The Problem With Crash

March 9, 2006

The movie has won deserved kudos for how it shows different facets of white, black, mideastern and Latino characters. Many of the characters in the film move from one set of attitudes to another, during the course of the film’s limited timeline. All except the two principal East Asian characters, who by the way are minor players compared with Matt Dillon’s racist cop and Terrence Howard’s uptight junior executive.

Granted, one of the East Asian characters goes through a transformation of sorts, but his denouement is anything but flattering. The East Asian woman is shrewish throughout.

Not that there isn’t truth to the characterizations of these particular East Asian stereotypes. We know of shrewish Asian and Asian American women. We know of criminally inclined Asian and Asian American men.

But if Crash’s director and screenwriters want to explore the depths of how people of varied racial and ethnic heritages behave toward one another, how come they didn’t add an East Asian or Asian American character that showed a modicum of humanity beyond the bitchy and evil?

It should no longer be a surprise or revelation that people of East Asian descent are a presence on the Technicolor American landscape. That’s been the case for more than a century and a half. Yet, it seems for some Americans, Asians and Asian Americans are Johnny and Janie-Come-Latelies and may not deserve more wide-ranging media portrayals.

More to the point of Hollywood movies – the fantasy and mythmaking factory nonpareil – it’s rare that Asian characters, whether American or not, are shown as complex and multidimensional.

There have been exceptions, of course. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was one, directed, ironically, by this year’s Oscar winner (for the pioneering Brokeback Mountain, the early best-picture favorite) Ang Lee, who got his artistic start in Taiwan and who has now transcended into Hollywood directorial stardom.

(As an aside, Lee may be a celebrated mainstream director now, but where was he in all those post-Oscar shows like Entertainment Tonight, Oprah, and Good Morning America? Why didn’t the celebrity-salivating interviewers give Lee a few moments of post-Oscar glow?)

(One more aside: Lee’s closing remark as he accepted his Oscar in only slightly accented English were quite revealing in itself; he spoke a Mandarin phrase aimed at TV audiences in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China, the future of global media messaging perhaps?)

Another exception was The Joy Luck Club from Amy Tan’s blockbuster novel (that, unfortunately, painted a one-dimensional nasty portrayal of East Asian men – ah, hah, a yellow gender war case study!).

A few other exceptions are Justin Lin’s Better Luck Tomorrow and, perhaps, Eric Byler’s upcoming Americanese, which will headline the annual Asian American Film Festival next week in San Francisco.

I am old enough to remember the goofy Charlie Chan movies with the main “Chinese” character played by taped-eyelid white actors. Some Asian American intellectuals and writers have complained about the Chan movie portrayals, a point of view I generally share, except for the fact that the Hollywoodized Chan is a pretty smart guy – yet another stereotype about Asians and Asian Americans.

Younger Asian American artists and writers are repeating the refrain of why aren’t there more multidimensional mainstream media portrayals of people from their ethnic backgrounds. With the help of the latest technology, some are creating their own works that may, one day, capture the imagination of the mainstream Hollywood machine.

Till then, Crash, as good as it is, missed a golden opportunity to break some new ground in a fully multidimensional way.

William Wong is author of Yellow Journalist: Dispatches from Asian America and Images of America: Oakland’s Chinatown. He is also a Hyphen advisory board member.

Contributor: 

Melissa Hung

Founding Editor

Melissa Hung is the founding editor of Hyphen. She was the editor in chief for the magazine's first five years and went on to serve in many other leadership roles on the staff and board for more than a decade. She is a writer and freelance journalist. Her essays and reported stories have appeared in NPR, Vogue, Pacific Standard, Longreads, and Catapult, among others. A native Texan, she lives in California. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Comments

