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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Director Responds to Brenda Song’s Claim That She Was ‘Not Asian Enough’ to Audition

”I feel horrible she thinks this is the reason. The fact is I love Brenda Song and am a fan,“ Jon M. Chu says

“Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu responded and apologized to actress Brenda Song after she said that she was unable to audition for the romantic comedy because she was “not Asian enough.”

Song did an interview with Teen Vogue addressing an observation from fans that she was the “original Crazy Rich Asian” when she played the wealthy character London on the Disney Channel’s “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.” She told the magazine that she never got to read for the part and was informed by her managers that she wasn’t right for a role in the film.

“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,” she said. “I said, ‘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?’ I was like, ‘Where do I fit?'”

Chu said in response that he feels awful if Song ever got that impression.

“Would these words ever come out of my mouth? Nope makes no sense,” he said in a tweet on Wednesday. “I feel horrible she thinks this is the reason. The fact is I love Brenda Song and am a fan. I didn’t need her to audition because I already knew who she was!”

“Crazy Rich Asians” had a worldwide talent search, and the director also resurfaced an article saying how proud he was of the process.

“One of my favorite memories of making #CrazyRichAsians was when we opened the auditions to anyone in the world with our open call. We watched hundreds & hundreds of videos from very talented people from all around the world. Made us tear up many times,” Chu said.

Check out Song’s interview here and Chu’s tweets below.