Thursday, January 24, 2008

First all Asian-American kiss on TV

I'm speechless.

EDIT: I think I need to clarify why I believe this image is important to Asian Americans.

I was born in the US and while I have seen Asians kissing on foreign movies it never seemed to resonate to me. Too many people simply lump Asians who live in Asia with Asians who live in America (the perpetual foreigner syndrome), and while we have similarities there are many overlooked differences. In fact, most often when an Asian American female is on TV she'll be locking lips with anyone but an Asian guy.

So when I see two US born Asians locking lips, I see myself and my wife. (I've been told only 1 in 4 US born Chinese American males wind up marrying a US born Chinese American female. ) The characters in Cashmere Mafia both grew up in the US, both didn't have accents, both were into each other for reasons other than ethnicity, etc. It was really refreshing to see.

P.S. And no, neither Sun and Jin on Lost or Hiro on Heroes count. None of them are Americans and FFS Jin can't even speak English. Do you see why Asian Americans don't relate to them?

22 comments:

O.W. said...

http://poplicks.com/2008/01/first-time-for-everything.html

mamazilla said...

doesn't the kiss that hiro shared with yaeko on the show heroes count?

O.W. said...

"And no, neither Sun and Jin on Lost or Hiro on Heroes count"

All respect due but...

Sorry, can't buy this at all.

Believe me, I understand the relevance of what you're saying...and I wouldn't necessarily "count" Sun and Jin if we're being sticklers about separating the difference between ethnicity and nationality. But this notion that, Asian Americans can't relate to the impact of seeing two Asians (American or otherwise) kissing on primetime television, IN THE NEAR ABSENCE OF ANY SUCH IMAGERY, REGARDLESS OF NATIONALITY, is, in my opinion, a myopic way of looking at it.

I know when I and my wife see Jin and Sun, our gut reaction is, "wow, Asians kissing! That's great!" We don't pause and say, "well, they're actually playing Korean nationals so I guess I can't really relate to them, you know, being attracted to one another."

Regardless, I still think people are wrong about this being "the first." It's more accurate to say, "the first in a long ass time."

daddy in a strange land said...

http://www.angryasianman.com/2008/01/there-is-nothing-wrong-with-your.html

ka_jun said...

"doesn't the kiss that hiro shared with yaeko on the show heroes count?"

Not if you're only counting APA.

Monster Daddy said...

o.w., thanks for being so patronizing and telling me, a real US born Asian American, how I should feel.

Sorry, but seeing Asian guys on TV who DON'T SPEAK ENGLISH, or SPEAK WITH AN ACCENT or WHO DON'T LIVE IN THE USA, sorry I can't relate to them because genetically I should have been BORN WITH SUCH AMAZING EMPATHY!

SoulSnax said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SoulSnax said...

TO: maria.provencio@abc.com;alex.wallau@abc.com; john.pepper@abc.com; rober.iger@abc.com
SUBJECT: Whoa! Orientals kissing?

I just saw the latest episode of Cashmere Mafia, "The Deciders," and I am just shocked to see that your producers chose to cast a couple of oriental actors in roles typically reserved for beautiful white actors. I'm wondering if there's a good reason why a couple of orientals were considered suitable for those roles.

Throughout the whole episode, I was so totally waiting for them to break out in some kind of kung fu stunt...

And their grasp of Standard American English!! Oh my, who knew they were capable? Are you sure their dialogue wasn't dubbed in? If so, your editors did a great job of matching their lips to the dialogue.

And I just have to ask, where did you find that Jack Yang guy? Are you sure he's not at least partly white, cuz he's kinda handsome. I've never seen such portrayals of Asian men on television before, so I had no idea that guys like him even existed.

And based on what I've seen on television and in film, I never thought they could be interested in women. I thought they just karate-chopped bad guys or delivered my Chinese food. I hope there aren't too many of them handsome Asian guys out there, cuz I think they'd start stealing everyone's women.

It's weird to see orientals kiss on television, but if you keep putting them on the screen, I guess I'll eventually get used to it.

angie said...

soulsnax: What a GREAT comment! =)

Anonymous said...

"And I just have to ask, where did you find that Jack Yang guy? Are you sure he's not at least partly white, cuz he's kinda handsome."

Seriously, is this person for real? To be good looking, you have to partly white? My reaction when I read that cannot be printed here.

Monster Daddy said...

Soulsnax's post is tongue in cheek but it wouldn't be the first time people have made snide or simply ignorant comments like that when they see a tall Asian guy who doesn't fit the stereotype that person holds of Asian men.