Comments

It seems to me that 'shrewish' is not a commmon description for Asian women in most Hollywood roles. They are more often than not the sexual tigress or the innocent flower waiting to be 'opened' by (usually) some white guy. The 'wife' in Crash, while not being in any way submissive (another common depiction) was deeply concerned about her husband's well being. So she was critical of his actions, but loved him nonetheless. AS for the East Asian man, he seeemed the 'stereotype' - stumbling, scuffling, scraping by only to be discovered as (obviously) much tougher and more ruthless than he seemed (a snakehead, he was). The depiction of Asian men as criminally minded is certainly not in the norm of East Asian men portrayals. He is neither the stoic, sexless hero avenging the death of family (or his martial arts teacher) or a cold psychopath with a diabolical laugh and an attractive female bodyguard whom he never seems to 'bone'. So, the East Asians aren't really the common portrayal - they are also not the 'model minority' that might make some feel more 'noble'. The South Asian man visits the bigotry he receives downhill on a Latino character who is only trying to do his job. He then realizes that his (obvious) presuppositions about the criminality of the locksmith are in error and he was poised to make an even bigger mistake. Even former gangbangers love their children too.As for Dillon and Howard, no movie can make everyone a star. ON my last trip to China (or was it Taiwan) the movie options didn't exactly give star turns to black characters and presented a far more negative portayal than East Asian are given in Crash. But of course, none of them have won awards.
Wiliam Wong's objections to Crash are anything but churlish. They are anything but a case of "There you go again!"After all, how many times did Martin Luther King repeat himself? Should King have made his case only once, then remained silent thereafter?The problem is not that Mr. Wong repeats himself. The problem is that anti-Asian bigotry persists.The problem is that an insidious form of "Asian exceptionalism" (i.e., sensitivity toward all minorities except Asians) persists in nominally progressive, multiethnic America.The problem is that mainstream America has turned a deaf ear to past efforts by Asians to bring the problem to its attention.The lyrics to the civil rights song "We Shall Overcome" righteously declare: "Black and white together."Hollywood has apparently taken the lyrics a tad too literally. The larger significance of the song is hardly as black and white as its lyrics denote.The fact that ugly anti-Asian bigotry was blissfully, unconsciously incorporated into an "exceptional" film that consciously aspired to expose and transcend unconscious bigotry, and was celebrated for having done so, is the cruelest irony of all.Bevin Chuhttp://thechinadesk.tripod.com
"The problem is that an insidious form of "Asian exceptionalism" (i.e., sensitivity toward all minorities except Asians) persists in nominally progressive, multiethnic America."You're not assuming that one minority group may have it easier then the other are you?Because I've seen plenty of people roll their eyes and downplay issues if a native american or black american bring up racism.Even in a progressive multiethnic enviorment.Just saying......
well,actually, bumbling, yet criminal, is the classic east asian stereotype of the "oriental". that one has been replaced by the asexual model minority. but the point isn't so much that the crash asians conform to one stereotype or another as that they are portrayed one-dimensionally, where others are portrayed more multidimensionally.
ON my last trip to China (or was it Taiwan) the movie options didn't exactly give star turns to black characters and presented a far more negative portayal than East Asian are given in Crash
there really isn't a large black minority in china (or is it taiwan?) there's a pretty large asian minority in america, though. in china, most of the "blacks" are expatriates, not immigrants. in america, most of the asians are immigrants, and citizens, most of the asians are americans. and we expect to be portrayed with the same sensitivity and multi-facetedness as other americans.
Claire,you are correct, most of the blacks in Asia are ex-pats. This may be due to restrictions on the extent to which one can emigrate into China and elsewhere. But this problem is not a barrier that I have to hurdle, so I'm no expert. I believe that it was Taiwan on my last trip - the problem is not one of simply 'confusing' them (one Asian country is the same as another) which is what I suspect also fuels your ire, but one of frequent travel can cause the details to blur.One of the problems of course with the 'narrow cast' representation is that the movie viewers (largely Asians) end up with a very distorted view of blacks which can create problems when they come here. I assume you are not suggesting that because blacks are not citizens of the Asian countries that it is OK to mis-characterize them or oversimplify the representation? I would be equally disturbed if African airlines showed films with 'evil Asians' on their flights but I don't make that trip. From what I've seen of African films, they don't. Neither do most of the 'Boyz in da' Hood' films