Increase the positive portrayal and opportunity for Asians in Hollywood and media.
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While African Americans are getting increased opportunity and appreciation in the community, Asian-Americans are forgotten in the fight for diversity due to their invisibility in society as an effect from lack of media representation. Whites currently dominate the media industry and compromise 87.1% of the lead actors in Hollywood as of 2014 according to a UCLA report, which has minimized opportunities for Asian-Americans. With approximately 3% of Asian-Americans in 2015-2016 in scripted Hollywood roles based on LA times, they are limited to roles solely based on their stereotypes. Hollywood portrays Asian-Americans as timid, quiet, rich, and intelligent, known as the “model minority” stereotype. This limited portrayal of such a diverse and ethnic group of individuals can cause internalized racism, leading Asian-Americans to grow up feeling devalued and alienated from society. We strongly believe that Paramount Pictures can help change the perception by hiring and casting more Asians to proportionately and realistically reflect our American society.
Hollywood claims to be the leader in diversity as it attempts to reflect society, but it does this inaccurately. Many television studios actively seek out non-white actors in order to increase diversity and appeal to the new generation. However, for those in Hollywood, diversity is defined by casting a few black characters on each television show. Diversity does not always mean to have black actors, but to have Asian and Latino actors because, at the end of the day, the goal is to have more opportunities. According to a report from UCLA on diversity based off of the top 100 movies in 2014-2015, Hollywood only represents 3% of Asian-Americans in film. Meanwhile, Asian-Americans make up 14.7% of California’s population according to the 2015 government census. Based on Motion Picture Association of America’s Theatrical Marketing statistics, Asians currently make up 11% of moviegoers and come below other ethnicities. We recognize that more than half of the moviegoers are white and well-known actors are used as a marketing strategies in order to appeal to the audience. However, we believe that with increased representation of Asians, the attendance of this group would potentially rise. Whitewashing not only harms the representation of Asian-Americans, studios try to justify it claiming that it is a marketing strategy.
By seeing minimal and inaccurate representation in the popular culture, Asian-Americans are encouraged to grasp onto other cultures in order to be accepted by society. The effects of Hollywood’s whitewashing to Asians is harmful as it reflects upon our diverse American society. Popular culture portrays Asians through the model minority stereotype, which is the idea that all Asian-Americans are financially stable, high strung, and highly educated. They are the, “model” because they are what other minorities strive to be. Since this stereotype is seen as “positive” and is internalized in the lives of many Asian Americans.
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