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What has always been so disturbing about yellowface, blackface, brownface and redface is how far the industry is willing to go to not employ people of color. Instead of hiring an Asian-American actor to portray an experience written by an Asian-American writer — an experience that can certainly include a penchant for kung fu — television has historically, aggressively, employed white artists to write about and portray nonwhite people.

But this practice continues in entertainment for reasons far more complicated than the refusal for white Hollywood to employ entertainers and performers of color. Whites donning theatrical makeup and costumes to display blackness, brownness or Asianness is utilized for white viewers to explore and have fun with their collective fears and anxieties surrounding the other.

By Kai Ma: Why Yellowface Episode of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Is Not Funny | TIME.com 
Reblogged from d2fang  4,751 notes

Stop asking about how Japanese people in Japan feel about Katy Perry’s performance

d2fang:

I see this all the time when people call out cultural appropriation and racist bullshit in the US or other western countries.

"Oh but look at netizens in Korea, they think it’s cute!"

"Chinese international students at my university don’t even think this is such a big deal."

"Look at these comments from Japanese twitter accounts, they love it!!!!"

"Do people in Malaysia even care? Stop making such a big deal out of this. We blow everything out of proportion."

That. Is. Not. The. Point.

First of all, this is analogous to “my *insert poc* friend thinks it’s okay, so it must be” except you’ve extended it to the entire fucking foreign country. And no, it’s not okay. It is not okay because those individuals don’t even LIVE in the country where this is all occurring. Japanese people from Japan did not grow up watching their parents get made fun of for their accented English. They did not grow up having American classmates scrutinize the breakfast or lunch that they bring from home.

This is not about the international community. This is about the Asian American community here. WE are here. WE have grown up here being bullied by the rest of you for our food, our clothing, and the traditions we attempt to celebrate with our loved ones. WE are the ones who had to feel ashamed of our parents or grandparents for not being “American” enough. WE are the ones who hated our “flat faces” or “slanted” eyes or “smelly” lunch food.

AND THEN. After all that we have attempted to do to reject our culture to become more like you, YOU have the fucking audacity to TAKE what you’ve TAUGHT us to reject, and USE it to raise your NON-Asian self to the next level of approval from your peers. And suddenly, everyone loves what you’ve done with our culture. YOU are the expert, not us. Our culture is so cool. Our culture is so fashionable. But only when it’s not on our hands.

So when Asian Americans are telling you that it’s racist, and you try to trump our words with those from across the seas, shut up. Seriously. Shut up. Our parents when they came here were from across the seas, and you didn’t give a shit about their words when they came here. You did your best to silence them with your hate. My heritage is from across the seas and you had no problem criticizing me for it when I was growing up. So why is it okay for Katy Perry to parade around like that? Especially since there were so many (TOO many) inaccuracies in her portrayal too?

Stop missing the fucking point.

Reblogged from theatlantic  259 notes
theatlantic:

The Misunderstood History of the Wacky Japanese Game Show

Earlier this month, the “Japanese-styled family game show” Japanizi: Going Going Gong premiered in the United States and Canada, on Disney XD and YTV respectively. The show puts teams of kids through physical challenges ranging from running along conveyor belts to dressing up as penguins in order to slide down a slippery slope—oftentimes while “ninjas” throw various projectiles at them. Marblemedia, the company behind Japanizi, describes it as a chance for audiences to “experience the zany world of Japanese game show culture.”
This isn’t a new proposition. Japanizi itself is a kid-friendly version of ABC’s I Survived a Japanese Game Show, which ran from 2008 to 2009. Even long before that, Japanese game shows have been sent up by the likes of The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live. The punchline to those gags resembles English speakers’ Youtube comments on the subject: These programs are “crazy,” “wacky,” and “weird.”
But the stereotype of Japanese game shows as bizarre affairs where producers put contestants through strange punishment just doesn’t ring true in 2013. The “Japanese game show culture” Japanizi and I Survived A Japanese Game Show trumpet—and that comedies and comment sections mock—once existed, sometimes in forms even more extreme than Western parodies. But that hasn’t been the case in the last 15 years. If anything, more and more Japanese people say their TV choices nowadays have become boring.
Read more. [Image: Disney; YTV]

theatlantic:

