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WHY THE MEDIA BIAS AGAINST ASIANS?
(Updated Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008, 04:59:07 PM)

o aspect of American life angers us more relentlessly and insidiously than the way we're alternately maligned and ignored by the U.S.-based mass media. None of us could name a major film studio, publishing company or TV network -- other than perhaps PBS -- that hasn't committed these sins hundreds or even thousands of times.
     The mass media's distortions of Asians and Asian Americans have been decried far too often to bear repeating here. In a nutshell, though, they center around sexualizing and cheapening Asian women while simultaneously desexualizing and dismissing Asian men. Suffice to say that instances in which the U.S.-based media portray us fairly are so rare as to draw stunned disbelief each time they are encountered.
     Why this persistent assault on the culture and phenotype of a third of humanity? Some spy the heavy hand of moguls seeking economic advantage in portraying Asian competitors as inferior, and therefore, unworthy of trust, patronage or investment. Others see a conspiracy to keep down a race whose burgeoning global influence threatens in due course to overshadow that of white western peoples. A history of wars against Asian nations, sexual rivalry, economic scapegoating, xenophobia and simple ignorance are other often cited factors.
     Likely, what's at work is some combination of those and other forces.
     Share your hard-earned insights on the subtle and gross workings of the American mass media's apparent crusade against the Asian and Asian American image.

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WHAT YOU SAY

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SNL's UN special session skit, 4/19/03

Dear SNL:

I was severely disappointed in SNL's opening skit involving a UN special session. I saw speakers from France, Germany, Iceland, and Chile portrayed as realistically as possible, and speakers from the U.S. and Cameroon at least portrayed decently. I was shocked and ultimately dismayed at the way SNL attempted to portray the Chinese representative. I was shocked that yellowface is alive and well in the year 2003 in an American society that claims itself to be open and diverse. Furthermore, while all the other speakers spoke in a realistic manner of speech, the speech of the actor playing the Chinese speaker was completely unrealistic (except, perhaps, to those who only view Chinese, and Asians in general, through stereotypes). Well, I suppose the SNL cast is not so diverse, and as a result the actors you could use in the skit was limited. But that is an altogether different issue. In any case, once the skit was over, the channel on my TV was quickly switched to Fox, where I could view MadTV.

Was mocking the speech of the Chinese an integral part of the skit? I don't think so. Why didn't you mock anyone else's speech; say the French, given the recent amount of French-hating in America? Why not any of the other white delegates? Why not the speaker from Cameroon? Would that have offended black Americans? I am left to wonder why SNL included the Chinese speaker in the skit, only to be the sole speaker whose manner of speech was mocked. I wonder how this reflects on the way the castmembers of SNL view the Chinese, Asians in general, and Asian Americans in particular. As an American, it troubles me.

I'm sure you will have in mind the standard excuses concerning humor. I would like to state that I did find your skit funny, except for the things which I have expressed my concerns about.

P.S. That the black Cameroon speaker asked about committing serious crimes was truly funny. Not. I'm sure your audience members truly appreciated that, especially the black American ones. Please include blackface in a future skit. And why not add redface, brownface, and whiteface, too?

---

NBC's contact page:

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New York, NY 10112


LIBOR
   Sunday, April 20, 2003 at 00:36:31 (PDT)    [24.24.146.91]
Misrepresentation of Asians in American media/pop-culture - I have been studying this disturbing trend for the better part of my 27 year life span. What's even more disturbing is the fact that so many Asian-Americans are oblivious/apathetic towards obvious attempts to undermine the success of our people in this nation. Probable causes? Middle-aged white males trying to gain a secure foothold for future generations of Asian-fetishists? Old company executives with mental/physical scars from recent wars with Asian nations? I could go on and on - the only thing that matters is we try to make a change. If we keep sitting on our hands over this, they will continue to bulldoze our people into the ground. We need to raise awareness of this issue guys. Peace.
Xiao Long
riceparty@hotmail.com    Saturday, March 29, 2003 at 07:55:11 (PST)    [24.242.232.151]
It looks like Connie Chung is going to have to look for a new job. She just got axed by CNN, even though her shows ratings one of the highest on the cable station.
AC Dropout
   Wednesday, March 26, 2003 at 10:35:53 (PST)    [24.136.115.189]
AsianHollywood,

I'm happy to hear you have matured and are willing to enter the industry on your own terms. I guess it is all about perception management at this point for you.
AC Dropout
   Tuesday, March 25, 2003 at 09:36:32 (PST)    [24.136.115.189]
Thanks for your comments people. Here are some responses:

AC Dropout,
I understand your emotional response; I did that as a youngster 15 yrs ago, was nearly blackballed by the industry. I left it for awhile so things could cool down. I was very confrontational, but it didn't work. It was me vs. all of them. Now that I've re-entered the industry, this time around I will be more politically correct. I believe that I will accomplish more.

Corean Actor,
If you read my comments above, then you'll know that it's a dangerous game to identify certain people. By the way, do you live in Los Angeles?
AsianHollywood
   Monday, March 24, 2003 at 23:06:10 (PST)    [66.248.33.174]
When you sit down and think or write about it, there's really no logical reason for the media bias against Asians. This goes for stereotypical character roles in television or lack of balanced roles in media, in general.

You're really talking about limited access by Asians (men, in particular) to decision making processes, racism and lack of political and social pressure to break barriers.

Asians lack the status in America to bring about fair characterizations. African-Americans can place more pressure on Hollywood to bring about more balanced characterizations, but it's usually a protracted dog-fight. All for what? to get labeled as constant complainers.

