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Monday, May 02, 2005

New Study Finds TV Asians 'Too Smart'

Posted by a4g @ 5/02/2005 10:31:00 PM

An Installment of the Point Five "Street Interview"

The National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium has released their annual report card (pdf) rating the TV industry, and its portrayal and representation of Asian Pacific characters.

The NAPALC (pronounced "NAPARC") report complains of a subtle racism, in that Asians are always represented as exceptional and intelligent.

The vast majority of [Asian] characters hold high status positions. Of the identified characters with known occupations, 100% have positions that highlight their intelligence and/or require advanced degrees, often in the sciences.

While only one character has an official ranking that puts him in a position of power over other regular characters, most of the others have occupations with authority and responsibility. Four are medical professionals; another four are involved in law enforcement. Even the one student character on prime time television is described as the “brainy friend” of one of the principal characters on her program.

As part of the Point Five 'Street Interview', we sent our reporter onto the sidewalks of Los Angeles to ask ordinary Asian Americans for their comments regarding the unrealistic portrayals the study revealed, and how overly high expectations cause problems in their lives. Here are a sampling of the feedback:

James Chung, software engineer:

"The challenge of heterodoxical categorization of Asian Americans into syllogistically-typed cladistic groups impacts the modal understanding of individual peer interactions in a standardized environment."

Marcus Vho, high school sophomore:

"Considering the aforementioned representation, as posited by your synopsis, I would need to see a meta-analysis to forward any conjecture as to the veracity of the assertions as stipulated."

Shuichi Matsuzawa, also a high school sophomore:

"This entire subject recalls the mathematical challenge offered by a fourth level Fourier transform, graphed as a function of the deponent variable."

We tried really hard to look like we knew what the hell they were talking about when we were writing this stuff down, but they were clearly speaking some kind of Asian language. We post it here now in hopes that one of our Asian readers might translate these quotes for us. We'd really like to know what they said. (We prefer no higher than a sixth grade reading level.)

That's it for this week's Point Five 'Street Interview.'

Thanks to Mudville Gazette.


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