Asian-American male and female images are so stigmatized and stereotyped on American media that documentaries made to expose the question are lengthy and quite full-contented, just to tell you how many examples can be extracted from film history.
The biased images of Asian Americans have gone way back since the 50s, and especially “popular” during the racism period in American history such as the encampment of the Japanese and after wars. Asian-American actors and actresses through this period had the courage to act in a field that is not exactly welcoming towards Asians, and used their image to help the American general mass to have better “contact’ with Asian population, although most of the time the image is quite wrong and biased.
Using Lucy Liu as an example to demonstrate the pioneers work older time Asian American actors have done. In her film Shanghai Moon, Lucy acted in a role that is super stereotypical Asian, with a innocent look on the look, but is actually tough inside. Asian females often find their public image being super innocent like a lotus blossom, but males, especially White males, would find them hypersexual on the inside and would expect two images from them. In her film Charlie’s Angels, Lucy was finally given a role that does her justice, not boxing her in her race, but rather given the opportunity to be a normal and ordinary person, just like everyone else, regardless of race or ethnicity. And audience liked that, especially Asian-American population has been searching for a fair representation in media for so long, that her character as a multidimensional, complex role was long overdue. This tells us to have fair representation in media it’s not THAT hard that is something we can’t break free, give people the opportunity to present themselves, as a real person, rather than an expected image, will do much good to the actors, the producer, the show and pretty much everyone.
We need more Asian-American actors and actresses in the media, in film, on TV, that just being a normal person, without all stigmas, that’s why Fresh off the boat is such a easy breeze that breaks through prime time TV shows, although some argue it is not exactly super fair and unbiased, but even a little step towards the right direction is worth praised, and we can certainly expect more in the future.