The Misunderstood History of the Wacky Japanese Game Show

Earlier this month, the “Japanese-styled family game show” Japanizi: Going Going Gong premiered in the United States and Canada, on Disney XD and YTV respectively. The show puts teams of kids through physical challenges ranging from running along conveyor belts to dressing up as penguins in order to slide down a slippery slope—oftentimes while “ninjas” throw various projectiles at them. Marblemedia, the company behind Japanizi, describes it as a chance for audiences to “experience the zany world of Japanese game show culture.”

This isn’t a new proposition. Japanizi itself is a kid-friendly version of ABC’s I Survived a Japanese Game Show, which ran from 2008 to 2009. Even long before that, Japanese game shows have been sent up by the likes of The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live. The punchline to those gags resembles English speakers’ Youtube comments on the subject: These programs are “crazy,” “wacky,” and “weird.”

But the stereotype of Japanese game shows as bizarre affairs where producers put contestants through strange punishment just doesn’t ring true in 2013. The “Japanese game show culture” Japanizi and I Survived A Japanese Game Show trumpet—and that comedies and comment sections mock—once existed, sometimes in forms even more extreme than Western parodies. But that hasn’t been the case in the last 15 years. If anything, more and more Japanese people say their TV choices nowadays have become boring.

Read more. [Image: Disney; YTV]

Reblogged from danapolis  439 notes

danapolis:

sometimes i like to sit here and remember that in the year 2012 of our lord, the watchowski siblings directed a film that had yellowface in it. not as a commentary or satire (not that either of those would be ok either) but just because they couldn’t be bothered to find some asian dudes and wanted to fucking tape back hugo weaving’s eyes instead.

amazing.

Reblogged from endsequence  160 notes

While yellowface representations may give us an externalized image to let us know what non-Asian Americans think of Asians and Asian Americans, it is not an Asian American self-representation. ‘Yellowface logics,’ then, are the logics that assume it is okay for the dominant mainstream to project an image of Asians and Asian Americans that it finds interesting, amusing, demeaning, off-putting, or simply worth projecting. It is the image projected outward for popular consumption, consideration, or discussion—the logic that privileges dominant stereotypes and representations over Asian and Asian American self-representations. The projection of yellowface logics offers up a mask of a people as a definition of the peoples themselves.

By Kent A. Ono and Vincent N. Pham, Asian Americans and the Media (via anniepology)
Image: Danny Wylde wearing yellowface to depict the character Glenn Rhee in “The Walking Dead XXX”

What happens when a prominent adult film producer creates a homage to one of the few television shows with an Asian American character—and decides to depict that character in blatant yellowface?  Guest blogger N’jaila Rhee takes on the subject of yellowface in the adult film industry.   

There were no Asian Americans in decision-making roles in The Walking Dead XXX production. The people in power decided to go with yellowface and are continuing to defend it. Interestingly enough, actor Danny Wylde writes in his apology that the role of Glenn was the last to be cast.  Not being familiar with the show, he wasn’t aware that he would be playing an Asian- American.  After seeing himself in make up, he raised questions about racism. The reaction he received was mostly laughter.

Read the full article at Racebending.com

Image: Danny Wylde wearing yellowface to depict the character Glenn Rhee in “The Walking Dead XXX”

What happens when a prominent adult film producer creates a homage to one of the few television shows with an Asian American character—and decides to depict that character in blatant yellowface? Guest blogger N’jaila Rhee takes on the subject of yellowface in the adult film industry.

There were no Asian Americans in decision-making roles in The Walking Dead XXX production. The people in power decided to go with yellowface and are continuing to defend it. Interestingly enough, actor Danny Wylde writes in his apology that the role of Glenn was the last to be cast. Not being familiar with the show, he wasn’t aware that he would be playing an Asian- American. After seeing himself in make up, he raised questions about racism. The reaction he received was mostly laughter.

