Sunday 21st January 2018,

Guest Posts

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“Mistresses” Looks to Be Retread of Tired Asian American Stereotypes

posted by Randall

MistressMistress2 By Ric


Guest Blogger

(Note from Editor: This is either a stroke of genius or the biggest mistake of this blog’s young existence. Ric is arguably the most opinionated follower of AsAmNews. Some might call him obnoxious. I got tired of answering his many missiles hurled at me, so I invited him to write a guest blog. Let us know what you think by commenting below.)

No, the above pictures are not part of another homemade American interracial porn video scene. It’s part of a scene from the commercial television boob tube. That’s right commercial TV; you know the media machine that brainwashes millions of Americans every night. Guess after years of watching over glorified prostitutes and whores, aka ABC’s Desperate Housewives, there another mutant version, brought to you by same boys and girls who created a series about bored housewives, called ABC’s Mistresses. The Debut show is set for June 3, 10/9pmC. So this new show is supposedly based off on some hit British television series of the same name. Check out this direct quote line -“Mistresses is a provocative and thrilling drama about scandalous lives of a sexy and sassy group of four girlfriends, each on her own path to self discovery.”

Yup, this Asian female stereotype is ready and waiting to be queued up for the enjoyment of the masses—a public that already has pre-conceived notions of those of Far Eastern descent. But wait a minute there Ric, why are you already making assumptions and judgment on this TV series?

It may in fact break new imagery of what it’s like be an Asian American female. It’s safe to say I’m pretty much always right when it comes to any forms of media that depicts Asians and Asian Americans from a western perspective. These types of tired and old Asian media are still the landscape that exists today. The link below shows a brief description of Yunjin Kim’s character, Karen.

Yunjin Kim as Karen Kim, but the site mentions her name as Karen Rhodes for some reason, maybe a typo?


Direct quote from this site

“Karen is a therapist with her own thriving practice, reconnecting with the girls after her involvement in a complicated relationship with a wealthy, married patient goes too far; she was having an affair with a terminally ill client to whom she had prescribed morphine. After his death, the man’s distraught son, Sam, confides in a guilt-ridden Karen, unaware of her role in his father’s life. The grieving widow, Elizabeth Grey (recurring guest star Penelope Ann Miller [The Artist]), has no idea her late husband had a romance with another woman.

So did ABC not contact Lucy Liu for this role? The sound and look of this role for token Asian female plays on this show speaks “Lucy Liu.” Now, Now, Asian and Asian American sisters don’t get your made in China panties in a bunch. Ms. Liu is anything but a positive role model, and it looks like Yunjin will take on any role that is thrown at her as well regardless of greater and bigger picture of positive media for our community.

I guess Lucy was too busy being the “Asian” female version of Dr. Joan Watson from the CBS show, Elementary. Dr. Watson is yet again another Asian female – oriental – portrayal for white casusian male.

The brief description of Karen should have mentioned race because obviously the dying rich guy is white. So Karen Rhodes or Kim, or whatever ABC decides to name her, is playing a role that has been recycled more times than I can count.

Character Bio

An immigrant from Korea, Karen met Savi at UCLA during undergrad, and they’ve been friends ever since. Karen’s pioneering work with Los Angeles’ immigrant communities has made her one of the most respected psychiatrists in her field, but a secret from her professional past still haunts her — a patient with whom she had an affair, whose untimely death throws Karen’s life into chaos.

But wait there’s more.  The cast is as racially diverse as American media wants it to be:

White blonde guy. Check

White blonde girl, Check

White Brunette Guy.Check (guess possible appeal to Latin and Chicano population)

White Brunette girl. Check (see above line)

Black Male. Check

Black Female. Check

Asian Female (Yunjin Kim)


Wow what a rainbow of races showcasing on this series. But guess what? The white and black depictions are paired up mathematically, but where is Yunjin or Ms. Rhodes’s analog of an Asian male counterpart?

