NOTE: I posted this a few days back, but as long as these morally bankrupt people are going to continue to make this argument, I’m going to repost this. Plus I’m including their inappropriate tag so they can’t help but see it.
So, not only do we have to deal with blatantly rude people with the maturity of 9-year-olds spoiling the plot of Star Trek Into Darkness for people who don’t want to know all the details, but now people here on Tumblr (and I’m sure elsewhere) are using the spoilers as an excuse to spread some imbecilic blather accusing J.J. Abrams and his crew of racism. And further, presenting that said argument in detail as they have is in itself continuing the spread of said spoilers, which only multiplies their douchebaggery by a staggering degree.
I’m still trying to solve the mystery of when exactly the majority of modern society became such a bunch of weak-skinned, spineless crybabies that they’d find offense in anything even if they had to make it up. I don’t think that mystery will ever be solved. But using racism as the latest trigger for a spittle-flecked, fist-waving argument against something that displeases you is truly shameful, because it’s such a deliberate, merit-less ploy to ensure that anyone who dares disagree with the argument is labeled a racist by association. It’s low, dirty, underhanded and despicable…and believe me, those are the kindest words I can conceive of for those who’d partake in such a machination.
If you’re a part of this, if you’re supporting the “it’s racist, and if you don’t think so, so are you” game that’s going on here, then you should hang your heads in shame if there’s even the slightest shred of decency and humility left in your hearts. You’re not defending against hate and discrimination; you’re just reshaping it to fit your needs. The cruel irony is that by doing this, you’ve failed miserably in your own cause. You won’t see it due to willful blindness against facts you find distasteful, but it’s in plain sight for anyone with a modicum of understanding. Even now, you’re probably sitting there, getting ready to write some bitter retort that will no doubt include some bizarre circular reasoning that will lead to your belief that I am racist for not agreeing with you. And that will only serve to support my statement here.
I have never been more ashamed to call myself a Star Trek fan than I am at this particular time in my life, because these people who’d participate in such hatemongering claim to be supporting the franchise. They sully and pollute it, and for that I am truly, relentlessly heartbroken.
this fan is more upset about fans speaking out against racism than upset about the fact that racism actually happened.
Discrimination isn’t heartbreaking, but people speaking out against it is.
I (Asian American) have been having this frustrating and longstanding debate with my boyfriend (who is white) about Danny Rand aka Marvel’s superhero the Iron Fist. This argument comes up every time there are rumors about a Heroes for Hire movie or more recently with Ultimate Spider-man (featuring Iron Fist and Luke Cage, too.)
Here is my (admittedly biased) recap of Iron Fist’s origin story:
Wendell Rand “discovered” the mystical city of K’un-L’un when he was exploring the Himalayas as a young man. (Well, technically the people living in K’un-Lun ‘discovered’ it first, but it only counted when Rand discovered it, I guess, thanks Marvel.)
After he saved the life of Lord Tuan, the ruler of K’un-L’un (what is with the apostrophes?), Lord Tuan adopted Wendell as his adopted son. Wendell had to contend with Lord Tuan’s jealous biological son, Davos, who was not happy with this interloper.
Wendell eventually decided to leave K’un-L’un, go back to New York City, and marry a wealthy socialite, Heather Duncan. (Wendell and Duncan are both white Americans.) They had a son, Daniel “Danny” Rand.
When Danny was around 10, his dad decided to visit K’un-L’un. During the mountain climb, Danny slipped and he and his parents end up hanging off a cliff held up only by their gear. One of the members of their party (Wendell’s business partner and secretly in love with Danny’s mom) decides to ensure that Wendell dies during this accident. Danny’s mom, not down with what happened, decides that she and Danny will journey on alone; she is eaten by wolves, Danny is rescuted by the people of the mystical hidden city of K’un L’un.
True to the mighty whitey trope, Danny is the most gifted student of the martial arts in K’un L’un ever. After killing a big serpent and plunging his hands into its heart he becomes the 66th Iron Fist (a generational mantle conferred on the champion of K’un L’un, like the “Avatar” from the Avatar: The Last Airbender series.)
