Saturday Night Live & Asian American Commercial Watch: Asian American Doll

In the most recent episode of Saturday Night Live, the show does quite a funny parody of a politically correct television commercial for an “Asian American Doll” – mocking many past mistakes of namely, the makers of Barbie, Mattel, for perpetuating a wide variety of bad stereotypes (including most recently this controversy: Mattel Pulls Sexist Barbie Book “I Can Be A Computer Engineer” Off Amazon).

Asian_American_Doll_SNL_2015_12_20One thing I would like to criticize though is that when a girl asks in the commercial, “Where does Asian American Doll” come from?” Instead of the Mom replying, “She comes from Asia,” I would have much preferred to have the Mom say, “Asian American Doll” was born in America or from Springfield, USA. Though statistically, the Mom is probably right (given the fact due to the last 15+ years of immigration, more than a majority of Asian Americans were born overseas).

Asian_American_I_Can_Be_President_BarbieAnd to be honest – to me, the Asian American Doll does not look all that Asian at all. And why does Asian American Doll has blue eyes? (of course, she could be wearing colored contact lenses, but most likely not). I guess SNL found the closest Asian Barbie that they could? Though doing a quick search on, I was pleasantly surprised to come cross a Barbie – I Can Be President Asian Doll! And if you know your U.S. constitution, you have to be born in the U.S. to become president 🙂

But overall, I thought this was a hilarious parody, poking fun at some of the past wrongs regarding Barbie stereotypes as well as the somewhat over political correctness creeping into something like making an “ethnic” doll.

Others, like Joz, didn’t find it as hilarious. “I didn’t find the sketch offensive, but I also didn’t find it funny,” she was quoted as saying to NBC News/Asian American, “Once it got going, I could see all the jokes and stereotypes before they came. Why so predictable, SNL? I guess it’s too much to ask for SNL to do anything more nuanced.”

What do you think?

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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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