Surely ABC must have forgot this little detail when they came up with casting work. After all ABC can’t be playing favorites in regards to race depictions in their media, right? I mean Yunjin character has even non-Asian last name even though she not an Asian American adoptee, so she cant be Asian token in this series? Right?  I guess same station that brings your Bachelorette, can’t be playing race card or in this case lack of race in cards? The lack of Asian men in media is as tired as Yunjin character role. I will not dive into this beaten down horse issue, but I say this: where is the voice from Asian or Asian American women in today’s media? How about YouTube media or even average Asian or Asian American females in everyday life?

Life imitates Art or boob tube, Art or boob tube reflects human mindsets.

(Would you like to respond to this blog with your own guest post. Or do you have a topic of your own you’d like to explore. Email


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  1. Juliet S. says:

    The amount of sexism and degradation of women and complete dismissal of Asian and Asian American women in this blog post is disgusting. Since when did a non-ethnic name become exclusive for adoptees? Asian Americans have been here and many have "Americanized" surnames like Rhodes. Calling the characters of another show "glorified prostitutes and whores" and then going on to chide Asian female readers to "not get their made in China panties in a bunch" makes me lose complete respect for AsAmNews.

    The focus on hypersexualizing Asian women in any media Ric gets his hands on is obnoxiously obvious in this blog post. This screams classic "Asian women only date white men for money, they should date Asian men instead! What about the Asian men? Poor us" rhetoric.

    I've unfortunately encountered the sexist and irritating harassment of Ric on Twitter before and it's a true disappointment to see him writing for AsAmNews. You've lost a reader and I'll be telling everyone I know.

    1. Hustt says:

      Re: Anger Directed Toward Blog About Mistresses: “Interesting, so you find this post sexist, degrading, and dismissal of AA and Asian women. But when it comes to the show’s portray of old stereotypes, you are awfully quiet. It’s not sexist, degrading, and dismissal because it portrays AA women as “desirable” to white men, right?

      He called them “glorified prostitutes and whores” because it is what they are. Maybe not in the exact definition of being one who gets paid for sex, but they get paid for their sex appeal. Do you honestly think men watch these shows and think “Hmm, such intelligent women! Very sexy!”? ”

      I don’t know why you think in your warped logic that calling characters of a show those words is sexist, because it isn’t. He’s not calling them that out of despise for womankind, so don’t pull that out of thin air. Just because those words are used by a certain subset of (misogynistic)men doesn’t mean any use of them is inherently sexist, context in point. Now if “whores” and “prostitutes” has been exclusively used as hate speech against women, your point would hold merit.

      As for the surname issue, you realize your definition of being American right there is an Anglo-Saxon right? Rhodes is not an American surname, it is an European surname, way to fall into the white default trap.

      So far I can only agree with you on Ric’s poor taste in the “china-made panties” joke.

    2. tkei says:

      Re: Critical Comments About Mistresses blog: I think he hits on quite a lot of key points. You just sound like you’re sour most likely for your own reasons for which I can very well guess.

  2. FatCat says:

    There was nothing sexist or degrading in the blog post other than pointing out the sexism and degredation in the upcoming Mistresses show. There is a always a danger in criticism of bringing up other media and shows when analyzing another program, but Desperate Housewives is awful and did nothing to advance women.

    White media constantly leverages this divide by pairing up Asian women with white men leaving Asian men absent or worse outright emasculating them (see Ken Jeong's modern day minstrel show in anything he's been in). The level of bile directed at Asians in media has increased; particularly on the military front with lewd fantasies of North Korean murder present in main stream releases. Old WW II films of the pacific like John Wayne's The Sea Bees were less vile and hateful than this stuff. Are we still pretending that this is all the imaginations of Asian men on the internet?

