Asian Ethnicity Representation and Stereotypes


In modern society, stereotypes further execute an essential role. In this way, Europeans shape their knowledge of Asians based on Hollywood films and famous speeches. In fact, Asian culture has been misinterpreted, which has reduced the value of the Asian race. At the same time, this means that the younger generation of immigrant Asians may be ashamed of their identity. In this essay, I will analyze the reason for stereotypes about the Asian group. It will also be important to support the accurate facts that will determine the authentic culture and mentality of Asians and refute fallacious information.

The Reasons for Misperceptions of Asians

Although Asians live and work side by side with Americans, many Europeans only identify them as East Asians. In fact, the Asian continent is extensive and includes not only East Asians but also South Asians and people from the Middle East. However, the question arises as to why so much of the world’s population is often discriminated against. In my opinion, the answer is obvious; most Europeans do not want to dive into the history and geography of the East. They form their opinion on the basis of film stereotypes (Week 5: ‘Asians’, 2021). Therefore, it turns out that the community receives a distorted vision of Asian culture.

In addition, it is not customary to promote the history of the Asian people, so even the kids of immigrants born in the United States do not understand their identities. In fact, this is a significant problem because American Asians must defend the right to a proper interpretation of their culture and the purpose of migrating from their homeland. A widespread myth is that Asians move to the United States to achieve the American dream and create competition in the job market. However, in reality, this issue needs to be considered in the context of war and oppression of rights in the motherland. That is, Asians who are trying to find refuge in America and receive refugee status are just trying to save their lives (Nguyen, 2021). If such a point of view is popularized among the population, the mass media and the film industry may change the vector of their policy.

The Representation of Asians in Mass Culture

In the film industry history, Asians are generally performed in a negative context as a less valuable race. That is, quite often on movie screens, Asians represent the role of prostitutes or villains. Although in most films, they are staying specialists who operate the role of servants of the main actors, such as gardeners or delivery drivers. Particular attention is paid to women, who almost always play cleaners or manicurists, as in the film Full Metal Jacket, musical Miss Saigon. However, if the Asians did not perform as villains, they were used for laughter, for example, with Mickey Rooney with a yellow face in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ (Week 5: ‘Asians’, 2021).

Accordingly, it is through such roles that the film industry has become aware that Asians are the lower class of the social strata of society. In order to gain a better life, they work as service personnel. Therefore, it is a critical question why Asians agreed to play such roles in cinema.

It seems to me that the actors had no alternative because they were invited only to negative roles. Thus, there was covert discrimination against the Asian nation, which gave rise to false stereotypes. In addition to the film industry, a negative description of Asians has also been created by former President Donald Trump, who has accused China of deliberately infecting people with the coronavirus (Week 5: ‘Asians’, 2021). Thus, the idea that the Asian race deliberately transmitted the virus was groundless again, which produced a wave of racism.

Despite the negative stereotypes recently, there is a positive dynamic of the presentation of Asian culture. For example, the movie Crazy Rich Asians explain the exact opposite of Asian life. Where Asians can have their own businesses and earn millions, they also have the right not to accept a woman of another nationality (Crazy rich Asians, 2018). This comedy film is evidence that the standard of living of Asians is also high, and they have the right to self-determination. However, the movie’s final scenes make it clear that the Asian family is ready to receive a different culture. In my opinion, this is an essential indicator that Asians treat other people with understanding and respect.


Thus, the film industry has highlighted stereotypes about Asians, which has let Europeans form a misconception about the culture. At the same time, to change this perception of people, American Asians need to promote their history. In this way, it will assist in understanding the reasons for the immigration of refugees from the Eastern region. It is significant that in recent years the presentation of Asian culture has changed, began to produce films that describe the real life of Asians.

Reference List

Crazy rich Asians (2018) Director Jon Chu [Film]. Canada: Warner Bros Entertainment.

Nguyen, V. T. (2021). ‘The beautiful, flawed fiction of ‘Asian American’, The New York Times, p.1-2.

Week 5: ‘Asians’, 2021.

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