William Hung - Exploitation of a Stereotype

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by nbachris2788, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. nbachris2788 Registered Senior Member

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    172
    William Hung represents the most base aspect of the ultra-conservative entertainment industry (you know, the industry which gave its first Best Actor Oscar to a black man just a few years ago). I admit I was entertained for a week or so by Hung's painfully earnest rendition of Ricky Martin's song, just like how I was entertained by Keith's disturbing Madonna cover. But the troubling thing is that Hung has been signed to a record deal, and is becoming somewhat of a staple on the American entertainment industry. Why is this all so insidious, one may ask? That is because what this tells America is that minorities are only welcomed in popular media as imbecilic sideshows. There are thousands of talented Asian singers out there who would die for a chance at a record deal, yet its the stereotypical "Chinaman" William Hung who is raking in millions (even more stereotypically, Hung was, or is, a Berekeley engineering student). Why? Because perhaps people find him funny. No they don't love him for his wit or his comedic timing. They are laughing at the racial identity he exudes, an identity which ranks right up there with the worst of them. Of course, the identity I'm talking about is the ineffectual, ugly, and all-around socially undesirable Asian male.

    It wouldn't be so bad if there was at least one major Asian male star in the media to at least give a contrast to Hung. But there isn't. For every stereotypically black rapper, there's at least Denzel Washington, Sidney Poitier, etc. Men of dignity and strength. But the only counterparts to Hung are probably, to the average person, Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, who in themselves are living embodiments of old Asian stereotypes (martial arts masters). There are no Asian politicians, newscasters, game show hosts, etc., or any job of high visibility to offer any contrast. Now I'm not saying people are stupid and racist enough to see one glimpse of William Hung and assume all Asian males are like that, although there are some who will probably be content to believe it. But is the industry telling the country that the only way to succeed is to fill that niche that's simply too undesirable for the ruling class to fill?

    According to David Ng's anti-Hung article, many of Hung's fans are Asians. But does that in any way justify exploiting tired stereotypes? Aren't Asian fans like any other group of fans? Don't they deserve a gifted and charismatic talent to call their own, as opposed to a racial caricature? In fact, many are probably only fans because William Hung is the only Chinese pop star in the Western world right now.

    Generally, when most people talk about racism, Asians don't really figure into it. For the most part, Asians have done well in North America (at least since many Chinese, Japanese, and Korean immigrants were already middle-class professionals in their home countries before immigrating; the refugee Asians have naturally fared much worse), and despite some historical grievances, there has not been a racial divide like slavery and lynching to seriously harm relations and trust. The flip side to this, of course, is that making fun of the Asian race is the most acceptable form of race-based humour (although making fun of Hispanics is sadly quite common too). Mocking blacks and Jews is tantamount to social ostracization (at least in enlightened circles). You know, every ethnic group has its peccadilloes, and it's okay to laugh at them sometimes. But it shouldn't be so one-sided. For a William Hung, there's no Asian Mel Gibson, or Russell Crowe, or whatever. There's just Wiliam Hung, and Bruce Lee, and those A&F t-shirts...

    Maybe I'm just too distrusting and cynical, and people would have been digging William Hung is he was of any race. But the fact remains that he is a Chinese guy, and a very negatively stereotypical one at that. As long as caricatures like him are propped up in American media as the lone image of the Asian male, there is plenty of ground to make grievances.

    It may be silly to dwell so much on a lame "talent" from a now utterly pathetic and uninteresting game show, but as an Asian guy growing up in Canada, I'm increasingly learning the subtle limits of race. My parents are ever so slightly pushing me to socialize with kids whose parents they can identify with (aka Korean kids). When I start dating, I can only imagine the furor over girls of another race. And at my school, I see the racial blocs of white kids, black kids, Chinese kids, Filipino kids, Vietnamese kids, and it utterly sickens me. People talk high and mighty about equality, but when it hits home, they're as narrow-minded and conservative as the worst of them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2005
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  3. Neildo Gone Registered Senior Member

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    You mean you have something against an average person being able to make it big and live the American dream? I suppose we should just continue to make all famous people out to be talented and beautiful people? Which one is the bigger stereotype? William Hung or him not being good enough to be where he's at?

    I originally intended for this to be sarcasm but hey, there's some truth to it though.

    - N
     
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  5. Xev Registered Senior Member

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    10,943
    Fear is respect.
    Whites don't respect y'all because you're not violent like African-Americans are.
    You must remedy that.

    Riot! Loot! Burn down your own grocery stores!
     
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  7. CounslerCoffee Registered Senior Member

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    4,997
    Yeah, it's funny how that works. You see shows like Friends and you figure "Hey, Jennifer Aniston is a pregnant white woman living in New York City and making it big without a college education and living completely on her own!" Yeah fucking right, that is a liberal ideal and you know it. In real life the baby was aborted, Jen is still a waitress, and she’s a whore. But somehow--somewhere--liberals want to step in and tell the public that single white women, without educations, but with babies, are going to be okay.
     
  8. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

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    4,089
    Hey, they can be reasonably OK in this country, we have a welfare state. They may never reach whatever heights you like to see people reach, but they still manage to get along ok, as long as they avoid drugs and dangerous boyfriends.
     
  9. CounslerCoffee Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,997
    Yes, they can be okay. But they do not live a life of luxury. These things are injected into American culture. I see it everyday. I’ll break it down with a few examples:

    The TV show Friends. Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) was a waitress who ended up running part of a fashion company. She made it big even though she got knocked up by her man-whore friend Ross. Rachel is whore, too. The message that people get: “I don’t need know edu-cauation. I can make it big on me own.”

