Is The Social Network’s Asian Fetish Acceptable?

You should have seen The Social Network by now. If not, go see it. Go out and see it now so you can be cool. I saw it twice so that makes me really cool (and dorky). It really does live up to the hype — see John’s earlier post.

Many critics have lauded it as “a movie that defines a generation” — and the rapid fire screenwriter Aaron Sorkin tends to agree.

The movie, which is based on fact reads like a constant flow of overlapping Facebook status updates that have an aggressive sense of cohesion via a three sided argument involving Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) and Tyler & Cameron Winklevoss (both played by Armie Hammer with help from Josh Pence). All of them claim to have invented Facebook and the movie leaves it up to you to decide who’s right.

But that’s not the issue at hand here. The issue is the following dialogue early in the movie:

Eduardo: It’s not that guys like me are generally attracted to Asian girls. It’s that Asian girls are generally attracted to guys like me.

Dustin: I’m developing an algorithm to define the connection between Jewish guys and Asian girls.

Eduardo: I don’t think it’s that complicated. They’re hot, they’re smart, they’re not Jewish and they can dance.

I actually know a good amount of Asian girls who can’t dance. In fact, if you just go to any club in San Francisco, you will see what I mean.

Not too long after this conversation between Eduardo and Dustin (Joseph Mazzello) hooks up with Christy played by Brenda Song, a former Disney darling who, in the movie, can be seen as a Facebook groupie that fondles Eduardo in a bathroom stall. Later on in the movie, she turns into (spoiler alert) the psycho, clingy girlfriend.


My fist-of-fury progressive Asian side tells me that I should get my panties in a wad over this character and the aforementioned dialogue. I should be saying stuff like, “Brenda Song’s character is nothing but a prop!” and “These Ivy League boys have yellow fever!” — but it really didn’t bother me as much. I am just happy that Asians are becoming more and more relevant in film and television.

Maybe the militant Asian in me has turned soft, but if you think of it, Song’s character wasn’t really being objectified. Despite the bit of dialogue (which is clever and makes the characters sound uber-dweeby), Song’s character is just like any other groupie: crazy and starved to feed off the fame and success of someone else. There’s really nothing wrong about that.

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About Dino-Ray

Dino-Ray Ramos is a movie hobbit, social media swaggerist, pop culture junkie, smart-mouthed Asian American warrior, and a well-rounded inhaler of all things entertainment. After uprooting from Texas, he migrated to San Francisco where he shares his irreverent take on high and low brow aspects of culture. In addition to feeding he writes for, Hyphen Magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle. You can also boost his self-esteem by following his musings on Twitter
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