💘 @jeffhahnstudio #crazyrichasians came out in the UK recently and i loved it. not because it was particularly original, but because it’s the first time in a quarter of a century that a hollywood film has had an all-asian cast, and more importantly the first time i’ve seen a film objectify the asian male, portraying him as sexual, active and v. worthy of desire (j’drooling at @pierrepng’s shower scene 🤤).
in lisbon the other week i overheard a bar promoter shout at an asian-american passerby: “jackie chan!”. whilst ignorant, he also highlighted the lack of asian males to reference. “of the top 100 films of 2015…zero leading roles went to asians…it’s exceedingly rare to see in an american film: the idea that…asian men…our noses, our hair, our eyes, our skin — are worthy of desire.” says @oneguynamedalex.
if asian men *are* cast, they’re “stereotypically portrayed either as asexual, sexually inferior or effeminate according to western notions of sexuality and never sexually desirable to females.” says dr chris cherry, in his essay on hollywood’s portrayals of asian american men. like, for example, #longdukdong, the foreign exchange student in #sixteencandles who is “often seen as the butt of the jokes….awkwardly on screen trying to hit on the lead female…the victim of violence by the main romantic lead”. or #mikeyanagita in #fargo, who is cast as “being lonely and unattractive and resorting to deceit … in his attempt to get a caucasian woman in his bed”, or actor #kenjeong in #thehangover, whose extreme accent is commissioned purely for comic relief (he speaks flawless english in real life). more recently @chrisrock pulled out three asian children on stage and proceeded to call them accountants/ iphone-making factory workers, @sachabaroncohen dreamed up his inventive yellow people joke: small dicks – asian men? groundbreaking.
why does the media portray asian men in a denigrating way, reducing us to a few tired racial stereotypes? does society perpetuate racism (sub)consciously? and why are asian men viewed as less desirable? (continued in next post).