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Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Yellowface

The practice of altering white actors’ appearance by yellowing their skin with makeup and tightly taping their eyelids to appear Asian.  As in Blackface minstrelsy, the practice originally accompanied the performance of offensive racial caricatures for the purpose of mockery and the confirmation of white superiority.  More recently the term has come to refer more widely to casting white actors in specifically Asian roles as well as the use of digital alteration in lieu of makeup and prosthetics. (79)(80)(81)

Citations

79. Yellowface: Asians on White Screens – IMDiversity

80. It's "Ah Sin" to be Yellow in America: Theatrics of Racial Humor in Protesting Injustice

81. MANAA Asserts Offensive Use of Yellowface, Exclusion of Asian Actors in 'Cloud Atlas'

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The JJI Glossary defines terms that are necessary in discussing equity in the arts. This glossary is the result of countless hours of thoughtful research and innovation by our team.