Read the full article at Racebending.com

Reblogged from endsequence  693 notes

A white actor can masquerade as an ethnic character without fear of becoming one because he or she does not change his or her complexion but simply blackens it (in the case of blackface) or reshapes the facial features by taping and stretching them (in the case of yellowface). Conversely, a so-called mulatto can pass as white only when his or her exterior visible body is light enough. The skin or the epidermis in both cases serves as the center of signification and the site where one’s racial identity is lodged.

By this logic, racial masquerade is strictly reserved for the white actor. As a color that is “no colour because it is all colours,” whiteness constitutes the “source of its representational power,” according to Richard Dyer. Thus when a white actor acts in yellowface or blackface, he or she is taken as a skillful performer of someone apparently not him-or herself, hence the impossibility of conflating the actor with the role of the racial Other. For a non-white actor, whoever, his or her transitive and mimetic connection with racialized roles remains fixed.

By

Yiman Wang, “The Art of Screen Passing: Anna May Wong’s Yellow Yellowface Performance in the Art Deco Era”

This is a great article for anyone interested in a critical analysis of the historical roots of yellowface, as well as how Anna May Wong (though not by her own agency) contributed to how Asian actors today are perceived by the western mainstream media.

(via anniepology)

Reblogged from viciousdeactivated  25 notes

curiouscicada:

Yellowfacing in walking dead porn-parody

Burning Angel:“Alright, I know some of you lame asses were offended by me turning someone non-Asian into someone Asian, but Danny is an important member of the BurningAngel family and I really wanted him in this movie – and he actually has a lot of similar features as Glenn and made the most sense to play him,” writes Angel. … I was not doing this to make fun of anyone of any race – I did this because it was a parody. So all you over-sensitive PC people: calm down.”

An example of appalingly bad public relations. Also, yellowface.

Reblogged from whitewashme  98 notes

Messages Across the Ages: Thoughts on “Cloud Atlas”

whitewashme:

Jim-Sturgess-and-Doona-Bae-in-Cloud-Atlas_gallery_primaryHugh-Grant-Doona-Bae-and-Jim-Sturgess-in-Cloud-Atlas_gallery_primary

The fifth storyline, and perhaps the most troubling storyline, is the story of Somni-451, set in Neo-Seoul, the 22nd century.

I want to say this, first, before I begin: Neo-Seoul didn’t have to be so. It could have been anywhere else and it would have been the exact same story. As it is, Neo-Seoul draws up all the Asian stereotypes that have haunted Asian Americans in media since media has existed.

In Neo-Seoul, Papa Song serves up fast food and genetically engineered Korean woman to patrons. These Korean women are only slightly varied in appearance and features, being genetic clones of one another, easily manufactured and replaced. Not only does this reinforce the idea that all Asians are the same, but it also reinforces that stereotype of the beautiful lotus blossom, the beautiful Asian prostitute whose doll-like appearance allows her to be swapped for another person. The Asian women are stripped not only of their personal agency, but of their physical agency as well–they are predetermined from birth to look and act a certain way, to be used for the pleasure of men who view them as objects and consumer items. Somni-451 even says, “Honor thy consumer,” which sounds suspiciously like the Biblical saying, “Honor thy father” but also the Confucian ideal of honoring one’s family.

The film’s depiction of Asian women is not one of its only faults. The major problem I had with this whole storyline is, of course, the yellowface in which Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving, and James D’arsy are depicted. Their eyes are made to look narrow and slimmer and their noses changed. Jim Sturgess plays Hae-Joo Chang, a revolutionary who frees Somni-451 from her daily routine of being a fast food server. While this is a typical storyline in a dystopic story, its meaning becomes eclipsed in Hae-Joo Chang’s uncanny resemblance to Adam Ewing and the other characters Jim Sturgess plays because, unlike the other characters Jim Sturgess plays, Hae-Joo Chang is Korean while Jim Sturgess is not.

