The Hangover: Leslie Chow

Mr. Chow

The Hangover is a comedic movie that was released in 2009. This movie had great success all over the world grossing over 270,000,000 dollars. The movie is about four friends going out to Vegas for a to celebrate a marriage by throwing bachelor party there. The only problem is that the first night there, they end up taking and abusing certain substances and end up forgetting the whole night while also losing their friend. At the time they are looking for their friend throughout the movie a character shows up named Leslie Chow. Leslie Chow is played by the American actor Ken Jeong who is the son of parents from South Korea. Ken Jeong, being born and raised in Detroit, Michigan speaks perfect English in his everyday life, but when he comes up on the screen in the movie he takes a whole different role that not only stereotypes the Asian culture but pushes those stereotypes to be used as comedy. He plays as a implicit yellow face in the film for many reasons. First his character has a heavy Asian accent, again, while he knows how to speak English with no Asian accent at all. Second, he does not seem like a tough person which again backs one stereotype of Asians that depicts Asians as not so masculine. I say this because while he does have authority in the movie by playing as some would say the “bad guy”, he never shows any form of strength or masculine features other than the body guards he has to protect him. Something else I noticed was that his name was Leslie, which in America is typically a Woman’s name, I feel like they used this name to make him even less masculine. I was also watching some interviews he had with different late night television shows and it seems like he doesn’t see a problem with what he is depicting Asian people as a whole by using his acting skills in mainstream media. He kept laughing and making jokes about how he is Asian-American and even though he is so, he did not perform his own stunts. When he mentioned things regarding his race he got so many positive reactions from the audience. I understand he is a comedian and it is his goal to entertain and make his audience laugh and that is probably the reason he finds nothing wrong with him being depicted in this movie as a emasculated, weak, and Asian accented character. This would be a case of yellow face logic’s in my opinion, since he sees that many people enjoy watching him act that certain way in media, he continues to do so. I personally don’t see any problem with it, as long as he knows what he is doing and does it in a way to entertain and not be racist or try to belittle his race then I don’t see why it would be wrong for him to continue his acting career in that way. Although the Hangover did pretty much set off his acting career he has now continued to play many other roles which do not involve him playing the stereotypical Asian, which is a great thing!

Ken

By: Enrique Jimenez

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One thought on “The Hangover: Leslie Chow

  1. Very good analysis of the Leslie Chow character! You make terrific connections to the stereotypical representations of AA men–and I appreciate that you also considered how Ken Jeong reinforces or resists these representations.

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