In chapter 15 of Asian Pacific American Experiences: Past, Present, and Future, Timothy P. Fong, Valerie Soe, and Allan Aquino demonstrate many ways that the Asian image had been symbolically annihilated in the United States. The images of Asians were twisted in American media since “mid-to-late 1800s when Asian migrants first arrived in large numbers to the United States” (180). In the 1890s, popular comic strips such as “The Yellow Kid” or “The Ting-Ling Kids” had exaggerated many racial characteristics of Chinese Americans to the mass public. As a result of these comic strips, the American press began to portray Asian Americans as the “Yellow Peril”. The Yellow Peril was the idea that Asians will eventually invade and overtake the United States and destroy it. The ideologies of the Yellow Peril eventually lead many people to believe that Westerners were superior to Easterners and caused the passing of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Law and other anti-Asian laws.
Soon, the Asian image that the media had created had led its way into moving images, or movies. The image of an Asian has been dist...
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... portrayed as the model minority as well. Asian Americans were to have high-paying professions, well-mannered, and part of American society.
However, recently, the Asian American image has seen some progress. Many Asian-American are getting more traditional Hollywood roles that do not follow the stereotypes as they previously have seen. In Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, the two main characters are of Asian descent, one Korean and one Indian, who are doing activities that would counter the model minority stereotypes.
Asian American stereotypes will continue unless the audience does something about it. The Media Action Network for Asian Americans has, and continue to, been pushing for a “balanced, sensitive, and positive portrayal of Asian Americans. The audience can also join the cause to help change the stereotypical portrayals of Asian American in the media.
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