Sunday, October 01, 2006

Hollywood Show Biz

I previously posted some thoughts on Pinoy show biz, so I figure it's time to post something about American or Hollywood show biz. First up: African-American male characters in Hollywood. I was talking to some friends about Grey's Anatomy and the topic of Sandra Oh came up. Her character in the show is apparently dating an African-American in the show. I don't watch this show b/c it looks like a soap opera and as far as medical dramas go, I prefer ER, although that show has occassional soap drama, also. Anyway, I was telling my friends that I rarely see an African-American male character dating a white female character in TV or film. The show Scrubs comes to mind, where the black guy in that show (Donald Faison as Chris Turk) is dating a Latina woman (Judy Reyes as Carla Espinosa). If I remember correctly, I believe Ming Na's character in ER was also dating an African-American character. I then said that perhaps Hollywood has an easier time portraying an African-American male character date non-white female character, like in the shows I mentioned. Does Hollywood think viewers will be uncomfortable if a black guy dated a white woman?

My friends and I then discussed how Asian guys in Hollywood movies rarely get the girl in movies. Seeing an Asian female hooking up with a white, black or Latino guy in these movies -- no problem. Seeing an Asian guy hooking up with a white, black or Latina gal in these movies -- you've got a better chance getting struck by lightning. In The Replacements, for example, poor Chow Yun Fat barely got a kiss on the cheek from Mira Sorvino even though he was the star of the movie. My friends tell me Jet Li didn't have much luck with Aaliyah either in Romeo Must Die. Two leading men, both tough guy roles -- neither could get the girl. So why is it that the Asian male rarely gets the girl in Hollywood movies? Check out Media Action Network for Asian Americans for more on stereotypes or Wikipedia for some theories. Also, check out Angry Asian Man (yup, another angry website).

Post-script correction: The title of Chow Yun Fat's movie is The Replacement Killers, not The Replacements, which I think is a band. ;)