    It doesn’t end there, though. The women on the show can’t keep their legs shut. They’re portrayed as whores. Women accept that garbage as acceptable entertainment and then go out and bitch “A woman can have sex once and she’s a whore, but a man can have sex multiple times and he’s a stud.” Well, blame Friends. It gives the impression that every girl fucks every guy she knows. This leads me onto…

    The TV show Sex in the City. Really, here is one show that makes women look like whores, big time whores. I do not have to explain how this hurts the image of women. These rich women who have an education, and a good job, are portrayed as the biggest sluts on the block. So what message is that? Well, apparently, women who have an education are bigger sluts than the ones who don’t have an education.

    The movie Star Wars. Chewbacca is portrayed as a moron. We can’t understand what he’s saying either (But his white friend Harrison Ford can). The country boy (Luke) doesn’t understand Chewy, and neither does his sister, the overly white Princess. God, don’t you people know that Star Wars is all about race and color? Chewy is the token black guy and no one understands what the fuck he’s saying. Vader is the evil black race traitor manipulating his fellow white Storm troopers into doing his bidding (This is an obvious reference to Clarence Thomas).

    Yoda is Chinese, obviously, and is trying to end all this because he’s green and that’s a neutral color. Mace Windu is like Martin Luther King trying to end the race war and make everyone equal. All that “Bring balance to the force” is a lot like saying “Equal rights”. Star Wars is the most liberal movie ever, when you get down to it.

    And don’t get me started on the Death Star.
     
  10. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

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    8,828
    You forgot to mention the Ewak uprising...
     
  11. top mosker Ariloulaleelay Registered Senior Member

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    458
    I would think Lando Calrissian fit the "token black guy" image a little better.
     
  12. CounslerCoffee Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,997
    Lando acted white. He talked white. He represents what some black people try to be, the white-black guy. He grew up in the hood, and ended up a business man in the WHITE Cloud City. Lando is the classic example of a black man coming out of the slums and into a white controlled world and adapting to it.

    Lando is not the token black guy, as the token black guy just hangs around white people and keeps his blackness. Lando lost his blackness; he is the white-black guy.
     
  13. CounslerCoffee Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,997
    I just wrote out a very long blog about this. Here is the entry:

     
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,367
    Remind me to never watch a movie with you conservative elitists.
     
  15. Neildo Gone Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,306
    Those Star Wars comments are funny as hell, lol!

    - N
     
  16. Neildo Gone Registered Senior Member

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    5,306
    ())====D Oh yeah, I don't know if you were being serious with those parts, but hey, this is how every girl I know is and what's wrong with it? Too many people make sex out to be such a bad thing and if you enjoy it, you're somehow a slut. Ever hear of "friends with benefits"? And Sex in the City has nothing to do with their successful education somehow making them bigger sluts, but rather their age if anything. The only part their jobs and education have anything to do with is that they happen to have more money to afford better toys and such to make their sexual environment more fun. And hey, with all the work those educated women have to do, they gotta take advantage of their limited time and make it the best it can be. And since sex is probably the more fun leisurely activity, there ya go. ( @ Y @ )

    - N
     
  17. CounslerCoffee Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,997
    Tiassa:
    Remind me to never watch a movie made by a liberal elitist. Looks like I won't be going to the movies for a while!

    Neildo:
    Somehow? Somehow? She/he is a slut. If you fit the description of a slut, then you're a slut.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slut

    Famous sluts include: the cast of Sex in the City, Bill Clinton, Ashlee Simpson, and Michael Moore...

    Edit: Strike that last name. Moore is a slut for fast-food, not women. The Marquis de Sade can't fit as many dicks in his mouth as Moore can hamburgers.

    It's the scotch talking, really.
     
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,367
    (Coming Soon)

    But there's nothing wrong with a quiet evening at home getting hammered and watching Schwarzeneggar DVD's, right? That's not a slam, either. I just mean you won't be completely bored.

    Never would have guessed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2005
  19. CounslerCoffee Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,997
    Tiassa:
    Do you consider Predator a conservative movie? It really does give me one more example on why I should own a gun. Oh, and Jesse "Organized Religion is a sham" Ventura is in it too.

    I would not be bored. Really, I haven't seen a good movie in months. I just saw The Village, Spider Man 2, and Resident Evil 2. They all sucked.

    Is that sarcasm I detect? Are you, behind your sarcasm, attempting to call me an alcoholic?

    Okay, Tiassa, in all seriousness... You're the only one in the world with free will. Everyone else is a robot.
     
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,367
    That or "Eraser"

    Actually, I was thinking you could watch Commando over and over again.

    Yes. Did I forget the odd punctuation?

    Well, then, you have my sincerest apologies¡

    No, not at all.

    Where does this hostility come from? The scotch?
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2005
  21. Xev Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,943
    Neildo:
    "Too many people make sex out to be such a bad thing and if you enjoy it, you're somehow a slut. "

    What people? I've never heard this in my life.

    P.S:
    Sex is filthy and vile. If you enjoy sex, you are a bad person.
     
  22. CounslerCoffee Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,997
    Tiassa:
    I love that moviei

    No. My sarcasm detector picked up on it. It was a stupid question to indicate that I picked up on your sarcasm.

    Good, because I ain't.

    Well, in a non-gay-way... I was reading that book today. It made me think of the thread you posted in Free Thoughts. I thought you would get a chuckle out of me saying that. My apologies if you didn'ti
     
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,367
    Once upon a time I was, in fact, amused by enraged impotence. Or was it impotent rage? Either way, I didn't want to be elitist.
     

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