Racist or Ironic? (Part 1)

by H.P.

We’ve all seen The Slanted Screen, right? We all know about the racist characters in classic films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sixteen Candles, and Indiana Jones. And because we’ve all seen them and have made note, that means that all of the filmmakers out there, in this day and age, have seen them, too, right?


The answer to a lot of the racist characters of decades past was to make after school specials that attack those antiquated sensibilities. We suddenly saw a yellow Ranger in our children’s programming. And in younger channels, we see Asian protagonists who educate everyone in the ways of being Chinese.

And now, we have to step back and look at all of the Asian images out there, American or otherwise. I remember arguing that the scene of Mike Yanagira in Fargo was ironic, but people argued that it was hateful and non-ironic. With the knowledge and sensitivity that people have, now, regarding negative images of Asians on the big (or small) screen, we have to look at certain clips and ask: Is this racist? Or Ironic?

Watch the following clips and decide. Please comment!

(note: I’m not sharing my stance on each clip. I’m just dying to hear yours. :)

Dude, Where’s My Car? – “And Then…”

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – “Knives meets Scott”

Little Shop of Horrors – “Da Doo”

The Goods – “Trailer”

The Adventures of Prscilla – “Filipino Ping Pong”

Team America: World Police – “Ronery”
Bottle Rocket– “Kumar”

5 responses to “Racist or Ironic? (Part 1)

  1. I wasn’t able to watch all the clips, but I think Team America: World Police clip is ironic.

    • I think “Ronery” is such a pretty song. I think it’s one of the best in Team America. :)

  2. What about Gremlins? Gremlins were from Chinatown… they’re called “Morguai” but I think that’s just a brilliant conception:

    And Gizmo is way to cute to not to be Chinese!

  3. Pingback: Racist or Ironic (part 2) | Queerious?

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