  3. crazy MMer says:

    Ric's wording is harsh, but the observation is spot on: the ethnic pairings completely excludes an AM for obvious reasons.

    as for Juliet S. (since she won't be reading this blog anymore): that's the same old same old AF cry-me-a-river-AM-are-evil-chavunist-patriarchs spiel we've heard ad nauseam from "Auntie Tan" and the mainstream media, and even indie sensationalist propaganda like "Touch" (

    this has been the tactic used by the auto-racist AF sellouts: cry sexism where there isn't any and generate their own propaganda to be with the WM at all cost and denigrate all AM wherever possible.

    sadly, "the Asian gender divide" is real and extensive in the US and won't be going away anytime soon. the only winners are the WM Asiaphiles, but I'm sure Juliet S. are promoting "Seeking Asian Female" like crazy along with their drummer eunuch Phil Yu "Apologist Asian Man"

    1. EKH says:

      Re: Mistresses Looks to Be Retread of Tired Asian Am Stereotypes: “this has been the tactic used by the auto-racist AF sellouts: cry sexism where there isn’t any and generate their own propaganda to be with the WM at all cost and denigrate all AM wherever possible. ”

      And people wonder why AMs and AWs can never have a decent dialogue about interracial dating. Both sides refuse to listen to each other and present patronizing straw men/call each other names.

  4. CMak says:

    I don't really understand why the above posters find that there can be such a thing as racism but not such a thing as sexism. As an Asian American man, I hate seeing Ken Jeong playing the emasculated butt of jokes about his tiny penis, but I don't think that the solution is to say that Asian women should never be portrayed in media without an Asian man pairing. That's problematic because it suggests that Asian and Asian American women can't exist independently of men.

    Sorry to break it to you guys, but women don't exist to validate us, serve us, or somehow please us with their opinions, statements, and preferences. Getting prickly about the fact that there are virtually no roles *at all* for Asian American actors is one thing. Saying that the media is obligated to portray normative heterosexual relationships between an Asian woman and an Asian man is just sexist.

    1. AsAmNews says:

      Re: Response to "Mistresses" Guest Post: Thanks for contributing to the discussion, CMak. Hopefully we can all agree that more Asian American actors need to be cast in roles, whether they are paired with Asian American actresses or not.

    2. Ric says:

      Re: to @CMak Response to Misstresses Guest Post: “Saying that the media is obligated to portray normative heterosexual relationships between an Asian woman and an Asian man is just sexist”

      Hmm so does all white,black , and brown pairing also a

      Sexist remark ?

      1. Hustt says:

        re: Critical Comments About Mistresses Blog: Of course not! normal relationships are for other races only. Wanting to see Asian-Asian pairing is apparently an indicator of sexism. Can you imagine replacing Asian with any other race in that sentence? We’d have a mountain of sexism accusation from this guy, provided that he holds them to the same standards.

        And don’t you love how they both didn’t give any relevant opinions except to attack the character of posters? I find it funny how they are so determined yet fail to see most of what they mentioned can be found in those shows, in the media which they both refuse to say anything on…

    3. Hustt says:

      Re: Critical Comments About Mistress Blog: Really, I don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish with your obvious comments. Nobody here has said that he doesn’t believe in sexism, so don’t be like Julia and put words in our mouth. And also ease up on the white knight complex, making obvious comments doesn’t make your points more valid or superior in any way. So yea, time to put the straw man down and put up some solid ground underneath your argument.

      “That’s problematic because it suggests that Asian and Asian American women can’t exist independently of men.” Can you tell this to media executives? Because they seem to adamantly believe so. But wait, I forgot, extra anger should be directed at those sexist Asian men first to prove that Asians are “diverse”…that’ll solve the problem!

    4. crazy MMer says:

      Re: Critical Comments About Mistresses Blog: as a green, pink, blue and magenta polka dotted alien from the 8th dimension (prove I’m not over the internet) – I believe I can be ‘objective’ here and say that besides the many AF/WM there’s a significant number of AM with Stockholm Syndrome as well.

      seriously, that’s the best you can do against us “militants” is to call us sexist? isn’t it time to retire the same old rehashed “Auntie Tan” and “Auntie Hong Kingston” reification and come up with new negative stereotypes against AM?

