7th Oct 2018 10:10:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

The western media, especially the American, be it print, electronic or Hollywood, always had a myopic view of India and Asians. Indians are brownies for them and people of China or South Asia are Chinkies or the “yellows.”   Those who have seen Hollywood movies especially the war movies on Vietnam will understand this better. It is the same Hollywood which eulogized the Afghan terrorists through Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo series. The film Slumdog Millionaire directed by Dany Boyle also showed that bitter side of Hollywood depicting Indian poverty. Now the American romance-comady drama ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ directed by Jon M. Chu was released in India this week. It is one the first major Hollywood films to have a largely Asian American cast. While we can criticise Hollywood for its depiction of the Millionaire Dog facet, i.e. India’s poverty, was inaccurate, we can’t expect it to focus on another facet that we believe might be more representative of India. (But then our Western based writers like VS Naipaul too did not help India’s cause as for them India’s poverty was a hot selling item in the West). Crazy Rich Asians has Singapore as its backdrop which has a per capita income of more than $80,000 in PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) terms. Compare that with India, whose per capita income is yet to touch even $10,000. So even though we have our rich billionaires, we are still a long way from being a rich country.
In this case, China serves as a great example. Its phenomenal rise has completely altered its depiction in US movies, to the extent that Chinese space scientists are shown as saving Americans in a major production like The Martian. Increased Chinese investments in Hollywood studios and the size of China’s box-office market which is now just behind the US in value are the drivers behind this change. 
The moral of the story is that while Crazy Rich Asians does propel the ‘Asian face’ into Hollywood mainstream cinema, it also presupposes and further propagates the idea that all Asians are, and look the same. Indians aren’t nearly Asian enough, and the brown-people ‘subcontinent’ and its neighbours often get left out of this larger grouping, which in itself is stereotypical.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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