A video I watched in my Asian American pop culture class sparked my interest in how Asians are portrayed in the media. I’ve noticed stereotypes in media and have seen many misrepresentations of people. These kinds of things are what the media is infamous for – creating a false view of certain people. In movies and television, there is a lot of racial stereotyping. When I watch these stereotypes, I am aware that what I am watching is not necessarily accurate and actually may be offensive but I don’t usually give it a second thought.
I don’t think about these things in depth when I watch them because I watch television and movies for entertainment, not for their significance and truth in reality. A lot of the things covered in the video from class were things I had not knowingly came into contact with. The role Asian males have in the media for example. I hadn’t thought about how Asian males in movies and television are emasculated. When I think about it though, it’s not like a whole bunch of protagonist Asian male heartthrobs come to mind when thinking about movie and television leads today. Even in the current show, “Fresh off the Boat” the dad is not known for his romance. So far, the TV show parents do not even show that much open affection for each other, if any.
I begin to think about what this does to people’s perception of Asian males. Do they think that Asian males are different from other males and don’t have emotional feelings? Why do movie and television producers even make these Asian roles into stereotypical, offensive characters?
The video also talked about how Asian roles usually have to do with martial arts. Martial arts are incredibly impressive and respected, but when that is all a race is known for, I’m sure it is offensive. It makes me think of how some people think all African Americans can play basketball well. An actor in the movie who is related to Bruce Lee said how people would come up to him and ask if he did karate. These kind of remarks make people seem incredibly ignorant due to what they see on the big screen. Media seems like it has influence over what people think of other people and sometimes the influence is not at all positive.
Why do certain races get certain roles? Same goes with gender? Why was it that mostly everything that was mentioned in the video we watched about males? Why was almost everyone who talked in the video male? This brings another point into play about how not only race in the media is an issue but so is gender in the media.
The continuation of stereotypes and offensive characters in movies and television may be contributing to the ignorance and misinterpretation from the audience towards certain races. The perpetuation of stereotypes does not help the public become knowledgeable about the truths about race and instead instills offensive views about race and may even contribute to prejudice and discrimination towards race.