The award for the ethnicity in the most supporting role goes to…

It’s amazing to see how far Asian-American actors and actresses started out from, I remember reading a short play “Yankee Dawg Die”, and how it clearly expressed the concerns and the dynamic of how hollywood viewed Asian-American male actors. Between these two male actors there was this controversy of what course of action should be taken, whether they should play these roles and perpetuate the views society had of them already or to not take them at all. As a striving actor trying to make to make a living there weren’t too many options for them to be able to succeed. It was amazing to me how even in our current time period that these same issues that were occurred back then were still prevalent today.

In Straitjacket Sexualities, Shimizu discusses how Asian-American’s sexuality and gender are affected by courses media takes. I remember plunders of movies where Asian-Americans are always casted off as supporting roles and it has always put me in awe. Aren’t Asian-American actors just as good as any other actors? Why are they casted into roles that are suited for them based on the way they are look? Who is the person to has the decision on what they are perceived as? These are the questions that were running through my mind, because having an interest in cinematography the director decides the direction in which the film is taken in and what the movie clearly depicts. Who says that the director has the utmost knowledge of a culture that the movie is portraying? The movie is told through the perspective of the director and as such that is how audiences will view cultures and people. The role of media is a type of double edged sword, it can circulate quick opinions and develop new attitudes, but whether they are positive or negative is up in the air.

It is interesting because these stereotypes are made so apparent within youtube space and that is the hot topics Asian-American youtubers use as content for their channels. In the earlier years of youtube there would be many vlogs ranting about stereotypes Asians had to face that was perpetuated by the media. As time has progressed there has been a sway away from that and there has been a strong pillar of Asian Americans focusing their own content that doesn’t revolve around stereotypes we have to face. I’m hopeful to see that there are many Asian-Americans that are breaking out and are given opportunities for bigger roles.


One thought on “The award for the ethnicity in the most supporting role goes to…

  1. yrq124 February 22, 2015 / 11:45 pm

    Things can be quite sad when you look at how repetitive history is. First there’s the problem of invisibility. But when Asian Americans are shown on screen, there’s the problem of visibility — Is the representation authentic? Does it help or set back Asian American communities? Like you said, directors have huge power in deciding the overall direction of a film or TV show, and that’s probably why we are seeing more and more Asian American directors today such as Arthur Dong, who creates sophisticated roles for Asians American actors and actresses. To create media products that stay true to the Asian American communities, we need Asians Americans both behind the scenes as well as on screen — which is, reassuringly, already happening!


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