So much for the myth of the liberal entertainment industry:
the 1934 Production Code, a "self-censorship" model adopted by Hollywood producers under pressure from religious groups
and politicians, issued amongst its many constraints on form and content a ban against "miscegenation," putting a
temporary end to on-screen mixed-race fraternity of any kind.
This is why potential triple-threat superstars such as Lena Horne were relegated to working in all-black musicals (such as Vincente Minnelli's early triumph, Cabin in the Sky), and this is why Anna May Wong was virtually forced to abandon her Hollywood career. After reaching a creative and commerical peak starring opposite Marlene Dietrich in Josef Von Sternberg's Shanghai Express (1934), Wong found some work in Europe, but more or less retired during WWII.
Learn all about Wong, still the most sucessful Chinese-American actress of all time, this Thursday, as biographer Graham Russell Gao Hodges delivers his lecture, "Anna May Wong: From Laundryman's Daughter to Hollywood Legend". The event, sponsored by the 92nd Street YMCA, will take place at 12 noon at the Steinhardt Building, 35 West 67th Street, in Manhattan. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at 92Y.org.