Asian-Americans, in my opinion, tend to try to gain fairness and rid negative media protrayals/bias by demonstrating your accomplishments, intellect and ability. This does not create political capital to make concrete changes.

You don't have to use the exact methods that African-Americans have used to protest media bias. You will need to make sure that whoever does it KNOWS there is a price to pay when you ridicule Asians. Right now, it's just too damn easy to mimic Asians and make money doing it.

I will leave it to your creative minds to develop some creative solutions.
Geoff DB
GeoffDB02@aol.com    Monday, March 24, 2003 at 20:35:45 (PST)    [172.193.189.150]
I'm here in NYC, and I see many AMs paired with Non-AFs. And yes, I'm very opinionated like most Big Apple folks. I honestly think most of the attractive and tall AMs live here in NY. They're much more assertive, worldly and interesting than their West Coast counterparts. The average height for West Coast AMs is 5'7, and many of them are small frame. The opposite holds true for many AMs out here who are at least 5'9 and big frame.

> Where did you get that? Got some stats to back that up?

The fact of the matter is, Asians are perceived as geeks, boring and non-creative. Only if AMs become more involved in the mainstream arts, music, and anything that involves creativity, then they will become more respected. And when I mean being involved, I mean doing ur own thing!

> I agree with you there. That's why I say we should support inspiring Asian American film makers and actors.

Hollywood was founded by Jews, and with their ambition and diligence, they outperformed and outearned White Anglos by establishing an entertainment industry. And as of now it, seems like the 'Goys' have been assimilated by a Jewish Hollywood.

> What's the greatest compliment for a Jew? To be mistaken for an Italian..lol.
I think its changing their last names, altering their noses and pretending to be a WASP is more accuate. LOL!

Most important, many Jews are clannish and are self preserving, unlike most Asians who do want to associate with their own kind, which is the main reason for our lack of success....'Divided we fall'

> I agree there. Jews have been forced to rely on each other out of necessity. Perhaps no other group have been persecuted like the Jews and blacks throughout history. It seems they have short memories thought, AHEM, Nazi concentration camps. Its puzzling why Jews portray Asians in a negative light. We never persecuted them. Right?
Oscars? who cares?
   Monday, March 24, 2003 at 17:32:16 (PST)    [64.12.96.236]
"First off, be more assertive. The one thing a lot of women don't like is passive, shy guys, and unfortunately that is the stereotypical Asian male. Look how aggressive Black men are. Always hounding women, especially White women"

As a white woman, I have to agree with Corean actor said. I like that my Asian boyfriend was confident and pursued me, but not aggressive. I DO NOT LIKE TO BE HOUNDED!! I hate when I'm walking down the street, wearing an average t-shirt and knee-length skirt (I never dress slutty or even sexy, pretty conservative) and black and hispanic guys make these hissing noises at me, and follow behind me and look at my butt. That is NOT the way to get a girl.

Women like to be appreciated but also respected.
Good luck to you all
   Monday, March 24, 2003 at 08:11:38 (PST)    [207.183.118.61]
AsianHollywood,

If it was me in the competition and I knew it was fixed. I would deliberately maim or break the bone of my oppenent in a sparring match. It would be a no contest, granted I might be disqualified. But they would have to spend more $ looking for another white guy.
AC Dropout
   Monday, March 24, 2003 at 07:52:06 (PST)    [24.136.115.189]
LSD,

Being a New Yorker, I've competed with Jews all the time, ever since grade school. They are just normal people. Some smart, some dumb.

Asian have always valued education. Standardized exams have existed in Asia for thousands of years as a way for the common individual to rise in government positions.

As for commerce Asians have been practicing that for ages.

As for the Asian immigrant experience. We as asian can draw parallel to any ethnic group in the USA. Such as; Blacks, Latino, Jews, etc. However, our experience is unique, which is why many of us are disturbed when you try to draw a strong relationship between asian and jews.
AC Dropout
   Monday, March 24, 2003 at 07:49:21 (PST)    [24.136.115.189]
Asian Media,

I was wondering if u are the from the West Coast, since most of the gripe about the Asian gender dating disparity comes from the West Coast.

I'm here in NYC, and I see many AMs paired with Non-AFs. And yes, I'm very opinionated like most Big Apple folks. I honestly think most of the attractive and tall AMs live here in NY. They're much more assertive, worldly and interesting than their West Coast counterparts. The average height for West Coast AMs is 5'7, and many of them are small frame. The opposite holds true for many AMs out here who are at least 5'9 and big frame.

The fact of the matter is, Asians are perceived as geeks, boring and non-creative. Only if AMs become more involved in the mainstream arts, music, and anything that involves creativity, then they will become more respected. And when I mean being involved, I mean doing ur own thing!

Hollywood was founded by Jews, and with their ambition and diligence, they outperformed and outearned White Anglos by establishing an entertainment industry. And as of now it, seems like the 'Goys' have been assimilated by a Jewish Hollywood.

Most important, many Jews are clannish and are self preserving, unlike most Asians who do want to associate with their own kind, which is the main reason for our lack of success....'Divided we fall'

U kinda wonder why the Hollywood Asian big cats are Chow Yun Fat and Jackie Chan, and not Russell Wong and Rick Yune. There is just something wrong with homegrown Asians and their environment....maybe u can elaborate...
LSD
   Monday, March 24, 2003 at 07:34:31 (PST)    [66.212.81.183]

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