here.Many Asians are citizens here so they deserve 'fair treatment and representation' (just like non-citizens I think). So are many Blacks. One of the key differences in the impact of media representation is that IF you only get 'processed media' and you don't have much 'real life' engagement, you can come away with a very warped view of anything. People living in urban America should (hopefully) have enough 'real world' contact to counteract 'media spin'. I think the biggest problem for Asian Americans is that MOST of the media representation is controlled or financed by whites so the representation starts from a relatively un-informed or limited view position and thus moves towards reinforced stereotypes, 'whitening' (see, they are just like 'us' - they talk like 'us', walk like 'us', think like 'us')or (since they are just like 'us') there is not represtnation at all. Blacks suffer a similar, but shifted, fate - they are NOT like 'us' and see how that is so. Name a show with black characters where there is not some sort of family dysfunctionality (not comedic either!) that leans towards 'criminal' on the part of some close family member? Absentee fathers, grown up in the 'hood, former gangbanger, etc. Asian families get "devoted daughter caring for parent(s)", "supereducated, superserious daughter with no man" or "up from the sandal-straps immigrant with no older family in country (unless they are near destitute)". Don't get started on 'where are the men?' Same shit; different day. At least Crash had a wife and husband (albeit poorly dressed) with a loving relationship that had a long duration and a South Asian daughter who was not subservient to papa.I didn't find the characterizations of the EAST Asian characters overly shallow given that they were part of the supporting cast. I haven't seen the movie in a while (I'll try to watch it again this weekend) But as I recall, the Chinese man's actual involvement with the people in the van (where WAS he going? what was he going to do?) was not clearly spelled out. This offers the possibility that he was going to 'help' and not 'hurt'. He didn't seem to be really worried about police while in the hospital, but he did have large sums of cash and...It didn't seem to me that Matt Dillon had any sort of MLK-ish epiphany either. He saved the woman because it is his job. Plus one can be as bigoted as hell and not wish death on the target of their bigotry.There were other characters that did not get a very in-depth treatment (Tony Danza's for example). This is the way of movies. You can't cover everything.Maybe Crash needs a sequel so we can see what else happens in parallel lives and realities.
I understand when people say that Crash only presents a one dimensional view of Asians. But I don't have a particular problem with that. The primary "problem" with race in America is between Blacks and Whites and Latinos and since 9/11, people from the Middle East. For every perceived racial injustice that Asians face, the vast majority, in my personal experience, is someone calling me a chink. It's not like I am driving in a neighborhood that I don't belong and getting beat up by the cops. Or getting into an elevator with a lone woman and watching her grip her purse tightly. Crash focused primarily on white-black-latino because those are the main issues with race in this country. My Chinese grandfather was never owned by a white man, whereas the majority of Blacks are descended from slaves. The history of racial discord and injustice is far greater with blacks and latinos than it is with Asians. Plus, Blacks constitute 13% of the population, Latinos 14% and East Asians only 4-5%. Thus, it's natural that the movie creators would choose to focus their attentions on these groups more than east asians.Someone ought to make a movie about Asians being bigots against Blacks and Latinos.
You mention Americanese, but how bout a shout out for Charlotte Sometimes.
Asian actors are there waiting for these rolls but things will only change when We as Asian-Americans begin writing multifaceted characters that represent all the complexities that We are.
Just a couple of thoughts here, though I certainly have similar issues with Crash (come on, LA, and so few Asians? I saw more in Collateral!):1) well: The shopkeeper with the doctor daughter was Persian, not South Asian. I was impressed that they noted that Persians are not Arab, and that they are an important and significant part of the LA mosaic, but there were no South Asian characters. Given some of the treatments in the film, I can't say that I'm disappointed. Better to be ignored than misrepresented by Hollywood.2) I'm tired of Hollywood taking a step back from actually having less than perfect plot turns, and while I can give some props that Crash actually recognized more than 1 or 2 groups in a mix like LA, it's only because the alternatives are so incredibly poor at recreating the spontaneous nature and rich layers of history, migration, and interactions in truly polycultural cities like LA and NYC.