Essentially, like Snake Eyes from GI-Joe, both generations of Rands (the sole white guy who is completely new to the culture) easily surpass the (Asian) K’un L’un residents who have been spending their entire lives developing their talent, like eventual supervillain Davos the Steel Serpent.
Danny returns to New York where he has a lot of money (think Bruce Wayne) from his parent’s company, Rand International. He eventually works with Luke Cage and starts to date Misty Knight.
The debate with my boyfriend argument goes like this: I argue that the story would be sooo much better and more compelling and diverse and less “culturally appropriative” if Danny Rand were hapa or Asian American…actually related to or even from Kun Lun. My boyfriend argues that this would fundamentally change the story of Iron Fist in a way that is different from black Nick Fury or black Heimdall, doorman to the Asgardians, and that it would make Iron Fist simply a rip off of Shang-Chi The Master of Kung Fu
Here’s my head canon for an “Ultimates” Danny Rand, though…and one that I hope comes to be if there is ever a Marvel Heroes for Hire movie. It’s my attempt to maintain some of the generic fish-out of the water stuff that would come into play with a white Iron Fist while avoiding some of the crappy “resentful Asians can’t handle white man being better than them at stuff” villain motivations.
[The images are of Irish/Chinese actor John Foo]
Daniel “Danny” Rand is the Asian American son of millionaires Wendell (a white American) and Heather (an Asian American immigrant) Rand of Rand International. Before becoming CEO of Rand International, rich playboy Wendell explored the world and almost perished while scaling the Himalayan Mountains. There he discovered K’un L’un, a hidden city deep in the Himalayas (not in random dimensional space world) and started to learn more about the people who lived there. In this head-canon, K’un L’un is hidden for political reasons.
It was there that he met “Heather” (insert generic Asian-ish Marvel name, I guess) who is the daughter of one of the leaders of K’un L’un and also one of the best martial artists of K’un L’un. Eventually, Heather and Wendell fall in love and they decide to move back to the United States, in part because of the turbulent situation in Kun Lun. Together, Wendell and Heather build Rand Industries and they have a son, Daniel.
Young Danny studies martial arts with his mother and other teachers. He grows up learning about her homeland and learning the language from her and other refugees. However, like many Asian parents who have fled from a war torn homeland, Heather is reluctant to bring Danny to visit Kun Lun and Wendell defers to her wishes. Eventually, they decide to charter a small plane out of Hong Kong, but this plane is sabotaged by a rival company (none of this fighting over ownership of Danny’s mom bullshit) and crashes.
Danny is the sole survivor and taken in by the people of Kun Lun. While he is a competent martial artist, it is because he has studied martial arts his entire life under the best teachers with all the money in the world. While the other students resent him, it is not strictly because he is “white” or better than them but because he thinks he is better than them and is clueless about the amount of privilege he has as a millionaire and American, etc.
It’s late and I’m running out of steam so maybe I’ll expand on this tomorrow. I know I would find it exceedingly hilarious, though, if in this alternate universe Davos really was instead the “mighty whitey” trope, as in, he was a white guy with this savior mentality (think Invisible Children/KONY) who stumbled upon Kun Lun and then expected to be the best at everything, and his grudge was based on that instead.
What do you think? Is there a way to salvage Iron Fist? Because I think it’s a damn shame that one of the most Asian-ish heroes in the Marvel pantheon is actually just another white American 1%er. And honestly, who’s heard of poor Shang-Chi.
From here http://sakimichan.deviantart.com/
BRHood: Hey guys! I’m going to need some help on this. And I’d love it if our Chinese and other Asian followers who may know more than us could comment so we can get this discussion going.
I remember a while ago, like a year or so ago, I read THIS POST (took me soooooo long to find it again) discussing Mulan from a feminist aspect. In hindset, it annoying uses western ideas of “feminism” to critique a Disney version of a Chinese story, but whatever. In the article (which I think the girl wrote for a school assignment), it’s mentioned that the Disney Mulan does not really LOOK authentically Chinese.
