How To Be a Bad Asian: It’s Not All About API Rights in Movies

Life is hard enough as an Asian. Not all of us can get perfect SAT scores, graduate from medical school or trick out a Honda Civic. The pressure to embrace our culture remains but sometimes, we just don’t want to. How To Be A Bad Asian is an ongoing series of personal essays by the 8Asians writers about what sets us apart from the API community, how we deal with the stereotypes that we put upon ourselves and why we all can’t be that perfect Asian. It’s time to be bad.

I don’t know about anyone else but the more I read about politics and activism, the more I have to laugh it up. People seem to view everything in one single filter and see the world through those lens. Not I. I can’t stand it. For example, there was a recent editorial piece on The Green Hornet that had Kato as a subordinate. Here’s the fault of this: historically speaking, Kato was a subordinate to the Green Hornet and don’t forget that he works for Britt Reid as his valet.

Would you complain about Lethal Weapon 3 where Jet Li is portrayed as a Triad member? Or maybe the Hong Kong movie industry isn’t helping matters when the hottest movies usually have either martial arts or the police vs. Triad genres. Are we just a bunch of short guys that pimp out Hondas and race them in the underground? Sure seems that way with The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.

The fallacy here is that most mainstream movies are not really meant for some sort of deeper meaning. It’s entertainment. You want movies that make you think about things, then go see more independent films. Even then, was the intent of the film to make a person think or just be entertained? While I’m all for the rights of Asian Americans, I think there is a time and place to take those glasses off and view the world in a more “shallow” type of field. Watch movies for their stories, listen to music for their beats, and just see life as it is, not how it should be. I believe stepping back sometimes will give you a much broader and relaxed view of the world instead of the laser sighted targeting of activism.

Thanks for rating this! Now tell the world how you feel - .
How does this post make you feel?
  • Excited
  • Fascinated
  • Amused
  • Disgusted
  • Sad
  • Angry

About Ben

Ben Hwang is involved in a number of online publications and also writes at his personal blog, LUX.ET.UMBRA. When he's not in the middle of starting companies and dreaming up new ventures, he is heavily involved in local community efforts. Currently resides in North Carolina.
This entry was posted in Entertainment, How To Be A Bad Asian, Movies, Observations and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.