Take "Crash" for what it is. Hollywoods perception of the real world. Many of us moviegoers will watch this movie, the question im asking is what will we as a Society gain from this? The movie made us believe That Chinese Immigrants are being trafficked to the U. S. to perform immoral acts, such as Prostition,work in Sweat Shops, Black Policeman are Uncle Toms, All people from the Middle east are Talibans. Boy did this movie throw in some hardcore stereotypes. I think we all fell for it. How many of you have a limit to what you see on TV? How many of you talk to different races and judge that person as an individual and not the stereotype society has placed on him? How open are your minds to other people of other races? Who and what person of another race influenced and changed your mind in a positive light forever?
Stan, maybe Asians only make up 5 percent of America, but they sure make up a larger percentage of LA than 5 percent. Your argument seems to be that the movie reflects real life. How is that real life then? It's set in Los Angeles, not Little Rock. Come on!I'm not saying that an Asian American should have been the focus of the film. But how can a whole film about race in America be made with hardly any Asians? We are always getting left out of the discussion. I'm tired of this excuse that just because are numbers aren't big enough, means that we should get the short stick.
If Asians want to be in the discussion, you have to demand to speak, asking is not always the right choice. America is most often painted Black and White even though there are many other races in America. why is that?
wow, this is a lively topic. that's good.Rage - you are correct, the shopkeeper was Persian. My bad. I haven't watched the movie in a while. He was mistaken for South Asian as I recall.I think the racial focus in the US is so rooted in black\white for a couple of reasons.First is historical. Blacks were for a long long time the largest group of 'others' to be in this country. White people NEED Black people so they can 'rank' themselves ("well, I may be a loser, but at least I ain't Black - who I know is gonna' lose because I do the scoring") My own description annoys me because I completely reject the idea that this is a 'white' country and I will never surrender that position. To do so makes us all (us 'non-whites') second class citizens that are waiting for 'acceptance'. The Constituiton has no waiting period. ALL citizens are entitled to its benefits AND obligated to its responsibilities.Blacks status as 'others' has been reinforced for centuries whether they have wanted it our not. So much so that even immigrants often think they have more 'right to be here' than Black Americans who have been here for over 150 years. By now I suspect that Black people have almost no idea how to position themselves other than 'outsiders'. Sometimes butter melts out of habit.Secondly, historically, Blacks were the group at the frontlines of battle to activate the Constitution for ALL citizens. So if anyone is 'getting in the faces' of white people, it is usually Black people. Their blood and pain and suffering and eventual victories have yielded many fruits for Asians and Latinos (and Persians and South Asians and...).Thirdly, there is the issue of how they came to be here - by force, with their history, culture, language and sense of origin destroyed. They cannot 'go back' if they don't like it here because where would they go back to? This has to do a job on your psyche over time. The overwhelming majority of Asians and Latinos in this country choose to come here from someplace else. Few were dragged here forcibly. They can remember an alternative which they left. This does a job on the psyche as well. You are less inclined to actively criticize the outcome of a decision that you made yourself. The closest parallel to the Black experience is that of war refugees and those who are here because of similar reasons. Look at the disparities in AVERAGE incomes in Hmong, Vietnamese and Cambodian communities versus Korean, Japanese and Indian communities. I'm not looking to dismiss the impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act and similar laws and less codified racism but you also have to consider the 'cherry picking' effect of the 1965 Immigration Act. You entice the best qualified to come and then you compare them to a less selectively chosen group (well, for physical strength, not intellectual capacity) and always rank that 'broad spectrum' group as 'lacking'.A key question now is where do Asians want to be in the discussion?Is the desire to be posiitoned as 'the alternative' other? "See, we are so much better than those guys over there" or should it be as a part of those that are marginalized and limited by a system which always seeks to put some group on the bottom.Blacks continue to do battle at that breach between the Constitution and the operation of same. I suspect they are getting just a little tired of all that heavy lifting.Do Asians want now to be 'accepted' (Asians as 'honorary whites') having fulfilled their Constitutional waiting period or do they want to be leaders on the frontline to energize the Constitution in full effect, across all spectrums NOW. Make the Constitution as accesible as handguns!!Asian may be out of the picture in Hollywood because they have not yet decided where they want to be in the frame.What'chu gonna do when they come for you?
