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Old 2009-02-08, 04:52   Link #41
MakubeX2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fipskuul View Post
I believe the only way to differentiate them is to listen to them. And, even then, it may not be that easy. But, in reality, there is no racial gap between an American and a Canadian. The only actual difference is the nationality.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post

Even listening may not help you much, since speech patterns in Vancouver probably have more in common with those in Seattle than the stereotypical Canadian speech patterns, which are more typical of Toronto. And 20% of the Canadian population speaks French as their first language, so...

Despite this, when I travelled in Australia I had a lot of Australians identify me as Canadian, whereas a friend of mine was constantly mistaken for an American when he travelled there.
This might just be a bit far off, but hence the same logic to why all Asian looks the same to American in this argument , there's little to us Asian to identify an caucasian as either European, American, a Canadian or even an Australian here.
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Old 2009-02-08, 12:09   Link #42
Fipskuul
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MakubeX2 View Post
This might just be a bit far off, but hence the same logic to why all Asian looks the same to American in this argument , there's little to us Asian to identify an caucasian as either European, American, a Canadian or even an Australian here.
I think to make some differentiation you should concentrate on maybe only Europe, since the caucasian Americans, Canadians, or Australians are just a mix of Europeans. And even in Europe it may not always be very easy, but it is true that there are some unique features you can use to identfy some. I guess the same also applies to people living in far-east countries. So, for me, it is understandable for both sides with not much knowledge on the people of the other side to not be able to make that differentiation.
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Old 2009-02-08, 12:47   Link #43
David_The_Gnome
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Just to point out, the issue should really be "Hollywood's Stereotypical View Of Asians".

Let's be honest. The media is incredibly stereotypical when it comes to casting asians and middle eastern ppl in a main role (if they even get the part).

You don't often see a Hollywood film where an asian male who isn't a nerd, cook, martial art, expendable thug or any other caricature variation. Same with asian females with their own caricature (though they have the advantage of being "sexually desirable").

This type of view really limits the choice/chance for asians breaking in with good roles.

Last edited by David_The_Gnome; 2009-02-08 at 14:41.
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Old 2009-02-08, 12:57   Link #44
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I don't really notice much differences in the East Asian nationalities even though I myself come from a Chinese background. Sure, Koreans and Mongolians tend to have higher cheekbones (is that right?), and people in Southern China tend to be shorter and darker-skinned, but in all truth many of these peoples share too many features (and aren't limited to the same ones) to be distinguished. The same goes for Europeans. It's usually only after I know what nation someone is from that I start noticing what specific features he/she has that would identify with that nationality.

But the only real way to know which nation an Asian comes from is by the language they're speaking, and most European/white people aren't familiar with those languages so they all sound the same to them.

I guess what really bothers me is when you actually tell a white person where you're from and afterwards they still call you "Asian." They don't have problems remembering who's from Germany or England, but they can't recall that I'm Chinese and that the girl next to me is Korean? That annoys me.
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Old 2009-02-08, 14:45   Link #45
David_The_Gnome
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Originally Posted by LeoXiao View Post
They can't recall that I'm Chinese and that the girl next to me is Korean? That annoys me.
Its the asian fetish buddy.
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Old 2009-02-08, 15:17   Link #46
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeoXiao View Post
I guess what really bothers me is when you actually tell a white person where you're from and afterwards they still call you "Asian." They don't have problems remembering who's from Germany or England, but they can't recall that I'm Chinese and that the girl next to me is Korean? That annoys me.
It should... its fscking brain-lazy on their part. If someone tells me they're "Irish-American" or "Serbian-American" - I remember it because it was important to *them*. Sames goes for any eastern asian ethnic.

However, none of this is a "racial issue" for me, its a cultural heritage issue. "Race" is basically bullshit trying to pass itself off as "genetics" when it is, at best, minor variation due to a few hundred or thousand years of pool selection. Just to bring this back to the OP topic, Hollywood is -- lazy, budget-limited, actor-limited, etc. It thinks appearance is sufficient, whereas for certain roles it might really matter what an actor brings to the role in terms of cultural upbringing.

