Nov 082007
 
Authors: Laura Anderson

“Can you name any Asian American actors?”

This was the first question posed to interviewees by the creators of the documentary film “rePresentation of Asian Americans in American Media,” which examines the ways Asian Americans are portrayed by the media.

The film, shown Thursday in the Lory Student Center, was created by seniors Andrew Stewart, psychology and statistics major, Carl Olsen, sports medicine major, and counselor Karlen Suga as a piece for Ask the Asian/Pacific American (ATAPA) project last year.

Reagan Le, assistant director of Asian/Pacific American Student Services (APASS) advocacy office, who produced the documentary short, said the purpose of the film is to address stereotypes.

“Usually when you talk about race, its black and white,” Le said. “We just want to create some dialogue.”

He said that it’s important expose and recognize racial stereotypes.

“Males are demasculated and people don’t want to see them on screen. Women are sexualized,” Le said. “They (Asian Americans) are used in stereotypical ways, such as a martial artist or dragon lady.”

“rePresentations of Asian Americans in American Media” examines the lack of Asian Americans in most forms of media and the stereotypes associated with them.

Also addressed in the film is the idea that the stereotypes and invisibility created by the media have a tendency to seep into everyday life, and those ideas propagate themselves in day-to-day societal perceptions on all Asian Americans.

Featured in the documentary were associate professor of speech and communication Dr. Eric Aoki, assistant professor of history Dr. May Fu, CTV advisor Julia Sandidge and Collegian advisor Holly Wolcott.

Stewart said that since making the film, he has become “more in tuned” to the stereotypes, which he also says is a way for us all to overcome those misperceptions.

Staff writer Laura Anderson can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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