Movies Can’t Avoid…..The Asian Stereotypes

For this weeks blog post I am going to focus on the Asian stereotypes that movies and society cannot seem to avoid making.  These stereotypes of Asians are offensive to this group because it is an inaccurate assumption about them and about their ethnicity.  The stereotypes of Asians that have been unavoidable are the genius, the dragon ladies, the Kung Fu Fighters, the foreigners, and the prostitutes.  There are a number of movies that fulfill these stereotypes and they include The Karate Kid (both the old and new version with Jaden Smith), Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift, Law and Order SVU, Dads, The Big Bang Theory, 2 Broke Girls, Gilmore Girls, Up, Star Wars, Sixteen Candles, Harold and Kumar, and many others as well.  In these movies they carry out one of the stereotypes above and on top of that include a few others like “eating dog” and not being able to tell the difference between the different types of Asian ethnicities.  In an interview done with a comedy “group” the Fung Brothers, they say that the most offensive and hurtful part to these stereotypes is that it makes Asians believe that culturally that a certain stereotype is the only place they fit into in society.  They also say that the thing about watching young stereotypes like in Goonies makes kids want to be like those stereotypes and not being true to their identities.

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The Asian stereotype has been around for a very long time and it has morphed throughout decades to incorporate other stereotypes of Asians as well.  The biggest problem with these stereotypes is the way they make the Asian group feel like culturally they only have certain spots to fill.  These depictions are what need to be changed about the media because a group should not feel like they cannot be themselves and like they only need to fulfill a certain place in society.

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5 thoughts on “Movies Can’t Avoid…..The Asian Stereotypes

  1. Great post, yet again! I really enjoy reading all of your passion blogs because I find the stereotypes that you write about very true, and relevant. Like I commented in a previous response, I can relate to these post because I am Hispanic and have also faced stereotypes throughout my life. A previous comment-er made a point that some of these stereotypes may be actually true based on Chinese culture, I believe that they can be exaggerated in the movies.

  2. This is an interesting observation and definitely a harmful theme in media that needs to be removed. The term “asian” is also interesting because it simultaneously groups all the Chinese, Korean, and Japanese looking people together, while excluding much of that large region, deeming them not “asian.” This is a good analysis of the stereotypes.

  3. This is a great observation, and definitely one I have had myself. I think that the the industry has an obligation to correct this stereotype. I have seen shows where Asian characters haven’t been profiled as heavily, like Christina in Greys Anatomy, for example.

  4. I like that you interviewed a comedy group so that you got different peoples perspectives on the stereotype. I could not think of any movies off the top of my head that I noticed this stereotype in, but once you named some of them I realized that they do stereotype Asians. I like you blog theme a lot because it brings these stereotypes to the attention of the public who might normally choose to ignore them.

  5. Hello! Although I agree with your article for the most part, I do think that there is some truth to particular stereotypes. The genius stereotype for example can be fact-based. Chinese is a much more involved language, and the way that they study and learn differs from American studies. This causes a difference in the amount of knowledge Chinese vs. American kids have. Although, there are exceptions, I do believe that the education system and language differences do cause Chinese kids to be at least slightly advanced in comparison to their American counterparts.

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