Monday, January 12, 2009

Thank God for the Indians...

...'cause otherwise there wouldn't have been any Asians represented at the Golden Globes last night. Seriously, the producers of the show couldn't have found one Asian-American to at least present an award (since none of them were up for any)? For that matter, last night looked very white, with the exception of one black guy, Eva Mendes and Selma Hayek, if I recall correctly.

Of course, a few of my Asian acquaintances today were sounding off about how Indians are not really Asians. Oh boy, you know there weren't any Indians around when that was being said. I did have this conversation with a couple of Indian doctors at a dinner party recently, and they voiced their disapproval about how they are often not considered to be Asian by other Asians. To be sure, Indians certainly don't look like East Asians. But after I saw last year's The Namesake, I was surprised by how very 'East Asian' Indian home culture was.

Back to the problem of no Asian-Americans at the awards show last night. There just don't seem to be many Asian-American actors working these days. I can think of John Cho. Sandra Oh is a Canadian. There's always Margaret Cho. I am striking a dead zone here... Ah yes, Rick Yune had a couple of movies and I thought he was going to break out, but since Die Another Day, haven't seen his face around. OK, there are the two actors from Lost but I don't follow that show. Too bad the show I did follow last night, up to the very end, didn't showcase any Asian-Americans.

7 comments:

dannie said...

There's also Lucy Liu.

I have not seen Slum dog millionaires yet.

But I saw Gran Torino, which was refreshing to see Asians in a film, especially since the film was Bee Vang's and Ahney Her's first film.

J.T. said...

oh yeah, i forgot about her... lol... I do want to see Gran Torino too. Thanks for reminding me.

thwany said...

it doesn't bother me that there was no asian representation. we're still doing lots of amazing stuff and don't need to be on an award show to feel represented in the industry. i don't know, just because someone is asian and won an award doesn't mean you'll even automatically like/respect/admire them, right? people are people.

J.T. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J.T. said...

While there may be many Asians working behind the scenes in the entertainment business, there just doesn't seem to be a corresponding number of opportunities to be in front of the camera as well. Is this because Asians are consciously being typecast in nerdy, minor roles, or even worse, shut out? I think this is a question that can be validly raised. It took many years for black people to appear in roles that didn't require a maid's uniform and a Southern accent for all those "Yes, Massah" lines of dialogue.

I agree that if Lucy Liu won an award, that would not necessarily dictate a sudden burst of love for her. But as black people know all too well with the election of Barack Obama, it can be empowering to see one of your own in a position of prominence. I would hope that Asian-Americans also get their chance at the leading man and lady roles, not just the "best friend" ones. Growing up in America at a time when I never saw an Asian face on TV, I think it's important for young Asian-Americans today to see more of their own faces in the pop culture media.

Raven said...

Do they not get leading roles because the roles aren't written for them, or are the roles not written for them because there aren't enough prominent Asian actors? Granted, if there were more prominent Asian actors there's no reason they couldn't be cast in leading roles originally written for non-Asians. Actors like Will Smith, Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson get cast in roles where the color of their skin is essentially irrelevant.

J.T. said...

Chicken and the egg, is it? Do we need great roles for Asians for there to be great Asian actors? Or do we need great Asian actors for there to be more great roles for Asians? Probably a little of both, and hopefully just a matter of time with younger Asian-Americans coming up the ranks.