I wanted to vent and rant about something that constantly keeps coming up and it’s just getting really annoying. Negative Asian male stereotypes. I experienced a couple of unappealing things in the course of 1 day while hanging out at home one night watching TV.
(1) I was watching TV one day and there was this reality show where there are 2 hot white girls inside a house and one by one, a guy rings the doorbell. The girls view the guys who are outside the front door via a camera and they judge whether they can come in or not – worthy enough to meet the hot girls inside. One of the guys happens to be an Asian guy and this is what the girls commented: “Uh, he looks a little short”, “I wonder if the rest of him fits his short height”, “Sorry William Hung but you’re just not hung enough for me”.
For most people this may be funny to them but for me, it’s annoying and completely aggravating. People tell me to chill out and just not worry about it. And I try. But this kind of shit always pops up as I live and go through my daily life. I don’t look for it or seek it. I am bombarded on a daily basis by these kinds of things. And one of the biggest source of this the damn TV, which I sometimes watch.
(2) There was another TV show called “2 Broke Girls” – In it, the diner where the 2 broke girls work at is owned by a tiny short Asian guy. He’s deathly afraid of GIRLS – he’s shy, timid, and comes across as being asexual. I get it, the character is a Asian nerd who’s afraid of girls and acts like he’s some prudis childish imbecile. There is an ounce of sexuality brooding within him and he comes across as lacking any sort of sexual quality. And his character is not gay. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not some prude uptight Asian guy who don’t have a sense of humor. I actually liked the show. But why does Hollywood have to go there and make those cheap shots at the expense of Asians? It’s the same old tired story.
So what is it? Why does an Asian guy have to be portrayed that he is asexual, short, have a small penis, and not interested in sex or girls? I am not short, asexual, afraid of girls, and have a small penis. And I know many other Asian guys who are tall, sexual, love girls and sex, and have big penises….haha – joking!
The same Asian character in “2 Broke Girls” had a heavy Asian accent. I looked this up – The Asian actor can speak English fluently yet he speaks in a broken English accent on the show. This is unnerving and really gets me angry. It seems almost every Asian on TV or movie has the Asian accent. What does that say about Hollywood?
And to top it all off, one the girl characters on the show says “You can’t tell an Asian he made a mistake. He’ll go in back and throw himself on a sword…” – Oh wow!
As an Asian man or even an Asian girl, don’t you get tired of seeing and hearing these negative stereotypes projected and broadcasted all over the TV and the media in general? Does this not bother you at all? Asian men have to realize that many non-Asian and even other Asians buy into these stereotypes and start to believe they are truths.
One writer on a blog wrote this and I can’t disagree more:
The two work at a greasy spoon diner in the thick of hipsterville and they have a Korean boss (played by Matthew Moy) with what seems to be a stereotypical portrayal of an Asian: broken English, dorky Osh Kosh B’Gosh for adults wardrobe, and a wide-eyed naive view of America. In other words, a FOB. Way harsh, right? Not necessarily.
My love for the show aside, there have been rumblings of Asian Americans getting ready to attack the show for its Long Duk Dong tendencies, but after watching the show, I would like to politely ask Asian Americans to retract their fists of fury.
Sure, there are details of Moy’s character that would immediately make all of us go into militant mode. For instance, Moy’s character’s name is Han Lee, but he opts to Americanize his name by calling himself “Bryce Lee.” You can look at these two ways: 1.) Offensive because it degrades an iconic name in Asian culture or 2.) Funny because it is a social commentary on how immigrants change their names at a moment’s notice. I opt for the latter because there is no need to waste energy on yet another Bruce Lee joke. Yes, Bruce Lee is an icon and the very fact that they are parodying his name is testimony to that. And imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, no? Plus, the use “Bruce Lee as a gag” is the same ol’ rhetoric that we have been beating like a dead water buffalo for years. In the right context, it isn’t offensive. Half the time, we make a point for it to be offensive.
Other than the name and the exaggerated look of Moy’s character, there really isn’t any other reason to waste energy over complaining about Bryce Lee. With the screen time he has, Moy owns the role. He doesn’t degrade it. It would be a totally different story if they had him using an abacus in each scene or constantly eating kimchi or worse — driving a Honda with a ridiculous body kit and/or building the foundation for K-Town 2.0.
Plus, the show is a sitcom — a “situation comedy.” It’s supposed to be funny. But if you insist on getting frowning upon Moy’s character, then you might as well throw in their stereotypical portrayal of Earl (Garrett Morris), a cool-as-hell black man with a “jive” accent, the dirty and misogynistic Russian cook Oleg (Jonathan Kite), the jabs taken at Russian mobsters, the preconceived notions about high society, and finally the horrible attacks made upon hipsters wearing knit beanies.
I’m not alone on this: Click here!
And click here…
And finally this!