Is the era of the meek Asian male stereotype over, asked writer Jeff Yang for the San Francisco Chronicle.
Recent events and media coverage seem to have swung the image of Asian American males away from the "meek, passive and mild" end of the spectrum and toward "violent, bloodthirsty and dangerous." What does this mean for Asian American pop culturalists — and what, if any, responsibility do creators have for depicting the community from which they come?
Blogger Angry Asian Man reports: Jeff Yang’s latest "Asian Pop" column is all about Angry Asian Men. No, not about me. It’s a great piece pulling together all of the different elements in news and pop culture that have come to attention in the weeks since the Virginia Tech shooting massacre. Jeff interviews actor Ken Leung, who played the violent, mentally unbalanced Asian American youth who appeared on The Sopranos just days after shooting. He also talks to Parry Shen, who played a straight-A student-turned-violent youth in Better Luck Tomorrow, and Michael Kang, whose Korean American gangster flick West 32nd just premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. He writes "How long will it be before critics can watch a film about young Korean American men with guns and not invoke the specter of Virginia Tech? What kind of a chill might this cast over Asian American creativity, if this kind of fear and anxiety continue to dominate the critical dialogue?" It’s a really interesting discussion about the impact of knee-jerk reactions to the shootings, and wanting to lay blame, all having nothing and everything to do with the fact that Seung Hui Cho was Asian American. Great work, Jeff.