I thought the casting of Ford Prefect in HHGTTG was a bit of brilliance -- because the guy was British and happened to have a different skin color than the tv series version. OTOH, their casting of Trillian as a European blend as they did in the tv series because the books specifically note her as of Indian extraction.
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Old 2009-02-08, 17:47   Link #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David_The_Gnome View Post
Just to point out, the issue should really be "Hollywood's Stereotypical View Of Asians".

Let's be honest. The media is incredibly stereotypical when it comes to casting asians and middle eastern ppl in a main role (if they even get the part).
Actually that is valid for almost everything, and almost every country. It is a matter of finding the right base that would be interested in a story involving people of different cultures. You need to find the right story that would make people understand those cultures, and make them change their views. But, it is a difficult process, and when there are easy ways to make profit, why they would wanna change the direction that is most fitting for their customers. Let's not forget, it is not just the people writing stories, but it is also the people who read and buy those stories.

And, that stereotype is not also limited to Asians. It is similar for Europe too. The only difference is that the Americans can be seduced more in a story involving Europe or Europeans, hence there is a lot of options available for the creators, to integrate them inside a story. For the Asians, the setting is the more important aspect, so human comes after that.
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Old 2009-02-08, 18:05   Link #48
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Originally Posted by AyumiDesu View Post
Is it so hard for American people to accept Japanese actors and actress in movie? My boss (at the sushi restaurant I work at) told me that American people are not good at reading so many subtitles. That's why they remake a lot of Japanese movies into American Hollywood epics.

Also, a lot of movies or TV shows depict Japanese people, but they are not Japanese. Sometimes, they are really Korean or Chinese actors. For me, it seems like American people don't really care about Japan.

I am thinking about the Dragonball Evolution movie recently. I am so curious why L.A. is using a white boy to play Goku. And a Chinese actor as Kamesennin.

If I am allowed to express myself extremely, it seems they (Hollywood) looks down on Japan.
You have to think of things in terms of a business. Your agent is going to be the deciding factor on what roles you can get. Your dialect, diction and languages you can speak fluently are going to get you the exposure. Big time casting directors dont care where someone is from, they care more about the look and the financial budget.

Honestly, it's pretty wide spread and not just limited to asians. I mean, hell, the whole USA thinks he Italians run the mob thanks to garbage like the Soprano's, but anyone that knows anything about Italy would know that the Sicilians are mainly responsible for such. Casting Italians doesnt get much better either. Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro, both of Godfather fame, are both whitebread Irishmen.
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Old 2009-02-08, 20:17   Link #49
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Friend of mine (white guy) was in the Peace Corp. and born in Chicago. The Africans he taught simultaneously considered him a "gangster" and a "CIA spy" because he was from Chicago and an American.....

they would always ask him if he had a machine gun and where was his spy gear: all thanks to the informative and illuminating "American movies" they had seen.
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Last edited by Vexx; 2009-02-08 at 21:23.
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Old 2009-02-08, 20:18   Link #50
Nerroth
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Wait, so when it comes to la cosa nostra, it's not ok to blame the whole of Italy, but blaming the whole of Sicily is fine instead?
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Old 2009-02-08, 20:35   Link #51
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Originally Posted by Nerroth View Post
Wait, so when it comes to la cosa nostra, it's not ok to blame the whole of Italy, but blaming the whole of Sicily is fine instead?
Nowhere near correct. You're throwing the baby out with the bathwater when committing this fallacy. "Sicilians are mainly responsible" does not mean "blame all of Sicily", just like "most of the NBA is black" doesn't meant "most black people play in the NBA".
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Old 2009-02-08, 20:57   Link #52
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Originally Posted by Samari View Post
If a Chinese actress can play the role of a Japanese actress spot on and does a marvelous job, then what is the big deal? We're talking about movies, not political statements.
You could argue that this is subjective, but if you're talking about the performances in Geisha, then lol, those were terrible depictions of real Geisha. My Japanese aunt said that it was almost unanimously bashed because Zhang Ziyi and Gong Li really didn't appear Japanese at all to real Japanese people, especially in their mannerisms.

