How Asian Americans are Portrayed in Hollywood Movies

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Asian American actors and actresses are portrayed in Hollywood movies as always being the silent and yielding foreign victims to social injustice and prejudice. Whether or not these depictions are true, they are nonetheless stereotypes that Hollywood producers have come up with. According to the US Census in the year 2000, Asian Americans make up 4.2% of the entire American population, and knowing that most Asian Americans live on the west and east coast of the United States, many Americans living in central parts of this country have not really been exposed to any Asian Americans. Because of this fact, it is highly probable that most Americans get their exposure to the Asian American lifestyle only through television and movies. Even if Hollywood companies, directors, producers, editors, writers, etc. decide to give their Asian American actors the leading role in their movies, film makers will still try to employ stereotypes on the Asian American community in hopes of satisfying America’s view on what is Asian. And even more bothersome is that they will also try to instill European American beliefs, values, and ideals into the Asian American culture. Therefore, Americans must be warned that what they are seeing in Hollywood movies of so-called Asian characters are actually not legitimate portrayals of real Asian American people.

Hollywood has really stereotyped the Asian American culture by limiting the roles as to what their Asian actors and actresses can do in big box office movies. In movies like Lethal Weapon and Rush Hour, Asian men almost always play the role of the villain who is cold and ruthless. Not to mention, Asian actors are also made to be less intelligent than their white male counterparts. In Lethal Weapon...

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... Asians a chance to be heroes on one or two few occasions. Movies starring Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan have been made the faces of Asian heroes fighting crimes and soloing entire bands of villains. In the end, Hollywood has both positively and negatively made the existence of the Asian culture known to Americans through their movies but has also distorted the identity of the Asian culture based on those stereotypes.

Bibliography

Bennett, Jessica S. Barnes and Claudette E. The Asian Population: 2000. February 2002. 1 March 2009 .

Fung, Richard. "Seeing Yellow." Juan, Karin Aguilar-San. The State of Asian American. South End Press, 1994. 395.

Ziegle, Farah Mahdzan and Norlinda. Model Minority: A Guide to Asian American Empowerment. 4 July 2001. 1 March 2009 .

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