Part of Mulan’s charm as Disney Princess and Asian woman is her ravishing beauty, pale skin and “tiny waist.” However, as Zhongshun writes, “…it was never stressed in the ancient poem that Mulan was a ravishing beauty” (Zhongshun 23). Furthermore, Zhang Renjie argues that Disney artists “chose to create a Mulan that looks like a Vietnamese” (Renjie 31), versus an authentic-looking Chinese girl.
I would love it if our Chinese followers could maybe clarify. I say this because this submission made me wonder just how “whitewashed” the first picture is when the second picture (the original Disney version) , from my understanding, is not an accurate portrayal of Chinese girls. So what should Mulan REALLY look like? Thank you kindly for any responses we may get.
As a young-ish Asian American girl when Mulan first came out in the early 2000s, I distinctly remember not liking Mulan’s appearance. I never really pinned down why exactly this was until recently.
I mean, what was up with those slanty eyes? I remember arguing with white kids on the playground when I was younger and the only Asian in my class that Asians didn’t have slanty eyes, see how I did not; I really resented that Mulan had slanty eyes and here Disney was winning the battle over that stereotype.
I just remember thinking: she is Asian and ethnically Han Chinese, like me (though my family is more Taiwanese than Chinese at this point)…but I don’t look like that, do I?
And I can appreciate Disney basing her appearance on ancient Chinese standards of beauty with the round face and thick eyebrows and defined features, because that is a thing, but still…working on the Racebending protest I really, really began to resent Mulan.
Rage resent. Because people would say things like, “If Aang is supposed to be Asian, why doesn’t he have slanty eyes, why doesn’t he look more like Mulan.” And even if I had contextual proof (eg. the Avatar creators have stated that they decided to use the Korean animated art style to draw faces since that was what those artists were good at, etc.) there was still this mental disconnect…because Aang did not look like what white people (and really all Americans via osmosis) EXPECTED Asians to look like. Because these stereotypes are so engrained.
Early on in the Airbender protest, I remember giving a long ass PowerPoint presentation on the Asian elements of Avatar: The Last Airbender to a prominent Asian American advocacy group in order to convince them that Avatar was in fact being whitewashed. The leaders of the organization told us that Aaang and co. had round blue eyes and they were confused, until I reminded them that this was the case in anime as well.
I remember protesting the Runaways casting calls because Marvel was seriously, seriously considering whitewashing the Japanese American character of Nico Minoru. I remember approaching other longstanding Asian American groups with this news to ask for their support in pursuing the issue. I would send out these briefing sheet emails and attach images of Jo Chen’s beautiful covers featuring Nico. I encountered so much resistance because to these older non-comic book, non-anime savvy Asian American advocates, Nico “didn’t really look that Asian” to them. Instead of being happy that for once, we were not being drawn with exaggerated, stereotypical features, they doubted that Nico was Asian at all.
We got the same questions from mainstream geek press. “She doesn’t look Asian to me.” So I began to cull images of Nico from all of the different artists who worked in the book. And I noticed that the Asian, Asian American and Asian Canadian artists would draw Nico looking, well, “normal” …and the non-Asian artists were more likely to, well…draw her as looking like Mulan. Because that is what we are accustomed to imagining cartoon Asians as “looking like.”
My love-hate relationship with Mulan is really impacted by the way she was depicted, to the point where I still can’t stand Mulan merchandise. I’ve been looking for an Asian Barbie doll for a long time but I feel like the Mulan doll isn’t a good substitute because of her exaggerated racialized features. I don’t know if I am the only Asian who feels this way or not. I simply experience a lot of cognitive dissonance between how I feel Mulan should look like and how she does look like. I PARTICULARLY resent Disney for always marketing her in the same goddamn outfit she sings about as oppressing her in the movie, and for calling it a freaking “kimono” last Halloween, etc.
And for me, it isn’t about wanting Mulan to look more “white” even though yes, I grew up in a culture that taught me that white beauty was normative and to have her not look like the other princesses is kind of othering, etc…It’s just about her not looking like an alien. Because I’m pretty sure part of the reason why aliens are drawn with slanted eyes is because in the early and late 1800s Asian immigrants were referred to as celestials and aliens because we looked so different. (citation needed.)