As a full blooded Asian I was shocked one time when a Vietnamese woman asked if I was part white. I know she was thinking it was a compliment but in most cases it's the opposite.

MorningStew said...

I'm a statistic! (1 in 4, baby.)

MorningStew said...

oh, and do you guys think that means 3 of 4 marry non-Asian Americans (Caucasian, Latin, or Black) or is it that the 3 of 4 Asian American males marry a woman 'from the home-land? (somewhere in Asia?)

thisislarry said...

Hey hey hey, I think in the heat of this discussion we're losing sight of the important fact that Lucy Liu is freaking hot, and any one of us would be hard pressed to find a reason NOT to kiss her, if the opportunity presented itself. And our beautiful wives were not in fact standing next to us. Our wifes who are in fact Hot, too. Hotter as in more hot than Lucy Liu. Put that down honey, put that do

harlemjd said...

morningstew:

assuming the stat is accurate, I'm thinking it means that 3 out of 4 Chinese-American men either:

1. don't get married
2. marry another man
3. marry a woman who is not ethnically Chinese (but may or may not still be Asian)or
4. marry a woman who is ethnically Chinese but is not from the USA (and may or may not have grown up in China)

(sorry if this posts multiple times; I'm having a hard time posting today)

Monster Daddy said...

The actual numbers for ABC guys as of 2006 are:

1/3rd married, almost 2/3s never married (rest are divorced, separated, widowed.)

Of the married ABC guys:

>1 in 4 married to ABC gals
>1 in 4 married to non US born Chinese gals
1 in 4 married to white gals
1 in 8 married to non-Chinese Asians gals

So for ABC guys who are married to Chinese gals, almost half the gals are ABC.

But for ABC gals who are married to Chinese guys, almost 2/3rds of the guys are ABC. (And of the rest, 1.5 gen Chinese guys are preferred.)

Shows ABC gals have a clear preference for more "Americanized" Chinese guys (if they marry Chinese that is.)

thisislarry said...

MD I have to agree that we americanized chinese are in fact the bomb. I knew it would pay off to have a new waver haircut back in the 80s

Monster Daddy said...

Absolutely right, as they say we are the best of both worlds.

WORD... ;-)

Blue Collar Housewife said...

I loved seeing that on Cashmere Mafia! I am a white woman with a Thai-American husband, and I can't stand the way Asian men are usually portrayed so asexually in the media. This was such a positive change of pace from that. I was so happy to see it, and not just in some two bit show either. This show is a hit.

I'm sure my husband would have thought this was pretty cool, too, but he's in Iraq and doesn't get to watch TV.

C.L.S said...

I'm glad you broke down the statistics. I'm a white Australian (English Australian I guess you could say) woman with a third generation American born Chinese fiancé. And sadly I have to say we are most definitely the minority (so the statistics match).

We get the same feeling of happiness/excitement that you received whilst watching the "First all Asian-American kiss on TV" except we get it when we see either a) a coupling that consists of an Asian man & White girl (the reverse for whatever reason is alot! more common) b) the above coupling in a real life situation (we mostly see it on TV).

Un-fortunately for us we don't dare step into places like Chinatown where we're basically chased out and people tend to think there is something wrong with either of us given the belief that "he mustn't be 'able' to get an Asian girl" and I must be "a goldigger" or "can't get a white man", it isn't like that at all.

My fiancé is just as American as the next person so he should be able to date who he wants regardless (except now with us being engaged of course :p). Also I completely agree with you 'Blue Collar Housewife'.

On a funny note my middle name is Lee which is have always liked however my fiancé having Chinese ancestry has Lee as a surname. Shall make for an interesting marriage certificate when my name is changed since we are traditional as far as that is concerned and I won't be keeping my surname.

Beloved said...

n"None of them are Americans and FFS Jin can't even speak English. Do you see why Asian Americans don't relate to them?"

Really? Asian Americans don't relate to anyone who is not American and doesn't speak English? I guess my Korean husband with the "broken" English had better stick to us 'white folks' when trying to make friends. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Was very disappointed that Cashmere killed off Jack Yang. Is he getting back together with the bartender from Grey's?

I've heard more anti-Asian racism from Chinese (incl. some who've never been to the US) than I have from whites. My sister's H is Chinese-born American and the "compliments" their kids get from full-blooded Chinese people scare me. Her husband speaks only English w/ the kids. They hear Chinese from my sister and occasionally from their grandparents, so they speak Chinese with my sister's accent and English with his.

All of which has nothing to do with the show.