Ex-Disney star Brenda Song told she was not 'Asian enough' to audition for 'Crazy Rich Asians'

The movie's director implied in a tweet that he was unaware of the decision.

Julia Yeo| November 21, 08:27 PM

You may have previously seen Asian-American star Brenda Song's shows, the actress who was once dubbed the "Queen of Disney".

Song, who starred in "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody" as ditzy heiress London Tipton, told Teen Vogue in an interview that she wasn't allowed to audition for blockbuster movie "Crazy Rich Asians" because she "was not Asian enough".

Didn't even consider her for an audition

According to the actress, she was a fan of the books, and asked her managers if she could get a meeting or an audition for any possible part in the movie.

It would've seemed like a no-brainer to consider Song, who is half-Thai and half-Hmong, for an audition in the movie, considered a first of its kind in Hollywood because of its full-Asian cast.

However, her managers came back with a message from "Crazy Rich Asians" that she "wasn't right for a role" in the movie, Teen Vogue heard.

"Their reasoning behind that, what they said was that my image was basically not Asian enough, in not so many words. It broke my heart,” Song said during the interview.

Not Asian enough?

After getting blown off by the movie's production for "being not Asian enough", Song found herself lost about her own identity, and wondered, "Where do I fit?"

She asked herself:

"This character is in her late to mid-20s, an Asian American, and I can't even audition for it?

I've auditioned for Caucasian roles my entire career, but this specific role, you're not going to let me do it? You're going to fault me for having worked my whole life?"

The actress reportedly took some time off to travel after the shock rejection by "Crazy Rich Asians", working through her disappointment before returning to Los Angeles.

Within a week of returning, she was offered the lead role in Netflix's 2019 summer thriller "Secret Obsession", which was viewed 40 million times in four weeks after it was released.

"Crazy Rich Asians" director responds

Soon after Teen Vogue published the interview with Song, "Crazy Rich Asians" director Jon Chu responded to Song's claims with a tweet, implying that he was unaware of the decision.


Top image via @brendasong/IG, Wikipedia Commons