To me, Mulan looks like what white people expect Asian people to look like, and not what I felt Asian people should look like—or do look like. While I don’t think the first picture is perfect either, it is closer to how I would have drawn Mulan.
I FUCKING HATE AMERICANS
I don’t think I would mind as much if Sherlock were also a girl. And Watson wasn’t Asian. THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE FUCKING ENGLISH. IT’S A FUCKING ENGLISH STORY STOP PUTTING YOUR SLIMY AMERICAN FINGERS INTO EVERYTHING.
I vote for a boycott.
A Cumberboycott, if need be.
I HATE AMERICANS TOO LOOK AT WHAT THEY DID WTF
I don’t think I would mind as much if Sherlock were also a girl. And Watson wasn’t a mouse. THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE HUMAN!!!! IT’S A HUMAN STORY STOP PUTTING YOUR SLIMY AMERICAN MOUSE FINGERS INTO EVERYTHING.
We need to boycott this, Cumberbunnies.
It’s not like there are 250 other depictions of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson featuring them as two white British dudes. Making Sherlock Holmes a mouse is almost as bad as casting Watson as an Asian American woman; it is so dreadfully terrible. Little British boys will never have the opportunity to see themselves reflected in the sidekick character of Watson if they see The Great Mouse Detective.
IT’S TIME TO PLAY THE WORLD’S TINIEST VIOLIN U GAIS
After three years of working on Racebending.com I am not sure if I should be excited by how fiercely and rapidly the fandom can and will break down why the film was problematic, or sad that years and years later, the same excuses and apologetics get trotted out over and over.
It’s hard, sometimes, to stand in a sea of A:TLA fandom and not know if I am surrounded by supporters of our efforts to fight discrimination in entertainment media, or people who view this subversion as traitorous to our fandom identity. Apparently, the good fan is docile, and “calms down” and doesn’t clog the Korra tag with ‘frivolous’ or ‘irrelevant’ commentary. Even if the commentary is about a serious thing that happened to a franchise we all love. Even if media critique is an essential part of fandom.
The reality is that the “The Last Airbender” film replicated the same oppressions and casting barriers faced by Bruce Lee. It replicated the same systemic discriminations—systemic racism, yes, racism—that Mako Iwamatsu, the late voice actor of Uncle Iroh, spent his entire career fighting. I cannot presume to speak for the dead, but I am reasonably certain both of them would have supported the fans against the casting, were they still alive. Or perhaps they would have been saddened to see these casting patterns still happening, and the people still denying, in 2010?
The Mako that Korra’s Mako is named after spoke out directly against these practices. Would you dare tell him that he was “too sensitive”? Would you tell Bruce Lee he was “making a big deal out of nothing?” Yet, merely having to scroll past those speaking out against racism on the Korra tag is a prohibitive inconvenience to those who view themselves as the “true” fans.
I loved this thing soooo much! I have the entire soundtrack on my ipod! But personally, I think the Prince (he was a swooner, too!) was adopted by Whoopi and Spy Daddy.
I liked that this was one of the most prominent depictions of interracial families on TV when I was a kid. Both Cinderella and the Prince. Cinderella even explains her motivations for staying with her stepmother in this one, unlike all the other ones.
The actor who plays the Prince, Paolo Montalaban, will be in Allegiance, a new broadway musical with George Takei, Lea Salonga, and Telly Leung.
“Impossible” from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1997)
Now I know this isn’t the Disney film most people think of when they hear “Cinderella”, but it is a Disney production nonetheless, and that is incredibly important. It premiered on ABC as a made-for-TV film and became the #1 show of the week with over 60 million viewers. It was nominated for several Emmy’s and won for Outstanding Art Direction (for a Variety or Music Program).
But what makes Cinderella truly special is its ethnically-diverse cast. The film stars African-American singer Brandi is its titular role, and Whitney Houston, its producer, as her Fairy Godmother. Paolo Montalban is a Prince born to a black Queen (Whoopi Goldberg) and a white King (Victor Garber). Thanks to its color-blind cast, Cinderella has proved to millions of children and even adults that fairytales can still be magical, no matter what the prince and princess look like.
Insta-reblog because I fucking love this version so much. <3