Asian-Americans-Questions

So what do you think now?

Hello class,

I hope you have enjoyed our overview of Asian American Theatre so far.

Last week I asked you to discuss your thoughts based your experience and exposure to pop culture, entertainment, news and your own awareness on what those issues might be that Asian American Theatre could and does now speak to.

I have enjoyed reading your discussion very much. It is interesting how many conversations there are about the era of Internment camps during WWII. Many of of you have had some terrific insight to the social experience that you have had in your lives. Thank you for all the personal reaction to this topic.

I thought I would have us continue this discussion in this way:

I would ask the same question to you again and share your thoughts on Asian American Theatre and those issues you feel are important now based on our reading this week, your research of Asian American Theatre and the conversion with David Henry Hwang, the posted articles and video about “Yellow-face” casting and the challenges for Asian American performers in America today.

Has your opinion changed? Why or why not?

What have you learned or discovered this week that may have changed what you feel is important to the issues of the Asian American society and culture?

How can Theatre/TV and Film better serve the Asian American public and those issues that we see are being wrestled with?

Make sure you answer is at least 150 words and that you respond to two other posts.


First student: Amanda

Has your opinion changed? Why or why not?

My opinion has not changed. I still feel as if Asian Americans are underrepresented in the entertainment industry. The articles and videos in our lesson have validated this feeling even more because they show how Asian Americans are not as included in the discussion of diversity in TV or film. In addition, the roles that Asian Americans play are mostly side characters or stereotypical characters, such as the “geeky” nerd.

What have you learned or discovered this week that may have changed what you feel is important to the issues of the Asian American society and culture?

Something that I realized is that whenever the media focuses on diversity in the entertainment industry, they are not inclusive of all races and ethnicities. I always knew that the racial discrimination conversation in America was mainly focused on African Americans. In addition, I knew that Asian American discrimination is usually not spoken about. However, reading the Buzzfeed article made me realize that diversity in the entertainment industry typically means more African Americans are included in a production. Diversity does not mean that various other races and ethnicities are included in a production. The statement of “diversity is not just black and white” resonated with me. This realization just made me more passionate about the issue of underrepresentation of Asian Americans.

How can Theatre/TV and Film better serve the Asian American public and those issues that we see are being wrestled with?

Theater/TV and Film can better serve the Asian American public by casting more Asian Americans in leading roles and not using Caucasian individuals for Asian roles. The entertainment industry should cast people that are true to the ethnicity of the character in the production. If the character was meant to be an Asian American, then the actor should be Asian American. In addition, Asian American stereotypes should be shown less, and strong Asian American characters should be shown more.

Second student: Borna

Has your opinion changed? Why or why not?

What have you learned or discovered this week that may have changed what you feel is important to the issues of the Asian American society and culture?

How can Theatre/TV and Film better serve the Asian American public and those issues that we see are being wrestled with?

My opinion has not changed, for the evidence presented fails to meet any standard to get me to change. I know that asians are underrepresented politically for various reasons, and nothing introduced this week provides an impetuous to change the decision. This underrepresentation is carried on in other entertainment sectors.

In regards to yellow face, I refer to my thoughts on blackface from earlier in the course, (where I am hindered from being able to copy my remarks at the moment.) They were roughly this, that the idea of black/white/yellow/brown faces are all fundamentally stupid and devisive ideas. I want the best actor for the role, regardless of how white, asian or black they are, or if they weren’t white/asian or black enough for the role in the directors eyes. The theater, like all arts is absolutely subjective so if they want a white person to play an asian role just do it without the makeup, and it goes the same for the other side.

I feel that Asian-Americans believe that their portrayal in the media is lacking and that they are being under a constant stream of discrimination and misrepresentation. They feel as if they are not proportionally being represented within the media.

Theatre/Film and television can better represent the issues of the Asian American public by attempting to bettter portray their lives proportionately, and actually try and bring Asian-American issues into the public discourse. This would likely be through highlightign some of the less or more conflicted periods of Asian-American relations in the country.