Lee Shorten is an writer/director/actor best known for playing Sgt Yoshida in The Man in the High Castle and Kazumasa Sakai in Ghost of Tsushima.
Share a time that you had to deal with racism in the course of your career;
There have been a lot of little things over the years. Things that maybe seem kind of innocuous in the scheme of things but form part of larger issue. Like agents saying they can’t rep you because they already have an Asian, or a production saying they already have an Asian cast member. Or going to craft services and being told ‘crafty is for bg’ even though your part of the main cast.
Share something that you are proud of achieving as an Asian Canadian working in professional performing arts;
Probably my short film “Parabola” which was a distinctly Japanese American story with a predominantly Asian cast and crew. On one hand I was just happy to be able to tell this story but also at the time, there was a lot of pressure on me to change it to a white family so it would be more ‘relatable’.
What does it mean to you to be an Asian-Canadian working in the performing arts?
I view it as a responsibility. We have very limited opportunities and representation so it’s my responsibility to be not only extremely good at my job but conduct myself professionally and ethically.