Sum Ting Wong V

Parts I here, II here, III here and IV here

ALPHABETICAL LISTING (I-L)

Japanese Story (2003): Sue Brooks’ recent Japanese Story joins an array of prominent Australian films from the last 3 decades in which Asian characters are ‘sacrificed’ for the sake of the white protagonists’ emotional fulfillment. The film does very little to shift prevailing cultural stereotypes about the Japanese. The character Hiro (Gotaro Tsunashima) functions merely as a cipher for Sandy’s (Toni Collette) own process of self-discovery, and he is conveniently eliminated once he has served his purpose. The film continues a long tradition in Australian cinema whereby Asian characters are denied autonomy as characters (Khoo 2004).

JAG (2003): From imdb, “A young Marine pilot, who is also a Vietnamese refugee from the fall of Saigon, comes under suspicion of taking part in human trafficking, along with his wife, who is also from Vietnam.”

Just Shoot Me (1997-2003): Was watching Just Shoot Me last night. Without getting into the episode’s details, Nina’s skanky wild granddaughter was making out with some Asian dude at a restaurant. Observing this, Nina says to someone on the phone, “She’s busy. Having Chinese.” What’s up with that? A freakin’ at the Chinese man’s expense. At first I thought, whoa, Asian man is getting some play with a hot white girl. But alas, they brought in an Asian guy just for the sake of one stupid line. That’s racist! [angryasianman].

The King and I: “A “classic” Hollywood musical movie originally released in 1956 and starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner. Kerr plays Anna Leonowens, a widowed British teacher hired to teach English to the children of King Mongkut of Siam, played by Brynner – who is white. In the process of teaching English to the heirs Anna also “enlightens” the King with modern (read: Western) philosophies and values. The casting of a white actor to play the role of an Asian king and the stereotyping of and condescensions towards Asians would have been perhaps excused for the original film as a product of its time, had it not been for the fact that an animated remake of the same title by Disney and a sequel, “Anna and the King” (starring Jodie Foster and Yun-Fat Chow), were both released in 1999 to continue the stereotyping of Asians. Both releases received rather poor reviews by the critics, but particularly the animated version which flopped.” [link unknown].

King of the Hill (1997-2010): Laotian father gives his daughter a boy’s name because he wanted a boy.

Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects (1989): Japanese businessmen frequent bars for sex with prostitutes. Japanese males molest Japanese females on trains and a Japanese businessman gropes two European females (Kashiwabara 1996).

Lethal Weapon 4 (1998): Elderly Chinese man confesses to sleeping with his wife’s sister.

The Lover (1991): Tony Leung Ka Fai stars as a weak, effeminate, Chinese playboy pining for the love of a white teenager (Jane March) in French colonial Vietnam. Based on the novel by Margueritte Duras. The credits bill Leung as “The Chinaman.” One love scene features the girl’s thoughts in voiceover as she describes her lover’s body as being devoid of any signs of masculinity (except for “the sex”). [ModelMinority forum review].

Las Vegas (2004): S01E15, Eurasian Ian Anthony Dale plays the cocky Jonathan Tam, who wants to have sex with a certain European female. He is tricked into being handcuffed to a bed and then stripped naked. Thinking that he is in for sex, the female leaves him as a present for a large, European prostitute named Sandy.

Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2002): In S01E06, a man mentions Asian businessmen coming to America and using prostitutes.

Law & Order (1994): S05E03, shows economically powerful Asian men who use their money to buy and abuse white women…..The plot revolves around a blonde American who has killed her Japanese male boss, Mr. Hiyashi. Her defense is that she had been forced into prostitution and physically abused at his hands, and therefore had acted in self-defense (Kashiwabara 1996).

Law & Order (2004): S14E22, A Japanese woman is gunned down. Her husband, also Japanese, reports to police that the perp was an African-American male. It turns out that it was a conspiracy that involves the Yakuza. The script also portrays Asian-Americans as being racist towards African-Americans [ModelMinority forum review].

Lie to Me (2009): S01E04, the Korean ambassador’s son is to marry a Nordic-American woman (Phoebe). He gets shot in the wedding. It is revealed that he has a gambling problem and that Phoebe’s  previous husband was the shooter.

Lost (2004-2010): ABC’s “Lost” perpetuates different forms of Asian stereotypes, according to Yu. In a recent episode, a non-English speaking Korean couple has marital problems. The husband is portrayed as a domineering, angry and abusive man who tries to control his submissive, dutiful but fearful wife. He yells and she cries throughout the episode. The depiction of the Asian men as abusive, callous wife beaters is prominently displayed in “Lost.” Furthermore, the stereotype of Asian females as submissive, obedient beings permeates other media forms (Kim 2006).

SOURCES:

Kashiwabara, A. 1996. Vanishing Son: The Appearance, Disappearance, and Assimilation of the Asian-American Man in American Mainstream Media. Senior Honors Thesis in Political Science, UC Berkeley. http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/Amydoc.html [accessed: 2013-07-24].

Khoo. Olivia. 2004. The sacrificial Asian in Australian film. Real/Time 59: 15. http://realtimearts.net/article/issue59/7336 [accessed: 2013-07-08].

Kim, Leland. 2005. Media Criticism: Local Paper Covers Asian Americans Positively, But Negative Stereotypes Persist In Mainstream Media. The Cardinal Inquirer. http://web.archive.org/web/20060902182633/http://inquirer.stanford.edu/Fall2004/ldkim/Stereotypes.html

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5 thoughts on “Sum Ting Wong V

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