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Discussion in 'Misc. TV Series' started by Kaleb, Feb 18, 2020.
I remember reading some interviews from Daniel Wu that were quite eye opening.
I get what you are saying though I think it is a little discrediting to the awesome Randall Park. And Hudson Yang for that matter. They are only one example, on one series over now but I do think there will be more asian men in leading roles eventually.
This Kung-Fu series is gender-bending to cater to gender politics and try something new. Maybe it will be good but it's a remake of a series that has already been twice done with the same white guy in the lead. Going with an asian female is at least progress of some sort.
John cho is leading the live action cowboy bebop show, Randal park starred in rom com always maybe and ken jeong had his Dr ken show.
There has been some improvements with male Asian representation but obviously not enough.
I think a lot of the complaints about asian men representation is more related to this.
The desexualization of the Asian American male
Asian men are desexualized, while asian women are fetishized. It is changing, sure. But I would not include Randall Park as part of that improvement.
Park isn't sexualized, no. Which is ironic that his not being turned into a sex object is a problem.
I know it's an improvement, but for God's sake, it's 2020, and we're still having this discussion about erasing Asian men at the same time we're talking about xe and they pronouns in the LGBT+ community. There's something wrong here.
I find that casting a female Asian in this role almost seems to be another way of side stepping casting an Asian male in the role as originally intended when David Carradine was given the part over Bruce Lee. It's as if people will do anything to avoid giving it to an Asian male.
It almost seems like it's done under the pretext of trying to bring more female representation or catering to gender politics. But while that may be valid in other contexts, Asian females do not have the same under representation or lowly status as Asian males. As others have said above, Asian females are fetishised while Asian males are desexualised.
So in this role of all roles, it would've been appropriate and far more representative to have had an Asian male in the part. Now it just seems like they're trying to avoid it yet again because studios or showrunners believe that audiences wouldn't want to follow an Asian male. This is particularly noticeable on a network like the CW where all their series consist of "beautiful people". It's as if an Asian male can't qualify for that status of heroic lead whom others would admire.
I mean, there's two male led martial arts series I can think of (Into the Badlands and Wu Assassins) and no female led ones other than this I can think of. Maybe the source material here makes it a target, but it doesn't seem to me like Asian women are headlining shows like crazy. And when they do it's not always necessarily sexualized. Like, maybe I'm missing something, but it doesn't seem to me like Nora From Queens is meant to be sexy.
There's probably some truth in it that it's the source material here that raises certain issues. If it had been any other series - eg an original one - then it probably wouldn't have had the same objections.
Kung Fu was something originally conceived of by Bruce Lee, and then he was bypassed as the lead for simply being Chinese while the studios wanted a Caucasian in "yellowface" instead because they didn't think audiences would accept an actual Asian male lead.
Now with the chance to be true to that original vision, they still seem to not want to go into that territory again but prefer to make it more palatable with an Asian female instead, while still supposedly appeasing the Asian demographic.
There have been shows like Nikkita with a female Asian lead.
I'm not saying that all Asian female characters or leads are sexualised. I was using the term someone else used above of being "fetishised" and piggy-backing off that. What others generally mean by "fetishised" in that context is that they're seen as someone desirable and almost exotic. For other races, they might sometimes think "hey, it would be cool to have an Asian girlfriend". But the same isn't usually thought of Asian males.
But what I mean personally in this context is that Asian females are regarded more highly as people who are considered in the same vein as white or black people who can be (but not necessarily always are) seen as attractive or desirable to people at large.
Asian males, on the other hand, are largely desexualised and are seen as less of a person, or not even as an eligible option. They're largely consigned to roles like the nerdy tech guy or the cold and brutal martial artist, and not someone who is really all that human, relatable or approachable.
Technically… Shaolin priests (or nuns) are celibate. So there’s your desexualization. But even the Carradine show depicted the occasional romantic dalliance. (And in the follow-up TV movie, Caine had an adult son.) So the odds of a modern reboot going with this sort of authenticity are probably next to zero.
They could have put a dude in there, but Asian chicks have always been "in" for lack of a better term. I felt Badlands was the spiritual successor to Kung Fu, but yeah.
That's pretty much what I'm saying, and others are saying too. And this just reinforces it. I bet if she has a romantic interest, he won't even be Asian but white or black or any other ethnicity.
Pretty much agree with everything here. And here comes Crazy Rich Asians, which was supposed to be a watershed movie, and they cast a guy with the last name Golding who's clearly half white. And I really like Henry Golding too, he's a decent actor and seems like a nice dude, but the implication is clear that they wanted a man who was attractive enough "to walk between raindrops" and they had to go half white to get it. As if they would ever consider a biracial actress to play Constance Wu's role (the same actress who basically threw her male Asian TV cast members under a bus not too long ago).
It's ****ing pathetic that we are having these conversations in 2020. I've been a standup comic for a little while now in Toronto, one of the most liberal cities in the world, and Asian female comics are still making jokes about how ****ing white guys is awesome and how Asian men suck. And I'm saying this as a member of the LGBT+ community, you're more likely to see two men making out on American television than see an Asian man treated equally to an Asian woman when it comes to normal human relationships.
Actually, for a show named after a martial art, the fight choreography looks kinda weak.
Well the original show had very weak fight choreography too. David Carradine had crappy fighting skills.
Is there any continuity with the original series or is this a pure and true reboot?
Well I don't think the main character's name is even Kwai Chang Caine, even gender swapped. I get the feeling it's unrelated but trading off the name of the original.
Looking forward to this since Nikita.
I know this comment is over a year old, but I never realized that equal representation of Asian men was lacking. Pretty interesting...
True. But at the time (early-mid 1970s), audiences were quite impressed by the protagonist’s exotic skills. Since then, of course, martial arts have become more mainstream and viewers have gotten more sophisticated. Thus, they can usually distinguish between excellence in fight choreography (e.g., Daredevil) and mediocrity (e.g., Iron Fist). And based on the trailer, Kung Fu seems to be leaning towards the latter.
I guess I'll go ahead and watch this tonight since nothing else is really on. That's the kind of stuff old school CW used to show.
Am I the only one who thinks this is some hardcore stereotyping?
Stereotyping by having someone practicing an "art" be someone from the cultural group that created that art? I would say no. If the show was saying that all Chinese (or Asian) people knew kung-fu, then it would be stereotyping.
It couldn't be that the main character wasn't Chinese, because then they would accuse them of whitewashing. And it couldn't be either that the main Chinese character doesn't know Kung Fu, because then what's the point of having a show with that name if it were simply a Chinese drama where occasionally they might get into some arguments but not fights?
So that doesn't really leave a lot of room for anything.
I swear Tzi Ma plays the father to every single fictional Asian person in existence.