By Cora Zhang and Lei Zhu

In the United States, Asian Americans are under-represented, marginalized, and misrepresented in mainstream media. According to the reading article, “Television Exposure, Model Minority Portrayals, and Asian American Stereotypes: An Exploratory Study” written by Srividya Ramasubramanian, the author mentioned that “Historically, Asian Americans were portrayed using such derisive stereotypes as ‘the yellow peril’ (dangerous criminals), ‘the perpetual foreigner’ (unassimilated immigrants), and ‘the exotic geisha’ (subservient sexual object); more recently, the nerdy and polite ‘model minority’ stereotype has become more prevalent”. The Asian Americans in contemporary television is the “model minority”. Moreover, popular culture has seen stereotypes that make Asian Americans assume tertiary roles which not only magnify the problem but also raise numerous questions about the extent of acceptance and level of mobility socially for the Asian American stereotyped in the mainstream media such as film images in the media.

Asian portrayals on television, is often invisible in narratives, playing trivial roles without much depth or substance. Asians are typically marginalized as background characters. When Asians are cast in prominent roles, it is always involved with stereotypical occupations, which includes being laundry workers, geishas, and martial artist experts. Additionally, television commercials mainly depict Asian Americans as diligent workers in business setting rather than focus on their family life. Moreover, from the aspect of the model minority stereotype, the Asian American represents as smart and nerdy, unsociability and awkwardness.

The misrepresentation of Asians has developed a misleading and horribly stereotyped phenomenon that degrades the Asian culture and raising genuine concerns on the reasons behind reducing such a rich culture in a world that should be appreciating all the global cultures. In the “Fresh off the Boat”, one of the characters Wu depicts an extraordinary scene that evidences ethnic representation in his role that requires the use of accent to play the character, Jessica Huang. The plot of the film raised issues from the audience of Asian American origin due to the accents and the issues of chopsticks and Americanization in the film (Pham pg. 16). The misrepresentations have varied effects that are both deferred and immediate that register in the mind becoming part of memory socially and individually to the population’s stereotyped and other concerned individuals. Therefore, the evident on films such as “Fresh off the Boat” are an example of stereotyping of Asian Americans among other films that have been widely criticized in the mainstream media. This makes individuals and the society hold thoughts based on these stereotypes about such characters that are a representation of a rich culture.

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[1]. Ramasubramanian, Srividya. “Television Exposure, Model Minority Portrayals, and Asian-American Stereotypes: An Exploratory Study.” Journal of Intercultural Communication. 2011, Issue 26, p4-4. 1p.

[2].Chan, Justin. “Where are All the Asian Americans in Hollywood?” Complex media Inc.    Complex media Inc., 24 March 2017. Web. (http://www.complex.com/pop-  cultre/2014/08/Asian-Americans-in-Hollywood)

[3] Pham, Minh-Ha T. “The Asian Invasion (of Multiculturalism) in Hollywood,” in Journal of Popular Film and Television, 2004 Ramasubramanian, Srividya. “Television Exposure, Model Minority Portrayals, and Asian-American Stereotypes: An Exploratory Study.” Journal of Intercultural Communication. 2011, Issue 26, p4-4. 1p.

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