I think the reason the America is painted White and Black is for 2 reasons. Blacks and White Pretty much invented this thing called American Culture. Blues, Rock N Roll, Hip Hop Jazz, Civil Right Movement and most of all Racism. Why do White guys act Black, or Black Guys act White. When you cut on American TV, its either a Black Show ,or White Show. NBA, NFL, much of Hollywood, the U.S Olympic Team Bill Gates. Another reason is Black People are not Passive, They will stand before anyone they feel causes them injustice as you pointed out. White America controls the Media, Government, and Buisness. Blacks for years control the Pop Culture and sets trends everyone else follow. How can Asians influence American Culture? Intelligent dialogues only goes so far? Does action need to be taken, I do not mean violence, but a voice thats not afraid to confront issues that matter to Asian Americans. Can you trace a White American Culture to Europe? Can you trace Black Culture to Africa? There combined. Most Asian American. came to the U. S. in the 21st Century.So a 100 year from now how do you see Asians in America?
well: I agree with you, but blacks have been here for over 400 years not 150. the first slave boat arrived in 1619. The Indians were raped from their land, killed off and almost exterminated by the Europeans when they first came. So in reality who are the true Americans. Western U. S. was onced ruled by Mexico Before it was taken by the U. S. So when Mexicans come across the Border are they really illegals in a hyperthetical sense of thinking. thats history. America is changing, I do not know if things are going to get better, or worse
i don't quite get the point of your post, but I was more or less referring to 'here' from the aspects of the United States, not including the time as colonies and from teh persepctive of 'proving' a family's history of being here by geneology. It can be difficult to get good records much past 150 years. The aspect of 'ownership' outside of, or in spite of wars and the use of aggression to 'take' land from others and the like isn't really germane to the issue at hand either. You could almost always find some idigenous people that were the preceeding occupants of some area that were displaced by some new group. It is a never ending game.
The reason I went back in time was because the past reflects the future. Thats the reason there is a movie like "Crash", beecause of various contacts with different races, religions and such. Some races have been here longer than Others. Some Races have been in this country for hundreds of years and some are just migrating here within the last century, for generations families have passed down hatred and love. We believe certain things because either society, or someone teaches us to. today some of us are becomming more open minded and choose to guide our own paths. Others are influenced by whom ever and cant think for themselves.
I completely agree with William Wong...The fact is that someone else out there actually cares about the issues enough to point out the hypocrisy of Crash's race politics.I remember 1996 political campaign ... anyone else remember the "Asian" Campaign Finance scandal? The one where asian Buddhist nuns were grilled before a kangaroo court in Congress?There was obvious anti-asian racist hysteria out there, pandered on by the mainstream media, by politicians, by "intellectuals", by smart people...The fact is there is a double standard here in the USA: anti-asian racism is politically correct and more acceptable in the media than other forms of bigotry.If asian americans or asian immigrants did have higher average crime rates or had some other "bad reputation" to endure, then we'd face more racism and persecution than Blacks, Muslims, or Arabs.The willingness to persecute and hate us is out there, but the excuse isn't, and that's due to the fact that we are a "Model Minority."To you apathetic asians or asian americans: "Yeah, what do I care about the movies and TV. I'll just ignore it," you might say? Well it might be detrimental to your asian american kids. People complain about how violence and extreme images may affect kids. An R-rated "Silence of the Lambs" might have a negative psychological affect on your 10 year old child. What if 90% of your child's favorite TV and action movies portray asians in a negative, evil light? How would that affect your son or daughter?
jsp, do you believe that 90% of TV and action movies 'portray asians in a negative light' or that th eproblem is that they don't portray them (or at lease asian men) at all?do you think some of this 'anti-asian' stuff you are seeing is less 'race' based and more 'country' based? i.e. anti China in light of its growing economic power? sort of like the spate of 'eastern european\renegade russian military' bad guys in the mid to late 90s action movies.and are you saying that the racism heaped upon other minorities is justified?
JSP: I like your style, a voice that speaks what he believes. I totally agree with you. The success of Asians will done on the backs of Asians and no one else. There is bigotry out there. The Model Minority syndrome can only go so far. Injustice has to be talked about, or it will never go away
speaking what you believe without critical thinking isn't particularly noble - its just ranting. even crazy people can do that. in fact they often do.
