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Thread: Yellowface

  1. #1
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    #HowIMetYourRacism

    How I Met Your Mother
    Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment In Slapmarra


    'How I Met Your Mother' Creators Respond to Kung Fu Controversy
    4:11 PM PST 1/15/2014 by Michael O'Connell

    Two days after an episode in which stars Josh Radnor, Cobie Smulders and Alyson Hannigan appeared in Asian garb and spoke in stereotypical accents, the showrunners take to Twitter to apologize.


    "How I Met Your Mother"

    How I Met Your Mother's final season is not without its share of controversy. The CBS sitcom aired an episode on Monday night that depicted Jason Segel's character, Marshall, traveling to China (and Cleveland) to meet with three characters out of a kung fu movie -- who happened to be played by Caucasian co-stars Josh Radnor, Cobie Smulders and Alyson Hannigan.

    The trio's outfits, accents and makeup -- the term "yellowface" has been used -- prompted suggestions of racist overtones and drew the ire of many a viewer on Twitter. Co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas responded on Wednesday afternoon, even adopting the controversy's chosen hashtag: #HowIMetYourRacism.

    "Hey guys, sorry this took so long. [Craig Thomas] and I want to say a few words about ‪#HowIMetYourRacism‬," Bays wrote from his account. "With Monday's episode, we set out to make a silly and unabashedly immature homage to Kung Fu movies, a genre we’ve always loved. But along the way we offended people. We're deeply sorry, and we’re grateful to everyone who spoke up to make us aware of it. We try to make a show that's universal, that anyone can watch and enjoy. We fell short of that this week, and feel terrible about it. To everyone we offended, I hope we can regain your friendship, and end this series on a note of goodwill. Thanks."

    The episode, "Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra," brought the pseudo conclusion to the long-running gag of Marshall owing Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) five slaps to the face. With eight episodes remaining until the Mar. 31 series finale, one slap remains.

    CBS is still streaming the episode on the show's website.
    I like Neil Patrick Harris but I've never been a fan of this show.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    How I Met Your Mother
    Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment In Slapmarra



    I like Neil Patrick Harris but I've never been a fan of this show.
    That wasn't QUITE a "sorry you were offended" apology. But it was a pretty much a "sorry, but aren't we awesome" apology, which is nearly as bad.
    Simon McNeil
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    Be on the lookout for the Black Trillium, a post-apocalyptic wuxia novel released by Brain Lag Publishing available in all major online booksellers now.
    Visit me at Simon McNeil - the Blog for thoughts on books and stuff.

  3. #3
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    I've never seen the show before. Watched the episode in question. Wasn't entertained but apparently never found the "racist" part. I don't get it.
    "I'm a highly ranked officer of his tong. HE is the Dragon Head. our BOSS. our LEADER. the Mountain Lord." - hskwarrior

  4. #4
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    Still not worse than the new lone ranger movie.

    I mean, Geez hollywood, wtf is wrong with you?
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Jamieson View Post
    Still not worse than the new lone ranger movie.
    Was anything worse than the new Lone Ranger movie? Honestly? I think the plague was probably better.
    Simon McNeil
    ___________________________________________

    Be on the lookout for the Black Trillium, a post-apocalyptic wuxia novel released by Brain Lag Publishing available in all major online booksellers now.
    Visit me at Simon McNeil - the Blog for thoughts on books and stuff.

  6. #6
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    Melissa McCarthy's SNL 2/1/14 monologue

    Gene Ching
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  7. #7
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    Yellowface

    Time to start a thread devoted to this topic here. I'm merging both the SNL and HIMYM threads into this one (now above) and will post similar topics here from now on as they appear.

    3:00 pm
    Feb 3, 2014
    TV
    ‘SNL,’ Diversity and Punchlines

    Commentary By Jeff Yang


    A scene from last weekend’s ‘Saturday Night Live’
    NBC

    Dear SNL:

    You’ve had better days, I know. Critics and viewers have beaten you up this season, as you’ve done your best to fill the gaping holes left by the departures of multifaceted stalwarts like Fred Armisen, Bill Hader and Jason Sudeikis, and before them, breakout stars like Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg. One of the gripes they’ve had has been about who you’ve filled the holes with: People who, well, look a lot like the fine comic talent that just left. Which is to say, not obviously black, Asian American or Hispanic.