      If AM are sexists then why is AF/WM marriage the highest in numbers and percentages of all “IR marriages” and not to mention the constant barrage of WM supported AF media like “Seeking Asian Female” that won indie film awards, given out by APA organizations no less.

      as others have said: if AF shouldn’t be portrayed exclusively with AM, then why is that the mainstream media constantly and exclusively portrays the AF with WM and to smaller extent BM ad nauseam? where’s your criticism of racism and sexism charges against the WM studio decision makers?

      afterall, isn’t the Madame Butterfly and Miss Saigon sexism of WM a sign of continued colonial imperialist mentality that women of color are the objectification of sexual exploitation of the WM?

      and your faux-feminist 101 rehash from APA studies taught by female professors is inane to say the least: it’s like saying water is wet. nobody here is arguing that AF are “property” of AM and is “obligated” to be shown partnered up with AM.

      the point here is that AM is never partnerd up with any female and whereas the “natural” portrayals of WF/WM and BF/BM, etc relationships are portrayed there’s always the AF/WM “obligatory” sexual relationship.

      if you want to truly fight for AF equality, why aren’t you up in arms over the sexist WM colonial imperialist agendas? but as I’ve already pointed out: you’re another sufferer of Stockholm Syndrome and fights FOR the establishment and blame the victim of AM as easy pickings.

      looks like you should go to certain “Apologist Asian Man” blogs to vet your propagandas.

  5. AsAmNews says:

    From @artandthought via Twitter Re: Reaction to "Mistresses" Guest Post: "The comments are more compelling than the crude post @AsAmNews Asian American "Whore" to Be Featured on New TV Show."

  6. AsAmNews says:

    From @AAModelMinority via Twitter re: Critical Reaction to His Mistresses Blog: "most AAs still don't see or understand big picture of that article.they rather narrow mind point to humor /sarcasm."

    1. Ric says:

      Re: his Mistresses Blog: It’s rather hopeless. Even given real facts and scientific observations, the main big picture is completely lost among many many asian americans. I guess after decades of whitewashing media, there almost a sense of colonial mentality and white idolism that has been created.

  7. AsAmNews says:

    From John J Chen via Facebook re: Mistresses: "It might be productive to ask: have Asian guys noticed how the media stacks the playing field in a way that marginalizes them? and if so why, and what are they going to do about it? will they, at least, stop wearing white socks with dress shoes?"

  8. AsAmNews says:

    Re: Mistresses comments from John J Chen: Good questions, John. Issues definitely worth exploring.

  9. AsAmNews says:

    from Chris Africa via Facebook Re Mistresses: "The usual"

  10. RonaldLewin81 says:

    Re: Mistresses: Well you’re living in a white controlled society, so expect as much. Look at Korean media, whites are usually portrayed as untrustworthy & corrupt. You also see shows pairing up Korean men with foreign women Global Talk Show (Misuda) but not the other way around. Unless you get more Asian males involved in Hollywood, whether it be director or producer you won’t see Asian Americans properly represented. By the way, things are getting better, a Japanese American, Kevin Tsujihara is the CEO of Warner Brothers. Sony Pictures / Columbia / Tristar (one of the Major film companies owned by a Japanese company. Justin Lin produced the past 3 Fast & Furious movies and they have grossed a lot at the box office, he made Asian American male look cool with the Han character (Sung Kang). You just need more of this and things will change for the better.

  11. AsAmNews says:

    From Rick Ng Re Mistresses: Typical, everybody fooling around!

  12. AsAmNews says:

    Re: Mistresses: So did anyone see this? What did you all think? The show came off as soft porn in just the first few minutes. It wasn't only the sexploitation of Asian American women. It was an equal opportunity sexploiter. The lack of AAPI men was of course glaring. Hopefully that will change. Glad the Yunjin Kim spoke good English.

  13. AsAmNews says:

    From Tommy Wasabi via Facebook Re: Misstresses: "Oh well, when groups like this are trying to help us Asian Americans or Canadians to progress to a new level, there are always those foolish and star-hungry ones who wants to pull us back to the railroad building, internment camp squatting days…no thanks to these foolish Asian men/women who just want their 15 secs of fame on TV or movie screens."

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