"...and are you saying that the racism heaped upon other minorities is justified?"Why in heck did you infer that when I bring up anti-asian racism? This sort of reflex sometimes occurs whenever asians bring up racism towards them. I think it is because there is some sort of reflex feeling of threat.Anyway, in the example of the "Asian Campaign Finance scandal"... If the smart mainstream people in the USA (-- who should have known better), who jumped on the bandwagon about this applied critical thinking:Then it would be only one undeniable logical conclusion based upon the wording involved in the newspapers and among political pundits: "asian" is a racial designation and a designation for a continent. "Asian" does not refer to a country, ideology, or nation. The "asian" campaign finance scandal targeted people belonging to various nations but the fear mongers and yellow perilists "connected the dots" --- it was about national fear tactic centered upon race.This racism wasn't particularly devastating to asian america, but the pervasiveness and undeniable logic persists. The most disappointing and disturbing thing is that if this racial campaign was more damaging in nature, there is no clue that people's would have protested any more about it.Nation-wide racial campaigns are not unusual... it has occured against American Indians, Blacks, Latinos... however, what was particularly shocking was: this was occuring in modern history, smart people should have known better, the racism didn't bother most people, and that while public service announcements on TV say racism is bad, racism towards asians is uttered within the same breath.Another word about those apathetic asians and asian americans: here's a stereotype for you -- the social climbing/status conscious asian who cares more about the next job promotion, "fitting in" with the "in crowd", driving a BMW/Lexus/Mercedes -- who will feel embarassment when an asian with unfashionable ideas speak truth to power, and draw attention to one's own asianness.
JSP gets 4 stars that comment. You are a very intelligent guy. Keep us informed
William Wong's opinion on Crash shows how one can easily miss the point of the movie when judgement becomes clouded by race. Throughout the majority of the movie, none of the characters were portrayed as multidimensional. Every character portrayed a particular stereotype for their respective ethnic group, and for the majority of the movie each character was fairly one-dimensional. I will not recap each person's story, but in the end each character was exposed in a situation that contradicted everything the movie built them up to be. Granted, the Asian ethnic group played a very minor role in the movie compared to the other groups, but the director can't expose everyone equally given the amount of time he had to work with. If this were a book attempting to expose all ethnic groups equally, then I'd definitely be inclined to agree with William.For example, the Jewish ethnic group received zero exposure. Also, I don't believe Persians appreciated being typecast running a convenience store and that they are the bad guys with the guns. Yes, the Asian role was far less than the other ethnic groups shown. Yes, as an Asian American, I wish Asians received more exposure, and a greater film presence, but I also understand it wasn't meant to be in this movie. However, I don't believe this to be intentional: the writer did not go out and think, "how can I compose a complex script dealing with ethnicity at the same achieve a goal of marginalizing Asians?" It so happened to play out the way it did.If Crash was a movie to show how diverse every ethnic group can be, then William's complaint of the movie is valid. Otherwise, by falling into the group of critics that cries about their misrepresentation in the movie, you kind of miss the point. It's about as thoughtless as the gay community complaining about how America is not ready to accept a movie about gays, thus why Brokeback Mountain didn't win best picture.
If Asian American Want more exposure in movies/ Hollywood, new innovative Asian fillmakers need to emerge and tell things from an Asian perspective. Especially if its about Asians. Asians that want a brand of cinema that depicts true Asian culture and lifestyle has to come from the Asian Community, it doesnt mattter how multi-ethnic the movie is. Support the asian American film festival in San Francisco and support the Asian filmmakers in General. Stop complaining about Hollywood. If the Movie isnt a Blockbuster it doesnt mean the movie wasnt good. Everybody wants to be mainstream. Mainstream is not where its at. Non-Hollywood, uncommercialized private movies are better. Support the Asian Film festival.
