https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBRJkYvLIvw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBRJkYvLIvw

The video is a collection of clips from HBO’s “Silicon Valley”, a show which chronicles a group of young entrepreneurs from Palo Alto strugglin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to push their in” rel=”nofollow”>innovative tech company forward. All the main” rel=”nofollow”>in characters live together in” rel=”nofollow”>in a tech startup in” rel=”nofollow”>incubator that the character Jian Yang moves in” rel=”nofollow”>into directly from Chin” rel=”nofollow”>ina. The scenes in” rel=”nofollow”>in question show the owner of the in” rel=”nofollow”>incubator, Erlich, tryin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to explain” rel=”nofollow”>in to Jian Yang the customs and culture of “normal” households in” rel=”nofollow”>in America and how they normally operate. Clearly Jian Yang is used to a completely different culture in” rel=”nofollow”>in his home country. Although most people in” rel=”nofollow”>in chin” rel=”nofollow”>ina might not skin” rel=”nofollow”>in fish in” rel=”nofollow”>in their sin” rel=”nofollow”>ink or burn their trash, this is the stereotypical image of Chin” rel=”nofollow”>ina that is portrayed by the show through the character Jian Yang.

In Joann Faung Jean Lee’s Asian American Actors: Part II, “Asian American Actors in” rel=”nofollow”>in San Francisco and Los Angeles” and Wajahat Ali’s “Min” rel=”nofollow”>inority Reports’ Series: The Portrayal of Asian Men in” rel=”nofollow”>in Cin” rel=”nofollow”>inema”, both authors brin” rel=”nofollow”>ing up the stereotype of asian Americans often portrayed in” rel=”nofollow”>in common American media. Although Ali’s delivery was more personally movin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to me, I appreciated how Lee’s article is filled with more personal accounts from asian Americans in” rel=”nofollow”>in the in” rel=”nofollow”>industry and how the stereotypes have actually affected them as in” rel=”nofollow”>individuals. The actor hired to play Jian Yang is employed explicitly to asian stereotypes. A seemin” rel=”nofollow”>ingly very easy role with very little dialogue and a heavy asian accent that play directly in” rel=”nofollow”>into the American Stereotype for asian people in” rel=”nofollow”>in modern television. This role could be considered offensive for Asian American actors aspirin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to play larger roles with more depth in” rel=”nofollow”>in the in” rel=”nofollow”>industry. Obviously this role wouldn’t be effective or make any sense if the actor was caucasian. In Ali’s piece he mentions that most Asian actors portray roles in” rel=”nofollow”>in which they speak with a broken English accent. I thin” rel=”nofollow”>ink this is the most stereotypical part of how Asians are portrayed in” rel=”nofollow”>in television, the broken English and in” rel=”nofollow”>ineptness at “normal” American behavior is seen as hilarious in” rel=”nofollow”>in a detrimental way to the character, but in” rel=”nofollow”>in reality travelin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to a new country leaves everyone strugglin” rel=”nofollow”>ing with the language and adaptin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to the culture, regardless of race or destin” rel=”nofollow”>ination. Jian Yang is an extremely stereotypical Asian portrayal as his only purpose in” rel=”nofollow”>in the show is to brin” rel=”nofollow”>ing comedic relief and provides no plot contributions. I also found it in” rel=”nofollow”>interestin” rel=”nofollow”>ing that the top comment on the youtube video (admittedly not part of television studies) is “Haven’t watched the show yet, is Yang just a walkin” rel=”nofollow”>ing stereotype punchlin” rel=”nofollow”>ine or does he actually do anythin” rel=”nofollow”>ing?”. Jian Yang is a great example of how modern television uses the stereotypical view of asian culture to their content, and how in” rel=”nofollow”>inherently flawed its representation of actual asian culture has become.

Discussion Questions:

What other characters can you thin” rel=”nofollow”>ink of that break the asian stereotypes?

Do you thin” rel=”nofollow”>ink Asian characters are usually portrayed with negative connotations?

Do you thin” rel=”nofollow”>ink Asian actors face the same challenges as other min” rel=”nofollow”>inority actors such as African American actors do?

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