For decades American media has predefined the Asian image. Despite the good intention of directors and producers unbalanced and limited portrayals of Asians have become the norm of the American entertainment industry.

 

This paper explores how Asians are portrayed in the American media. In line with this study, the paper focuses on two American movies that were watched at home. That is, “Olympus has Fallen” and “Pain and Gain.” Olympus has Fallen focuses a real life possibility of assault from North Korea and the capacity of the Secret Service to handle such threats. In addition, the film outlines the shaky relationship between South Korea and North Korea. The key character that is used to bring out the Asian image in Pain and Gain is Ken Jeong as Johnny Wu. In this movie, Jeong act as a motivational speaker.
Too often, the Asian accent or face has been presented as a shorthand representation for anything unethical to the Western or American culture. There are a number of restrictive Asian image that is regularly depicted in the mainstream American media. The recurrence of these restrictive role marks them as stereotypes. In other words, even if the producer or director does not intend to, a repeated portrayal can serve as a stereotype. The first stereotype is Asians being positive contributors to the American society as seen in the case of South Korea’s joint military relations in the Korean peninsula. Johnny Wu inspires Lugo to be a ‘doer’ hence achieving his American dream. Whenever villains are Asians, their villainy is linked to their ethnicity. This depicts Asians as a single group with a single collection of characteristics. Basically, Asians are portrayed as a single collective identity. In fact, there is a notion that Asians act and look alike. This is common with Asian females. Asian males are stereotyped as ruthless villains. This is portrayed in Olympus has Fallen.
When discussing fairness in media, it is quite obvious that any media does not portray any person, ethnic group or race they way they desire to be portrayed. That is to say, every person, ethnic group, race, gender and other social classes feel that media is unfair. However, from this movie, the media is slightly fair in the treatment of Asians, especially Asians outside the United States. This is illustrated by the fact that Asians are not only given limited roles in Hollywood based movies, but also a limited screenplay. Despite the fact that Asian males are portrayed as being smart, geeks and hardworking, there is an aspect of Asian people being cunning. In addition, Asians are linked to production of low substandard goods alongside their superior products. When Dorball and Lugo purchased equipment to dismember the bodies of Griga and Krisztina, they bought a power saw that failed them. At that point, Dorball cracks a joke that the power saw is made in China. Notwithstanding that much of the American media depicts Asian males on a negative line; Pain and Gain had an advance with an Asian playing a more positive role. In fact, vast majority of Hollywood movies portray negative stereotypes.
In these particular scenarios, the media portrays both positive and negative aspects of Asians. Divulging from the two movies, American media has not been portraying Asian kindly. There is a notion that Chinese people are affordable if not cheap, and would do anything to gain their desired financial position. In summary, the United States media projects both contradicting images about Asians. Additionally, the modern American media uses retro-racism to create a notion that the stereotypes are universally accepted.