Comments by Theodore Roosevelt on race, taken from his book "The Winning of the West, Volume Three: The Founding of the Trans-Alleghany Commonwealths, 1784-1790":Necessity of the Conquest.Whether the whites won the land by treaty, by armed conquest, or, as was actually the case, by a mixture of both, mattered comparatively little so long as the land was won. It was all-important that it should be won, for the benefit of civilization and in the interests of mankind. It is indeed a warped, perverse, and silly morality which would forbid a course of conquest that has turned whole continents into the seats of mighty and flourishing civilized nations. All men of sane and wholesome thought must dismiss with impatient contempt the plea that these continents should be reserved for the use of scattered savage tribes, whose life was but a few degrees less meaningless, squalid, and ferocious than that of the wild beasts with whom they held joint ownership.Righteousness of the War.The most ultimately righteous of all wars is a war with savages, though it is apt to be also the most terrible and inhuman. The rude, fierce settler who drives the savage from the land lays all civilized mankind under a debt to him. American and Indian, Boer and Zulu, Cossack and Tartar, New Zealander and Maori,—in each case the victor, horrible though many of his deeds are, has laid deep the foundations for the future greatness of a mighty people. The consequences of struggles for territory between civilized nations seem small by comparison. Looked at from the standpoint of the ages, it is of little moment whether Lorraine is part of Germany or of France, whether the northern Adriatic cities pay homage to Austrian Kaiser or Italian King; but it is of incalculable importance that America, Australia, and Siberia should pass out of the hands of their red, black, and yellow aboriginal owners, and become the heritage of the dominant world races."-- Theodore RooseveltBevin Chu: Theodore Roosevelt's jarringly racist assumptions still permeate American society. They have of course been sublimated due to contemporary Political Correctness, but make no mistake, they are still considered "normal" and "the way things oughta be" by all to many Americans of European descent.
I think people give Hollywood too much credit. Hollywood is racist cus most of American is racist. Simple as that. Hollywood make movies to reflect the lowest common denominator, and in the process they learn to understand the wants and need of the "mainstream". Right now, the mainstream has issue with seeing Asian faces on movie, TV, or music. That's it. Movies like Crash are made with the same Hollywood racist libral folks who caters to the mainstream tastes; not at all surprised that Asians missed out on anything interesting on a supposedly cerebral movie. Creatures of habit, no?Unlike the blacks and Latinos, Asians are not considered part of this society. We are inherently foreign to non-Asians in this country, where as black and latinos are considered integral, even if undesired, part of the country. No matter how hard we try, portraying Asians in the Media is never going to be the business of American media, cus, "THEY" have their own media outlets in Asia, don't they not? Face it, Asians will never be fully accepted into the so-called Americana. And if that's the feeling of middle-America, you'll NEVER get to see Asians in key roles.Notice that in almost every major TV shows, from great comedies like "Scrubs" to primetime crime dramas like CSI and Cold Case, Blacks and Latinos are being featured as complex main (MALE) characters. An occational Asian woman here and there, and not a single Asian men. Have you noticed this? It's not even the there is a media discourse in the media in race relations, there's a TONs of them, but, Asians were not even invited to the game. I don't think this is even about racism, it's xenophobia. The American society is struggling to deal with its INTERNAL issue with racism with blacks and latinos; Asians gets left out cus, this struggle is for REAL Americans. Asians? Well, they can always go back where they came from.I really don't see a change this attitude in the near future. I think the real answer is a strong Asia and the associated media/creative culture and for Asian Americans to be an active part of that. I'm not holding my breath for a racist and xenophobic Hollywood to come around. Maybe Asians can work in the background but the Stars will never be us, especially the men. I loved to be proven wrong - wake me when poor Archie Kuo gets to be a major cast memeber on CSI. Ha, like that'll happen.
Does the Asian communiity take action against this. Progress is only going happen from within. I dont care how educated, middle of the road, or white you try to be, or think you are. Your not. success is comming from the Community, Asian Studios, Asian WritersJust Asian Media period. The Asian Community puts to much faith in Hollywood. Go against the grain, not with it. Then Recognition will come. No one listens to a follower. Asians have all the tools it takes to be in the spotlight.
As far as Pop Culture goes. why have blacks always been number one? They are just Minorities. From Jazz to Rock N. Roll, R@B and Hip Hip. Latin Music is on the rise. So do you think Asians have the personalities to invent a Asian Pop Culture and would soar and reach unprecedented audiences in the U.S. America.
I was in Spain this summer and was hanging with some of the locals and they couldn't understand why my boy was calling asian, you see, from what i was told, europeans consider the term asian to mean people from India and Persia. Maybe i'm wrong but I didn't find the movie to be that good anyways.
In America Koreans, Chinese, Japanese well you get the point.
no sh*t buddy
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."~Theodore Roosevelt - 1907~