Now, I personally don't have any ethical qualms about portraying different nationalities. I just think they shouldn't suck at doing it. That's just painful to watch. It's the same as bad American actors doing woefully pathetic impressions of the British, French, German, etc.
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Old 2009-02-08, 21:21   Link #53
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Aye, "Memoirs of a Geisha" may go down in infamy alongside John Wayne's portrayal of Genghis Khan in the "wtf were they thinking?" category.

But then "Memoirs of a Geisha" (the book) wasn't really all that much of a documentary either.
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Old 2009-02-08, 21:40   Link #54
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Originally Posted by Fome View Post
You could argue that this is subjective, but if you're talking about the performances in Geisha, then lol, those were terrible depictions of real Geisha. My Japanese aunt said that it was almost unanimously bashed because Zhang Ziyi and Gong Li really didn't appear Japanese at all to real Japanese people, especially in their mannerisms.

Now, I personally don't have any ethical qualms about portraying different nationalities. I just think they shouldn't suck at doing it. That's just painful to watch. It's the same as bad American actors doing woefully pathetic impressions of the British, French, German, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Aye, "Memoirs of a Geisha" may go down in infamy alongside John Wayne's portrayal of Genghis Khan in the "wtf were they thinking?" category.

But then "Memoirs of a Geisha" (the book) wasn't really all that much of a documentary either.
Its a movie made by the Americans, its really hard to expect for them to have perfect portrayal of Japanese that they are not accustomed to. Its not like other country does perfect job at depicting other nations, don't we see lot of bad portrayal of western people in Asian drama or movies? I seen one Korean drama that a English man was played by a German and it was pretty terrible as he did not even had proper accent.
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Old 2009-02-08, 22:07   Link #55
Cut-Tongue
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Originally Posted by Terrestrial Dream View Post
Its a movie made by the Americans, its really hard to expect for them to have perfect portrayal of Japanese that they are not accustomed to. Its not like other country does perfect job at depicting other nations, don't we see lot of bad portrayal of western people in Asian drama or movies? I seen one Korean drama that a English man was played by a German and it was pretty terrible as he did not even had proper accent.
I can't think of many movies that have had a decent portrayal of an American in them... I do remember thinking that the American accents in the movie Dr. Akagi were good /shrug
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Old 2009-02-08, 22:28   Link #56
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
It should... its fscking brain-lazy on their part. If someone tells me they're "Irish-American" or "Serbian-American" - I remember it because it was important to *them*. Sames goes for any eastern asian ethnic.

However, none of this is a "racial issue" for me, its a cultural heritage issue. "Race" is basically bullshit trying to pass itself off as "genetics" when it is, at best, minor variation due to a few hundred or thousand years of pool selection. Just to bring this back to the OP topic, Hollywood is -- lazy, budget-limited, actor-limited, etc. It thinks appearance is sufficient, whereas for certain roles it might really matter what an actor brings to the role in terms of cultural upbringing.

I thought the casting of Ford Prefect in HHGTTG was a bit of brilliance -- because the guy was British and happened to have a different skin color than the tv series version. OTOH, their casting of Trillian as a European blend as they did in the tv series because the books specifically note her as of Indian extraction.
That's a very flawed view of race.
Just because race is defined by a small amount of genes doesn't mean it's any less salient. People with sickle cell anemia and people without are separated by a single gene, yet you wouldn't consider them to be the same.
The fact is, race as a biological concept (yes, it is one) is defined solely by a specific set of genes, so arguing that it's very few genes is not a viable argument against the biological existence of race.

Besides, racial separation is the first step towards full speciation. If you consider that the current most widely held definition of species (the "biological species") separates species are being reproductively isolated, you could easily argue that isolated groups in the Amazon rainforest, for example, are not the same species as you and I, much less the same "race". You'd have to be arguing phylogenetically.

OT:
There's no famous Japanese actors and actresses in Hollywood. Moreover, DBZ is based more or less on Chinese stuff, so most of the characters should indeed be played by Chinese actors and actresses. Goku's race is never specified anyways, and even I wouldn't cast Goku as an Asian, because movies with Asian leads are box office poison.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MakubeX2 View Post
This might just be a bit far off, but hence the same logic to why all Asian looks the same to American in this argument , there's little to us Asian to identify an caucasian as either European, American, a Canadian or even an Australian here.
That's because there's no genetic basis for the definition between Canadians or Australians. Americans are more or less impossible because they're almost always multi-racial.