    (Yes, I know Fred Armisen is a quarter Japanese and a quarter Venezuelan. And one of newbie Noel Wells’s grandparents is Mexican. But I might be one of the only people who knows that, given how they’ve been represented on the show.)

    In early January, you took a step — a big step — to address your lack of diversity by bringing aboard new castmember Sasheer Zamata, the first African American woman player for nearly six seasons, and two African American female writers, too: LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones. But last Saturday was a reminder that this big step is only the first one.

    That’s because, in a show being hosted by the awesome Melissa McCarthy, you turned her opening monologue into a skit about her feud with castmember Bobby Moynihan — a feud that erupted into a high-flying, wire-swinging martial arts duel between the duo. Now, let’s set aside the fact that the humorous context of their fisticuffs seems to have been anchored in the comic sight of a pair of lovably large people pirouetting through the air; they were game and graceful, and I tip my hat to the midair somersault McCarthy managed to pull off.

    But it was almost as if you knew there weren’t enough yuks in just having McCarthy and Moynihan punching it out, Shaw Brothers style (and you were right). So to underscore the joke, you put a little yellow icing on the cake, bringing in a squinting, eyebrow-quirking Taran Killam in a Nehru jacket to play the fight’s narrator, complete with stilted accent and gong. (Taran Killam — Cobie Smulders’s husband. You know, the actress on CBS’s “How I Met Your Mother” who was just slammed for doing yellowface two weeks ago?)

    Whoa, SNL. That wasn’t cool, and it wasn’t particularly funny, either. It looked like a desperate move to save a skit that was going nowhere. It was embarrassing. And even Killam himself seemed to look vaguely uncomfortable, as if he was saying in his head, “I’m only doing this because I’m the closest thing this show has to an actual Asian dude.”

    “SNL” and NBC declined to comment.

    And assuming that’s what was knocking around his subconscious, well, it’s only because that’s true. There aren’t any Asian Americans on SNL now. There’s never been an Asian American featured player on SNL ever, at least not one who could conceivably have done a less cringeworthy job of playing Killam’s “random Chinese dude” than he did. (Rob Schneider’s quarter-Filipino heritage had even less of a role in the characters he took on during his SNL run than Armisen’s quarter-Japanese heritage. Armisen did play a spit-take Japanese schoolgirl on the retired sketch “J-Pop America Fun Time Now” — the ultra-kawaii love interest of none other than…Taran Killam.)

    Why does diversity even matter? Well, a good example of why was in the biggest spotlight on Earth last night. You caught the Super Bowl, right, SNL? Okay, maybe not: Competing network. But if you had, you’d have seen what happens when you put a diverse team on the field — drawing talent from the best of a range of communities. It wasn’t always like that. Until 1952, most of the teams in the NFL had never signed a black player. After that year, every team but one integrated their lineups. The lone holdout? The Washington Redskins. Surprise, surprise, right? Team owner George Preston Marshall was quoted as saying “We’ll start signing Negroes when the Harlem Globetrotters start signing whites. It took a threat of eviction before they finally brought on Bobby Mitchell. (It might take the same to get the team to change its defiantly objectionable name.)

    NFL is a better game for its diversity. Heck, it’s the most profitable sport in the world because of it. A hundred million people in the U.S. watched the Seahawks crush the Broncos last night (so much for the Year of the Horse), and the winning team was led by African American quarterback Russell Wilson, with the final touchdown scored by proudly quarter-Filipino wide receiver Doug Baldwin; the Hawks’ airtight pass defense was coordinated by Japanese American coach Rocky Seto, and the Bowl’s halftime show was headlined by half-Filipino crooner Bruno Mars. (And I should add, it was one of the best in recent history, at least until those half-naked senior citizens dodged security and bum-rushed the stage.)

