As you all know, I am not an Asian American, but after being married to a man with an Asian fetish I became highly aware that some people did not see Asian Americans as people but as stereotypes left over from “Enter the Dragon” meets “Flower Drum Song” meets “Miss Saigon” meets Long Duk Dong from “Sixteen Candles.”
Most times America must seem like a black or white world where if you’re not a black person or white person no one really gives a crap about whether your thousands-of-years-old culture is being portrayed by a cartoon panda doing martial arts voiced by Jack Black. Just suck on it Chinese Americans. Why are you all so uptight? It’s just a movie, they say. Don’t you have Fu Manchu mustaches and stick around confusing your Rs and Ls? And I think Dragonball Z is a documentary on Japanese mythology. What? That’s isn’t real? Don’t you all worship Goku?
When I see Kung Fu Panda I think–Is this the equivalent of Hollywood making a movie about a jive-talking Chicken from the country whose dream is to become a famous rapper, moves to the ghetto but is constantly being pursued by greasy black fry cook from Church’s–World’s Greasiest Chicken Chain? The chicken would be voiced by Eddie Murphy, or worse, Michael Rappaport. And Nelly would write and produce the soundtrack? And there would be all these hip hop references and the pimps and drug dealers would do a song and dance number with Rev. Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King Jr.’s ghost?
While I’m sure it’s a “cute” movie, considering that Asian people are pretty much invisible in Hollywood save for the occasional Karate flick and such rarities as Harold and Kumar, it has to be annoying to see out the usual three paltry movies related to Asian culture that may come out this year one of them has to be a kid’s flick about a talking panda who learns Kung Fu.
We have Madea, but that’s for us, by us. We only have ourselves to blame.