Tag Archives: asian

joss whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

by Special Correspondent Thea Lim

I don’t really like Joss Whedon.

Phew, there I said it. Sure I admire Whedon’s gender politics, but I find his dialogue and characters glib and unbelievable.

But my real problem with Whedon is much more superficial.

While most people were enjoying the full use of their patella, I spent last July lying in front of the TV after having the anterior cruciate ligament in my left knee repaired. To cheer me up my loving roommates bought me the boxset of Firefly. I loved the movie Serenity and I will always have a soft spot for Buffy (well, seasons 1 & 2) so I was pretty thrilled. But after the first episode opened with a coupla blonde actors speaking some sort of mangled hybrid of Mandarin and Cantonese, I wasn’t so sure.

After screening several episodes where – apart from being space cowboys and quasi-anarchists – the cast of the show wear kimonos, carry paper parasols, and talk about making pau, I started to get more and more annoyed. But was I just being a jerk? What was so wrong with the array of East Asian symbols and decor on the set of Firefly? Was I preventing myself from enjoying a perfectly good TV show by being some sort of yellow fever watchdog? Continue reading

Quoted: Jaemin Kim on Stereotypes, Asian Women, and Hate Crimes

Excerpted by Latoya Peterson


During a one month period in Autumn 2000, the predators abducted five Japanese exchange students, ranging from age 18 to 20. Motivated by their sexual biases about Asian women, all three used both their bodies and objects to repeatedly rape – vaginally, anally and orally — two of the young women over a seven hour ordeal.

In Spokane, one of the attackers immediately confessed to searching only for Japanese women to torture and rape — and eventually all pled guilty and were convicted. It clearly was a racially-motivated criminal case. The victims also believed they were attacked because of their race, the prosecutor told me.

What is astonishing, however, is that the district attorney failed to bring an additional charge that would have tagged the crimes as motivated by racial bias. The police also neglected to report the crime as a “hate crime,” as demanded by the Justice Department to keep accurate statistics of all bias-driven crimes. Although the attackers all received long sentences, an important opportunity to raise the nation’s consciousness was lost. We, as a society, were told that it’s not a hate crime to rape an Asian woman because of her race. Continue reading

Miley Cyrus Thinks It’s Cool to Mock Asians

by Latoya Peterson

Now, what did the Spanish Olympic basketball team say when they did it?

Oh, right, it was a “wink.” A sign of “affection.”

Here’s what other bloggers are saying – I don’t really have any words on this one.

Angry Asian Man:

For those who don’t know who the most popular teenager in America is, Miley’s third from the left. Is this how kids are posing for photos these days? Hey! Look at us spoiled punkass hipster kids making racist gestures! Because it’s fun, and we just don’t care. And it’s, like, totally ironic or something, you know? Our friend here is Asian and the rest of us are white! Get it? Watch us all do the silly squint-eye!

Who is the Asian guy, anyway? Sitting there like a tool and letting his “friends” getting away with racist gestures. Not funny. And is it me, or is he actually trying to make his eyes look wider? Couldn’t resist getting to hang out with the cool kids, I guess. Even if it means having to deal with this idiocy. Or maybe he’s forgotten what it feels like when some jerk on the street does that out of real-ass hate.

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To Gloria: Ching Chong. Love, Amy Sedaris

by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally Angry Asian Man

A reader named Gloria sends in this juicy little scan… She informs me that actress/author/comedienne Amy Sedaris did a show last week at Haverford College. Gloria’s brother (who happens to be Chinese American) got a copy of Sedaris’ book I Like You: Hospitality Under The Influence signed for her.

The above scan is what she apparently inscribed on the inside of the book. Yes, you’re reading that right. As if “Ching Chong” wasn’t enough, the rudimentary buck-toothed chink-eyed caricature is sort of icing on the racist cake. Continue reading

Asian American Employees Underreport Discrimination

by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man

My fellow Asian Americans, stand up for yourselves in the workplace! According to a new report from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Asian American employees are underrepresented in the senior ranks of federal agencies, and likely are underreporting instances of discrimination on the job: Asian-American employees underreport discrimination, report finds.

The report, which was released earlier this month, says that Asian Americans face a number of misperceptions and stereotypes, factors that have become “the framework of barriers establishing glass or bamboo ceilings which present [Asian American and Pacific Islanders] from moving into the upper tiers of an organization.”

