A big reason for the historic box office success of “Jurassic World” is due to its nostalgia for the original 1993 hit, “Jurassic Park.”
Lowery’s vintage t-shirt with the original logo, the kids riding around in one of the old jeeps from the first film, and the return of Dr. Henry Wu are just some of the goodies you can find in the new movie that reference the original.
But the actor who plays Dr. Wu, BD Wong, says there’s one thing “World” has done much better than “Park” — ethnic diversity.
“Twenty-two years ago it was Sam Jackson and me,” said Wong. “I think that was pretty much it.”
But in "World," says Wong, "It’s truly diverse.”
The actor has a point.
Along with Wong (who is of Chinese descent) returning, the park in “Jurassic World” is run by a character played by Indian actor Irrfan Khan.
And the character Barry, who ttrains raptors alongside Owen (Chris Pratt), is of West African descent (Omar Sy).
Then there are the park guests.
“There’s 22,000 truly diverse people at the park,” Wong points out. “If you’re me you really notice that. They really took pains to make that a really international looking crowd.”
He believes “racial exclusion in Hollywood” is one of the reasons his Dr. Wu character was scaled down to a single scene in “Jurassic Park.” In Michael Crichton’s book on which the film is based, Dr. Wu has a major presence.
“When you’re an ethnic actor you always have to question why this character got scaled down so much,” Wong told BI. “You go, ‘Oh, darn, this is an opportunity that got wasted.’ Because the movie needs to be Caucasian-centric in order for the filmmakers to feel that they need to succeed and reach people.”
Wong believes “Jurassic World” is a great step forward in Hollywood dealing with its lack of diversity issue, but there’s still a long way to go.
“We’re still far, far away from where parts that Bryce [Dallas Howard] and Chris [Pratt] play would go to ethnic people.”