It's very easy to distinguish between most Europeans, though. I'm Chinese myself, and I can distinguish easily between different races of Western European and Eastern Asian (save for the Southeast Asians). You just need to have enough exposure to them.
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Old 2009-02-08, 22:39   Link #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Papaya View Post
OT:
There's no famous Japanese actors and actresses in Hollywood. Moreover, DBZ is based more or less on Chinese stuff, so most of the characters should indeed be played by Chinese actors and actresses. Goku's race is never specified anyways, and even I wouldn't cast Goku as an Asian, because movies with Asian leads are box office poison.
Sure it is, he's a saiya-jin. People should be upset that there are no aliens playing Goku =P
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Old 2009-02-08, 22:51   Link #58
Vexx
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@Papaya: Sorry, scientifically speaking, there is no such category as 'race' though arguments are periodically attempted. All homo sapiens belong to the same species, and can interbreed and coexist and whatnot, like any other species. The word "race", at best, refers to localizations, or groupings, of people. It's like an ethnicity; political boundaries such as countries don't exist scientifically, but we put them in place in our minds and distinguish ourselves based on them. There is *variation*, of course - but categorization of varieties is always debatable: all of your examples are of variation (and you might try taking this test on guessing "race"). You also seem to be stretching the definition of phylogenetics since isolation amongst humans has never been anywhere near long enough to meet that requirement. Basically, the problem is that the word "race" itself lacks any concise definition.

Quote:
That's a very flawed view of race.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology
If there's been more recent material released by academia that disputes that, I'd be interested.
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Last edited by Vexx; 2009-02-09 at 00:04.
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Old 2009-02-08, 22:51   Link #59
Nerroth
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Originally Posted by flohtingPoint View Post
Nowhere near correct. You're throwing the baby out with the bathwater when committing this fallacy. "Sicilians are mainly responsible" does not mean "blame all of Sicily", just like "most of the NBA is black" doesn't meant "most black people play in the NBA".
I was pointing out what the post I was replying to was implying about Sicilians, and how it was no more fair than the sweeping generalisations being protested against concerning Italy as a whole.

If you use a line like

Quote:
but anyone that knows anything about Italy would know that the Sicilians (emphasis added) are mainly responsible for such
It's kind of hard to avoid the idea that the post was intended as a go against all of Sicily, when it was put in such a way.
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Old 2009-02-09, 00:11   Link #60
james0246
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Papaya View Post
OT:
There's no famous Japanese actors and actresses in Hollywood. Moreover, DBZ is based more or less on Chinese stuff, so most of the characters should indeed be played by Chinese actors and actresses. Goku's race is never specified anyways, and even I wouldn't cast Goku as an Asian, because movies with Asian leads are box office poison.
Well, that is not quite true. Movies with stereotypical Asian roles (i.e. almost anything Lucy Liu does, etc), are always (currently at least) Box Office poison (the only exception to this rule were the many Jackie Chan films of the 1990s). But, films that depict real Asian (more often Chinese rather than Japanese or Korean) life/lifestyles have generally always done well. Whether it be "The Joy Luck Club", "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", "Memoirs of a Geisha", or even "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle", the films that treat their audience to a less clichéd/stereotypical Asian lead character have done well in the past. (All of these films were, of course, heavily criticized in 'Asia' ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", for instance, was heavily criticized in China due to the fact that the four main lead actors had bad Mandarin accents).) Hell, even a few actual foreign films have done well ("Eat Drink Man Woman", "Shall We Dance?", "Kung Fu Hustle", etc). So, it is not like Asian actors and actress overall cannot find work, or cannot be popular, it is simply harder to break free of the constrained/enforced Hollywood stereotypes.

To add to the Shit List that Vexx has started, I would like to offer up the many extremely white actors that have portrayed the (seemingly) great character Charlie Chan.

Last edited by james0246; 2009-02-09 at 00:23.
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