators has ranged from, effectively, “squeeze yourself into this stereotyped pigeonhole” to “just stay the hell away.”’]