philia's thoughts
Asian Stereotypes in America
Harsh Asian stereotypes and the negligence to their problems in America greatly affect the Asian-american community in many ways. In modern times, many people obtain their cultural knowledge through media in the form of the internet, movies, television shows, and stereotypes. Negligence to their issues can greatly damage the Asian-American community. “Asian Americans, who represent about 6% of the U.S. population, are frequently denied leadership opportunities (The Illusion of Asian Success, Ascend, 2017) and are overlooked in research, clinical outreach and advocacy efforts.” Seeing that, I think we should solve this by listening to what they have to say and giving them the materials they need to do so. Speaking out about these very important issues is not only important to Asian-Americans so that they can be heard, but important to society itself so we can take another step forward into changing it for the better.

Asian stereotypes in the media is one of the biggest problems within this social issue. Many years people have shown harsh stereotypes of Asian people (not just East Asian but any Asian culture). Asian characters were first displayed in film in the early 20th century, but their roles did not have much personality. Instead, they were portrayed as a token Asian person, meaning that the purpose of their character was mainly just to be Asian. “Film and TV have cemented their fair share of East Asian stereotypes over the years, thanks to decades of yellow face, racist scripts and a lack of roles for nuanced Asian characters. Stereotypical Asian tropes written and played by Caucasians have persisted from the dawn of movie-making, starting with D.W. Griffith’s 1910 short “The Chink at Golden Gulch,” to Mickey Rooney’s unforgettable “Japanese” Mr. Yunioshi character in 1961’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Harsh Asian stereotypes have been shown in media such as films, tv shows, comedy skits, etc. Forever sementing these stereotypes into asian-americans themselves and affecting them negatively. As well as providing false information to other people outside the Asian-American community about them and their cultures. “In recent years, viewers still encountered portrayals like the horrible 2014 “How I Met Your Mother” episode where three white principals dress in silk robes and Fu Manchu mustaches to dispense sage kung fu advice in fake Chinese accents.” Many people could look at this and see no problem with it. Which is why it's such a big problem in America. Things like tv shows portray Asian accents and traditional clothing as “funny” and “laughable”. I think people should be taught that making fun of cultures isn’t okay to do even when it’s within films or media.

Due to all of these examples and so much more besides them, I think the best solution is to get rid of stereotypes entirely. There are many Asian-american films that don’t go by stereotypes or use white actors in yellowface as the characters. Supporting these filmmakers and productions is a good start to creating a society with less stereotypes and racism. “They (Asian-american films) are enjoyable and special not because they are about Asian and Asian American people, but rather because they have extraordinary and unique characters and plots. They use classic film techniques and plot devices that are in American films and inject Asian culture into the stories so that the film industry’s whole audience would enjoy them.” People may enjoy a film more if it shows real stories or stories without stereotypes in them. Especially if they are supporting an Asian-american filmmaker instead of someone who writes racist scripts and uses stereotypes in their films. In conclusion, I feel that if we stop supporting films with harsh stereotypes of Asian-americans and instead support positive ones without stereotypes, society would be progressing. By signing petitions, boycotting, protesting, etc. these problems will be more heard by society and more Asian-american filmmakers will be brought to light and supported for their works. There are many petitions or companies you can support by simply reading and listening to their problems. A great one to read is API studies. This article speaks about the many issues Asian-americans face in society today and how we can change it.

Works Cited

Abrams, Sara. "Countering Stereotypes About Asian Americans." Https://, 1 Dec. 2019,
Balster, Keegan. "Asian American Films Work for Greater Asian Representation." Scot Scoop News, 25 Feb. 2021,
Davis, Becky. "Asian Representation in Movies: Best and Worst Examples Through the Years." Variety, 24 Mar. 2021,
Sparks, Sarah D. "Stereotypes Turn Up Pressure on Asian Students, Lower Their Own Expectations." Education Week, 23 Mar. 2017,