Will the Asian American Tribe Win?

September 13, 2006

You can go to the CBS site to check out the bios. There seems to be five each of whites, blacks, Latinos and Asians. (There are no South Asians, but there is a white girl named Parvati.) There have been quite a few articles discussing the ripples of this type of entertainment-based race segregation but host Jeff Probst is quick to point out that this is one of the most diverse casts they’ve ever had and probably one of the most diverse casts to be seen on television. Of course, the whole premise calls to mind endless bad jokes. My friend Josue just asked: “Does that mean that the Asians are going to get the Latin team to do all their work for them?” It does really make me want to watch it though.




So they've ended the segregated race competition?I've heard that the "asian tribe" was winning.Ha ha, typical. Whites set up those rules. When asians are getting ahead on those rules, whites change the rules again.Ha ha ha...(SAT test format changes, affirmative action used to discrimate against asian students, free trade rules, treaties, etc...)
Well, at least Jeff Probst is learning something this season about diversity. I guess that's one plus - the education of one man. He just learned that Asians don't necessarily like each other and that we all come from different cultures! Imagine that!
It really is a social experiment, isn't it? We'll just see what comes out of it. It is entertainment, but it could end up meaning so much more. I've never watched the show, but we're tracking it as well. I want the Asians to kick ass, personally! Ref http://singleasianmale.com/?p=283
South Asians who applied to the show were not considered as they did not fall neatly into the American invention..four races. Someone who looked like Anne Curry also was not considered because she did not neatly fit into any race. In South Africa, they used to call them coloreds..I guess in the US, South Asians and mixed race people are non-entities or even non-human.
I dont have a tv so I did not know about the race game on survivor. But having learned about it I can say that it just propagates the four race myth and unsound thinking about human diversity. Race isnt real anyway, and shows like this can only do harm by preaching the status quo to viewers (for explanation see the comments on april 17ths entry).If only the american anthropological associations opinions (heavely supported) on race were taught in high schools (see link) http://www.aaanet.org/stmts/racepp.htm
Jeff Yang's story about this in his AsiaPop column: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2006/09/15/apop.DTL
It's good that there is some running commentary about the Survivor show. I don't watch the series.Yes, there is a conflicting dynamic here. It is extremely un-PC to group people by race.Also there were probably fears (and maybe those apprehensions may come to pass in later episodes) that there would be some sort of set-up or ambush depiction of the asian team (and of the other ethnic teams).For the 1st episode, there doesn't appear to be any egregious ambush editing or depictions. And it doesn't appear that the producers have intentionally cast a sociopath or other stereotypically dislikeable crazy ethnic person as a member of one of the teams.Yes, there are conflicts as to whether it's good or not for asian americans. It's incredibly un-PC, but unfortunately it is also the ONLY non-filtered depiction of real asian-americans ON TV. Of course, if the asian team starts to suck badly, then even this won't be anything good for it.So what is most ironic, is that this show is probably the only thing on American television that at all shows 4 asian-americans in a less-stereotypical manner where the characterizations & dialogue are mostly (although it is heavily edited -- so there is still room for manipulation) OUTSIDE of the realm of white fantasy-fiction.So while it's tawdry, it is also tellingly ironic that it's the only bone that American TV has tossed to Asian-Americans.