Saturday Night Live – Stereotyping Asian American Men

I am a fan of Saturday Night Live, especially with last week’s impression of Governor Sarah Palin by Tina Fey. However, this past Saturday, I was offended – perhaps you were too. James Franco was the host, and he is currently a student at Columbia University in New York City, apparently to get his Master’s in Writing. Franco’s roommate is supposedly a “Ken Wo”:

“I got a great roommate named Ken Wo. He’s a bio-chem major. He’s here tonight… (camera on “Ken Wo” – audience laughter) You know, we have our arguments… He prints out his homework when I’m trying to sleep and I threw away his bed so my publicist could have a desk…”

Like Franco would actually be living in a Columbia University dorm room? Later, Franco’s “RA (Residence Advisor)” Craig shows up during the opening monologue and says:

“Come on man. Until you moved into Livingston Hall, I was top dog. It was just me and a bunch of dorks like Ken Wo. (camera on Ken Wo – audience laughter) – My bad, KWo, my bad.”

Come on Saturday Night Live (and the U.S. media)! Give us Asian American men a break. We *are not* all geeks and nerds who are pre-Med or engineering, etc. I had just previously written about Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles, and now I see this? Am I overreacting? As Angry Asian Man would say, “That’s racist.” (Hmm.. I wonder if Angry Asian Man will ever link to 8Asians…). Take a look for yourself and you decide here. (update: video taken down…)

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About John

I'm a Taiwanese-American and was born & raised in Western Massachusetts, went to college in upstate New York, worked in Connecticut, went to grad school in North Carolina and then moved out to the Bay Area in 1999 and have been living here ever since - love the weather and almost everything about the area (except the high cost of housing...)
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