Opinion: Increased Asian media representation comes with a downside as well

Asian+representation+has+always+been+rare+in+American+media.+But+recently%2C+movies+and+shows+have+begun+to+feature+mainly+Asian+actors+such+as+Marvels+Shang-Chi.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Asian representation has always been rare in American media. But recently, movies and shows have begun to feature mainly Asian actors such as Marvel’s “Shang-Chi.”

Khushila Dulal, Photo Editor

In recent years, there has been an increase in Asian representation in Western media. While it’s great to see this representation become more normalized, it has both positive and negative consequences. 

In terms of the positive, Asian-Americans for a long time have not been able to see anyone who looks like them on TV. Asian children rarely had superheroes or princesses they could look up to. 

Today there have been movies like Shang-Chi, Crazy Rich Asians, and most recently the show Squid Game that feature many Asian actors. All of these works have been successful and portray Asian people as something more than just a stereotype.

However, the shows gaining mainstream popularity has also come with many negative sides. Some people have been comparing Asian people they know to characters in a show just because they are Asian. There have been many instances where people have referred to Korean people as “Squid Game people.”

Squid Game also features a Pakistani character named Abdul Ali. While his character in the show is specifically Pakistani, many Desi people, in general, get compared to him due to their skin color. 

Anime became popular as people in quarantine started exploring different forms of media. Due to it being Japanese animation, Japanese people also started getting compared to fictional anime characters. 

Back during the height of Covid, Asian people were misguidedly blamed for the pandemic. There were many cases of hate crimes being committed against them, and Asian-Americans had to fear for their safety. 

Soon after, Asian movies and shows started gaining popularity in the Western world. Suddenly everyone was very interested in Asian culture and switched their views on Asian people as a whole completely. 

It’s sad to see people’s views on a whole race change due to what’s trending on social media and what is not. ”

While that may have helped alleviate some of the anti-Asian hate, it’s sad to see people’s views on a whole race change due to what’s trending on social media and what is not. Asian people should not be treated as a trend.