The original post was written by Em Liu for the Hooded Utilitarian (original article here).
I put the first couple paragraphs below, but the whole article is well worth the read. It’s a comprehensive analysis (cutting insights too) of AA men portrayed through white American outlets from the mid 1900s on.
We absorb poisonous images from the fiction we consume.
Hollywood’s brand of fiction is especially toxic, and one of the most perennially problematic images in Hollywood is that of the Asian male. A
t a basic level, the problem is a simple lack of representation: there are very few roles for Asian American actors, and lead roles are almost nonexistent. When an Asian male actor is actually cast in a speaking role, his character is often either an emasculated, inarticulate, socially inept chump like Long Duck Dong (Gedde Watanabe) from John Hughes’ Sixteen Candles or else an asexual, stoic, martial arts warrior like Bruce Lee (in any Bruce Lee movie).
This issue is often dismissed as affecting only the small number of Asian American actors trying to make a living in Hollywood, for whom the highest levels of the profession may remain unattainable. However, a lack of diversity in fiction has been linked to children’s lowered self-esteem and increased racial biases. Our consumption of the characters and dramas of our own creation feeds the way in which we view ourselves. A lack of realistic portrayals of Asian American men onscreen can therefore affect the way young boys see themselves, and how we as a society see them.
. . . Em Liu for the Hooded Utilitarian (original article here) . . .
I learned that Mulan is the only Walt Disney “princess story” that does not feature a kiss. Mulan is the only story featuring an Asian man, in the male protagonist would-be kisser role. I guess it was so offensive to see someone who looks like me get a kiss that not only was it banished from film, they couldn’t even show a cartoon drawn version of it.
With a generation of youth socialized and educated about sex through the media, its no wonder we see racism in their expression of mate preference. Young Asian American women had the same indoctrination, and I don’t think had much choice in the process that made them think that their life was about choosing between Paths A and B.