‘The Departed’ full of racist Asian stereotypes

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

the departed martin scorceseI’m really looking forward to watching The Departed but I’m shocked to hear that it’s chock-full of Asian stereotypes. Which is ironic, of course, since it’s a remake of the great Hong Kong movie Infernal Affairs.

Brian from Asia Pacific Arts wrote this quick report in to Angry Asian Man:

…it is surprisingly insensitive to Asians — namely, lots of inscrutable Chinese villains lurking around in seedy Chinatown, as well as some sinister mainland Chinese government agents who are made into inept fools by Jack Nicholson and his gang. It’s not a huge part of the movie, and normally I can tolerate the stereotypes, but in a film that’s so indebted to Hong Kong culture, it’s shocking that this is the way it choses to give back to the Chinese.

And Jenn at Reappropriate has this to say:

But the insult comes not in these caricatures of Chinese characters. No, the insult comes with Jack Nicholson’s dialogue, which blatantly invokes nearly every “amusing” anti-Asian joke one can bring to mind: from Chinese as spies, to Chinese as foreigners, to Chinese as un-American, to Chinese as emasculated, to Chinese dick-size jokes, to — and I quote — “No Tickee No Laundry”.

All in the span of five minutes.

…This is how Hollywood treats the people who gave birth to the film upon which the Departed is based. This is how visible our community is in Hollywood. And they wonder why we don’t go to theatres anymore: tonight, I spent $17 on a movie that basically spat in my face.

Ouch. Sounds like we’ve got another Crash on our hands.

Have you seen it yet? What do you think?