View Single Post
Old January 9 2013, 07:53 PM   #21
Re: Is Star Trek Interracially revolutionary?

Melakon wrote: View Post
Hyfen_Underskor wrote: View Post
. . .Sulu kissing France Nguyen would have been out of the question. American media seems to have this strange idea that Asian males don't interact with females of any race including their own.
You don't seem to have a good understanding of American media with this comment. The film "Flower Drum Song" was released in 1961. I don't know if it aired on television during Star Trek's original run, but it's possible. And you seem to be completely ignoring the Sulu/Uhura scenes in "Mirror, Mirror".

During the 1960s, most non-white actors on television were in supporting roles as either bad guys, victims, or servants and menials. Star Trek, along with other series like I Spy and Julia, were all important in opening doors to non-white actors. But in those days, such actors usually weren't even considered for such roles unless it was specifically indicated in a script.
The comment doesn't just involve American media, but American society as a whole. The American media merely reflects our society.

I admit, "The Flower Drum Song" is a bit some degree. That is if we center on the movie and not the stage play. It's very common for leading Asian male characters to be portrayed by White males (commonly referred to as the "Yellow Face"). On stage, the leading male character was played by Larry Blyden. Fortunately, the movie producers decided to go with Jack Soo who played the MC in the Broadway production.

I'm not implying that Asian male actors are never depicted as having female mates, but usually they are in relatively non-romantic roles, like elderly shop owners. Or, like in a movie that I don't recall the title of, where an Asian woman has a crush on a white leading actor (I think he was a clergyman), who insists that she goes back to her chauvinistic Asian husband (which she does reluctantly). We kind of see this theme played out in "The Joy Luck Club". The liberal Asian female breaking from the traditional, old-fashioned, Asian male.

As far as the Sulu/Uhura scene goes, I had not forgotten it (or ignoring it), and glad you brought it up.

Asian males and Black females have one thing in common...they are both...I guess we could say, victims....of an interracial marriage/dating disparity. That is, the ratio of Asian females and Black males dating/marrying outside of their race far exceeds those of their counter race/gender. While both Blacks and Asians face stereo-types as a whole, the Asian male and Black female are subject to their own unique stereo-types. In fact, Michelle Obama has been noted as being a stereo-type breaker of Black women. A rare Asian male stereo-type breaker would be that Korean actor (can't remember his name) from "Hawaii 5-0".

So although we may not see many depictions of Asian males and Black females, it's probably a safer depiction than an Asian male with a white, or even Asian female as far as what Americans want to see.

Not that this is anything to use as an all-in-all example, but I happened to run into this on the web:

This only made the honorable mention on given list:

Sanaa Lathan and Chi Muoi Lo in 'Catfish in Blackbean Sauce'
Hyfen_Underskor is offline   Reply With Quote