From being the smartest kids in class to practicing Karate to speaking English in keywords, the entertainment industry created numerous Asian characters with similar character development to define Asians in reality. Although a handful of stereotypes give a good impression about Asian communities, the stereotypes also raise concerns based on how the world interprets them.
|Image credit: Blogzilla. 2017. The Asian Culture in Media|
Misrepresentation is defined as the misleading account of the nature of something. Despite of the many behaviors, mainstream media limits Asian stereotypes to a few characteristics that continuously repeat over time. Such wrongly repeated acts can post threats for the future and there are signs of it from now.
For instance, in the TV show, 'Mind Your Language', based on a Britishman teaching a group of students with different nationalities across Europe and Asia. The show itself was cancelled because of offensive stereotypes used. One such character in the show was 'Taro Nagazumni', played by Robert Lee. Nagazumi is a Japanese electronic executive for a Japanese based company but joins the classes to improve his English. Some of the stereotypes used in his character development included the use of 'o' after every word and bowing whenever his name is called up.
Whereas, in the film, 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom', the character, 'Short Round' played by Jonathon Ke Quan, is a 11 year old Vietnamese boy playing the role of on orphan being the sidekick of the lead actor, Indiana Jones. The film presents Side Kick being the driver and helping Indiana to escape from the temple. The Vietnamese are undermined to an American, being the hegemonic male character.
Lastly, besides for Asians, even the Asian American community are affected by racial stereotyping, Accroding to theatlantic.com, a survey revealed that 'racial misconceptions can impact your work'. This was voted by 88% out 350 Asian Amercian men on TheAsianAmericanMen.com. The owner of the websited stated “But I hope it can shed light on some of the experiences of the nine million Asian men living in the United States and perhaps spark some important conversations.”
Overall, with the false representations of Japanese culture in British media, racially underming Vietnamese on Americans and based on the survey conducted by TheAsianAmericanMen.com, it suggests that media is responsible for the misresentation of Asians.
Written by Viraj Asher
1)2017. Asian Americans Feel Held Back at Work by Stereotypes - The Atlantic. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/01/asian-americans-feel-held-back-at-work-by-stereotypes/458874/. [Accessed 11 April 2017].
2)TVGuide.com. 2017. Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom Cast and Crew | TVGuide.com. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.tvguide.com/movies/indiana-jones-and-the-temple-of-doom/cast/102071/. [Accessed 11 April 2017].
3)TV.com. 2017. Mind Your Language - Cast, Crew and Credits - TV.com . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.tv.com/shows/mind-your-language/cast/. [Accessed 11 April 2017].