Chloe Bennet was told she “wasn’t white enough” for Hollywood
The 27-year-old actress - whose real name is Chloe Wang - has an American mother and a Chinese father, and has revealed her race was the topic of “every single conversation” when she first moved to LA to pursue an acting career, because casting directors deemed her not “white enough” or “Asian enough” for any roles
19 September 2019
She explained: “When I first got to LA, every single conversation was about me and my race. Because my last name is Wong, and when I first moved out to LA I was going out as Chloe Wang.
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“A casting director told me in the room that I wasn’t white enough to be the lead, and I wasn’t Asian enough to be the best friend. And that’s really what all of the roles were. All of the castings, the lead was white and then the Asian character was some sort of comedic relief or dorky character or whatever.
“I remember thinking ‘She’s right, I’m not going to be able to do this.’ And then like a week later it hit me just how sh**ty that is, and how much that infuriated me, and how wrong that was that I even believed it for a second.”
The ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’ star took her father’s first name, Bennet, for her stage name after becoming tired with being “continually reduced”.
Speaking to People Now, she added: “The name change happened after a lot of discussion. Because I am Chinese, I’m 50 percent Chinese, but I’m also a lot of other different things. I’m a sister, I’m a friend, I’m very dynamic in other ways that have a lot to do with my heritage, and some don’t at all, and I want to be seen for who I am as a person and not just as one thing. Because I was just continually reduced, I just wanted to be ambiguous for a second so my personality could shine, rather than someone’s perception of me.”
Chloe hasn’t legally changed her name and is still Chloe Wang in her daily life, but did note that after taking up Bennet as a stage name, she was accepted in her first audition.