    Look, I know sports isn’t the same thing as comedy. (Although the Broncos were slapstick gold last night. Rimshot!) But the principle is the same. David Henry Hwang — a longtime advocate of diversity in entertainment, whose latest play, a dramatized version of Bruce Lee’s life called “Kung Fu,” opens at the Signature Theater tomorrow — says it best: “In failing to become more diverse, SNL and the entertainment industry in general are following a bad business model, because they’re pulling their performers and audiences from an increasingly shrinking demographic,” he says. “Do you really want to risk having an audience of just old white people?”

    Inclusion opens up a greater pool of talent, which means a better product on the stage. It also means more eyeballs and more dollars from a broader segment of the population — a population whose fastest-growing groups, Hispanics and Asian Americans, are also the ones that you’ve historically done the worst job of representing, SNL.

    And it means that you can tackle topics and situations from a wider array of contexts without slapping bad makeup or a terrible accent on an actor who’s going to be skewered after the fact for his or her “raceface” performance. As cliché as it sounds, it really is more okay for someone to satirize their own group. (And if you’re going to mock another one, it’s always a good idea to remember the guideline to punch up rather than punch down: “When we see blackface or yellowface, it’s almost always the more powerful lampooning the less powerful, because white people overwhelmingly dominate positions of power and access in American media,” notes Hwang.)

    So inclusion doesn’t just mean better talent and bigger audiences: It means you can be harder, edgier, more relevant, because you’ll be able to address events on a global and multicultural basis without shame or regret.

    You play an important — maybe unique — role, SNL. It’s not just the number of people who watch you that matters; it’s your ability to turn obscure comics into comedy stars, and comedy stars into cultural icons. That outsized role brings with it greater responsibility. It takes effort to find talent that looks like America, but it’s very possible. Hey, just look at the primetime series on your own network, which launched or accelerated the careers of Asian American comic standouts like Mindy Kaling, Aziz Ansari, Danny Pudi and Ken Jeong. You can make it happen.

    I’ll be rooting for you, SNL. And if it makes you feel any better, I was rooting for the Seahawks, too.

    Yours,

    Jeff Yang
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  8. #8
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    Way to go Vogue

    Celebrate civersity with Yellowface? Man, they should've gone minstrel for African Americans too.

    2.14.2017
    YELLOWFACE IS A REALLY AWFUL WAY TO CELEBRATE "DIVERSITY."
    Vogue photo shoot features Karlie Kloss doing stereotypical geisha ****.



    For real, Vogue? A photo shoot featuring a white model as a geisha? In the so-called "diversity" issue, no less.

    The much-hyped March issue of Vogue features supermodel Karlie Kloss in a Japanese-themed spread, titled "Spirited Away." Okay, can we just stop right there? Red flags, so many red flags going up everywhere. Let's be real: there was no ****ing way that Vogue was going to handle this right.

    The spread, photographed in Japan by Mikael Jansson and styled by Phyllis Posnick, features Kloss in what is pretty much yellowface, going full geisha in various photos shot around Japan's Ise-Shima National Park. They've got Kloss in thick black hair, pale skin and kimono-like attire, posed in various Japanese-y backgrounds. There's even a friggin' sumo wrestler for bonus stereotypical Japanese-ness.








    Aren't we sick of this yet?

    Between the yellowface and cultural appropriation, Vogue is apparently stuck in some white dude's movie version of Japan, treading a well-worn path of old-ass orientalism and tired, stereotypical visuals. What is so creative about a white lady in yellowface, standing in front of the usual traditional Japanese ****?

    On top of all that, Vogue has been touting this issue as a supposed celebration of diversity and inclusion, featuring seven models of different ethnic backgrounds on the cover. Yaaaaawn. Kind of a silly, pointless celebration if you're going to turn the page and find this yellowface geishapalooza inside.

    And did nobody even consider hiring an actual Asian model? So much for that "diversity" nonsense.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    Celebrate civersity with Yellowface? Man, they should've gone minstrel for African Americans too.
    You're gonna get kicked out of the model minority club, Gene

  10. #10
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    Kung Fu is good for you.

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