Friday 15th December 2017,

Asian Americans

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Complex: Do Asian American Actors Have Responsibility to Turn Down Stereotypical Roles?

posted by Randall

Ken JeongSome in the Asian American community have criticized Ken Jeong for taking on what they consider stereotypical roles.

The scene below from the movie Hangover plays on the stereotype that Asian American men have small penises.

Parts for Asian American actors are far and few between. Complex asked if minority actors should be avoiding roles like this when they have families to feed?

“I do find myself having to check in with some of my colleagues just to be like, ‘What do you think?’” actor Peter Kim, who starred in Yoko Ono’s rock opera, New York Rock. “I need to check in with them to kind of affirm what I’m feeling [about] a project.”

A study by the University of Southern California found that Asian American men were more likely to play a hypersexualized role than white actors. Also going against the stereotype, the study found Asian American actresses were least likely to be shown in sexual attire.

The survey found Asian American actors played just 4.4 percent of all roles in the 100 top grossing films of 2013.

“Our founders were sitting there and asking, ‘Why aren’t we seeing more of ourselves, our stories, in the mainstream media?’” said John C. Woo, Asian CineVision’s executive director. “And then they said, ‘Well, we’ve got to do something about this.’”

So given the under representation of Asian Americans in Hollywood, what responsibility do actors have in the roles they accept.

You can read various takes on this issue in Complex.

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