A 2005 Gallup poll found that 31 percent of Asian respondents said they had experienced discriminatory or unfair treatment on the job. But the EEOC noted in its report that enforcement actions reveal that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders file only 3.26 percent of discrimination.

Say what now? We already have enough problems with people thinking we as Asian are passive, good little citizens who do what we’re told. It does us no good to let people walk all over us. It’s one thing to be discriminated against — it’s another thing entirely to stay quiet about it. And we wonder why we’re so conspicuously absent from executive and senior management levels…

Blog Scandal in San Francisco Public Defender’s Office

by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man

Some intriguing news out of the San Francisco public defender’s office… A MySpace blog entry written by former intern Carrie Wiplinger has prompted the superior court and Public Defender Jeff Adachi to investigate whether a lawyer in Adachi’s office was once told to keep Asians off a jury: Intern Blog Alleges Juror Racial Bias.

In the blog entry, posted September 3, Wipplinger wrote about a case involving a drunken man whom authorities found receiving oral sex in a car:

“I got to listen in on a conference regarding jury selection,” she wrote. “My bosses gave the following advice to the lawyer …don’t pick any Asian jurors, because (and I quote): ‘Asians don’t drink, they love Jesus, and they’re creeped out by everything.‘”

She wrote that the lawyer followed that advice, and the client was acquitted. But the attorneys who worked her deny making such a comment, and say Wipplinger got several other facts wrong: the jury hung and the defendant was not acquitted; there was no testimony or evidence that the man was drunk; and there were at least one or two people of Asian descent on the jury.

Adachi said the deputy public defender assigned to the case, Lateef Gray, and his supervisor, Kwixuan Maloof, both denied that they or anyone else made the statement about Asians. Well, of course they denied it. The question is whether or not the blog’s claims, even if she got some of the facts wrong, is based on something that actually happened, or if she just made the whole thing up.

One thing is probably for sure. Everyone involved, including the intern, is not happy that this damn MySpace blog has suddenly received so much attention. And if what she says happened is indeed true, and the lawyer did give this advice, well… that’s racist!

Director Danny Boyle Offered Lady Vengeance Remake

by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man

With the huge breakout success of Slumdog Millionaire, director Danny Boyle is crazy hot right now. Not that he wasn’t already a great director — I’ve been a fan for years. But I just came across this very interesting bit of news… Boyle recently revealed in an interview that he’s been asked to direct a remake of Park Chan-wook’s Lady Vengeance: Danny Boyle Asked to Direct Lady Vengeance.

Whaaaaaaa? I had heard a remake of the South Korean revenge thriller was in the works, with Charlize Theron’s name thrown out as a possible star. But Danny Boyle as director… that would be really interesting. However, the interview doesn’t give any indication whether or not he’s actually going to do it. Just the offer.

If this remake has to happen (and in Hollywood, you can probably count on it sooner or later), I’d definitely prefer this combo (Boyle/Theron) over Steven Spielberg and Will Smith doing the Oldboy remake that was announced a few months back. In the meantime, I recommend checking out the cool, creepy original Korean version starring Lee Young-Ae.

Avatar: Get a tan, become asian

by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man

There was a lot of uproar last month when it was announced that M. Night Shyamalan’s movie adaptation Avatar: The Last Airbender would star a lot of pretty white people, with no Asians in sight. The animated Nickelodeon show takes place in an Asian-inspired fantasy realm. Hollywood, of course, is a Caucasian-inspired fantasy realm.

The controversy hasn’t really died down. Avatar fans are still angry. And one of the movie’s actors, Jackson Rathbone, who will play Sokka, seems to think he can easily pull off playing Asian with just a new hairstyle and a tan: ‘Twilight’ Star Jackson Rathbone Hopes To ‘Show His Range’ In ‘Last Airbender’.

Due in theaters in summer 2010, “Airbender” has already begun to face a bit of controversy over the casting of white actors like Rathbone, Ringer and McCartney to play Asian characters – a concern the actor was quick to dismiss. “I think it’s one of those things where I pull my hair up, shave the sides, and I definitely need a tan,” he said of the transformation he’ll go through to look more like Sokka. “It’s one of those things where, hopefully, the audience will suspend disbelief a little bit.”

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