Chloe Bennett in the Shanghai Metro

When I first saw these ads, I felt that this woman looked familiar, but I couldn’t place her, and the Chinese name 汪可盈 didn’t mean anything to me.

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I also felt like she didn’t look 100% ethnically Chinese, despite the Chinese name (and lack of English name).

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Turns out this is Chloe Bennett, the star of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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It’s kind of interesting how her English name in the U.S. shows no trace of Chinese heritage, but when she appears on ads in China, her English name is not used at all.

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Turns out that “Wang” is her surname by birth (her father is Chinese), and she actually pursued a singing career in mainland China as a teenager, using the name 汪可盈.

According to Wikipedia:

While pursuing an acting career in Hollywood, she changed her name to “Chloe Bennet,” after having trouble booking gigs with her last name. According to Bennet, using her father’s first name, rather than his last name avoids difficulties being cast as an ethnic Asian American while respecting her father.

Furthermore, she has explained Hollywood’s racism this way:

“Oh, the first audition I went on after I changed my name [from Wang to Bennet], I got booked. So that’s a pretty clear little snippet of how Hollywood works.”


The ad, using super simple Chinese, reads:

找工作 [(when) looking for a job]
我要跟 [I want to]
老板谈 [talk with the boss]

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John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. In the summer, I used to do part-time work as an “extra,” those people in the background. Lots of free food, waiting around, and time-and-a-half for long hours. I was always booked quickly for background medical personnel, students, and office people. On a limb some DA’s paired me up with other “looks” to walk together in the background. Such is Hollywood.

  2. Interesting cross-cultural observations, John.
    So I’m unclear, what is the advertisement trying to sell?

  3. Thanks! It’s another “find a job” app.

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