Asian Americans in Film

Since this class, I’ve noticed many different things in films that I wasn’t specifically looking for. I’ve seen yellow face, forever foreigner and yellow peril in films I’ve seen countless times but have never noticed them before. Such films as “Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift”Image

I noticed the Racism between the man character Sean Boswell and his antagonist D.K.

D.K. calls him an outsider and immediately hates him for it, all just because he doesn’t fit in.

Another film I recently saw was “The Hangover, Part II”

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with Asian American actor Ken Jeong, in the beginning scenes of the movie, the film plays on an Asian stereotype when they are looking for there friend (Ken Jeong). In the film Jeong has to act more Asian even though he was born in Detroit, Michigan, an example of Yellow Face. In the film the characters travel Bangkok, Thailand in search for Teddy. One scene in particular the boys are at a strip club retracing there steps and find a stripper from the previous night. As the conversation unfolds near the end the stripper says “they don’t call it Bangkok for nothing” and that’s when the boys realized the stripper was a trans gender playing into the a Stereotype. Much like the Ikea commercial we saw in class, that stuff is still funny even though its a small percentage of the diversity of the people. Unfortunately this is what sells films, Racism and Stereotypes, although I believe we are slowly moving away from this it will never truly disappear. Some people will always find it funny and some will always be offended. Many Asian American actors are getting bigger and bigger roles, and they are getting the chance to prove that an Asian American doesn’t just have to play “really” Asian, they can be themselves and the movie will still sell, like in “Hawaii Five-0” Daniel Dae Kim is just a normally guy helping stop crime in Hawaii, although he is from Asia in the show he doesn’t have to particularly show it. All these films with Asian American actors that have staring lead roles, I find I wouldn’t watch if they weren’t in them. Sung Kang, Ken Jeong, and Daniel Dae Kim are among my favorite actors. When I see non-white actors in films, I feel as if it will be the stepping stone to over come the complete racism people have towards each other. That if we see enough of characters getting along of different races it might be enough to influence people as much as the News does.

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One thought on “Asian Americans in Film

  1. Hi Kyle, I like that you looked at a number of recent films in considering the representations of Asian Americans–and you make some good points with respect to yellow peril and forever foreigner stereotypes. There are also some issues of intersectionality that you touch on. I’ll be interested in whether your prediction about improvements for APA actors/directors prove to be true.

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