Make-up and 3D effects can improve film and television by leaps and bounds. What was previously impossible has become possible. That does not mean that filmmakers should throw all caution to the wind. Yellowface was offensive in The Good Earth, when White actors and actresses played Asian characters, and yellowface is still offensive now, when a perfectly good Korean actor could have played “Hae-Joo Chang.” It is even more insulting when one takes the other yellowfaced characters into consideration. The Archivist, the one interviewing Somni-451 as she recalls her life and involvement with Hae-Joo Chang, is played by James D’arsy. There is no reason why he couldn’t have been played by a Korean actor.

Read More

Almost forgot to post this, because blah.  It’s a promo image of Tom Cruise from All You Need is Kill artfully cropped by Angry Asian Man.
A while back, WB picked up the All You Need is Kill script, which is based off a Japanese novel.  In the novel, the main character is named Keiji Kiriya.   In the script, his name was whitewashed to “Billy Cage.” 
That was the first red flag for us, because:  Juan Rico.  That name sound familiar?  It was the name of the main character in Starship Troopers, another book starring an Asian protagonist adapted to film—except in the film he was renamed “Johnny” and cast with a white actor.
When the director of All You Need is Kill, Doug Liman, was asked if the main character of the film would still be Japanese, he said no, "No, it’s totally American."  Because apparently having a Japanese lead would make the character not American, or something, like “Japanese Americans” aren’t totally American…or was he trying to say something else by straight out saying “Nope, not even entertaining the possibility of considering you, actors of Japanese descent, for this main character once named Keiji”?
And apparently “totally American” means white American.   Not “American” as in the diverse cast in the book (which included Asian characters, Native American characters, and a Japanese-Brazilian-American badass general character, and uh, also white characters—so white actors would still have an opportunity to be featured had the film stuck to the book…)
Nah, totally American apparently just means “white,” because somehow a 16 year old Japanese character is being played by 50 year old white American Tom Cruise.  Based on IMDB, all the other leading actors are white, including Bill Paxton.   (The film also stars Emily Blunt, Charlotte O’Reilly, and Jonas Armstrong, none of whom are American, *cough* paging the director trying to make the film “totally American.”)
(FYI I had the exact same expression as Tom on my face the entire time I was typing this.  Ugh.)

Almost forgot to post this, because blah.  It’s a promo image of Tom Cruise from All You Need is Kill artfully cropped by Angry Asian Man.

A while back, WB picked up the All You Need is Kill script, which is based off a Japanese novel.  In the novel, the main character is named Keiji Kiriya.   In the script, his name was whitewashed to “Billy Cage.” 

That was the first red flag for us, because:  Juan Rico.  That name sound familiar?  It was the name of the main character in Starship Troopers, another book starring an Asian protagonist adapted to film—except in the film he was renamed “Johnny” and cast with a white actor.

When the director of All You Need is Kill, Doug Liman, was asked if the main character of the film would still be Japanese, he said no, "No, it’s totally American."  Because apparently having a Japanese lead would make the character not American, or something, like “Japanese Americans” aren’t totally American…or was he trying to say something else by straight out saying “Nope, not even entertaining the possibility of considering you, actors of Japanese descent, for this main character once named Keiji”?

And apparently “totally American” means white American.   Not “American” as in the diverse cast in the book (which included Asian characters, Native American characters, and a Japanese-Brazilian-American badass general character, and uh, also white characters—so white actors would still have an opportunity to be featured had the film stuck to the book…)

Nah, totally American apparently just means “white,” because somehow a 16 year old Japanese character is being played by 50 year old white American Tom Cruise.  Based on IMDB, all the other leading actors are white, including Bill Paxton.   (The film also stars Emily Blunt, Charlotte O’Reilly, and Jonas Armstrong, none of whom are American, *cough* paging the director trying to make the film “totally American.”)

(FYI I had the exact same expression as Tom on my face the entire time I was typing this.  Ugh.)